Sunday, February 18, 2007

Jesus Camp Review - Part 2

Time for camp. "Kids on Fire" Christian Camp is, oh sweet irony, held at Devil's Lake, North Dakota. The camp has a huge "chapel"/multi-purpose cabin. Becky and her minions roam around this chapel blessing everything,...EVERYTHING. Fisher even blesses the computers, the electrical system, and the Power Point presentation! Now, I realize that computers seem to fail at the most inopportune moments, but...I'd have to say that it never occured to me that Satan had taken control of my hard drive.

Kids on Fire starts with a diatribe against Harry Potter. Fisher goes completely apeshit on warlocks and wizards. One wonders if she's ever stopped to consider the fact that Christians just ADORE the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the whole Narnia thing. I suppose that if they cherrypick their Bible, then they can cherrypick their fiction. Oh. Wait. Same thing. :) Anyway...the saddest part of Harry-Gate is the fact that, the next morning, at breakfast, the sweet little Christian kids start teasing another kid about how much he resembles Daniel Radclife/Harry Potter. You know this kid just wants to climb atop the nearest table and scream, "EXPELIAMUS!" to the whole lot of them. I was actually rooting for it. Another kid, who has clearly not been to this camp before, makes the seemingly innocuous confession that his mother won't let him watch Harry Potter,...but his father will. Said child is met with icy stares. I half expected little Rachel to put the Shina-na-ga-jiggy-diddy-Jesus on his ass. Which brings us to the whole speaking in tongues mess again.

After scarfing down their waffles and Christ-Toasties (what happened to fasting?), the kids file in to Fisher's sermon. Fisher uses all sorts of visual aids to make really weak analogies. I have a list of them,...but, they're just silly. Just watch the movie. Ok. I have to mention one! Fisher has a Barbie-Eve and Ken-Adam, with fig leaves to cover the genetalia that they lack. I think the dolls would've been more effective as pre-apple-smackdown, but... she apparently missed that. Adam-and-Eve Barbie come with; fig leaves, a snake, and two thousand years of guilt. Garden of Eden not included. So...back to the sermon. Now that Fisher has used every Dollar Store prop she can find to teach the kids that the punishment for sin, ANY SIN, is death, she introduces a man who is there to teach these poor kids about abortion. Yep... ABORTION. NICE! This lecture includes picking one-third of the audience (children only) to have red packing tape slapped across their mouths: to symbolize the silent suffering of the souls killed by abortion. The lecturer then passes out TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY bogus, and scientifically inaccurate, representations of human feti for the kids to handle and examine. In all of my years of education, I had no idea that a four week gestation fetus had recognizable genatalia and human characteristics. Clearly, and unsurprisingly, accuracy has been thrown under the bus. The children, being young and prone to caring for other small creatures, immediately eat up this tripe like flies on shit. They begin to cry and wail. They are told that it is THEIR responsibility to insure that abortion is made illegal and that no more of their potential friends are killed. No pressure, eh'? What's next on the agenda for the day? Nap time!! Yeah,...right.

Rachel goes back to her tent and proceeds to talk about how God isn't in every church. She gives a little speech on the fact that "God is not in every church...there are dead churches." She then does a robotic imitation of Catholic mass, wherein she glazes over and says, "God doesn't want to be in a place where people are like robots..." (irony meter climbing) "with people chanting, "We worship you...we worship you."" Noooooo! God wants people to jump up-and-down and praise him. God wants the spirit to flow through his flock. This worshipping seems to take the form of seven year olds SOBBING while speaking in tongues. Interestingly, from a linguistics standpoint, there are no glottal clicks or otherwise non-English, vocalizations. Instead, as near as I could translate, God was supposed to "Get Jiggy with it." *shrug*

Fisher continues the rally, er'... I mean sermon, by encouraging the kids to "rise up" and take back America. She actually asks: "How many of you would give up your life for Jesus?" There's a slight change in the tone of the sermon when Dollar Tree ceramic mugs appear, with the word "Government" printed in Sharpee on the side. The children are called upon to break the cups with hammers: symbolizing their commitment to "breaking Satan's power grip over the American government." Mmmmmkay.

