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Jesus Camp  @psychohistorian.org

Jesus Camp

posted: 4226 days ago, on Saturday, 2006 Oct 28 at 08:49
tags: atheism.

The documentary film Jesus Camp was released earlier this year in the USA (IMDB entry). It's an inside look at an evangelical Christian Bible camp, "Kids on Fire Summer Camp", run by pastor Becky Fischer, in North Dakota, USA.

By all accounts, the movie itself is technically accomplished and the film-makers have received good reviews, including at least two film-festival awards. For an anthropological point of view on the movie, read "Evangelist Youth Movements, Jesus Camp, and End Times" on Anthropology.net.

In the trailer, Levi, a boy attending the camp, is talking to Becky Fischer:


Becky Fischer: "How long have you been a Christian?"
Levi: "At five I got saved…"
Becky Fischer: "Yeah?"
Levi: "…because I just wanted more of life."
 

From the fragments I've seen, it's disturbing, but not more so than what evangelicals get up to anyway. Comments like: "There are two kinds of people in the world: People who love Jesus, and people who don't" are not meant to demonstrate that the speaker has mastered logical syllogisms and understands the Law of the Excluded Third. Instead, it is a threat they are uttering, in the peculiar rhetoric and double-speak that all evangelical Christians engage in.

A suspiciously South African-sounding accent can be heard from a man on stage who asks the children: "How many of you want to be those who would give up their lives for Jesus?"

Although not shown in the trailer, global warming (it doesn't exist) and homosexuality (it's evil) are one of the many topics mentioned. And then there's the ever-present theme of Spiritual War. In the trailer, two children are interviewed, and say:


Boy: "You know, a lot of people die for God and stuff, and they're not even afraid."
Girl: "We're kinda being trained to be warriors, only in a much funner way."
 

In this and many other ways, evangelical Christianity reveals starkly a key truth about religion, a truth that is less in-your-face in more moderate Christian denominations: Religion does not bring people together, but divides them.

Ultimately, Christianity is about who goes to Heaven and who doesn't.

And as always, my response: "It's YOUR Hell. YOU go to it."

nothing more to see. please move along.


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