Jesus Camp

Firda and I finally got around to watching the documentary Jesus Camp last night. For those of you who live under a rock and haven’t heard of this documentary a quick synopsis (from the Magnolia films website):
A growing number of Evangelical Christians believe there is a revival underway in America that requires Christian youth to assume leadership roles in advocating the causes of their religious movement.
JESUS CAMP, directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, directors of the critically acclaimed The Boys of Baraka, follows Levi, Rachael, and Tory to Pastor Becky Fischer’s “Kids on Fire” summer camp in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, where kids as young as 6 years-old are taught to become dedicated Christian soldiers in “God’s army.” The film follows these children at camp as they hone their “prophetic gifts” and are schooled in how to “take back America for Christ.” The film is a first-ever look into an intense training ground that recruits born-again Christian children to become an active part of America’s political future.

I expected to watch this movie and be frightened by the content. In reality I spent most of the movie laughing at the ridiculous religious preaching (praying over the computers, the power point presentation, the microphones, the speakers etc.) and shaking my head wondering how screwed up these kids will be in the future, specifically the home schooled kids who are taught that science doesn’t explain anything and the bible is the only answer.
The documentary was presented in two parts – the majority of the movie was about the radical religious indoctrination of the kids. Interspered into the movie were segments from the “Ring of Fire” radio talk show, which was used to provide the more liberal counter point, and ultimately went head-to-head with the Pastor Becky Fischer.
While the movie is very interesting it isn’t overly surprising. One thing I do find interesting is that at one point some of the kids goes and sees Ted Haggard give a sermon. The same Ted Haggard who caught up in the Gay Sex and methamphetamine scandal.
Check the movie out. It’s not as controversial as people make it out to be, but it is very interesting.

4 Replies to “Jesus Camp”

  1. I haven’t seen the movie, only heard about it. Do you think that the kids will be screwed up enough to do crazy things in the name of religion? Because that’s what scares me the most about the whole thing.

  2. While we were watching the movie there was this one girl who I told Firda looked like she “would probably blow things up when she grows up”.

  3. Nikki: I don’t know if it really a “just for fun” type of movie. It’s actually kind of creepy. This type of religious fundementalism is kind of scary.

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