The real mind-fuck of the day proceeds this cup busting bachenalia, when Fisher tells the kids to press together (despite the 11o degree heat) and instructs them to "take their prophecies...fulfill their destiny (Hey...is she kyping lines from George Lucas now?)...and make war! THIS MEANS WAR!" Someone brings forth a life-size cut out of George Bush and implores the children to "Show Bush a little Hama-llama-ding-dong." They're supposed to bless Bush and help him keep fighting his crusade.

Part three coming tomorrow...

21 comments:

Cap'n Murkat said...

It just gets better and better...or should that be worse and worse?

One thing I can't quite tell from your description though, is this film pro-christian or against? Have they filmed all this to expose what these people are like, or to help spread the word?

I really hope it's not the latter...

Santini said...

Yeah right...have those kids pray to George.

@Murkat: to my understanding, the film is neither pro nor contra christians. It's just meant to document the "wrong way" of teaching.

Even if you want to raise your kids to believe in God and Jesus and all that stuff, putting them an Summer Camp to be brainwashed just isn't the way to do it.

Santini

Cap'n Murkat said...

I didn't mean Christians in general, I was referring to the ones in the film, sorry.

As long as the film isn't supporting this sort of thing.

I have just got hold of a copy of it, might have to watch it later now.

Kazim said...

The film includes some discussion by Mike Papantonio, an Air America Radio host. Mike is a liberal Christian and argues with Becky (the camp director). I have the impression that Mike's perspective is the one that the filmmakers take.

Atheist in Louisiana said...

I laughed when they prayed for the computers and the Powerpoint Presentation. Maybe they know that Bill Gates is an atheist and all of his products are possessed by Satan.

@murkat

The film is supposed to be neutral, and the viewer is supposed to take a side. You can imagine any number of fundy Christians watch this with glee, while it terrifies a great number of other people.

Anonymous said...

Thankfully, the Jesus Camp has been closed down. Becky stated it was closed after vandalism but it also had to do with numerous complaints that were lodged after viewing this disgusting video. Becky has also stated that she will look for another place and has been offered use of other property to continue her indoctrination of children. This is one scary woman that needs to be watched.

Ronni said...

Do the people who send there children there really know what goes on?

I may have to watch this film and spread the word.

Russ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Russ said...

PMomma,

This brings to mind your post "Lots of cursing, use caution"(Dec 2006), since these "Jesus Camp" children are learning, like your neighbor, to pray over drowning babies. They are blind to the fact that decades of prayers, Sunday school, Bible studies, blessings, and worship services are completely useless compared to even the tiniest bit of practical knowledge. Knowing how to sew, or cook, or design a levy benefits both the person and society far more than knowing how to pray, sacrifice a goat, or when to kill someone for blasphemy. Knowing how to amiably resolve a dispute with a neighbor brings more peace to the world than all of the prayers ever prayed by man.

Instead of being taught to contribute to solutions for today's problems, these children are being taught to be mindlessly awed, mesmerized and ultimately paralyzed while they abandon themselves to useless superstitutions. They pray over drowning babies. This is what Richard Dawkins calls child abuse in "The God Delusion." Destroying intellectual self-sufficiency in a child is criminal. While they impair these vulnerable children, the Becky Fischer's of this world do all of us a grave disservice.

Thank you, PossumMomma, for a nice piece of work.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

One thing I can't quite tell from your description though, is this film pro-christian or against? Have they filmed all this to expose what these people are like, or to help spread the word?

From what was said in the director's commentary, the film started as "just a look at faith in children." The directors had NO idea that they would see what they saw. So, it started out as a positive view on faith,... I think it ended up being something different. It's actually a fair presentation --- but, it's hard to make something this BAD look GOOD.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Do the people who send there children there really know what goes on?

Oh yes!! This is a family camp...so, parents can come along. :/ I get the impression that this camp is just an extension of what they learn every day, as members of Becky's ministry.

Carlie said...

This makes me really sick. I've been conflicted about seeing this movie; on one hand I know I should, but I've been afraid I wouldn't be able to handle it. I went to lots of Christian camps.
However, reading your description makes me upset in a different way. I was raised fundamentalist, but it was nothing like this. I can't believe how far they've gone, and that those kids won't all need serious therapy when they get older. It makes me weep for those children. What on earth can people do to combat this?

Saurian200 said...

