I’ve never been a fan of horror movies. I’m a wimp and they give me nightmares. After I watched Darkness Falls? Couldn’t sleep with the lights off for a good two weeks. After I watched the Sixth Sense? Well, I still keep my eyes open for dead people. After I watched The Blair Witch Project? I will never go in the woods alone ever again.
But there is one horror movie that I do like: Jesus Camp.
That’s a documentary, you say?? No no, it’s a horror movie based on a true story. Here’s the summary from IMDB.com:
Jesus Camp follows several young children as they prepare to attend a summer camp where the kids will get their daily dose of evangelical Christianity. Becky Fischer works at the camp, which is named Kids on Fire. Through interviews with Fischer, the children, and others, Jesus Camp illustrates the unswerving belief of the faithful. A housewife and homeschooling mother tells her son that creationism has all the answers. Footage from inside the camp shows young children weeping and wailing as they promise to stop their sinning. Child after child is driven to tears. Juxtapose these scenes with clips from a more moderate Christian radio host (who is appalled by such tactics), and Jesus Camp seems to pose a clear question: are these children being brainwashed?
Becky Fischer preaches to the young children things like this:
Becky Fischer: And while I’m on the subject, let me say something about Harry Potter. Warlocks are the enemies of God! And I don’t care what kind of hero they are, they’re an enemy of God and had it been in the Old Testament, Harry Potter would have been put to death!
Becky Fischer: You don’t make heroes out of warlocks!
Ruining Harry Potter for a bunch of 5-year-olds. I told you it was a horror movie.
Now, take a look at the trailer:
So, what do you think? Are those children being brainwashed? My answer is yes. The kids don’t even stand a chance. They are being indoctrinated at such a young age that they will never formulate their own opinions.
To be frank, I think Evangelicalism is crap. It brews hatred and judgment and intolerance, if you ask me. But still, if someone wants to be Evangelical, I’m not going to stop them. However, ingraining those beliefs into impressionable children is wrong. At 5 years old, you are too young to comprehend sin. At 5 years old, you cannot place what you are taught in the context of the world. What they are told is what they will believe. They will not be critical or seek out information for themselves. When they are 15 or 20, they CAN do that. So if you’d like to teach people Evangelical beliefs, then so be it. But wait until the person can think for themselves. Not before they’ve even entered kindergarten.
Childhood is a precious time. The innocence that is supposed to go hand-in-hand with being a child is priceless. But camps like the one in Jesus Camp are stealing that innocence away from children. It’s sad. It’s horrifying.
Then those children grow up and do the same thing to their own children. It’s a vicious cycle in which people come to think a certain way, not by their own accord.
Now for my final point.
The US is engaged in the fight against terrorism, correct? Now to be clear, terrorists are Muslim fundamentalists, right? The leaders brainwash followers into blindly following whatever they tell them, right? They tell them to fight against sin in the name of their religion, right? They teach them to become intolerant of us Americans, right?
Those tactics sound familiar, don’t they? Isn’t that kind of what was happening to the children in Jesus Camp? The children followed blindly. They fought against sin in the name of God. They became intolerant of other religions, such as Islam.
UPDATE: Found this on youtube…clips from the movie: