Want to see something really scary?

Microbiologychick went to Jesus Camp.

It’s not precisely the same kind of Jesus Camp that was on display in the movie (which we saw in 2006); this one was for teens and young adults instead of really little kids. As a result, they needed to use somewhat more devious cultish tactics like sleep deprivation and repetitive chanting to keep all the sinful teens mindful of the fact that abstinence pledges are a really great and productive idea.

Also this:

Stories of dubious authenticity were told as gospel. One of my favorites was about a dumb, redneck type of Christian boy who has to deal with an evil smart atheist evolutionist boy at school. The boy faithfully brings his bible to school every day and leaves it on the corner of his desk in class. Atheist boy begins to pick it up and read it, making fun of it at first. Eventually atheist boy gets saved and becomes a Christian.

Yeah, I love Christian meta-stories. They’re not the stories of Christianity, they’re stories about the stories of Christianity. Because, you know, the actual stories are often not enough to convince people to believe in God, so people have to invent new stories that describe a time when the stories were effective.

It’s like some Jack Chick tracts, where you actually see cartoons within the tracts wherein the characters are shown giving Jack Chick tracts to other characters, and then the characters in the story convert. You know, just to prove that it’s not a waste of time to hand these tracts out in the first place. It’s the ultimate in fictional wish fulfillment.

I imagine that the characters inside the tracts in the tracts are also carrying more tracts, and so on ad infinitum. I guess if we include enough recursive repetitions in the story, we hope that it will eventually break through to the top level and enter the real world. And if you repeat this stuff to teenagers often enough about how OTHER people were convinced, then they won’t see any further need to wonder how they can know that the Bible stories are actually true. Thankfully, in some cases this tactic fails.