Jesus Camp shuts down


EDIT: Wow, blogging fail, guys. Apparently this article was from 2006. I blame trying to post this before hurrying off to class…and reddit. Damn you, reddit.

From Christianity Today:

The camp featured in the controversial documentary Jesus Camp will shut down due to negative response from the film, according to camp director Becky Fischer.

The documentary spotlights Kids on Fire, a charismatic summer camp where evangelical children are recruited to “God’s army.” The children who attend the camp are shown shaking and sobbing over abortion and praying over a cardboard cutout of President Bush.

The camp takes place at a rented facility in Devil’s Lake, N.D., but Fischer said the owners of the campground asked her not to return after vandals caused $1,500 in damage in October.

Fischer told CT she would have made the decision to shut the camp regardless, because she is worried about people who would attend simply to disrupt the camp. Since the film’s release, she has been bombarded with e-mails and phone calls.

“Christians go after me because of doctrinal issues, whereas the world is going after me because they think I’m another Adolf Hitler,” she said. “They’re accusing me of raising a Christian jihad.”

I’m disappointed people have felt the need to vandalize the camp, and that they feel like they need to shut down due to fear of disruption. That is never a good way to handle situations, even if you vehemently disagree with them. However, I have to say I’m kind of happy this camp will no longer exist. If you haven’t seen the movie (which you should), the indoctrination of children that goes on there is terrifying. This isn’t just some Christian summer camp where they sing kumbaya and occasionally mention God…this is creating a Christian jihad.

Of course, it’s probably only a matter of time before another one pops up to replace it…

Comments

  1. Alan E. says

    Chanting “This is war!” multiple times when preaching how other religions, primarily Islam, are wrong IS raising a Christin jihad. She is as adamant that she is right as the extreme Muslims and Jews are that they are right. To me, that was the scariest part of the film.

  2. Alan E. says

    Chanting "This is war!" multiple times when preaching how other religions, primarily Islam, are wrong IS raising a Christin jihad. She is as adamant that she is right as the extreme Muslims and Jews are that they are right. To me, that was the scariest part of the film.

  3. says

    Oh I am sure she is just going to restart it quietly elsewhere. It is one thing to film the documentary and make a rational response to the camp. It is quite another to be disruptive and vandalize. One has to go through the proper channels first. (I know this coming from a guy that said he would kill in the last thread.)

  4. says

    Oh I am sure she is just going to restart it quietly elsewhere. It is one thing to film the documentary and make a rational response to the camp. It is quite another to be disruptive and vandalize. One has to go through the proper channels first. (I know this coming from a guy that said he would kill in the last thread.)

  5. says

    Hmm. I’m actually not sure that it’s wrong to disrupt and vandalize in cases like this. If it takes a little heavy-fistedness to shut down something this wicked, well… (But does that make me just a liberal atheist version of Operation Rescue?)

  6. says

    Hmm. I'm actually not sure that it's wrong to disrupt and vandalize in cases like this. If it takes a little heavy-fistedness to shut down something this wicked, well… (But does that make me just a liberal atheist version of Operation Rescue?)

  7. says

    I’ve never seen the documentary, though I’ve seen clips of it on the internets, and quite frankly people like her scare the shit out of me. I think I’m going to go dancing around my art buildings in jubilation that her little holy warrior factory is out of order, then go drown myself in chocolate milk at the thought that there are going to be more such places.

  8. says

    I've never seen the documentary, though I've seen clips of it on the internets, and quite frankly people like her scare the shit out of me. I think I'm going to go dancing around my art buildings in jubilation that her little holy warrior factory is out of order, then go drown myself in chocolate milk at the thought that there are going to be more such places.

  9. says

    It’s absolutely petrifying, the crap they show. There’s a little Michael Mooreish bullshit, but damn, was it scary. I am sad that people vandalize the camp, but I am not sad that it is closing. I hope that it would have closed regardless.

  10. says

    It's absolutely petrifying, the crap they show. There's a little Michael Mooreish bullshit, but damn, was it scary. I am sad that people vandalize the camp, but I am not sad that it is closing. I hope that it would have closed regardless.

  11. says

    The entire movie is on Google video and Daily Motion if you just search for “jesus camp”. I would link here but I don’t want to get Jen in trouble with any dumb copyright laws. Then again, the movie has been online for 2 years and no one has complained yet.

