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Welcome to Jesus Camp

by pelcan Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 12:29:55 AM EST

Jesus Camp. The documentary that was so disturbing I had a little difficulty sleeping last night, yet it's enlightening in a way that Silent Spring accomplishes with it's first chapter. Where do we even begin? First of all, I felt that the clips I watched were worth watching after a while, and the movie was so intelligently made and open-minded that it's no wonder it was nominated for an Oscar (An Inconvenient Truth won). Whether you think the camp and the fundamentalist movement is good or bad for Christ depends on your sanity level.

First, with the sale of the (last?) Harry Potter book, let's see what the camp director feels about the boy wizard...

That lady, by the way, is Becky Fischer, who has said the film in no way exploited her or the camp and even promoted the film. And as you watch clip after clip, this smartly-made, take-no-sides documentary gets more and more addicting

"You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."
(2nd Commandment)

This guy does not believe with the comment but is dictating his offense of people who don't believe golbal warming is real and use God as an excuse for it. As for the "rape the earth" comment, it blends well with the oil, timber, etc. lobby that the infallible Republicans is very much married into. Not only has the bible clearly stated that we should be good stewards of our planet (I have yet to come across a "be intolerant to gays" verse, yet there's so much activism and fanaticism against it. And we have some clear-cut "take care of the planet" verses and little response) There are Evangelists, like Richard Cizik, who believe that global warming and the environment are serious issues and are leading Christians to the forefront on these issues. And there are some, like James Dobson, who for no real reason, tried to remove Cizik (fellow evangelists barked at the notion, and it failed)
"God will destroy those who destroy the earth."
-Revelation 11:18

Hmmm, maybe some people should be looking at this more often than at their own gut feelings

Finally, a voice of reason who can put things out much more clearly than I ever can

Politics and religion don't mix. Ever. Our founding father's don't want it, many industrialized nations don't want it, and we should all be tolerant of anothers' beliefs even if you feel that the guy next to you will be spending an eternity in hell when he or she dies.

These type of Christians, the Fundamentalists, can fill football stadiums and decide elections, but they are still a minority chunk in our nation. I am volunteering at a bible camp next month and no, they do not act this way. They do recite a lot of "God/Jesus is real!," "God/Jesus is awesome" and I would personally like to see more action for the poor than routing out any skepticism in faith (it does produce backlashes). And the Democrats got an amazing 29% of the Evangelist vote last November. And the Democratic presidential contenders talk more about the hijacking of Christianity, using faith to get through hard times, and helping the poor and not the usual staples that unscrupulous Republicans can willingly try "No gay marriage, no stem cell research, no abortion, government funding of faith groups, and fusion of church and state."

The Rev. Ted Haggard

was caught with a male hooker two months after the film's debut.

A Discussion in Faith~~

Even the early Muslim states tolerated the presence of different faiths (though, those people were taxed more) and accepted greater equality for women, as the Prophet Muhammed had told them to. Now look at the state of Islam in countries like Iran, with its dwindling freedoms. As a bumper sticker reads: Want a country with church and state? Move to Iran. You can't mix religion with government because there will always be people exploiting the public's need for faith and use their narrow-mindedness for their own benefit. Take the oppressive Kings of the old days.

It's absolutely sickening how the Republicans (and conservative talkers, like the folks at Fox News) exploit Christian voters without scruple and morals. And in case you haven't heard, for those Repubs who tried to remove Clinton from office for his affair, Gingrich, Livingston (the man who was to succeed Gingrich as speaker), and Vitter (who said Clinton was morally unfit to rule and praised marriage) all had at least one affair around the same time they were crying crocodile tears over the prospect of an unmoral president. Mark Foley, who decried Clinton over his affair with an intern sexually harassed his male pages over the internet. The hubbub over the event led to his resignation and possibly cost them Congress in 2006.

The Rev. Fred Phelps, who so manically and insanely hates gays leads his followers to angrily protest at military funerals, saying the deaths were deserved for the nations growing tolerance for gays (huhhuhhuh?.) He also claims that those who are gays or sympathize with them are deserving of death and eternal hell.

And speaking of such, perhaps no party is more gay-based than the Republicans. Yes, they introduced a gay marriage ban amendment that they knew had no effect of passing to motivate their base for the 2006 election. They placed state referendums to move the fundamentalists to the polls. After the election, which the Dems won, the new party in charge passed legislation to include attacks on gays and transexuals as hate crimes (What, it wasn't added already?), the majority of Republicans voted against this common sense measure and President Bush vowed a veto.

