Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Movie / Jesus Camp

If you liked Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth you'll love Jesus Camp, an up-close look at right-wing evangelical preachers indoctrinating (aka brainwashing) young kids in the American heartland. I thought this would be an undercover expose, but apart from the ominous soundtrack, it was clearly intended to be, and is, a rocket-propelled grenade fired at American liberals by the evangelicals themselves, using the (liberal) film makers as a vehicle.

Jesus Camp is a straight face documentary of the charismatic Rev. Becky Fisher, her ministry to kids, and her "Kids on Fire" Bible camp in North Dakota. But hers is not your old-time revival. She has her 7-9 year olds pray in tongues, repent their sins, pray to a life sized cardboard figure of GW Bush (who has surrounded himself with godly people), and she passes out fetus dolls so all can tearfully pray for righteous judges who will end abortion. All of which seems perfectly normal to her. Summarizing some views as expressed by her and her young followers --

Muslims are indoctrinating their kids to carry AK-47s and become suicide bombers, so Christians need to keep up. Evolution is not science. Global warming is bunk since temperatures have only risen 0.6 degrees. Galileo did the right thing by giving up science for Christ. When prayer was taken out of our schools, they went to hell. Harry Potter should be put to death for being a warlock. I will serve God all the days of my life. There are dead churches where people sing 3 hymns and hear a sermon, but God prefers churches where folks jump up and down. America is supposed to be God's country, but we've got to break the power of Satan over our government. (Scene of kids breaking coffee cups labeled "Satan" with hammers.) I love this (material) American lifestyle, but it's a sick old world.

Near the end there's an interview with Rev. Ted Haggard of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, leader of an organization representing 30 million evangelicals, who the Bush Admin confers with weekly. (According to subtitles Colorado Springs is an area of intense evangelical activity.)

He believes the message is simple. Science tells us we are blobs of chemicals created by an impersonal process of natural selection, whereas the Bible tells us that God loves us, cares about us, and has a plan for us. This is an easy sell, particularly to kids searching for meaning in their young lives. The Bible tells us everything we need to know. "If the evangelicals vote, they determine the election. It's an exciting life."

And, as voice over news reports remind us, Samuel A. Alito Jr has been confirmed to the US Supreme Court, so obviously God has answered their fervent and unrelenting prayers.

1 Comments:

At 5/08/2008 12:23 PM, Blogger Patrick Roberts said...

just saw Jesus Camp myself, i appreciate the fact that the movie’s makers let the people interviewed do all the talking... over all, there is some truth in this flick as long as it's taken with a grain (or maybe a bucket) of salt

 

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