  12. says

    The entire movie is on Google video and Daily Motion if you just search for "jesus camp". I would link here but I don't want to get Jen in trouble with any dumb copyright laws. Then again, the movie has been online for 2 years and no one has complained yet.

  13. says

    I don’t remember anything in the movie being Michael Moore like. There was no leading narration. There were no surprise interviews or loaded questions. Nothing seemed like it was taken out of context. For the most part they stayed out of the way while filming and let the horror unfold.

  14. says

    I don't remember anything in the movie being Michael Moore like. There was no leading narration. There were no surprise interviews or loaded questions. Nothing seemed like it was taken out of context. For the most part they stayed out of the way while filming and let the horror unfold.

  15. says

    I remember just after 9/11 thinking to myself, “The muslim extremists are doing this stuff because they came late to the religion party. They started as a religion 550-600 years after christianity so they are going through their version of the crusades 700-800 years after they finished ours. If we can somehow wait them out they will settle down somewhat like the christians did.”I was a junior in high school and was young and naive, I thought that the christians, while believing in some silly things, didn’t really have the same kind of crazy to them that the muslims did. Sadly, videos like this prove me so very very wrong in that thought. It seems like christanity is regressing getting worse in its fundamentalism. Though I that a little bit of that is the internet giving them a great big megaphone.I do not like the way the camp was brought to the point it shut down; but, I am very glad that it is shut down. I guess what Voltaire said is true: “Those who make you believe absurdities, can make you commit attrocities.”

  16. says

    I remember just after 9/11 thinking to myself, "The muslim extremists are doing this stuff because they came late to the religion party. They started as a religion 550-600 years after christianity so they are going through their version of the crusades 700-800 years after they finished ours. If we can somehow wait them out they will settle down somewhat like the christians did."

    I was a junior in high school and was young and naive, I thought that the christians, while believing in some silly things, didn't really have the same kind of crazy to them that the muslims did. Sadly, videos like this prove me so very very wrong in that thought. It seems like christanity is regressing getting worse in its fundamentalism. Though I that a little bit of that is the internet giving them a great big megaphone.

    I do not like the way the camp was brought to the point it shut down; but, I am very glad that it is shut down. I guess what Voltaire said is true: "Those who make you believe absurdities, can make you commit attrocities."

  17. says

    I was done with religion before Jesus Camp, and I had been living with insane Conservapedia-style fundies for a while. Even they thought it was barking mad.Though, I will admit, every time I see the name ‘Kids on Fire’, my brain immediately goes to ‘Napalm Sticks to Kids.’Which is just terrible.

  18. says

    I was done with religion before Jesus Camp, and I had been living with insane Conservapedia-style fundies for a while. Even they thought it was barking mad.

    Though, I will admit, every time I see the name 'Kids on Fire', my brain immediately goes to 'Napalm Sticks to Kids.'

    Which is just terrible.

  19. Anonymous says

    So it’s all true – just ~old~ news?It’s news to me! (I hope it’s still closed!)joe agnost.

  20. Anonymous says

    So it's all true – just ~old~ news?

    It's news to me! (I hope it's still closed!)

    joe agnost.

  21. says

    Unfortunately, this is not the only place with disseminating psychotic Christian values at it’s core. I have been to ex-gay camps as bad as the “Kids on Fire” camp.

  22. says

    Unfortunately, this is not the only place with disseminating psychotic Christian values at it's core. I have been to ex-gay camps as bad as the "Kids on Fire" camp.

  23. mcbender says

    The Jesus Camp documentary is one of the most frightening things I’ve ever watched, and parts of it made me feel physically ill. It’s very good to know that the camp no longer exists.

  24. mcbender says

    The Jesus Camp documentary is one of the most frightening things I've ever watched, and parts of it made me feel physically ill. It's very good to know that the camp no longer exists.

  25. says

    Wmcbender,I hate to be so cynical, but please don’t be naive…this is only the example of such a camp on which they blew the whistle. Don’t think for a minute this shit doesn’t go on in church basements all over the place.

  26. Cycle Ninja says

    Wmcbender,

    I hate to be so cynical, but please don't be naive…this is only the example of such a camp on which they blew the whistle. Don't think for a minute this shit doesn't go on in church basements all over the place.

