I know I’m behind the curve here, but now that I’ve graduated, I’ve got a lot more free time to read books, watch movies, play games, talk to friends and all that jazz.
One of the things that I’ve only just now gotten around to is watching Jesus Camp. I knew it was scary just how crazy these people were, so for the most part, it wasn’t surprising, but I figured I’d share my thoughts on it anyway.
In the very first scene, we see the leader of the camp, Becky Fisher, screaming at kids about how, if God can do anything, then he should be able to fix “this sick ‘ole world”. Hahahaha. Sure. Just pray. Yeah…. Shame prayer doesn’t work. This is again demonstrated later when Rachael (another girl in the camp) prays to get a strike while bowling. She rolls a gutter ball.
She then tells kids that, “We have too many Christian grown ups who are fat and lazy.” Sure. And she’s one of them. She’s by far the fattest one in the entire film and is later seen teasing her hair. Yeah. That’s getting something done… Shame she can’t get these kids to do something productive instead of harassing people with nonsense.
Next, she leads the group in prayer in tongues. Now, back in high school, I did a bunch of theater. One of the things that we had to learn was how to quickly speak gibberish and make it convincing enough to actually sound like a language. It’s not that difficult, but it takes some practice. When you’re good at it, it rolls right off your tongue and sounds pretty good to someone who doesn’t know you’re not actually speaking gibberish. The thing that amazed me about this is that these people aren’t even good at it! Their gibberish is running through a few mushed up syllables. And they really thing it means something! The adults were obviously better than the kids, but having a lifetime of practice, they’d better be.
The film then shows the camp leader watching the video of these kids and saying, “she’s not out of it. She’s very aware of what’s going on.” Well yeah. You know what’s going on, but that doesn’t mean it has to make sense or have some profound meaning. And it certainly doesn’t mean that they’re “hooking up with the Spirit.”
Becky brags about being able to go onto a playground and tell kids about God and get them to see “visions”. Well duh. Kids are imaginative and open to suggestion. Why do you think that psychologists are required to undergo training before they ask kids about experiences? They have to make sure they don’t lead the kids inadvertently. There’s numerous cases out there (many times involving ignorant church officials) in which people asking them questions have led kids to believe that they were sexually abused, leading to emotional trauma when in fact, no such thing had occurred. What Becky does is probably less harmful, but is no more meaningful than this. The fact that she brags about it is just disgusting.
She talks about suicide bomber camps training kids and says that it’s great that they can get kids so dedicated. She says, “I want to see young people who are as dedicated to the cause of Jesus Christ as the young people are to the cause of Islam. I want to see them radically laying down their lives for the Gospel…”
Next up we see one of the kids, Levi, watching a Creationist propaganda video. It’s got the normal lies about what science actually says (“Did we come from an explosion? Are you a gob of goo?”). The mother then starts talking about Global Warming, teaching her son to dismiss it because it’s “only gone up 0.6º.” Talk about a lack of understanding of the issue. Levi then says he, “feels Galileo made the right choice by giving up science for faith.”
E pur si muove anyone?
The mother says the country was founded on Judeo-Christian values. Treaty of Tripoli Article 11 pwns u biotch!
Another family does the Pledge of Allegiance. Except it’s not even the one to the US. And these people claim that we’re the ones trying to subvert the pledge? LOL!
At the camp, Becky stars off with a brain numbing sermon about how sin is like a baby tiger, that if you feed it, it gets big and eats you. Then right in the middle of it, she goes on a crazy rant about how evil Harry Potter is, how he’s an “enemy of God”, and how if he was in the OT, he’d be “put to death.” What a sweet message.
She then does the magic trick of the guilt trip, trying to make people feel bad for being humans because they’re not Christian enough. And you “can’t have phonies in the army of God.” “You know what need to repent of.” Sounds more like an interrogation technique than anything else. Especially when some of the kids antagonize another for looking like Harry Potter and another for having seen it at his father’s house.
One of the male leaders of the camp gets testy about ghost stories because they, “don’t honor God.”
Rachael has a segment about “dead churches” in which she says that God likes churches in where people are jumping up and down and being overly excited. Funny. If I was invited to a party in my honor, I’d prefer people not act like complete idiots. At least not till I’ve had a few drinks too…
In another scene, Levi is practicing a sermon he’s going to be giving about how he feels that his generation is a key generation for blah blah blah blah…. He then says that he’s not the one that writes it, but that it’s God writing it. Hmmm… no. I think it’s the pastors that said the exact same thing earlier that you’re cribbing from. I guess citing your sources is optional for these guys.
Later on, there’s more trivial examples of doing nothing while thinking they’re doing something by smashing cups with hammers. There’s a lot of crying about it too.
The trip to Haggert’s New Life Church is especially ironic given his recent stumble.
In the end, Becky gets on a radio show and outright admits that she is quite happy to indoctrinate children and that democracy is bad. She’s just scary. And giving her access to children is worse.