Monday, July 07, 2008

Jesus Camp

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…”

Wow.

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 0.6ยบ.” 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.

17 comments:

AIGBusted said...

A little off-topic here, but here goes:

"Science News" has an ad for a book called "Null Physics". The website is located here:
http://www.ourundiscovereduniverse.com

Could you possibly have a look and see if it is pseudoscience or not?I do not have the backround in physics or cosmology to tell.

Thanks,
Ryan

P.S. If you decide to answer this, please let me know on my blog:
http://aigbusted.blogspot.com

Wayne said...

You do know that most Christians think these people are nuts too, right?

Nicole said...

My favorite part is the kid who wants to be a preacher, who was "saved" when he was 5 because he "wanted something more from life." WTFBBQ? All he wanted then was Oreos and trucks, give me a break.

Too bad, that kid seemed to be very smart and well-spoken, and would go far without the indoctrination.

Wayne said...

If I could just weigh in on the "Null Physics" book, as a professor I get lots of crackpot theories sent to me via email, and this one sounds just like them (only with less all caps and bolding). It usually doesn't take long to realize that they have very little understanding of physics, which is a weak position to be expounding a whole new theory from. For example, the author doesn't seem to understand the difference between electric charge and electric field, "Positive and negative electric fields sum to a neutral universe with zero net electrical charge", along with broad statements of an eternal Universe which clearly contradict observation.

mollishka said...

So what are the post-graduate plans, aside from catching up on reading and movie watching?

deerjackal said...

If it's any consolation, the funny farm itself is shut down:

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Jesus_Camp_shuts_down

It'd be better if she spent a little more time plugging her trap with Big Macs and get out of the business altogether, but ya take what ya can get.

Jon Voisey said...

Could you possibly have a look and see if it is pseudoscience or not?I do not have the backround in physics or cosmology to tell.

I'll add it to my list of things to look at when I'm in a thinking mood.

So what are the post-graduate plans, aside from catching up on reading and movie watching?

I've decided against grad school for now. Partially because my GPA was destroyed by spending 3 years at a school that had an absolutely horrible department and partially because I'd like to pay off some of these student loans before incurring more.

Right now I'm working doing geographical survey work of all things. Putting that 6 year degree to work eh!

Oh, and since I graduated, KU decided I can't have access to the journals anymore. If I asked real nicely, would you or someone else that has access be willing to send some along?

mollishka said...

If you have to pay for grad school in the sciences, then you are going to the wrong grad school. I have been able to pay off loans while in grad school with no problem, and most/all loans will allow you to defer payments while in school (with varying rules about what happens to the interest).

Aren't most relevant papers on astro-ph anyhow?

TheBrummell said...

If you have to pay for grad school in the sciences, then you are going to the wrong grad school.

I don't know how it works in places other than Canada, but here, graduate students in sciences usually pay tuition, sometimes deducted directly from their stipends (i.e. salary). Personally, as a PhD student in Biology, my stipend is a little more than $18000 per year, and tuition is about $6000 per year. Rent chews up $650 per month, so you can see that I'm not in any position to reduce my existing loans; not surprisingly, I'm incurring more debts the longer I stay in grad. school.

People who are able to save money and / or pay down debts while graduate students obviously have different situations than my own; they show what is possible, but from talking to other graduate students and professors, such a healthy financial situation is unlikely.

****

If you post requests for papers, I'll see what I can do in getting PDFs and emailing them to you.

kuhnigget said...

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.

I guess she doesn't care what Jesus has to say.

Mathew 6:6: "But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly."

Muero said...

Regarding Jesus Camp, I tried to watch it but couldn't even make it half an hour in without turning it off. Once I got to the part where they made up their own Pledge of Allegiance, I knew going any further would make me give up all hope in mankind, which I wasn't prepared to do.

Regarding "Null Physics", all I have to do is read that website for two minutes to figure out it's BS.

That’s what our universe actually is, the only thing it could possibly be: the internal structure of nothingness.

No real physicist would ever take this seriously, and I wouldn't waste any time looking into it further, unless you're really bored. A privately published book by an author working outside his field who claims that the current astrophysics paradigm is totally bogus and anyone with exposure to high school physics can get it right? But they have a corporate audit manager who thinks it sounds like a good idea!!

Regarding physics grad school, my brother got a bachelor's degree in physics and is now about halfway through with his PhD in physics. He made twice as much money as our mother makes during each of his first two years there, and he never had to do any teaching or other work. Cornell, an Ivy League school, was paying him to get his PhD. He does do some TA work now, but he doesn't have to pay any tuition, and he just bought his first house. So I would agree with the previous comment that grad school for the sciences shouldn't prove too expensive, if you do it right.

Anonymous said...

Actually, they were doing the Christian Pledge of Allegiance and it is recognized by all protestants. I think it was written by a D.C (Disciple of Christ... don't worry, they're the good guys). Not to burst your bubble. I agree with everything else. Just wanted to clarify that that wasn't a jacked up version of the Pledge of Allegiance or something they made up.

Anonymous said...

let the blind be blind the deaf be deaf....do you even know who God is if you are the one who is deaf and blind...spiritualy! ryker age 15 argillite ky.

Jon Voisey said...

Dear Ryker,

Yes. I did "know" who God is. I was raised religiously. The thing is, about your age, I started getting into classes in school that showed me there are far better explanations for our universe than "magic man". As such, I abandoned the superstitious ramblings. This is neither blind nor deaf to keep one's mind open to new possibilities and rationally choose the better one.

So before you go accusing others, I suggest you remove the plank from your own eye.

Muero said...

Regarding Jesus Camp, I tried to watch it but couldn't even make it half an hour in without turning it off. Once I got to the part where they made up their own Pledge of Allegiance, I knew going any further would make me give up all hope in mankind, which I wasn't prepared to do.

Regarding "Null Physics", all I have to do is read that website for two minutes to figure out it's BS.

That’s what our universe actually is, the only thing it could possibly be: the internal structure of nothingness.

No real physicist would ever take this seriously, and I wouldn't waste any time looking into it further, unless you're really bored. A privately published book by an author working outside his field who claims that the current astrophysics paradigm is totally bogus and anyone with exposure to high school physics can get it right? But they have a corporate audit manager who thinks it sounds like a good idea!!

Regarding physics grad school, my brother got a bachelor's degree in physics and is now about halfway through with his PhD in physics. He made twice as much money as our mother makes during each of his first two years there, and he never had to do any teaching or other work. Cornell, an Ivy League school, was paying him to get his PhD. He does do some TA work now, but he doesn't have to pay any tuition, and he just bought his first house. So I would agree with the previous comment that grad school for the sciences shouldn't prove too expensive, if you do it right.

TheBrummell said...

If you have to pay for grad school in the sciences, then you are going to the wrong grad school.

I don't know how it works in places other than Canada, but here, graduate students in sciences usually pay tuition, sometimes deducted directly from their stipends (i.e. salary). Personally, as a PhD student in Biology, my stipend is a little more than $18000 per year, and tuition is about $6000 per year. Rent chews up $650 per month, so you can see that I'm not in any position to reduce my existing loans; not surprisingly, I'm incurring more debts the longer I stay in grad. school.

People who are able to save money and / or pay down debts while graduate students obviously have different situations than my own; they show what is possible, but from talking to other graduate students and professors, such a healthy financial situation is unlikely.

****

If you post requests for papers, I'll see what I can do in getting PDFs and emailing them to you.

kuhnigget said...

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.

I guess she doesn't care what Jesus has to say.

Mathew 6:6: "But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly."