24 September 2007

Jesus Camp

I've been wanting to watch the documentary, Jesus Camp, for a while and Denise and I finally saw it last weekend. The movie is about a right-wing fundamentalist summer camp for kids. The kids worship, pray, ride go-carts, chant about supreme court justice nominees, and do other fun kids' stuff like that.

It was a riveting picture of a distinct subculture. Kids were speaking in tongues. They prayed in ways I don't. One kid had a sweet rat tail (I'm thinking of growing one now). I grew up in a Christian fundamentalist subculture, so it was really interesting to see another version of fundamentalism. By the way, I define fundamentalism as living in the absolute certainty that I am right and everyone else is wrong--and having a harsh attitude about that fact.

Part of the camp's time was spent teaching (or perhaps indoctrinating) the kids about right-wing American politics--abortion, supreme court justice nominations, etc. At one point in the film, some of the kids were at a large church in Colorado. The pastor of this church was Ted Haggard. You may remember him from such things as doing meth with a gay prostitute. The movie was filmed before he was found out. To me, his appearance in which he railed on homosexuals and was moderatley mean to a ten-year-old, was where I found God in this movie. That scene and the thoughts it brought up caused me to look long and hard at the way I judge other people. I believe judgement and conviction of sin are key parts of my faith, but this movie caused me to look at myself and the ways I go about judging and convicting.

If you haven't seen the movie, watch it and pay particular attention to the moments that are uncomfortable for you.


Sheila D said...

Hi Jeff--Reg and I (and our daughters) viewed "Friends of God, the Road Trip" with increasing nausea. For me, it brought back some painful memories of that "different fundamentalism". For our girls, it was like viewing a documentary on a whole other culture.

I see a very uncomfortable similarity between "Born Again" fundamentalism and radical Muslim madrasas

Jeff Luce said...

I is weird how we've taken being born again--originally intended to be a new way of life specifically for people who thought they had religion down, but somehow had missed the point entirely--and made it into the catch phrase of unhelpful fundamentalism.

1138 said...

hey, my name is also Jeff Luce. i'm in an m.ed. school psychology program in chicago. the other side of counselling? I'll check back later to see if you respond to this. have you checked out www.jeffluce.com yet? its pretty weak (no offense if thats your site)

Jeff Luce said...

I have seen jeffluce.com. It needs some work (it's not mine!). I interact w/ some school psych. folks in my program. I've got four months to go.

Zili said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.