Thursday, August 09, 2007

Movie Review - "Jesus Camp"

"Jesus Camp" is a documentary about children at an Evangelical church camp. And let me tell you, this is the most frightening movie I've seen in ....... possibly ever.

All I can say is, I strongly recommend that everyone see this movie. I cannot remember the last time a movie made me think so much, about so many different issues.

I knew that the current Administration had close ties with the Evangelical movement, and that Evangelical leaders regularly confer with President Bush. But I really had no idea what Evangelicalism was all about until I watched this movie. And the way these people are indoctrinating (brainwashing, if you will) their children at a very young age disturbed me deeply. Now, most religious people try to pass on their religious beliefs to their children, which is fine by me. But to watch a woman home-schooling her child tell him repeatedly that "Evolution is a lie" really bothered me. And to watch very young children speaking in tongues and sobbing hysterically over their ecstasy in the Lord made me upset. These are kids, for Pete's sake! The phrase "Hitler Youth" kept coming to mind. Especially when these kids would talk about "laying down their life for Jesus". Hello! You're eight years old!

Now, I was going to add a disclaimer, something along the lines of, "Not that there's anything wrong with being an Evangelical", but, you know what? I can't do it. Because after watching this movie (which was painfully even-handed, by the way), I think there is something wrong with these people. I think there is something wrong with anyone who is so totally consumed by a certain belief that there is no room in their mind for any other possibilities. That anyone who is not on their side needs to be converted to their side, as quickly as possible, because, after all, their belief is the only truth, and there is no room for any truth other than theirs.

I know I may not have articulated this very clearly, but let me say this: This movie will scare the shit right out of you. Unless you are an Evangelical, in which case you will probably smile and nod right through the whole thing.


Kerri said...

Well, you'd never get along with my twin sister then. Pregnant with #8, all homeschooled. They are Reformed Baptists. Her husband brainwashed -- I mean -- converted her. We grew up Catholic.

We are very different. Very.

Exador said...

Yeah, I saw Jesus Camp and had the same response; creepy.
Funny how close those zealots are to Islamic fundementalists.
Remember at the end, where the radio guy is talking to the head nutjob and she says how Democracy is only the best form of government "here on earth", and that the problem with this country is that you have to give everybody equal rights.

Also, the grand poobah of evangelicals, that they visited in Denver, was found to have had an ongoing history with a male prostitue, including lots of meth use. He was kicked out in disgrace shortly after that movie.

patrick said...

what's funny is, despite the obvious agenda that the film-makers had, i couldn't help thinking, "well, what's the problem here? these kids seem to be living pretty decent lives; they're parents certainly love them..."

Jesus Camp was pointlessly critical. it offered no solution to the overarching "problem" implied here, which is that Christians keep raising their children to be Christian... perhaps parents should run all their worldviews by an entirely atheistic state-run child-raising board before attempting to pass these worldviews onto their children, yes?