Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jesus Camp

Jesus Camp is a 2006 documentary that follows a Evangelical children's summer camp called "Kids On Fire School of Ministry." It's located just outside Devils Lake, North Dakota and run by Becky Fischer and her ministry, Kids in Ministry International. It mostly follows 3 children and their experiences at this camp.

Truthfully, this movie is just plain scary. I mean I have no problem with Christianity or any other type of religion in fact. But I do have a problem with religions that don't return the favor. They scoff at the theory of evolution and shake their heads at other beliefs that are different than their own. The only road to "salvation" is through Evangelism.

One of the children, named Levi, is home schooled, as are many of the campers. He learns physical science from a book that reconciles young earth creationism with "scientific" principles. He is also taught that global warming is a hoax and that the Earth's temperature has a history of natural fluctuation not caused by humankind.

Becky Fischer, the camp owner, preaches to the children an hour everyday. She uses props, toys and dolls to appeal to the children. Every child claims to see visions and hear the voice of God on a daily basis. During the preaching, it can get very intense. Children are crying, shaking, raising their hands in the air, speak Hebrew, and screaming. There was one child who looked like he was having a seizure on the ground. Here are some pictures:Evangelists believe that to attain salvation they must be "born-again" by accepting Jesus as their savior. 43% of Evangelical kids become "born-again" before the age of 13.

Evangelists preach a message urging children to join the fight to end abortion in America. He prays for George W. Bush to have the strength to appoint "righteous judges" who will overturn Roe v. Wade. By the end of the sermon, the children are chanting, "Righteous judges! Righteous judges!" In another, a woman brings a life-sized cutout of Bush to the front of the church, and has the children stretch their hands toward him in prayer. Becky Fischer believes Bush is the best president ever!

During the film, we see Mike Papatoni, a Christian man with his own radio talk show, discussing how he is very against the way Evangelism targets children and government. He discussed how 25% of the American population describe themselves as being Evangelist. Evangelists believe they have to save the world by taking it over and building a government they are comfortable with. They elbow their way into positions of power and sooner or later, there will be no separation between church and state. Mike Papatoni actually gets Becky Fischer on the air for a debate! Toward the end, he basically tells her that God holds his children dear to his heart and that she will go to hell for messing with them. He calls what she's doing brainwashing and says that the Evangelist church is creating child soldiers for the Republicans. He believes in seperation between church and state and tells her that, at this rate, Christianity is going to take over democracy. She in turn says that democracy was designed to kill itself, because the world won't be perfect until Jesus is truly Lord.

In November 2006, Fischer announced that she would be shutting down the camp indefinitely due to negative reaction towards her in the film. According to Fischer's website, the owners of the property used for the camp shown in the film were concerned about vandalism to the premises following the film's release and thus will not allow it to be used for any future camps. Fischer has said that the camp will be indefinitely postponed until other suitable premises can be found, but it will be back.


Tara said...

That is scary. They are just taking advantage of impressionable children. They are screwing with their heads...I mean they think they have visions for goodness sake.

Wil said...

You can't say (or imply) that visions are fake. A big part of religion is based on faith.

Tara said...

Well, I don't believe it when these children just so happen to see visions while attending the camp. That, my dear, is manipulation.

Laura said...

Actually i think they just get the visions all the time. not just at the camp.

i never said they were fake! :[
that was all tara

Kings said...

Amen, as Dad would always say.