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Jesus Camp
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I saw Jesus Camp yesterday. It's about an evangelical camp where kids speak in tongues, learn how to proselytize, and how to fuse political and religious beliefs together to aid them in the ongoing culture wars.

I couldn't help feeling a mixture of sadness, fright, and anger for the kids in the film (who often seem very bright and enthusiastic). It feels like they're being brainwashed. I also recognize the rights of people to believe whatever they want and teach their kids the same thing, even if it is a deep-seated distrust and dislike of anyone who doesn't believe what they do.

I'm not sure how fair the movie is to its subjects. I think the directors intentionally stressed segments which framed the message in terms of war and conflict. But even so, there was plenty of damning content. At one point in the camp, a woman brings out a cardboard cutout of President Bush and tells the kids to touch it and pray for him. There's a lot of anti-abortion rhetoric, with kids shamelessly being used as pawns in protests in Washington.

Still, I think the film is probably cut and slanted to make them look as bad as possible, not that an even-handed approach would have been that less damning. Anyway, I recommend the film. No matter what you're beliefs are, it should provide plenty of food for thought.


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