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Jesus Camp
buzzed, B&W
hairylunch
Wow, so I decided to watch Jesus Camp, this movie about evangelical Christian children.

It's interesting in that the directors have no narration. There have been a few overlays (mainly locations, i.e. cities and states), but no commentary, which is pretty unusual for this kind of documentary. A lot of the scenes seem pretty crazy to me - the movie opens with a room full of elementary aged children with Becky Fischer preaching to them, and ending with a prayer, and encouraging them to speak in tongues.

Another scene is with a mother home schooling her son. The scene starts off pretty positive, with the mother asking her son an open ended question about global warming - that the liberals have been pushing that global warming is bad, and why is global warming not a serious concern? Unfortunately, the "correct" answer here is that the temperature hasn't changed much, only 0.6 degrees. Who knew global warming was such a simple issue? The scene continues where the mother tells her son about how schools say creationism is dumb, and he responds along the lines that evolution is dumb, and that's the kind of school he'd want to go to. He then ask her mother if global warming is a big deal politically, and she says yes, but when he asks about evolution, she says no - a bit surprising considering this movie was released in 2007, meaning that the Kansas evolution hearings would probably have been occurring during the filming of the movie.

One of the more disturbing scenes at the camp is when a woman brings in a life-size cutout of President Bush, and the pray, saying that Bush has been surrounded by the righteous, and saying he's done great things, and then leading cheering for him. Even ignoring the fact that I'm not a big fan of W, but really? From a Christian viewpoint, this seems awfully idolatrous to me.

There's a scene of a kid, maybe 12 years old (with an amazing mullet - short/buzzed on top, and down to the middle of his back in the rear) who preaches at the camp (who actually delivers a strong sermon). The children throughout the movie truly seem to believe (the devil's advocate would say that this is merely indoctrination, that they're not old enough to make such decisions).

There's another scene where they have someone coming in to preach a pro-life message, who has dolls showing the stages of embryonic development. We'll ignore the fact that the embryos at 7 weeks is a miniature doll, with full formed fingers and toes . . .

The movie makers have an interesting way of presenting the counter-point, with talk radio pundits discussing how the right is taking over.

On the other hand, there are good things. One of the main preachers is excellent, even if I don't agree with her message. She reminds me of many of the best teachers I've known, talking about how she wanders through toy stores, and grabs things, always thinking about how she can integrate it into a lesson / message.

As much as I don't agree with the conservative right, this movie is pretty interesting . . .

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