I’ve just been watching Jesus Camp, a documentary put out in 2006 following a group of children as they attend “Kids on Fire Summer Camp.” If you haven’t seen it I recommend taking a look. The filmmakers have done a good job of being impartial. There’s no narration or Michael Moore style “gotcha” moments. They just present what they saw, and it’s a very disturbing picture that’s painted.
The children attending the camp appear to all come from fundamentalist Christian backgrounds. They seem to be just immitating what their parents and ministers do in the way they talk about their beliefs.
Scenes at the camp itself, when Pastor Becky Fischer is preaching to them, are the most disturbing. The poor kids are constantly being told that they’re sinners and you can see the fear and the pain on their faces. The organizers of the camp create an ideal environment for brainwashing: Fischer yells loudly, she’s very repetitive, there’s ominous music, chanting into microphones, people are screaming and crying. It’s scary.
I found myself feeling very sad for these children. They’ve been brainwashed their whole lives, as evidenced by a scene in which one young boy is being homeschooled by his mother, who wouldn’t send him to public school I guess out of fear that he would learn some real facts? He is reading from a Creationism in Physical Science textbook, and one of his lessons is that global warming is a hoax because the Earth’s temperature has only risen by 0.6 degrees. Great job mom!
So I was wondering where these children are now. I did a google search to find out and unfortunately it didn’t come up with anything specific about the kids. If anyone knows anything please let me know. It’s only been three years so maybe I’m jumping the gun on looking for a “where are they now”. I’m curious as to whether the filmmakers have any intentions of revisiting some of the kids and churches and people featured in this movie. Like Trekkies 2!
One thing I did find out was that the camp featured in the movie has been shut down. Great news!
Camp director Becky Fischer commented to Christianity Today: “Christians go after me because of doctrinal issues, whereas the world is going after me because they think I’m another Adolf Hitler.”
She added: “They’re accusing me of raising a Christian jihad.”
Is it just me or was she not clearly calling for a Christian jihad? I’m sorry I don’t have an exact quote, but I seem to recall her waxing on about how she wishes that Christian children would have the same passion as extremists in other religions. I hope the land the camp was occupying can be put to good use with a camp that allows kids to have fun, feel good about themselves, and even learn something.
I just added an update to this post here…http://struckbyenlightning.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/update-jesus-camp-kids-where-are-they-now/