FRIHOSTFORUMSSEARCHFAQTOSBLOGSCOMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


Jesus Camp





iZen
I recently discovered a documentary called Jesus Camp. It pertains to Evangelist retreats and their training of young children. I had watched part of the film, and found it very very disturbing. I would just like to know, from other people who have seen this documentary, what you thought about it.
The Conspirator
I've heard of it, I haven't seen it. From what I've heard the camp is a fundamentalist Christan version of the NAZI youth.
c'tair
I have seen many parts of it, not the whole thing so I will refrain from much opinion, as I could have just seen the worst parts of it.
But the parts I have seen were indeed horrible. Why one may ask?
I may tell you: brainwashing, brainwashing of children, who are so easily molded and converted to anything. It was just frightening because the children CANNOT defend themselves, they lack logical reasoning or reasoning at all, they just believe that if their mother signed 'em up for something like this camp then it means it has to be real.
And from what Ive also seen, it seems to be putting those children and even adults (!) into a "combat" mood, with things like singing, words like "battle cry!", "fight" and other such stuff. I know that words are only words, but people take words very seriously and I even think that the people that were present there think they are in some kind of war with evil. You know, they are trying to churn out those religious fanatics you sometimes see in the news, a granny willing to actually fight, beat other people in the name of Jesus.
Thats just my opinion. I would be considered evil by those people in that camp.
iZen
From my own viewpoint, the things they are doing are completely, ethically wrong. People call the Islamics fanatics, well the woman that runs these "Jesus Camps" says that she wants to see Christian children being trained like Islamics to be martyrs. I find this simply disturbing. She acts like just because someone else is doing it, it makes it right.
Captain Fertile
I haven't seen this program but cannot comment on its content.

However I have nothing against children of Christian parents being given lesson in a Chrisitian lifestyle but I do not agree in the mental brainwashing of childen's minds making them view other cultures or religions as something to be hated or even avoided.

Again, I have not seen the show mentioned so this comment is no way in support or otherwise of the show.
doeshereallyloveme
it is indeed a fine line between educating and brainwashing sometimes. No one would argue that actually primary schools do a fair amount of 'brainwashing'.

However, at the end of the day hopefully any children educated in this way realise that when (most) Christians describe battles and fights, this is in the spiritual realm, and not the physical world - least not because Jesus clearly commanded us to love our enemy.
iZen
I honestly have nothing against teaching your children about Christianity. As a matter of fact when I have children of my own, I am planning on teaching them about all religions and allowing them to make their own choice. But, what these people are doing is completely brainwashing them, and not allowing them to choose what is right and wrong on their own. In the film, the woman who is running this camp says that they have the truth. How are you so sure that you have the truth? You really can't be 100% positive. There is a difference between having faith in something, and out right saying that you are 100% correct about a religion. Religion was created by man, and man makes many many mistakes.
a_dubDesign
I've seen bits and pieces of the video, and I have people who are pressuring me to see it with them. Honestly, I have no desire to go see it. The parts I did see as part of a discussion group were horrible. There were times I wanted to cry over the way something so deep and special to me were being reduced to mere politics, but generally I was just getting pissed off. A big thing that got me was that anyone who saw it without any previous encounters with non-extremist christians would begin to think thats what it was all about. Along with that goes the media, why is it that the crazies get national and probably world-wide coverage, yet the people from International Justice Mission get little to no coverage. It would seem people are more interested with smearing the crap from the extremes but have no interest in the ones out there doing the work for justice and reconciliation. Even though the latter includes life or death situations, kidnappings, undercover sting operations, raids, corruption in the government and local authorities, and all sorts of other stuff that would make up a block-buster movie. But NOOooooo, lets watch the crazies.

But even more than those I felt so bad for those kids, who will probably now grow up thinking thats the only way things should be.
a_dubDesign
iZen wrote:
In the film, the woman who is running this camp says that they have the truth. How are you so sure that you have the truth? You really can't be 100% positive. There is a difference between having faith in something, and out right saying that you are 100% correct about a religion. Religion was created by man, and man makes many many mistakes.

