Jesus Camp

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Finally got to see Jesus Camp. I expected just to be disgusted and have a knee-jerk reaction by calling them “crazy fundamentalists”. That would be the easy criticism. I am more dumbfounded and confused.

Now, I am not going to sit here and criticize Christianity. I actually don’t really know enough about it to criticise. I am criticizing fundamentalism that fucks with children’s brains and targets groups and tells them they are going to hell. The ones that look to Bush to bring back God into government. So please don’t think I am cutting down anyone that has some sort of spiritual belief.

Now, the thing that most intrigues me is how someone can truly believe in Creationism. Not in the jeez-are-they-stupid way, but how can you live in the modern world, observe what you see, and just go on faith that it was created by some old man in the sky? I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around it.

Sometimes I have other thoughts about evangelical Christians. Not even about the religion but isn’t it…boring? No, seriously. It is so conformist. Everyone listens to the same thing, same music, everyone dresses similar. Maybe there is some comfort in that.

And this whole temptation of sexual thoughts…it is VIRTUNALLY impossible to not have “impure” thoughts. I was also fascinated with what people were wearing. If not to tempt each other with impure thoughts, shouldn’t they all just wear paper sacks all day? Why even put on lipstick and skirts? Isn’t that counter-productive?

I guess I will never understand. If I was born to an exteme-right wing evangelical family in an area of a country where I was surrounded by that community, am I so presumptuous to assume that I would see all through it and seek independence and think my own thoughts? Who knows? Which is why this is disturbing, because these are children and their whole world is their families and neighborhood. Even of they wanted to “break free”, how would one expect that they can do it?

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2 thoughts on “Jesus Camp

  1. When I saw this at the Angelica, the filmakers took questions afterwards. 3 chicks one a jew, one an ex-catholic, the other “from LA”. Their original intent for the film was to make a doco about siblings where one was very religious and the other wasn’t (the rat tail preacher kid had a twin who wasn’t as religious) but it morphed into Jesus Camp. I thought the film was a little unfair with Pastor Becky in that they made cracks about her weight and her apperance with sly edits. Overweight women in mid-west america is a whole other movie. Also it was really bleak in just depicting this generation of fundamental Christian kids who will never escape this system. I would have appreciated a follow up or some kind of sign of hope that these kids move on to something better where they can think for themselves….OR not. Just something that had some resolution. It was like “here’s whats going on, it sucks right?” and that was kind of the atitude of the filmakers.

  2. Good point. It’s like it was aimed at liberals to say “look how fucked up the religious right is” and then just laugh and leave. I wanted more.

    I actually didn’t feel I knew the kids well enough. I actually wanted to see more of Tory break dancing. And how they reacted to the other kids who “tempt them with sin”.

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