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Jesus Camp


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28 replies to this topic

#1 of 29 OFFLINE   Dave Hackman

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Posted October 17 2006 - 01:44 PM

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s documentary delves into the lives of young evangelical Christian children who hope to become America’s future spiritual warriors. In order to be prepared to combat the debilitating growing wave of unmoral Harry Potter watching Americans (Warlocks are enemies of God) these children dedicate a good amount of their personal time to their local church and if the lord sees fit are able to attend a Becky Fischer’s Kids on Fire summer camp. This camp held in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota focuses on getting the children involved in various spiritual exercises to hone their skills.

Becky Fischer the Evangelical spiritual Pastor is an easy choice to focus on due to her boisterous persona, which is fueled by her feverish passion that teeters into insanity. She has the kid’s speaking in tongues, gyrating on the floor as if they are having convulsions, repenting out loud all of their young sins to the point of near exhaustion and my personal favorite the worshiping of a life size cardboard cutout of President George Bush.

Her counterpoint is radio talk show host and lawyer Mike Papantonio. He tries to warn his listeners about these religious right Christian fanatics who he believes are slowly sneaking their way into positions of governmental power. They don’t want a separation of church and state and look for people that promote their agenda. You really don’t get to know him well as he is just shown in small doses.

The kids are inundated with their parents/ preacher beliefs to the point that anything obtained independently is merely accidental. I think you could easily substitute a few teachings’ here and there and this documentary would be about the creation of future Nazi’s or anti-American warriors. They would all share the same common denominator of being preprogrammed with a disposition of distaste for whatever their leaders wished.

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#2 of 29 OFFLINE   BrettV

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Posted October 19 2006 - 12:24 PM

They weren't 'worshipping' the cardboard cut out. They were praying for George W. Bush and used the cut out as a focal point.

#3 of 29 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted October 19 2006 - 01:32 PM

Quote:
This camp held in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota...

Gotta love the irony there. Posted Image

#4 of 29 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted October 23 2006 - 03:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettV
They weren't 'worshipping' the cardboard cut out. They were praying for George W. Bush and used the cut out as a focal point.
Back when I did believe in prayer, I never needed a cardboard cutout. Providing one does at least approach worship.
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#5 of 29 OFFLINE   Brent Bridgeman

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Posted October 24 2006 - 07:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hackman
young evangelical Christian children

Great, thanks for the generalization without clarifying that this is a group from a single evangelical Christian denomination. I doubt 99% of people who use the term 'evangelical Christian' even have an iota of knowledge of what it even means. The tired old "Christian = Nazi" cliche in your last paragrah once again illustrates that ignorance and intolerance do go hand-in-hand.

#6 of 29 OFFLINE   Andrew Bunk

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Posted October 24 2006 - 07:59 AM

My favorite Emo Philips routine comes to mind.....
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#7 of 29 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted October 24 2006 - 09:44 AM

Avoid personal arguments about religion here at Home Theater Forum. The next person who steps out of bounds will get this short thread closed.

This film is a documentary that is well worth discussing; it raises issues that will either cause viewers to cringe or some to cheer. Meaning, the film is deserving of serious discussion.

If our members, however, cannot observe HTF rules in the process, the thread is history.

#8 of 29 OFFLINE   Brent Bridgeman

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Posted October 25 2006 - 03:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Briggs
Meaning, the film is deserving of serious discussion.

Right, and the reason behind the documentary is also deserving of discussion. It's interesting that these filmmakers have only focused on a single camp of a charismatic pentecostal church, yet their so-called expert, a radio talk show host/lawyer (couldn't they find a radio talk show host/lawyer/telemarketer?) makes it seem like this camp and it's peculiar rituals and ideas are part of mainstream evangelical Christianity. I've been an evangelical Christian for 40 years now and have never even heard of a camp like this. The kindest thing I can say about the film is that it is disingenuous at best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b]Dave Hackman
[b]They don’t want a separation of church and state

But who is "they"? I've never met an evangelical Christian who seriously supports the idea of America becoming a theocratic nation. This is a fallacy, again using a fringe group, that is used to try to foment distrust against all evangelical Christians by calling them the radical Christian right (I also know a lot of evangelical Christian Democrats). Remember "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's"? But, I guess controversy sells. Who would pay to see a documentary about a well-adjusted, socially active, culturally aware, productive member of society who also lives their faith? THAT is mainstream evangelical Christianity.

#9 of 29 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted October 25 2006 - 07:21 AM

Brent, what did you think of the segments of the film featuring Pastor Ted Haggard? It's my understanding (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that Pastor Haggard and his New Life Church do not subscribe to the same beliefs and practices as Becky Fischer's group, and yet in the film he appears to regard them as kindred spirits.

According to the film, Pastor Haggard is President of the National Association of Evangelicals.

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#10 of 29 OFFLINE   Brent Bridgeman

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Posted October 26 2006 - 07:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Reuben
Brent, what did you think of the segments of the film featuring Pastor Ted Haggard? It's my understanding (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that Pastor Haggard and his New Life Church do not subscribe to the same beliefs and practices as Becky Fischer's group, and yet in the film he appears to regard them as kindred spirits.

According to the film, Pastor Haggard is President of the National Association of Evangelicals.

M.

