Sunday, November 05, 2006

Jesus Camp

In class it seems we’re always asking, “how could that happen?” and “how could someone bring themselves to commit crimes of hate against someone else?”
We wonder how the Nazis were able to massacre Jews, how some Islamic extremists wanted so desperately to destroy us, and the list (unfortunately) goes on.
This trailer shows just how easy it is. These camps focus on the manipulation of innocent minds and the creation of a generation of children who want nothing more than to die for Jesus. They are teaching blatant religious stereotypes and we’ve seen the devastation that springs from that.

These young children are learning that “there are two types of people in this world, people who love Jesus and people who don’t.” They are learning separation from those who don’t is the right thing to do and even separate themselves from other schoolmates, neighbors, etc. by pledging allegiance to the Christian flag. They are learning to alienate those who think differently, instead of learning cooperation

Every conflict we’ve studied starts this way: with one group declaring to be the chosen ones- the ones who are right while everyone else’s beliefs are wrong. These divisions are obviously not just a thing of the past or something occurring somewhere else across the ocean. Intolerance is being taught right here in the United States, right now.


Elle said...

Oh, god...what is there to say about this? It's pretty shocking. Raising children to be fanatical Christians seems to be very similar in the ways that other extremist groups raise their children to hate us. Is this really the answer? Dozier talks about meaning systems and how they are formed in the brain. He also talks about the vital role of nurture in forming children's perceptions about the world. On this blog a few months ago, there was a post about a young Muslim girl who spewed anit-Semitism because that was how she had been raised. It seems that this Jesus Camp is doing exactly the same thing. It is contorting Christianity into a radical group and training young individuals in its doctrine. By speaking of "those who believe in Jesus and those who do not" this camp created effective us-versus-them distinctions which could be noxious to the future.

Brooks said...

This disgusts me. Religion is very powerful entity and I would encourage anyone to develop practice and discipline to some legitimate faith. Every major religion seems to promote some sort of moral conduct and the formation of personal virtues, and it can be the root of many good actions. But, it is way too dangerous to create the kind of divide being shown in “Jesus Camp.” Teaching children that there are only two types of people can only lead to unfortunate consequences, and a generation of closed minded, ignorant bigots.

hewhowould said...

I have seen the first hand effects of “the Jesus Camps”. My sisters good friend went to summer camp one year but what he did not realize was that he actually signed up for some religious summer camp. After his parents found out about the mistake they pulled him out in 2 weeks but the damage was already done. He went to a private school and was just entering 7th grade and had to take a year off of school because he was so disturbed mentally because what he had been forced to learn in the two weeks of camp classed with what he was learning in school. These religious camps in general dominate all aspects of thought and prevent any outside reasoning from entering the mind and thus cause younger kids to build blinders and follow only one path. Now the flip side I have also seen how the “Jesus Camps” help those with drug problems and those who feel like there is no way out and need major help. They two also build blinders to the rest of the world but they end up helping those in need just the same way they themselves were help. Now where does the problem lie, in the these “Jesus Camps” or is with those that actually attend the camps?

Hasty said...

Here is an article about the Haggard-White House ties from the co-directors of Jesus Camp:

In it, they conform with my view that "the marriage between a political party and a religious group is a dangerous and slippery slope for both."

Check out some of the comments below the article - some are quite amusing.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the Jesus Camp people would like me very much, since I'm one of the people who doesn't love Jesus. I'm Jewish. Sorry?

This is pretty scary. I'm not even in this class, but I find this blog very interesting. This Jesus Camp post is especially frightening. Kudos to whoever put this on here...I definitely need to check out this movie.