I can understand her point, because thats where I was a few years ago. But now I much more inline with your thoughts than hers.

What amazes me about myself back then, and others in the same spot I was in, is the fact that one breath would be saying that God is so much bigger than our human understanding, and then in the next breath talk about how we have God completely figured out with our wonderful little boxed theologies. It actually makes me laugh a little bit now.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against theology. But I think we need to understand that theology will always fall short of a complete understanding of God and how He/She/It works within the world. God truly is so much bigger and deeper and wider than any thoughts us humans would be able to come up with. As such those theories should not be set in stone, but have some room for movement. Rob Bell, author/pastor at Mars Hill, MI talked about theology being like the springs on a trampoline. The springs flex and give, and they definitely aren't the point of a trampoline, they merely aid in the experience of jumping.
HoboPelican
I haven't seen this documentary, but, from what has been written here, it sounds like a standard brainwashing. But I need to step back and ask, who did this doc? Is a balanced report, or is it propaganda itself? Is it a single camp, or is this a common thing? Without further knowledge, I just have to ignore it and not form any opinion at all.

Always question the source. Especially if you agree with it! Wink
Indi
HoboPelican wrote:
I haven't seen this documentary, but, from what has been written here, it sounds like a standard brainwashing. But I need to step back and ask, who did this doc? Is a balanced report, or is it propaganda itself? Is it a single camp, or is this a common thing? Without further knowledge, I just have to ignore it and not form any opinion at all.

Always question the source. Especially if you agree with it! Wink

You can start here for some info on the film and its genesis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_camp. Don't worry about spoilers - the surprise of the documentary does not lie in "what happens", but in the obvious fervour and fanaticism of the people... and especially the children.

The film is very subtle and low key - there's none of the Moorian showmanship. The only blatant input the film-makers make is the occasional statistic that is flashed on the screen, and most of the statistics are rather neutral facts. Of course, critics say the editing is what "demonizes" the subjects, and there may be some truth in that, but really not that much. Mostly the camera just hangs back and let these people do what they do, and the only edit cuts are between the speakers and the audience really. (Some people mention "sinister music", but the music sounded to me kinda like the background music of a PBS special on something like the wonderful world of ants or something - you know, kind of low key and non-intrusive. i suppose if you want to think of it as sinister you could, but there's so little music that it doesn't really affect the documentary that much.)

i think the most telling evidence of the film's neutrality is that, with only one exception, everyone in the film was happy with how they were portrayed. The only exception was Ted Haggard, and, honestly, he has a point. Haggard made a few sleazy comments to the camera - as jokes - while preaching, and the film-makers included them when there was no need to. But really, you could cut out every scene with Haggard except the one where he talks to Levi and perhaps the first scene with him that shows the magnitude of his congregation, and it wouldn't affect the film at all.

however, i disagree with most of the comments here so far (and most of what i've heard in general) about what the agenda of the film is. Despite what everyone is saying, i think the film is not out to demonize Christianity, or even Evangelicals. Instead, what the film is focussing on is how Evangelicalism is being used to push political agendas. My evidence for that is that that's what everyone in the film (except the kids, who don't know any better) is actually talking about whenever they speak to the camera. In addition, the film takes extra time to focus on things like cartoons promoting creationism. Even the kids are asked about political issues like abortion and so on, which they go on at length about (when they're not talking about how awesome Jesus is and how crummy the world is). They also make sure to question people about George Bush, and how he is a holy man.

i think that what the film is actually trying to expose is that children are being indoctrinated with political agendas by the church leaders so that they will help push those agendas when they come of age. The message is not that Evangelical Christianity is evil, but that it is turning into a political movement, and the children are being trained to push their political agenda.