Atheist in Louisiana,

You can imagine any number of fundy Christians watch this with glee, while it terrifies a great number of other people.

From what I've heard the ONLY person featured in this movie who objected to how this movie made them look was Ted Haggard.

Everyone else honestly beleived this movie made them look good.

Theo Bromine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joy said...

Hey there. Just finished watching the horrifying-but-can't-turn-away "Jesus Camp". In my search for related blogs I stumbled upon yours and have been reading the past month of blogs aloud to my fiance with glee. After a film like that, it's great to hear some logic (especially when it's punctuated with such witty humor). Love the blog.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Theo, your post was deleted because one of the links tried to download a virus onto my computer. It also tried to perform numerous software upgrades. Since I don't know you from Buddha, I deleted your comment.

Furthermore, in the future, please try to add more detail to your links so that people know what they're clicking. It appeared to me that both links were to Christian fundamentalist websites.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

After a film like that, it's great to hear some logic (especially when it's punctuated with such witty humor). Love the blog.

Thanks, Joy!! :)

Joy said...

It's rare to find a blog where the response posts are as interesting as the original - this is a great group of people. I have a feeling I'll be visiting quite frequently. Concerning "Jesus Camp", let me just let out a resounding "WTF?????". Seriously. "Becky" (what sad, lost woman) has an apparent goal of christian terrorism. It's nuts how she researches the tactics that other fundamentalists use and ASPIRES to them. Hello? Anybody home? Child soldiers = BAD.

Cap'n Murkat said...

Watched it last night, and it is a very scary film , in the sense that places like that exist.

I think Fisher sums up everything quite well all by herself at the end, as to how messed up it all is (even if she is trying to support her view). But I assume Possumomma will be blogging it in the final part...

Theo Bromine said...

Apologies in advance for the long-winded post
Atheist in a mini van said...

Theo, your post was deleted because one of the links tried to download a virus onto my computer...

My apologies - I did not see any problems with either link (though looking again, I notice that one of them is to GeoCities, and I know that some good security programs have begun blocking GeoCities on principle due to various concerns about viruses and phishing etc).

I am an atheist (and I still have a minivan, though my offspring are off at college now), not a fundamentalist Christian (though I was one for a few years in my teens after having converted from Judaism). In case anyone is wondering about the 'godliness' of my 'nym, theobromine (literally nectar of the gods) is the chemical in chocolate that is analagous to caffeine in coffee

Furthermore, in the future, please try to add more detail to your links so that people know what they're clicking. It appeared to me that both links were to Christian fundamentalist websites.


Again, my apologies to you and your readers. As you said, the links were to Christian fundamentalist websites (which, if I recall correctly, I identified as "loony"). I was going off on a tangent from the question "If Harry Potter is EVIL, how can fundamentalist Christians like CS Lewis and Tolkien?". The sites I linked to were examples of people who find Narnia to be just as evil as Hogwarts (or perhaps even moreso, since it masquerades as being Christian). Here is an example, from one Pastor David J. Meyer:
As a former witch, astrologer, and occultist who has been saved by the grace
of God, I know that the works of C.S. Lewis are required reading by neophyte witches, especially in the United States and England. This includes The Chronicles of Narnia, because it teaches neophyte, or new witches, the basic mindset of the craft. Isn’t it strange, though, that many “Christian” churches and organizations have used The Chronicles of Narnia as Sunday School curriculum? When I saw the release date of this new movie, I was not surprised. December 9th is the 13th day before the witches’ quarter-sabat of Yule. The full cold moon is midway between the release date and the sabat of Yule. The waxing moon is also directly on the equinox on the release date of the movie. This is far too precisely occultic to be coincidental, and the producers of the movie no doubt consulted upper-level witches regarding the perfect day to have the “Chronicles of Narnia” open...

proud to be an Atheist said...

Theo,

All I can say is yowza. What a wack job. My husband just today posted on his blog about another wack job, here is a short excerpt:

..."Georgia state representative Ben Bridges has circulated a memo to other state lawmakers around the country encouraging his colleagues to challenge the teaching of evolution (while promoting of I.D. creation “science”)"...

This guy believes the earth doesn't rotate and evolution is a jewish conspiracy, and it gets worse from there.

http://fpffressminds.blogspot.com/