Michael, one of the tenets that our church uses is "In essential things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity". Meaning, that in essential doctrines there should be unity, in things that are not specifically spelled out by the Bible (ie worship style) there is a certain liberty to choose your own preference, but in all things love should rule the day. So, if they want to speak in tongues, and other pentecostal rituals, they have the liberty to do so. If they were to claim that to be a Christian one HAS to speak in tongues, then we break fellowship. But even then, it should not be an acrimonious separation, but done with caring. This being said, I would hope that any Christian would feel themselves a "kindred spirit" with any other Christian, as well as non-Christians for that matter. To do otherwise would be...well...un-Christian. And, I know, it happens a lot.

Actually, I probably came off too strong in my criticism of this camp due to the fact I had my hackles up a bit and I hate it when people make generalizations (on either side). I support anyone's right to worship the way they choose, be they Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Buddist, etc. That's supposed to be the American way according to the First Amendment, but with increasing frequency, "freedom of religion" is being interpreted as "freedom from religion".

#11 of 29 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted October 26 2006 - 08:53 AM

Interesting, but the reason I asked about Pastor Haggard's scenes is because he's the one, far more than Becky Fischer or her camp attendees, who comes across as focused on gaining and using political power (as expressed in lines like "If the Evangelicals come out, they determine the election").

Have you seen the film?

M.



P.S. Several later posts have been removed where the authors admitted not seeing the film but proceeded to post on the general subject matter. However, the HTF Rules expressly prohibit discussion of politics or religion EXCEPT in connection with depictions in a film. It should be obvious that, if you haven't seen the film in question, it is impossible to post about it consistent with this rule.
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#12 of 29 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted January 23 2007 - 05:28 AM

Quote:
According to the film, Pastor Haggard is President of the National Association of Evangelicals.

Well, he was.

Just got done watching Jesus Camp and found it truly disturbing. It's one thing to have faith, but these people are delusional and dishonest in many of their beliefs and what they're doing to their children is criminal (if not legally, then morally). Brent is right when he says they're in the minority, but that doesn't mean they should be disregarded.

#13 of 29 OFFLINE   BrettV

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Posted January 23 2007 - 05:32 AM

"Back when I did believe in prayer, I never needed a cardboard cutout. Providing one does at least approach worship."

It's easy to have focus when it's one person praying. But they were trying to give focus to a large group of kids, which isn't easy.

#14 of 29 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted January 23 2007 - 07:46 AM

"This camp held in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota... "

"Gotta love the irony there."

Posted Image

#15 of 29 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted January 23 2007 - 01:40 PM

It should also be noted that the company that produced the film is called Loki Films (as in the mythical Norse trickster). Posted Image

#16 of 29 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted January 23 2007 - 03:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveGon
It should also be noted that the company that produced the film is called Loki Films (as in the mythical Norse trickster). Posted Image

i noticed that too.

i thought the film was interesting if not somewhat creepy.

i dont know how i feel about kids walking up to strangers and asking them were they think they'll go after they die.

just walking up to strangers is a little much for me.
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#17 of 29 OFFLINE   Brian D H

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Posted January 24 2007 - 02:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Bridgeman
The tired old "Christian = Nazi" cliche in your last paragrah once again illustrates that ignorance and intolerance do go hand-in-hand.

Obviously no one here would support equating the two. It is also clear that the group depicted in the film is small and not representative of the majority of Christians.

However, whenever you have ANY group whose goal is political influence, it is our duty to give that group a much closer look. We may be talking about people like our founding fathers (Washington, Jefferson, etc. - certainly a group of rebels at the time); or we may be talking about the next Nazis. It is up to us to determine which; and it is our responsibility to find out. Personally I am concerned about any religeous group, no matter how small, that attempts political influence; because it can easily lead to political exclusion of any other belief system.
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#18 of 29 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted January 24 2007 - 05:37 AM

there was one section that had a speaker or preacher saying that if, IF all the members of this particular group "would vote" for one person it could control an election.

this is true of any group.
if every howard stern fan voted for who he wanted they could sway an election.

the sad thing about that is the "if they would vote" part.
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#19 of 29 OFFLINE   BrianB

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Posted January 29 2007 - 03:52 AM

Quote:
there was one section that had a speaker or preacher saying that if, IF all the members of this particular group "would vote" for one person it could control an election.

this is true of any group.

No it's not true of any group, it depends on the size of the group Posted Image

Watched this last night, very powerful documentary.
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#20 of 29 OFFLINE   Brent Bridgeman

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Posted January 29 2007 - 08:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian D H
However, whenever you have ANY group whose goal is political influence, it is our duty to give that group a much closer look. We may be talking about people like our founding fathers (Washington, Jefferson, etc. - certainly a group of rebels at the time); or we may be talking about the next Nazis. It is up to us to determine which; and it is our responsibility to find out. Personally I am concerned about any religeous group, no matter how small, that attempts political influence; because it can easily lead to political exclusion of any other belief system.

Yes, it is your duty as an individual voting American to examine the beliefs of an individual candidate and see if they match your own. Then, you vote for the candidate who best matches your preferences. To say that Christian groups need to be given a "much closer look" sounds more like the road to a restriction of free thought and free voting rights. Why WOULDN'T a Christian be more inclined to vote for another professing Christian? Typically, their preferences and politics will align. That would be like saying that a person who is a pro-choice advocate should not be able to vote for a pro-choice candidate. Why? Because they believe the same thing. Doesn't make sense. Do you restrict one segment of society's rights because there is too many of them and they are influential? Plus, 99% of Christians (there are always fringe elements) have absolutely no desire to exclude any other belief system. They just see their own rights eroding (like taking "a much closer look" at them) and want to preserve their right to exist.


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