Friday, June 20, 2008

Jesus Camp

If you’ve ever wondered what life would be like living in a fundamentalist evangelical Christian country, see the movie “Jesus Camp” and you’ll have the answer:

Run by fanatics
Power in the hands of pre-teen zealots
Freedom to think and do only what God tells the fanatics is OK
The church IS the state, so separation of church and state is impossible
Add whatever other nightmare scenarios you can concoct and you’ll be right

I can hear the laughter of the fanatics as I write this. They’re thrilled to hear me say all this. It means they’re succeeding. They’re getting their job done. They’re scaring the shit out of anyone who doesn’t think the way they do.

You’ve seen pictures of children studying in Islamic madrasas. Every day spending hours rocking back and forth memorizing the Koran. With the anti-Islamic propagandists spreading the word that we’re looking at the terrorists of tomorrow. These kids are benign pussycats compared to the 8 and 9 and 10 year olds in “Jesus Camp.”

The preachers and the teachers and the parents of these kids are brilliant. Their ability to indoctrinate at an early age, reinforce their ideas morning, noon and night, and provide opportunities for the kids to practice what they preach, is unparalleled. Theirs is a closed system that brooks no dissent. They concentrate on the hot button items they want to promote – never abort a fetus, always deny the validity of evolution, be a soldier in God’s army, convince others to accept Christ as their personal savior, elect those who believe as they do, home-school your kids, hate homosexuality, dump on all other churches and all other religions, etc. etc. etc.

My readers know that one of my favorite charities is the Freedom From Religion Foundation. So it is no surprise that I react as I do to “Jesus Camp.” Normally, I don’t discriminate between one religion and another. They’re all anathema to me. If I were God (relax, people, just a joke) I’d get rid of all of them. But if I were a making a list it’d be hard not to name these fundamentalist Christians as my top candidate for abolition.



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