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Controversial documentary about kids attending a theological summer camp. The filmmakers step back from the fray and let the subjects words speak for themselves. Some reviewers have held this up as an example of the religious far right brainwashing kids, calling it the scariest horror film of the year. Solid reviews and continued press should generate interest in seeing this film upon release.
The feverish spectacle of a summer camp for evangelical Christian kids is the focus of Jesus Camp, a fascinating if sometimes alarming documentary. (Shortly after its release, the movie gained a new notoriety when Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who appears near the end of the film, resigned his post amid a male prostitute's allegations of drug use and sexual misconduct.) For most of the film, we follow a charismatic teacher, Becky Fischer, as she trains young soldiers in "God's Army" at a camp in North Dakota. Some of the kids emerge as likable and bright, and eager to continue their work as pint-sized preachers; elsewhere, the visions of children speaking in tongues and falling to the floor in ecstasy are more troubling. Even more arresting is the vision of a generation of children home-schooled to believe that the Bible is science, or Fischer's certainty that America's flawed system of democracy will someday be replaced by a theocracy. (In one scene, a cardboard cut-out of George W. Bush is presented to the children, who react by laying their hands on the figure as though in a religious procession.) Filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady maintain neutrality about all this, maybe too much so (they throw in some interviews with radio host Mike Papantonio to provide a liberal-Christian viewpoint) and one would like to know more about the grown-ups presented here. Power broker Haggard is the creepiest person in the film, an insincere smooth talker whose advice to one of the young would-be campgoers comes across as entirely cynical. Time will tell whether the film's Christian soldiers will be marching onward. --Robert Horton
Sometimes our instincts are a useful, defensible trait. They helped our ancestors perceive shapes in bushes that may have belonged to a wolf or a bear. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Aven
I watch this from time to time to remind me that it does not matter what the haters think. In the end it only matters what God thinks. In the end we win. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Triggah
This was no different than my old private school. I didn't personally see what was so edgy or new about it from my own view. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Fease
There is always that chance that a documentary film maker is leaving footage on the cutting room floor that negates his/her point of view. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This documentary was amazing.
These children are full of religious fears and guilt, and a need to please the adults who are brainwashing them. Read more
Movie full of crazy religious people. As an atheist and rational human being, I love watching these crazy sheep. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Real person, fake name
heaven's gate got it right. so did the people's temple.
perhaps the first Christians got it right too.
This movie touched briefly on many topics but never really delved in deep. You never got to know any of the kids well; you never find out how they actually feel about camp. Read morePublished 3 months ago by lucy jack
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|After similar material. Any recommendations?||
I found "Fall from Grace" about Fred Phelps and the WBC pretty interesting, if not a little disturbing.
Aug 23, 2010 by poq | See all 2 posts
|What Does The Bible Say About Abortion?||
To repost an Op-Ed I wrote on the subject...
Those who seek to outlaw abortion often use the rhetoric of "protecting the most vulnerable and helpless" in our communities. Many of them are Christians who see their opposition to abortion rights as inextricably linked with their faith and... Read More
May 11, 2007 by Joshua Villines | See all 40 posts
Yes, I've been there but I've noticed it's carefully edited. They review all the emalis before they post so it's not really an open forum.I did see any real challenges to their philosophy & thought it was incredibly biased.
Aug 6, 2007 by Dr. KTGrrl | See all 4 posts
|Desensitised to the Biblical atrocities.||
Toy Lady is a perfect example of a person who can't discuss the topic at hand, so does what every emotional zelot does. Calls people names. Why dont you address the issue Toy Lady? Lets hear what you have to say and not just your childish outbursts.
Feb 13, 2007 by Bohemian Man | See all 8 posts
|ARE THE BIBLE ACCOUNTS RELIABLE?||
I don't think such an argument can be made. In fact, I don't even think people can appeal to scripture on this point, because, as we know, the "Bible" as a book didn't exist when the different "books" were written, and so there is no way the Bible could refer to itself as... Read More
Feb 22, 2007 by Jason Mierek | See all 18 posts
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