Monday, June 04, 2007

Jesus Camp

Jesus Camp: This movie has nothing to do with pirates or reality TV, so it gets a separate post. Jesus Camp is a documentary about a camp where kids go to "learn" about evangelical Christian beliefs. You may have heard Richard Dawkins say that bringing up kids to believe in a certain religion is child abuse. Well, if you want to see a dramatic illustration of that, see this movie. You might as well be watching kids getting beaten with a belt for an hour and a half. It's that bad.

What bugs me isn't that kids are learning about what this particular brand of Christians believe. Rather, they are being TOLD that it is the only thing they can possibly believe, and that anyone who doesn't believe it is an enemy. And maybe I'm just projecting my own beliefs on my perceptions, but I really see a lot of anger and unhappiness behind everything the adults preach, and it passes onto the kids. Some is subtle - a hint of fury in their eyes as they preach - but some is blatant, like making kids cry because they are all less-than-perfect, and sinners, and whatever. Even if I believed in God this would be horrifying; but it's made even worse by the fact that the things being preached about are almost certainly false.

I would never advocate taking away the right for such a camp to exist. Yet it shows that there is a large problem, at least in the United States. There are people - and there are a lot of them - with crazy harmful beliefs, and they are brainwashing their children to have the same beliefs. These kids don't even get a chance to actually learn about reality, because they are taught at home and have little contact with the outside world (other than Jesus Camp). Because they are so extreme and so passionate, they can often get into positions of power. One of the movie's themes is a focus on the desire of these people to, literally, take over the United States. Like some evil comic book supervillain group.

I do believe, however, that sanity will prevail. Most normal Christians will be as horrified by this movie as I am. Atheists are becoming more organized and powerful thanks to Richard Dawkins and his ilk. Basically, most people are sane, and I have "faith" that they will overshadow these nutjobs and their brainwashed children in the future of the United States, and ultimately, the earth.


Anonymous said...

Well, that sucks.

Michael Krahn said...


I am a Christian who is writing a blog series on Dawkins' book "The God Delusion".

Join the conversation at:

madamerouge said...

I'm encouraged by your optimism. After I saw Jesus Camp, I was scared silly.

Jason said...

This movie was deeply disturbing.