Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Jesus Camp

A man swaying backwards and forwards as he prays, a family chanting with their hands on the holy book, parents preparing children for a religious war. These are some aspects of the American Evangelical movement shown in Jesus Camp, a film about Becky Fischer a "children's minister" and the summer camp she runs in North Dakota. If you have had a secular New Zealand upbringing it will seem quite alien and may be worrying.

What is more worrying is that this may be the largest block of voters in America (80 million people), who are proud to be conservative, anti-liberal, global warming denying and anti-Muslim. They regard themselves to be at war not so much with secular America but with Islam (even though they have much in common with the conservative, anti-liberal, anti-secular Muslims that they hate!). These people not only have influence in America but also in US foreign policy. But this is just my rant!

This film is a non-confrontational (though not neutral) view of Becky Fischer and the kids she is ministering to. There are amusing scenes like the blessing of a cardboard cutout of George Bush and more serious ones like inducing kids to break down in tears to confess their unspecified sins. But in general these people just look like ordinary Americans, overweight, living in the suburbs, listening to hard rock, worried about their make up, flying the flag. It is interspersed with excerpts from a talkback radio show by a liberal Christian with strong views on protecting the separation between church and state (I guess this is to reassure viewers that there are some other Americans out there).

Ian's rating: 4/5
Anne's rating: 3.5/5

No comments:

Post a Comment