I thought I’d share some of my thoughts about a movie that got pretty good ratings. Jesus Camp is a documentary meant to expose right wing Christian fundamentalism. If I can choose one word for this movie it would be: sad. I think it is sad how the group the movie represents does not display the Christianity I have come to know- instead it represents a warped version of Christianity that America tries to shove down people’s throats. I also feel it is sad how the director portrays Christians in the movie.
I feel the biggest issue that I have a problem with is its subjectivity. I don’t think that documentaries are suppose to be extremely biased. I think the movie tries to add a counter balance through Mike Papantonio- which, in my opinion, provides the most thought provoking dialogue in the movie. But these scenes are few and far between only because the directors would rather focus on the fundamentalists. It would be nice to see something that actually stimulates the brain… as opposed to the many scenes and background music scores meant to appeal emotionally- a cheap way out of getting ones point across.
I think I’m getting a bit too… long winded here, so I’ll reduce the rest of my review in bullet points:
- [Jack Chick] – Towards the beginning of the movie, it shows some of the children reading Jack Chick tracks; which alerted me right away of the stupidity within the church’s teachings. I feel ashamed that Jack Chick would even consider himself a Christian, he is one of the most offensive people I have ever encountered. In fact, I’m not certain of this, but… I believe his tracks are actually banned in Canada because they’re considered “hate speech”.
- [Creationism] – The movie shows a “scientist” trying to dispute evolution. I never understood why fundamentalists push creationsim so much. It’s rediculous. Anyone who has done a decent amount of research on it should be offended by the amount of deceit and lies that goes behind the manipulation of data. Like I always said… if legislation is gonna force us learn creationism in school, then the church should be forced to teach us evolution.
- [Global warming] – The movie provides a little glimpse into the reason why so many conservatives deny the existence of global warming. It also explains on why President Bush’s environmental policies have failed. The Christians portrayed in the movie feel like “the end is near” and so there is no reason to save the planet God has made for us. This, in my opinion, is such a disastrous and wasteful way of thinking. People have been saying The End is Near for the past 2,000 years. The Bible clearly states, “no one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (MAT 24:36)
- [Hell vs Heaven] – There has always been a natural curiosity of the afterlife. If its one thing that was represented in the movie; it was that of “not going to hell!” I also noticed a lot of praise music focusing on what heaven will be like. I believe that… our jobs here on Earth is not to fear hell. I believe that our job here on Earth is also to not wonder about heaven. I honestly believe that our job is to make Earth as close to heaven as humanly possible.
- [Harry Potter & Ghost Stories] – The movie shows the parents teaching the children to not watch Harry potter because it is ‘evil’. It also shows a father being upset because his kids are telling ‘ghost stories’. I believe these are the same who refuse to enjoy Halloween because it has ‘witches’. When it comes to hiding from such things, a quote comes to mind by Andy Freeman. Even though he’s speaking directly about… Christians who hide from Halloween, I feel it can also be applied to the same Christians who hide from Harry Potter and other semi-occultic things: “The biggest trick played on Halloween is Christian kids and adults being bottled up inside churches or homes all night… Hiding from the devil in the family life center and surrendering the neighborhood to little Ghouls, goblins, and witches is a victory for old Beelzebub. He’s got the church right where he wants it: inside the four walls, hunkered down behind the stained glass.“
- [Ted Haggard] – The movie shows Ted Haggard giving a speech and how he meets with President Bush. Yeah sure, its shocking how regular the appointments between Bush and Haggard are… but whats even more shocking- is the fact that Haggard was confronted by the media over a homosexual scandal and drug use just a month after this movies release.
There’s a lot more to say; ranging from cut outs of President Bush and the contradictory shallow patriotism some of the parents show. But I can’t be bothered writing about it anymore. To be quite honest, the movie itself depresses me. I don’t appreciate the bias, emotional appeal, and the lack of showing both sides the movie shows… and I don’t agree with the people who the movie is targeting.