Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, March 02, 2007

Witness some chilling child's play at Jesus Camp

One of the other better known nominees for Best Documentary at the Oscars this year was Jesus Camp,a look at the Fundamentalist/Evangelical Christian movement's desire to convert young children into "God's Army". Many of these kids are homeschooled and are encouraged to live in an isolated community made up of folks who believe that America has gone wrong by allowing such things as evolution to be taught in public schools and legalized abortion.

Not surprisingly,alot of these adults are right wing in their politics and have no qualms about using kids as young as eight years old to convert strangers and appear at protest rallies.

One of the major figures in Jesus Camp is Pastor Becky, a children's minister who runs a Christian summer camp for children called "Kids On Fire" in (ironically enough)Devil's Lake,ND. Pastor Becky feels that her mission in life is to have a generation of young people"willing to die" for Christ,just like the Muslim extremists have for their cause. Uh huh,yeah because that's just Jesus would want..not! Let's see Pastor Becky in action:

Pastor Becky likes to use props in her camp talks and is not a fan of Harry Potter,who she misrepresents as a warlock. Hello,Harry's a wizard! Get your facts straight there,hon:

We also get to meet some of the kids who are the focus of this intense indoctrination,like Rachael. Rachael is a sweet girl, but her enthusiam for bringing others into the fold borders on highstrung at times. Listen to her reason for wanting to be a nail stylist when she grows up:

Levi is twelve and seems to be being groomed as a future preacher for the faith. This is his take on what Non-Christians are like:

The best thing about this documentary is that the directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady don't have to point out the connections between this determined religious recruitment and other types of early age brainwashing;they just let the people involved here do all the talking and allow the audience to see and think for themselves,which is something that the adults here would hate for anyone else to do.

The closest that the movie gets to a narrator is Mike Papantino,a Methodist radio spokesman on Air America,who is concerned about this whole movement:

Jesus Camp is an eye opening look at what appears to be the making of a religous/political cult. I'm all for freedom of religion and speech but I am also for freedom of thought and for people of all ages to given more than one point of view so that they can make an informed opinion about the world around them. The adults in this film ,sadly enough,do have the best intentions and truly believe that they're doing the right thing in preparing these kids for the future. I do wonder how some of these kids will be,ten years from now. I also wonder about the impact of folks like Ted Haggard(who makes an appearance in the film and later complained about it)who are being exposed right now for their sins and follies,are on the youngest members of the flock:

Jesus Camp is now available on DVD and if you click the title link above,you can learn more about this film at the official website. This is one documentary that should be watched with someone because you're going to have alot to talk about afterwards. My sister and I saw JC together two days ago and we're still finding plenty of food for thought. Free will is definately not overrated.


Pop Culture Diva said...

I just put JC on my Netflix list an hour ago. Great minds think alike. You should do the follow up documentary in 10 years. I'll do your publicity.

Rev. Donald Spitz said...
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lady t said...

Thanks for the offer,PCD-I'll keep it in mind:)

Robin Brande said...

"Chilling" is right. Boyohboy. And the Ted Haggart part is just so . . . odd, now that we know what we know.

The scariest part was the group basically worshiping the cardboard cutout of George W. I guess the commandment about idolotry doesn't apply to some people, huh?