Jesus Camp (2006)

Movies, Reckons

A great little doco about American Evangelical Christians, as represented by half a handful of their little fundy kids. The kids are charming, lovely and passionate. But of course they’ve been lied to their entire lives, so what they’re passionate about is complete bullshit.

I already had some idea about most of what they showed in this movie, all the speaking in tongues, indoctrinating children when they’re young (even home schooling them, one of the stats presented in the movie is that 75% of home schooled kids in the states are children of evangelical christians), and so on… What I didn’t know was that in addition to being a huge hypocrite Ted Haggard is also a gigantic arsehole.

They do show the kids being creepy, and they show them crying and babbling in tongues and lying shaking on the floor, but they don’t actually make fun of them. They seem to be quite even handed – the opposing view point (that these people are creepy, that they’ve taken over the entire US, and they’re incredibly dangerous) is presented by a moderate (read: sane) Christian radio host. He does a great job. But these people don’t care about their bible, so of course when he quotes scripture at them they just huff and puff and talk some more.

A very funny moment was when they were having children in a youth ministry come forward, take a microphone, and talk about whatever subject they wanted to. A lovely little blonde boy walks up with his bible, and talks about how hard it is to believe in a God that he can’t feel and that doesn’t speak to him, and that basically he doesn’t believe. The reaction shots from the other kids are AWESOME. (He’s going to be a cool guy when he’s older, I bet.)

Wonderful movie, I hope you get a chance to see it. (Moderate Christians won’t be offended, and I don’t give two strokes if fundys are offended through the scales on their eyes or not.)