Sunday, February 25, 2007

JESUS CAMP

JESUS CAMP is a documentary about Pentecostal Evangelists teaching children. It's one of the best documentaries I've seen this year. It's nominated for the Oscar, and of the three nominees that I've seen, it's far and way the best of the three.

This is a movie that will make you squirm. The children are practically brainwashed. The adults constantly defend themselves by saying "terrorists teach children to use bombs," without realizing the irony that they themselves are being just as manipulative of the children. Some of them are home-schooled and taught in the same sentence that "evolution is stupid" and "global warming is not an issue." I'm not sure I understand how global warming is a religious issue, but it's astounding that no one explains to them that their assertion that "a .6 degree per year increase is unimportant." There are plenty of arguments against the data that you could make logically, but if they accept that there's a .6 degree increase, that means when that kid hits Social Security, the average daily temperature will be well over 100 degrees. It's just astounding that no one explains causal effect, the scientific method, or even just linear logic to these kids. I feel so sorry for them. These are kids that will never be given a chance in life.

Oh, and they claim that 25% of the country now identifies itself religiously as Evangelist. That might not sound like much, but if it's true, it's an increase from the 2001 Census from 2%. It would make them as large as the Catholic church in America. Much of the film is spent describing the relationship between the growth of the religion and the religious nature of George Bush.

The movie takes a bizarre turn when the children attend the ministry of Ted Haggerty. You may remember him as recently being "cured" of his homosexuality after his fall from grace when he lied about paying a male prostitute with drugs. This movie was made long before that, and it makes him look extremely creepy as he is introduced looking into the camera saying "I know what you did last night."

This movie is available via rental on Netfilx; I very highly recommend it.
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