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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Jesus Camp

The next movie I received from Netflix was Jesus Camp. Like many of the movies on my Netflix list, I had originally wanted to see this in the theater when I saw the preview. My original impression of the film was that it looked thought provoking but I knew it was going to leave a bad taste in my mouth. It did.

The movie is a documentary that follows three different kids as they go to Evangelical Summer Camp called "Kids On Fire" which is thrown by the church's minister Becky Fischer. From the beginning of this film, this woman scared me. There were a few parts of the film where she talked about training these children to be soldiers in God's Army. As well, the denouncing of Harry Potter is still amusing to me. I've heard this before when I was dating my last girlfriend. Her hardcore christian friends were denouncing Harry Potter because it promotes worlocks and black magic which is a bad message to send to kids.

Right, well I disagreed. Of course, I was outnumbered and no way was I to win that argument.

At one point in the movie, they brought out a man named Lou Engle who was the "head profit" or some such. This guy looked like he had just graduated rehab and had the voice of someone who's smoked chimneys instead of cigarettes and drank whiskey including the glass bottle. He led a prayer session that was focused on George Bush. This film took place in 2005 and it was around the time Judge Alito was sworn into the Supreme Court. The prayer was focused on overturning Roe Vs Wade and making abortion illegal. He put red tape on the kids' mouths that had the word "LIFE" written in bold letters and passed around these tiny baby figurines which were to also signify the babies that pro choice people were killing.

But what I found most amusing about this film was the part where one of the kids visits The New Life Church in Colorado which has the largest amount of Evangelical churches in the country. The founder of the church was there and speaking to the crowd. His name is Ted Haggard. He spoke of sinning and was very outspoken against the homosexual community and what not. He would meet with Bush and his appointees every Monday, or so the film said.

What I found amusing about this was about two or three months after this was released, Ted Haggard was involved in a bit of a scandal. You see, Ted Haggard's personal masseur had been engaging him in gay sex for three years and also sold him crystal meth. Apparently the guy only became knowledgable about Ted Haggard's true identity around this time and felt it was sick for him to be denouncing the homosexual community when he was leading this other life.

Haggard went on to resign as president of the church and then admitted to some of the allegations.

It's stuff like that and the Larry Craig scandal that really makes me laugh. But what didn't make me laugh was the overall message in this movie. The the separation of church and state has become such a thin line in this country during the Bush administration's two terms. That Evangelicals believe in the rapture and creationism. I know people have the right to believe whatever they want but to believe that Jesus will come back soon and take you up into heaven is one thing. To then act like all the resources on Earth are there for the taking and for you to waste because you're not going to be on this Earth much longer since Jesus will come back and take you up to heaven is a different story. It made me wonder if Bush even truly cares about this country at all or is truly swallowed up in his own greed and the same thought process that I was taking in while watching this movie. It would explain his past actions. But I'm not quite sure if I can come to that conclusion.

I did enjoy the movie even if it made me sick and I disagreed with Becky Fischer's beliefs and the camp she trains these soldiers for the Army Of God at.

I'm not going to give this movie stars.

Oh...and did I mention they cry a lot and speak in tongues in this movie?

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