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Jesus Camp

I'm watching Jesus Camp right now on t.v. It's a documentary about evangelical Christian summer camps for children. It's quite extraordinary, good and so very wrong at the same time. I'm quite amazed by the indoctrination of young evangelical American children against sinfulness, against Harry Potter, against abortion, and most surprisingly for me as a non-American, against the government for 'taking Jesus out of our schools'. The children were invited to come forward, take a hammer and smash mugs with 'government' written on them.

I know I was indoctrinated against abortion as a teenager. We were exposed, back in the '70s, to gruesome slides on the screen of all manner of backstreet abortions, foetuses that had been poisoned by salt, carved up limb by limb, dumped in alleyway bins, all that. They were tough on us, those nuns at school! I know it's always affected me, seeing that.

But these campers are very young children. They're kind of commissioned as responsible Christians, 'warriors for Jesus' who are intense and passionate and ready to go out into the world one day and be - righteous! They pray and rock and cry... maybe Crash Test Dummies put it well,
'Cause one kid had it worse than that

'Cause then there was this boy whose

Parents made him come directly home right after school

And when they went to their church

They shook and lurched all over the church floor

He couldn't quite explain it

They'd always just gone there


'Let the church rise' - these are the final words of the documentary.

So, did you read Harry Potter? I did.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
blue_leaf
Jul. 17th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
This is really scary. Children are blank slates and every experience they have writes on them. I have heard of the movie you are talking about. I am so concerned that the Radical Right wing fundementalism will become an American taliban. I saw a bumper sticker that reads, "If fascism comes to America it will be with a cross wrapped in the flag". I also saw a documentarty on the "Christian Youth" group called Battlecry. Why do some modern day Christians use such warlike imagery and hate others, such as homosexuals ? How did the church get so far from the message of Jesus. The real message Christ taught was so simple, "Love God with your whole being and love your neighbor as yourself." I think that pretty much means be at peace and share it, not brainwash, destroy and conquer. We are to be living examples by showing love and understanding. There is a movie coming out soon that really addresses these issues for Christians who are sick of the hating and being lumped together with Christians who hate, its called "Lord Save me From Your Followers". http://lordsaveusthemovie.com/
Join me in prayer for peace that God will bless all people everywhere without exception to heal our hearts and minds so we can live in love and co-exist.
natesmountain
Jul. 17th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
-I am so concerned that the Radical Right wing fundementalism will become an American taliban.
Yikes! I'm wondering how many of them are there out there? We watched Wife Swap one night with this crazed religious person who went round the house sensing evil and fearing/despising almost everything, seeing Satan everywhere, and we thought, do many American atheists assume that her behaviour represents real Christianity? One problem is that the fundamentalists seem to be so loud about it all! Straight after Jesus Camp last night I switched channels to see a documentary about one of our own Kiwi 'religious' leaders being examined, from the Destiny Church (which I consider to be a kind of cult). They are anti-gay, pro-smacking your children, all in the name of God. And his mentor? An American evangelist!

Yeah, the Jesus Camp children were at times dressed in camouflage as Warriors for God, and many times were moved to desperate tears through hypnotic and intense preaching.

-There is a movie coming out soon that really addresses these issues for Christians who are sick of the hating and being lumped together with Christians who hate
Ooh, I watched the free preview, I think I want to see that one! Thanks for the rec!
moth2fic
Jul. 17th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
I watched this - or something similar - and I find it quite frightening. Of course people have a right to teach their children about their religion/culture but this smacks of brainwashing and seems almost mediaeval.

Some friends of ours who are Baptists have been taught - and are teaching their children - that Harry Potter/LotR/Santa/the tooth fairy/etc.are sinful and not to be watched/read/discussed. I feel so sad for the children who are not encouraged to exercise their imagination, or even to use any kind of logic in their approach to religion.

It's hardly surprising that the same kids grow up to be either fanatical fundamentalists or serious rebels.
natesmountain
Jul. 17th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
You're right, it does smack of brainwashing. We looked at it a bit this morning and my boys were dumbstruck! Is this real, asks Finn.
-It's hardly surprising that the same kids grow up to be either fanatical fundamentalists or serious rebels.
The documentary begins with the evils of worshipping wizardry and Harry Potter!!! No room for imagination, no room for individual thought, it's a collective. And yeah, if you don't believe what they do, you would have to be called a serious rebel by your own family. It's really scary, more so after a night's thought.
greenpizzazz6
Jul. 18th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC)
It sounds almost cult-like. It's like they're brainwashing the children.
natesmountain
Jul. 18th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
Well, yeah. At first I thought, this is okay, they're focusing on GOODNESS. But as the documentary progressed, it got heavier, the burden they placed on the children's shoulders, and I began to feel quite uncomfortable.

Good kids, good parents, good leaders even, but maybe the wrong motivations for children, I think... do you encounter much of that up your way?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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