DVD Review: Jesus Camp (2006)

>> Tuesday, September 01, 2009

When the boyfriend brought over a DVD called Jesus Camp masqueraded in a bunch of gay movies, I've mistook it for Chad Allen's Save Me or Saved which starred Mandy Moore and Macaulay Culkin, both satiric comedies. I should have known that the boyfriend adores horror flicks.

Jesus Camp had to be one of the most horrifying movie. Released by Magnolia Pictures in 2006, who also brought us recent enjoyable documentary like Food, Inc and Outrage, Jesus Camp goes into the life of the heartland religious fanatics and, especially, their children. Kids from the Christ Triumphant Church in Missouri is bound for a camp. Levi, at 12, self-confessed that he had been "saved" since he was 5. He's inspired to be a pastor. At the beginning of the movie, we see that he was watching a video denouncing evolution and getting home-schooled by his mom who quizzed him the reason why global warming doesn't exist is because the rise of temperature is only 0.6 Celsius which is not a big problem.

Rachael is 9 and she's taught by her assistant pastor father to pass out pamphlets to strangers. Instead of playing bowling like a normal kid, she prays to god before each toss which is disturbing to say the least. Tory (Victoria) is 10 and denounce Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan as false idols and jive to Christian heavy metals, her siblings and her were taught by their mother to change the words in the pledge of allegiance to god and Jesus and raise an evangelical flag instead of the American flag.

The ringmaster to all this is a bat-shit bully named Becky Fischer, who uses guilt and bullying tactics to train kids to be religious nut all in the name of Jesus. Before the camp commenced she and her staff goes around the auditoriums blessing every cable and speakers, mumbling gibberish to ward away the devils performing from malfunctions. Folks, she performed exorcism on her powerpoint presentation. At the camp, kids are discouraged to do anything fun if it doesn't have anything to do with religion. Toys like barbie dolls and stuffed animals are used to demonstrate the sins and temptations. Kids are encouraged to cry and wail because of god, that get attention and approval out exaggerated emotional confessions which include fainting, head bobbing and yammering gibberish and yet Harry Potter was denounced as witchcraft. I have never witnessed something as violent as these brainwashing schemes.

Fischer justifies her acts by stating that the terrorists train their kids with grenades and guns, so it's only right for Christians to train their kids to follow god's footsteps. But at some point Bush and Ted Haggard was shown as people to be admired and kids are brought to Washington to fight for pro-life causes after putting little mini baby dolls in the kids' hands to sway them. It's all too ghastly and insane for me to believe that it is actually a movie and not a satire film. How could something like this be legal? How could it exist anywhere in the world? I feel so horrible for kids.

Anyway, the camp had ceased to exist after the movie. And it is very eye-opening. Watch it, it's mind-blowing. B

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