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Re: Jesus Camp

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MadArchitect

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Re: Jesus Camp

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At a friend's behest, I finally got around to renting the A&E documentary "Jesus Camp". It's a well-done piece without much in the way of comment, although it fizzles out at the end. Anyone who's been watching current events (or modern gossip, as the case may be) will also be interested to see the cameo by Rev. Haggard, who's recent exploits include getting busted soliciting meth from a male prostitute, then getting "cured" of homosexuality (no word on the meth addiction yet).What interested me most about the film wasn't necessarily the images of child indoctrination. Those were certainly disturbing, but they aren't exactly news. Nor am I particularly worried about those children in the long run. Most of them, I feel sure, we'll rebound rather sharply from their early experience, and the leaders of the camp can probably congratulate themselves on having laid the groundwork for a new generation of future agnostics. Rachael, the young girl featured in a number of scenes will probably have the hardest time adjusting, and I foresee some serious difficulties for her in the future, but I hardly think it likely that these children will remain fundamentalist Christians in the long term.There is, I think, a kind of disparity of both culture and experience that divides fundamentalist adults from the children they are training. It's probably overstating the case to say that these children will come out unscathed -- these early experiences are sure to throw them into confusion, and their early adulthood will no doubt be a struggle to negotiate their place in both secular and religious society. But they fact that they've bought things so wholesale at the tender age of 8 or 10 doesn't mean they'll cleave to that particular rock as they grow.No, what interested me most was the apparant naivity on the part of the film's adults. They are, in many ways, far less sophisticated than the children they've taken under their pseudo-angelic wings. Particularly striking is their disavowal of an explicitly political end. They advocate political reform, and actively involve other people's children in their attempt to sway Washington, but when put to the question by moderate Christian talk radio host Mike Papantonio, Pastor Becky Fischer emphasizes that the camp is primarily religious rather than political.
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Jesus Camp

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Where would you rent this film? Is it available at Blockbuster? I've heard so much about it that I'm going to try to watch it soon.
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You tube has some item pertaining to this film. Here is one:www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bB2rt3IKJcMr. P. I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George CarlinI came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
MadArchitect

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Re: Jesus Camp

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Yeah, you should be able to get it at a Blockbuster, or on NetFlix, Chris. The movie has gotten enough press that mainstream rental places are carrying it.
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Jesus Camp

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Thanks Mad. I'll try to rent it tonight and let you know what we thought of it.
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Chris: ...and let you know what we thought of it.Oh I see, you're a "we" now. I've been meaning to see this movie ever since it had a brief stint at our local indy house. Perhaps I'll try to rent it this weekend too.
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Mr. P

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Aw, how cute...but where are the emoticons that 'get it on'. You forgot those irish!Mr. P. I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George CarlinI came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Chris OConnor

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irishrosem

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You better keep that tongue to yourself Chris, or I'll find those emoticons Mr. P. is talking about...
irishrosem

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I saw this documentary just now. It's awful; I mean gut wrenchingly awful. The girl M.A. mentioned, Rachael, is really adorable. Articulate, bright, earnest--it makes it all the more terrible to watch what she goes through in this documentary. M.A.: Particularly striking is their disavowal of an explicitly political end. They advocate political reform, and actively involve other people's children in their attempt to sway Washington, but when put to the question by moderate Christian talk radio host Mike Papantonio, Pastor Becky Fischer emphasizes that the camp is primarily religious rather than political.I agree with Mad here. If nothing else, this documentary made me certain that atheists' most significant efforts will be towards solidifying the wall of separation. Evangelicals', and the like, consequence is not in their beliefs, or prayer meetings, or professions of faith, or even in the indoctrination of their young. It is in the influence they have gained and continue to gain over the U.S. government. If you watch this documentary, note, despite how radically crazy these people are (and no I do not hesitate in passing this judgment), they revere Bush. He makes political decisions that people like this value. More than anything else about his awful tenure in the White House, it should make any sane, rational person sick that these people honor the U.S. President. We should be mortified to have voted such a person into office, not once but twice. And it certainly does not stop at the White House, or even in federal government. The religious right have "elbowed," as Papantonio puts it, their way into every aspect of government. The reason creationism returns to the classroom again and again is because the school board, and council boards are littered with people who preach such drivel. Philadelphia's mayoral race has a candidate whose platform centers around bringing religion back to the city to end the massive violence. There is a conscious, organized, militant-like movement to take over the U.S. government for fundamental Christianity. I thought it particularly interesting that, of the minimum references to the "outside world," much of the activity involving the nomination and confirmation of Justice Alito was noted. This is where the significant influence of the fundamental, religious right is dangerously apparent. I really think it is imperative for atheists to stop focusing so much energy arguing the existence/nonexistence of a deity, and focus more on making sure that deity's humble servant isn't sitting in the oval office, on either side of the desk. What struck me as most significant, outside of the political issues, was how easily manipulated children's minds and imaginations are. Dawkins addresses how religion indoctrinates children, as the young are most receptive to dogma. The ritual, the drama, the theatricality of these religious efforts is what makes them so attractive to young people. Watching moments of apparent ecstasy, being filled with the spirit, raw emotions raging forth, this is pure gold for religious indoctrination. It is not, however, the result of religion or faith or the spirit. Most children can easily tap into their imagination and emotions in equally profound ways. Just watch an untrained child act or sing in any performance setting. The easiest actor to get to find and touch raw emotion is a child. I just never saw it manipulated to such grotesque ends. My heart aches for these kids, but my mind races with the political influence these people are acquiring. We must address it!
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