But because everything they do it hypocritical, you find that so many Republican politicians are gay. There was a Repub flyer sent to homes in Arkansas following the 2004 election showing the picture of a bible: banned. A picture of two gay men marrying: allowed. It warned against voting for Democrats by exploiting one's hatred. And the guy behind it, Daniel Gurley, yup, was gay and resigned. The pro-gay Log Cabin Republicans are a group that condones the actions of Repubs again and again. The blogactive

blog lists over a dozen gay Republicans, working against their own rights. There are some gay conservatives, however, like Mike Sullivan, who stand up for their rights.

Billy Graham, the most widely-recognized and undoubtedly the most admired Evangelist of all time keeps out of political topics, refuses to define who exactly goes to heaven or hell, calls for more aid to the poor, reads his bible, and (gasp!!) is still a member of that sinner's party, the Democrats.

There's a lot that can be said on the cult-like hijacking of faith.

I am a
. Christian 25%
. Agnostic/Athiest 58%
. other 16%

Votes: 12
Results | Other Polls
I have looked at Christian publications and they are indeed very hateful at times and very much Republican.

Can you believe Congressmen can get a 0% score with Human Rights groups and a 100% score from the Christian Coalition? What exactly are these peoples' priorities?

This is the first part of the documentary. Just follow around to the other sections if you want to see all the clips

There is a growing disillusionment of the mixture of politics and Christianity, in the public and among real conservatives. One thing for certain, one who claims they are of a certain religion and should be voted in or claim power for it end up to be just about always (okay, always) dishonest and immoral in their exploitation of that faith.

by pelcan on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 01:24:32 AM EST
On the good news side, that camp did shut down after the film was released, because of vandalism and threats, according to Becky Fisher.

I'm ready to bet that a few parents also realized what they had sent their kids to and that it didn't go well.

by Francois in Paris on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 10:52:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As much as I am happy about numerious Christians looking at Jesus Camp with the same horror I do, I disagree with the theme that 'this isn't religion' throughout the diary.

It sounds like No True Scotsman argument. Religion and politics mix, like, very often. There are too many people who believe these things to deny the tag 'religion'. It could be called bad or false religion, but certainly a faith. What's more, if you put them off as cults, most big modern religions started out in cult-like form.

I also think that virtually every branch of Christianity ignores some verses, interpretes others, and over-emphasizes still others. In the case of the most sympatetic liberal Christians, I am thinking of some pretty brutal scenes(the reason for the last strike on the Egyptians, bears mauling 42 children for taunting a prophet, genocide on the Canaanites and the sin of not finishing it) and strange commandments (there aren't just ten) in the OT , and strange morals in both the OT and NT.

Deuteronomy 22:12 Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear.

Numbers 31:17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,
Numbers 31:18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

Leviticus 20:13 If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple.

I can't much agree with the praise on Billy Graham either. He may be much better than Falwell & co, even better than his awful son, but the Presidents' best friend (also Nixon, and Dubya referenced him as inducer of his born-again conversion) also was a cold-hearted crusader as crusader against communism (I mean, suggesting to bomb the dykes to destroy North Vietnam's economy?...), didn't keep out of politics in the I/P conflict, while he kept up a noted silence on many social and human-rights issues.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 05:45:28 AM EST
I mean, suggesting to bomb the dykes to destroy North Vietnam's economy?
Well, that all makes sense. As you noted above:
Leviticus 20:13 If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
He must just have confused dykes with dykes, and read that passage symmetrically for women!
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 06:00:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a sensible one, which would have disturbed my late grandmother (devout Catholic):

Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 06:29:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe that B. Graham has stated publicly that he regrets allowing himself to be used by Presidents and for participating in policical activities in his younger days.  In other words, he admitted what he considered to be his mistakes although such admissions were not required.  I still see him as a person to be admired.

When I was in Vietnam, the first time during the war, I was a soldier and I thought we should have bombed the dikes as well. War is war and the North Vietnamese Army was invading the South and we couldn't invade the North.

Like Gen Sherman's march to the sea in US Georgia and the Carolinas, his army destroyed everything that could be usful to the enemy, including homes, crops and food, and factories, in fact whole cities were burned.  His actions were not unusual in that war or in most others.  War is hell whether it is just or unjust. A nation's economy fuels its ability to wage war.

Now, I sincerely wish the US had never become involved in the Vn conflict, and many others since.  People change.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 11:57:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe that B. Graham has stated publicly that he regrets allowing himself to be used by Presidents

I know he said so about Nixon and about the anti-semitic media-bashing he engaged with with Nixon in a recently released tape. Are you sure he was talking about Presidents in general? Up to Clinton?

I was a soldier and I thought we should have bombed the dikes as well.

