Saturday, December 22, 2007

Jesus Camp

Jesus Camp is a 2006 documentary directed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing about a pentecostal summer camp for children who spend their summers learning and practicing their "prophetic gifts" and being taught that they can "take back America for Christ."

Becky Fischer runs "Kids on fire", a bible camp that is set in the mid-western United States. The camp itself is a mecca for evangelical children. Becky's sermons usually are about repenting temptations and sins (swearing, thoughts about the flesh..)

"Kids on Fire" seems like small cult that teaches young naive kids to deny the scientifical approach and embrace Creationism. It teaches kids that Jesus Christ is their only salvation from this earth, it teaches them to hate all other religions

Becky's message becomes quite clear in the beginning of the film. She states: "kids are so useable (for christianity)" "I want to see them (kids) as radically laying down their lives for the gospel as they are over pakistan, palestine, israel for islam". Becky's main points are that all Islamic teachings, teach their kids how to kill for their god. She goes on to say that kids are the key to getting Christianity across (by force) America. ""im sorry but we have the truth"

The documentary in itself was a well made one. Very well edited and produced.
It is a very difficult one to watch. Why? Because you see all the mass hesteria these so called preachers produce. Scaring kids into thinking that homosexuality is wrong and a sin. Teaching kids that Wicca is the devil's religion. That the some basic characteristics of being human (curiosity, rational thought, expression) are all bad.
One Camp Counselor tells a group of kids that telling a ghost story at night is not preferable to Jesus.....

The Documentary shows Ted Haggarad in one of his sermons. Teaching about the sins of Homosexuality. How gays will go to hell and are living in sin. Funny, because later in 2006 Ted Haggard was caught soliciting sex from another male and looking to score some drugs.

More difficult to watch is the scenes where kids "speak in tongues" and appear to go into a "repentive trance". They show the kids crying out, speaking in "tounges" in hopes that their lord will forgive them. Kids as young as 5.

The Brainwashing becomes very apparent when the film focuses on Levi. A small boy who aspires to spread the message of Jesus. Levi is asked if he is a Christian, to which he answers (in a pre-construed way):

"I've been christian...I 5 I got saved, cause I just wanted more of life becuase there was nothing that i thought was fun.."

At 5? You really thought nothing was fun at 5?

The statement alone is evident of some form of manupulation this boy has gone through. I'm reminded of what Richard Dawkins once said: "There are no Christian/Muslim/Catholic... children. They are children of Christian/Muslim/Catholic...parents"

Using kids to spread your own believes onto others is a moral crime.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The most hated family in America

"The most hated family in America" is an investigative look at the isolated cult that Fred Phelps has begun. Mostly composed of family members, Fred Phelps is the patriarch and leading influential figure of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Watching this documentary, I couldn't help but notice the brainwashing techniques the adults had on the kids. Making a 7 year old kid hold up a sign that reads "God hates fags" is probably the worst crime these people are doing.

Don't get me wrong, I'm the first to defend our right of freedom of speech; but when do we, as a society, as civilized people, do we step in and defend these kids free-thought process?

How far can the right of free speech go, if all you do is protest someone else's freedom of choice? Should we limit freedom of speech? I think in cases like this, we should.

Then again, who's to decide what gets limited and what does not?

Clash of the Worlds: Sudan

"Clash of the Worlds" series special on the Muslim revolt in Sudan.
The same picture we see in every country, every religion and every government: Oppression.

19th century British victorians aspired to bring "light" to the "Dark continent" (Africa).
They wanted to abolish slavery and impose on foreign governmental and moral affairs. All while profiting from monetary gain and self-righteousness.
Seen as savages for refusing Christianity, the Muslims revolted against British rule.
Causing holy wars for years to come.

This happens all too often. Religious oppression has, and always will be a factor of human nature. We tend to ostracize those who worship differently than we do. We tend to kill others in the name of our god, to show our god that we are loyal.

We all have a different idea of what our god is. Most of the world will scoff at other religions and label them as archaic or unstructured. We all have an "insight" or a strong opinion on most world religions. We all judge or put labels on certain actions. What makes us cross the line and commit murder for our god?