Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Jesus Camp

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.

It looks like the movie may unfairly tarnish all of Evangelical Christianity with this one crazy camp, but the crazy camp itself is scary enough. Much of the rhetoric exhibited makes the phrase "American Taliban" seem reasonable.

Amazingly, the people behind the camp are excited about the film.

Via Andrew Sullivan.

(Previous post about scary Christian kids.)


Juggling Mother said...

"How many want to be those who give up their lives for Jesus?"

"We're being trained to be God's army"

Oh good, a new generation of Suicide bombers. Just what the world needs!

Laura said...

I'm not sure why so many people make the distinction between non-Muslim Zealots and Muslim Zealots. It's as if just because they're Muslim makes them scarier. But in my book, all zealots are equally scary and equally dangerous.

CyberKitten said...

Scared...? You should be..... [gulp].

I think as a species we're well and truely screwed... I'm gonna start drinking heavily right now!

Kelly said...

I think I'm speechless...

Orthoprax said...

"9/20 I will be attending the opening of Jesus Camp this Friday, Sept. 22nd at the Angelika Film Center, corner of Houston St & Mercer St. in full Satan gear accompanied by a camera crew! More details to come!"


Should be amusing.

Random said...


What the...? That's just too idiotic, and frankly bigoted, for words. Name one - just one - example of a Christian suicide bomber.

And Laura, that's exactly the point. Christian, jewish, pagan, etc. fundamentalists, unlike (some) Muslim ones, do not tend to do thinks like, ooh, fly jumbo jets into skyscrapers. It's not because they're muslim that makes them scary, it's because they're prepared and even eager to kill large numbers of people for no other reason than being less fanatically devout than they are (and they're about to get nuclear weapons - but forget about that, some six year olds are in a camp in North Dakota!). Wiccans who behaved like that would get exactly the same response.

asher said...

Wow..where did they show the kids getting brownie points for blowing up arabs and jews? I guess I missed that.

Rowe vs. Wade is still the law since the 1970s.

No prayer in public schools since the 1960s.

These fundies have influence everywhere. Why soon they may even have those kids learning about ID in public high school!!!

It would nice to see how these kids turned out in 10 years. But when you have a point of view you don't really have to show any follow up.

Looking forward to the Camp Hamas movie, The Bin Laden Youth Group documentary, and an expose on the Iranian school system where Israel isn't on the map.

Laura said...

Random & Asher: You assume that all forms of domination must come from suicide bombers or random individual acts of violence? What about the degredation of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government? That may not be "violent" in the sense of it being a single independent act, but it is a form of violence. The systematic humiliation, marginalization, and abject powerlessness of an entire group of people is cultural violence. If we were talking about Native Americans and the US Government, people would be more sympathetic. The fact that it's Israel and Palestine shouldn't change the fact that one has near complete control and power over the other.

Usually violence is perpetrated in reaction to a threat. In this country at least, Christians are not threatened. A majority of Americans believe Jesus was the son of God, and that shows up in much of our policy - you may think that one or two policies against Christian morals proves the opposite, but look at the bulk of policy, spoken and unspoken that supports Christian claims to superiority in our culture. That is a form of cultural domination. I know you can't see it, but step outside your own shoes for a moment and you will see that Christians in this country have a monopoly on just about anything.

I'm not exucsing the behavior of suicide bombers - far from it. I do think, as I said on another blog, that the Muslim community needs to address the violent rhetoric spewed in many of their mosques and madressas - many of which are funded by our allies Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Hmmm...

Chana said...

How do you FIND this stuff?

Do you know, when you said army of God I was thinking of "Tzivos Hashem" and the like, the Jewish children's newspaper with stories and happy things about how we are all Mitzvah Men and Women and the like..

Then I watched the movie and thought-yeah. No.

Chana said...

This, by the way is Tzivos Hashem.

(oh, and I meant watched the trailer)

Jewish Atheist said...


Yeah, tzivos hashem is just a disturbing metaphor. The camp in this video is downright scary. BTW, I think tzivos hashem finally stopped sending me newsletters when I turned 25 or so.

Chana said...

I actually really liked Tzivos Hashem. I enjoy their stories and the colorful exciting things you have to do. And I felt so grown up getting a newspaper when I was five years old or so addressed to ME instead of my parents. I don't think it's harmful at all...it's actually rather sweet.

Why don't you like it?

I'm much more disturbed by the part in that video where they are having these kids plead anti-abortion cases and are making them cry/ are putting gags over their mouths...that's downright disgusting.

It's just like PETA, whom I hate as well, telling kids that milk gives them pimples and giving them "buckets of blood" and handing out signs with vile imagery saying "YOUR MOTHER KILLS ANIMALS!"

Jewish Atheist said...

Why don't you like it?

I just meant the name "Tzivos Hashem" is a disturbing metaphor. I have nothing in particular against the organization (other than the dislike I have in general for indoctrinating children with religion.)

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of PETA either.

Mr Bob said...

I agree, the only problem I have with it (other than I am not Pentecostal and I think they are confused on some issues) is these children are way too young to understand what it means to "give your life for Jesus" (and apparently some commenters on this blog are too.)

It means you are willing to die telling people about Jesus (you can be killed for it in some circles you know).

The fact that even some here even think this shows people willing to "kill" for Jesus like a Muslim suicide bomber means the propagandists who chopped this thing together hit their mark.
That proseletizing and talking is so frightening.

Anonymous said...

Shoot. This should be illegal. I'm moving to Bhutan.