If you really want to see this film as an attack on Evangelical Christianity, you can. But the film itself does not push that angle. You have to put it there yourself.
Soulfire
So what? People can push their political agendas wherever they please, we all have one (well, most, anyways). Besides, if it was so bad, don't you think more people would be complaining about it? (Admitedly, I had no idea it existed until just now).
Indi
Soulfire wrote:
So what? People can push their political agendas wherever they please, we all have one (well, most, anyways). Besides, if it was so bad, don't you think more people would be complaining about it? (Admitedly, I had no idea it existed until just now).

Why indeed.

First of all, your first claim is blatantly false, and you know it: "People can push their political agendas wherever they please, we all have one (well, most, anyways)." Completely untrue. There are venues where politicking is unacceptable. In classrooms, in courts and... in churches (to name but a few). The classrooms and courts should be obvious. Classrooms are for education, and it is unethical for a teacher to push a political agenda on students for exactly the same reasons it is unethical for a doctor to make sexual advances on his or her patients. Courts are for justice, not soapboxing - any decision made in court should be in accordance with the laws of the country/state/whatever, not in accordance with the judge's political agenda. As for churches... we'll get to that in a moment.

And then there's this gem: "Besides, if it was so bad, don't you think more people would be complaining about it?" People are complaining about it - more and more as more find out exactly what is going on. This documentary, if it were being taken properly as an exposé of this practice rather than as a diatribe against evangelicals, would be a very powerful way of getting the message out. The problem is that most people are writing off the Christian fundamentalist movement as a religious revival alone - and in most cases, writing it off as a harmless, albeit annoying, looniness that shouldn't really be taken seriously. What that documentary is going out of its way to show is that it's not just a religious movement - that there is a focussed political agenda, and the church is being used to brainwash future voters to that agenda. Besides, your objection is specious nonsense. There wasn't that much complaint in Germany about the rounding up of the Jews. So, what, that was a-ok?

i find it sickly hypocritical that a religion that still has a persecution complex despite the fact that it has been consistently embraced by the world's most powerful governments for the past 1600 years - it hasn't been the subject of large scale persecution since 300 BCE!!! - would be so callously insensitive towards persecuting others. Because that's exactly what they want to do. They want to get their agendas passed which restrict the freedoms of others in ways that have no rational basis - ways that are only justified by the Christian faith.

i find it painfully depressing that a government that was specifically intended to be a non-theocratic government - separation of church and state - is now being subverted to a theocracy. This is ok with you, i suppose, as long as the theology behind the theocracy happens to be your own. It is not ok with me, but i suppose that doesn't matter. But it is also not ok with the principles upon which America was founded. What makes the situation almost farcical is that the holy leader of this emerging American theocracy - and yes, he is referred to as a holy leader both by the participants of the documentary, and by himself - is justifying his power snatch by painting it as necessary in order to prevent another theocracy (of course, one backed by a different theology).

But what about the key question: should there be politicking in the churches? No, not really, but you know what? i'm not even going to argue it. Sometimes, when a child demands something they should not have, the best way to teach them that what they ask is not really what they want is to let them have it. So, sure, let the churches become the weekly rallies of the political right.

HOWEVER.

If a church becomes a political body, it should forfeit all of its special rights as a non-political religious body. In short, it should be taxed just like every other political group. Isn't that fair? If that group is a political group, why should it be treated any differently from any other political group? Of course, if they don't want to be a political group... they just have to stop with the politics. Sounds perfectly logical and fair to me.

But it would certainly level the playing field and put a stop to this nonsense. They're not going to be able to support arena-sized churches in major cities for long if they actually have to pay taxes on them. And why shouldn't they, if they're using them for political rallies. Every other political group has to pay taxes on their properties. Fair's fair, right?
charisco
I have not seen this film, but, let me jump in here with both feet and see if I can swim.

First off, I feel that if this film is truly shedding a negative light on Christianity, it should be viewed with the knowledge that not all Christians are that way. yes there are alot of Christians who are complete radicals for the religion just as there are in all religions. Does this mean that all Christian feel/believe this way? No. In Christianity in the past we have seen cases such as Jim Jones, Waco, etc. Just as we saw Muslim extremeists ram jets into the world trade center as well as the pentagon. Does this mean all Muslims act this way. Once again the answer is NO.

