Did I really need to see this movie? I mean, I had been to enough “Jesus Camps” in my life before. I didn’t think seeing this movie was going to make any difference. Boy was I wrong! This movie made me remember my own experiences as a child that I had forgotten. Experiences that, if unchallenged, leads one to make decisions based not on equality or truth, but on a worldview that sets you apart from everyone else. That you are right and everyone else is wrong. That selfish thinking can lead to the policies set by the Bush regime that we see today such as the bans against gay marriage and abortion access. And that line of thinking, along with fundamental belief that anyone who doesn’t accept your belief is wrong and, thus, must be dealt with, leads to the erosion of civil liberties as seen in the Patriot Act, the spying by the NSA and the passing of the Military Commissions Act. I encourage everyone to see this movie. It will change the way you view the emerging evangelical movement and realize the danger it holds.
I was told and taught that as a “born again” Christian, I was chosen.
I was special. I was set apart. Because Jesus lived in my heart, I
would go to heaven and those who didn’t believe in and trust Jesus like
I did, were fools. When you have children being taught this, there is
no room for equality. How do you stand against the torture of
primarily Muslim men, when they believe in a “false god” anyway? How
does democracy fit in the picture when Jesus will only come back to a
“righteous nation” and there are all sorts of “sinners” running around
that must be stopped? Who defines what righteousness is? How does one
go about creating the sort of righteous nation needed for Jesus to come
back anyway? Or the better question: Who is the first group targeted
in this sweep towards fascism?
In the early 1990s when I attended camp, the political situation in
this country was vastly different. We were kept isolated from worldly
things. The world was too evil and bad and we could get corrupted,
politics included. There were no major wars that broke through the
installation of our lives back then that polarized society like
today. It seems as if this generation believes that while before the
religious was personal, right now, the religious is political. We
never even heard the word abortion mentioned at camp, let alone view
plastic “replicas” of fetuses or wear red tape over our mouths like the
children in this film were made to do in an attempt at protest.
The whole politicizing of these religious youth was the scariest part
of this movie. Praying over a paper cutout of George Bush and yelling
for a righteous nation was chilling. This isn’t an innocent, “Oh, I
hope George Bush has a good day” sort of well-wishing. This is the
proclamation of a new generation, pushed by their elders, whose
attempts of creating a Christian fascist nation are not veiled. They
must be taken seriously lest we find ourselves in the midst of fascism
with these very children leading the country.