I post this with a bit of trepidation. My intent is not to start a big religious discussion, but I know a little one is likely inevitable. I just ask that everyone be mindful of everyone else's feelings and beliefs. We are community of filmmakers all with different backgrounds and value systems, let's respect that.
Now, I'm not a documentary kinda guy. I enjoy them. I see a few of 'em a year. But I rarely seek one out (exceptions -- "Born Into Brothels," (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0388789/) "Supersize Me," (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0390521/) and "Stevie" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0334416/)).
But "Jesus Camp" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0486358/) has got my interest piqued -- extremely piqued. The film focuses on a Bible Camp in North Dakota where kids from all over come to learn how to be "a generation filled with Christ."
I've pecked out some thoughts on my blog (http://pokedom.blogspot.com/2006/09/jesus-camp.html). You can view the trailer there as well.
Here's a review (http://journal.davidbyrne.com/2006/08/american_madras.html) of the film by Talking Heads founder David Byrne -- he likens this type of camp preaching to the way terrorists indoctrine young men into radical views on Islamic teachings.
He's seen the movie, I haven't -- so I can't comment on his thoughts.
09-04-2006, 10:47 PM
strange Poke, i came across this movie just the other night when Looking at new releases for 06/07.
As a christian myself, I am not even closely offended by your comments. I think there are way too many religious cults out there that are trying to condition the minds of our children. That is wrong. Even christian groups. And I personally think it goes against the teachings of Jesus which is in itself an irony. I hate organized religion myself.
09-04-2006, 11:36 PM
I haven't seen this either but I'd really like to do so sometime. I've heard about it but I don't know anything beyond the basic premise. Is this out already? If so where can it be found? This is a topic which I find fascinating. Especially if you've ever studied psychology.
Let us be frank here for a moment. I beg that no one takes this as a condemnation of their beliefs but a condemnation of approach. A persons belief system is naturally the most important thing a person can develope. What we have in this sort of a situation is nothing more than pure brainwashing. I'm sure the parents believe they are doing the right thing but let's not lie to ourselves here! Beliefs should be _chosen_ never forced upon a person. Those beliefs should be chosen because they make sense and not because someone else says it's right or wrong. We also see the mentality arise that these beliefs should never, ever, be questioned. That is, of course, if you manage to break free from the mob mentality to even ponder questioning. This is the sort of thing that scares me. I have no problem with people choosing to believe in a specific religion -- SO LONG AS they are allowed to choose and are not brainwashed into it. Let us never confuse 'teaching' with 'indoctrination'.
09-06-2006, 08:19 AM
I am a filmmaker who is also a Christian and this film concerns me. It sure seems like this group is taking things to an extreme (indoctrination as was mentioned earlier)...I don't know what to think-I guess I'll have to wait, I do believe that the general masses stereotype "Christianity" too often in the likeness of those shown in that documentary. Not all evangelical Christians or even close to all of them are like what was shown in that trailer. I can't speak for the group shown there, but there are cults that claim the name of Jesus, just as some cults may claim some alien diety.....that doesn't make them the accurate representives of Christianity, however...It looks very compelling.
11-02-2006, 02:35 AM
what I saw of it was disturbing. they had a large lifesize cutout of President bush on this stage and had all the children bowing down to it and praising President Bush as their leader. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but "Though shall not worship false idols?"?
11-02-2006, 07:47 AM
Goldfish: not false idols, but Thou shalt not worship ANY idols. ;) You were thinking of the false gods commandment I think, but they really go hand in hand.
Anyway, I think it's great that kids are finding God, and whatnot, however from the trailer there were things that concern me as well. I'm always a bit apprehensive when I see the people writhing on the floor and whatnot. Not because I think it's not possible, but because I've never personally run across it, yet it seems so commonplace at these revivals, and travelling church shows, etc..
I'm curious to see the film, to be able to fully make up my mind about it, if nothing else. I certainly hope that they aren't going too far. There's one thing to helping kids find God, another thing to make them what radio talk show hosts would refer to as the "radical kook fringe" (Though in that case they're usually talking about extreme-left-wing politicians not church folk...)
Anyway, thanks for posting this Poke, I hadn't heard about this before, and am interested now.
11-02-2006, 09:28 PM
As an European I feel very uncomfortable when I see those extremes in the US. There also exist camps for homosexual kids, where they should get twisted back to "normal". And so on ...
It seems America does go very extreme in many ways (positive and negative). And those extremes make other people around the world nervous, because the US has such great power.
I remember back when I was a kid I thought of America as kind of a wonderland, a view shaped by the stories I was told how helpful the American soldiers were after WW2 in Austria. Today I have a different view, which makes me a bit sad but you get a certain cynic view of life when getting older.
Anyway, all the americans I have got to know turned out to be very nice people so I have hope ;)
In my opinion religion / belief is a very private thing which should not be worn like a sign in front of you.
11-02-2006, 09:49 PM
the extremists make the news....we nice normal folks don't so much.
11-02-2006, 10:58 PM
Only when we nice folks get in trouble for things that used to be (and still should be) legal..
like.. oh.. for example.. blowing stuff up, with loud colorful sparks and such.. to celebrate the day of our Independence. <sigh>
But yeah, there's plenty of crazies in the news -- politically, religiously, etc. It's frightening to see people go all the way to certain extremes.
God is good, for sure, and it's one of those things that the saying "you can never have enough of a good thing" applies to -- in most cases. I just hope this film isn't illustrating the case in which it is too much of a good thing. :\
11-03-2006, 12:43 PM
YES! YES! YES!
For those of us who watched Jesus Camp and were horrified by the smarmy leader of the evangelical church, read this!
From an ABC News story entitled:
"Haggard Admits Some 'Indiscretion,' Says Fellow Pastor "
"Nov. 3, 2006 — The president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who has resigned amid allegations that he had sex with a former self-described male prostitute, is now admitting to some indiscretions after initial denials, according to the acting senior pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado."
Read the entire story here: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=2626067&page=1&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312
Hilarious and true.
11-03-2006, 03:43 PM
Honestly, I don't find that hilarious at all.. in fact, it's quite sad.
11-04-2006, 11:42 PM
Well, I would actually not find it funny either, except for the fact that the Ex-Reverend Ted Haggard had mounted a political offensive against gay rights, using his mega-church as political ammunition. But you know, you're right. It IS unfortunate that so many people have been following Haggard for so long, and only just now are they learning his true nature.
It is completely HORRID, however, that Haggard has basically taught his congregation to work and vote AGAINST gay rights for the past 20 years. Perhaps this "disgrace" has made at least a few of the congregation seek out salvation elsewhere.
As far as Haggard himself, he is sleeping in the bed that he made. He had every opportunity to be truthful to himself and his congregation, but he neglected to do so.
I am happy because very seldom do bigoted public figureheads get what's coming to them.
11-05-2006, 12:19 AM
Whether or not he is guilty of the accusations is yet to be seen. In either case, it's not for us to judge.
11-05-2006, 12:54 AM
Hmmmm. Well, he's ALREADY been judged by his theological peers:
Evangelical Ousted Amid Gay Sex Scandal
"COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Nov 5, 2006 (AP)— The Rev. Ted Haggard was dismissed Saturday as leader of the megachurch he founded after a board determined the influential evangelist had committed "sexually immoral conduct," the church said." http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=2629713
And there's no legal case pending, so...
Good enough for me!
11-05-2006, 07:30 AM
Well whatever.. nothing concrete was in the original story... and even so. it's not for "them" to judge either.
Clearly you don't understand my meaning, which is fine. I'll leave it at that. I'm not going to argue with you, because it would be pointless.