Secondly, as a Christian myself, I tend to put off the thought of religion, as religion does one thing. Destroys!

Now, with that being said, you may ask yourself, "But you just said you were a Christian!?!" Yes I am a Christian, emphasis on Christ. I feel that if I allow myself to get wrapped up in the religion versus religion side of things it would not be what Christ wants me to do. Therefore, I stand on the thought that although I may not agree with what some people do in their own lives, I will always do everything I can to show them the love of Christ regardless. This can be very difficult at times, yet I know that this is truly what Christ would want.

When Jesus was on this Earth He proved one thing. All people are worthy of being loved. Look in the Bible and see who He called His disciples. Were they preachers and deacons of churches? Nope, they were in most cases the outcasts and most hated people in the first century. While these were His disciples, He went around and showed the supposed religious people of the day that the people they looked down upon were just as deserving of God's love as they were. Just look at the example of the prostitute He saved from being stoned to death.

Does this mean I am perfect?? Of course not, just ask anyone who know me. I have my good days and my bad days.
The Conspirator
charisco: The documentary is not about Christianity. Its about a fundamentalist Christan camp for children that teaches them to be fanatics.
charisco
The Conspirator wrote:
charisco: The documentary is not about Christianity. Its about a fundamentalist Christan camp for children that teaches them to be fanatics.


Right, I understand that, but it would be easy for some to take a negative view about Christianity as a whole.
The Conspirator
charisco wrote:
The Conspirator wrote:
charisco: The documentary is not about Christianity. Its about a fundamentalist Christan camp for children that teaches them to be fanatics.


Right, I understand that, but it would be easy for some to take a negative view about Christianity as a whole.

Only if thats the only thing they get there information on Christianity from and thats not going to happen.
Besides theres many more things to get bad ides of Christianity.
Kitten Kong
I have seen the preview for this and I felt physically ill, brainwashing of children in such an obvious and outright way.

Who is with me? Lets all join together and create Atheist Camp!!! Fill those kids heads with knowledge, not medieval dogma and emotional repression.
And our priests will be allowed to make it with chicks so they won't have to go after the pre-pubescent boys.
Indi
Kitten Kong wrote:
Who is with me? Lets all join together and create Atheist Camp!!! Fill those kids heads with knowledge, not medieval dogma and emotional repression.
And our priests will be allowed to make it with chicks so they won't have to go after the pre-pubescent boys.

We already have it. It's called school.
a_dubDesign
Indi wrote:
Kitten Kong wrote:
Who is with me? Lets all join together and create Atheist Camp!!! Fill those kids heads with knowledge, not medieval dogma and emotional repression.
And our priests will be allowed to make it with chicks so they won't have to go after the pre-pubescent boys.

We already have it. It's called school.

dang indi, you beat me to it
Yantaal
Indi wrote:
Kitten Kong wrote:
Who is with me? Lets all join together and create Atheist Camp!!! Fill those kids heads with knowledge, not medieval dogma and emotional repression.
And our priests will be allowed to make it with chicks so they won't have to go after the pre-pubescent boys.

We already have it. It's called school.



you think school is an aetheist camp?

from lower to middle school we are bombarded with prayers and hyms, its only in upper school we are allowed to thik for outselves,= all i could do before hand wass not sing the prayers or hyms
Related topics
CAMP ENCORE
Nuevo buscador de Internet: Ask Jesus (Humor)
Will Jesus Return ? WHEN / HOW ...
The pic of Jesus
science vs. religion
Who do you think the best live performer is?
religion issues
Clinton: NSA Eavesdropped on U.S. Calls
God a superstition?
Human Rights to God?
Will Give You The Chills
I find it funny that...
The God Dellusion - Richard Dawkins
Why you should be worried about creationists
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Lifestyle and News -> Philosophy and Religion

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.