Do you still think so? (You say now you think the US should never have been involved, but I'm not sure it follows from that that once there is involvement, it should be terminated.) And as opposed to a simple soldier like you were, do you think it is an acceptable error for a man of moral to suggest a move that would have killed about one million civilians?

War is war

Always a carte-blanche excuse. Progress in international law etc. (since the US Civil War too) you don't consider.

I note the worst dyke-bombing was by the retreating Chinese nationalist army during the Japanese invasion in WWII. It didn't only kill scores but failed to stop the Japanese...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jul 24th, 2007 at 06:18:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wrote a diary last year about an interview he had with Newsweek, but while I did not include his specific comments about presidents in the diary, I recall he alluded to all of them and stated something like he was drawn to the power and prestige of the position and regretted that he had allowed himself to become seduced by it. If you want the specific quote, I still have the magazine at home and can eventually provide it.

It's difficult to say what I think about dike bombing now in Vietnam, since I think we shouldn't have been there in the first place.  Should the US find itself in a defensive war (if you believe in such - I guess I do), then we should do whatever is necessary to win.  Ruining a nation's economy through violence doesn't sound like a noble cause, but if the alternative is subjugation, it might have to be done as in the past.  What's your view?  As far as Graham's error's being acceptable, that's between him and God.  I try to forgive those who have wronged me or made mistakes, believing that no one put me on earth to be judge, jury and executioner.

I don't know of any international article that prevents degradation of a civilian economy during war.  Attempts should be made to spare non-combatants, but infrastructure is fair game.  Sorry, I don't make the rules.  Dike bombing may not have been effective in the one situation you mention, but don't pretend that the strategic bombing of German and Japanese infrastructure and factories during WWII didn't have a significant impact on their ability to continue the war.  

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Tue Jul 24th, 2007 at 11:32:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I also read that comment in Newsweek, titled Billy Graham's Last Crusade. Look, I don't think we should take offense at another's religion just as a Christian may take on an athiest. The problem is how they're doing it.
Furthermore, I have read parts of the bible where they call on the public stoning for unruly sons. Nobody believes in that anymore, churches are consumed mostly with Jusus' grace and compassion as well as recitation of how they are real.
I know that religion an state mixes frequently, with Christian Democrat parties and so forth, and save for Buhdist nations, the result is often negative because of how religious leaders are consumed with themselves. On one hand they ask for donations and promise wealth in the future based on their faith, on the other they live lavishly and own over a dozen homes.
Gringo is right, politics is an alluring force, but Graham, unlike his very Republican son, Franklin Graham, prefers not to exploit religion as much as many of the Christian/Republican leaders today.

America's cable news leader, Bill O' Reilly, with over 2 million veiwers a night, blaming Democrats for the tuberlucosis scare despite no proof of what the heck he's saying. Just as Fox News was eager to grab attension to the assasin of Virginia Tech's hatred of the rich. The list goes on...
by pelcan on Tue Jul 24th, 2007 at 01:45:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why "save for buhddist nations ? They had their share of violent fanaticism...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jul 24th, 2007 at 05:01:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I recommend the Avalon Project site for rules and conventions pertaining to war.  I'll be the first to admit that I don't know all/many them in detail.  For example, there is a 1907 convention that prohibits bombardment of undefended buildings. What does that mean?  Obviously drafted before the era of aerial bombardment.  What country has religiously followed that rule?  None that I know of, yet it's still of noble intent and on the books.

While I believe my country should honor its commitments vis a vis the laws of war, I'm not surprised when it doesn't always do so. I'm even less surprised when todays terrorists, while treated as who knows what (criminals or combatants) don't show any signs of having ever heard of the word humane treatment and dignity, much less, the wars of law.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Tue Jul 24th, 2007 at 02:20:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hee, my contempt for religion (nb not spirituality) is well known and oft-repated on this site. Frankly I can't see any difference between this form of indoctrination-by- twaddle and any of the other superstitious nonsense passed off by more establishment religions.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jul 25th, 2007 at 11:15:47 AM EST
I'm reminded of the story present's diary on Jesus Camp, about the similarities between Christian and Muslim fundamentalists, as well as this Becky Fischer gem quoted in the comments:
It's no wonder, with that kind of intense training and discipling, that those young people are ready to kill themselves for the cause of Islam.

I want to see young people who are as committed to the cause of Jesus Christ as the young people are to the cause of Islam.

by Gag Halfrunt on Thu Jul 26th, 2007 at 10:59:25 AM EST
I forgot to add, did anyone notice the Israeli flag during the scene with the 'Christian' flag and pledge of alliegence? Isn't there a belief that all the Jews must gather in Israel before the Second Coming can take place or something like that?
by Gag Halfrunt on Thu Jul 26th, 2007 at 11:07:41 AM EST

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