  27. mcbender says

    Don’t put words in my mouth. I’m sure it goes on elsewhere; the camp is simply an instance of which I was aware and which disturbed me greatly, and I’m glad to hear it’s gone.Step by step… one less is still one less, irrespective of the number that remain. That’s all I was saying.

  28. mcbender says

    Don't put words in my mouth. I'm sure it goes on elsewhere; the camp is simply an instance of which I was aware and which disturbed me greatly, and I'm glad to hear it's gone.

    Step by step… one less is still one less, irrespective of the number that remain. That's all I was saying.

  29. says

    Asandir ,The Crusades wasn’t a CHRISTIAN idea it was Catholic .Christians were killed in the Crusades by Catholics , along with Athiests, Deists, Wiccans, Norse , and Druids . Also The Freemasons , Knghts Templar at the time had no big link to Rome so guess what the were treated as “heretics” too. I haven’t saw “Jesus Camp” but as a Christian ,if its what you Atheists describe it as IT won’t get a good review from me.God bless.

  30. says

    Asandir ,The Crusades wasn't a CHRISTIAN idea it was Catholic .Christians were killed in the Crusades by Catholics , along with Athiests, Deists, Wiccans, Norse , and Druids . Also The Freemasons , Knghts Templar at the time had no big link to Rome so guess what the were treated as "heretics" too. I haven't saw "Jesus Camp" but as a Christian ,if its what you Atheists describe it as IT won't get a good review from me.God bless.

  31. Gareth says

    I really resent it when Christians write God bless on atheist blogs. Would you just fuck off. Not the most eloquent or articulate thing that i have ever said but it annoys me. Shove your God and don’t force his non existent blessings upon others. If you want to subscribe to the inherently childish belief that there is some supernatural being with the capacity to create the universe but who also takes any notice of human affairs, a situation comparable to humans taking a proactive interest in the goings on in the ameoba world then fine, just stop trying to infect others with your moronic blessings!

  32. Gareth says

    I really resent it when Christians write God bless on atheist blogs. Would you just fuck off. Not the most eloquent or articulate thing that i have ever said but it annoys me. Shove your God and don't force his non existent blessings upon others. If you want to subscribe to the inherently childish belief that there is some supernatural being with the capacity to create the universe but who also takes any notice of human affairs, a situation comparable to humans taking a proactive interest in the goings on in the ameoba world then fine, just stop trying to infect others with your moronic blessings!

  33. says

    Joseph, what you’re using is called the “No True Scottsman” argument. It’s when you redefine a group to exclude people who don’t fit your definition of that group, regardless of the facts. The fact is that during the Crusades, the Christian Church existed as two basic entities: the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. There were some other scattered Christian groups, but the Catholic and Orthodox churches were the two main branches. The Druids had already died out by the time of the Crusades, the Wiccans hadn’t come along yet (as it’s a relatively new religion created in the 1930’s to the 1950’s). While Deism actually can be traced back to the Greeks, it hadn’t yet been defined until the 17th century. I would suggest you pick up a good book on the history of western civilization, especially if you’ve been educated in a school which uses the A-BEKA system. A-BEKA is notoriously flawed in its approach to western history.

  34. says

    Joseph, what you're using is called the "No True Scottsman" argument. It's when you redefine a group to exclude people who don't fit your definition of that group, regardless of the facts. The fact is that during the Crusades, the Christian Church existed as two basic entities: the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. There were some other scattered Christian groups, but the Catholic and Orthodox churches were the two main branches. The Druids had already died out by the time of the Crusades, the Wiccans hadn't come along yet (as it's a relatively new religion created in the 1930's to the 1950's). While Deism actually can be traced back to the Greeks, it hadn't yet been defined until the 17th century. I would suggest you pick up a good book on the history of western civilization, especially if you've been educated in a school which uses the A-BEKA system. A-BEKA is notoriously flawed in its approach to western history.

  35. says

    To quote:”Jessica Sideways said…Unfortunately, this is not the only place with disseminating psychotic Christian values at it’s core. I have been to ex-gay camps as bad as the “Kids on Fire” camp.”I have also done exgay live-in “straight jail” stuff and it was very damaging, but I am recovering well from it, however some do not unfortunately. I also went to camps at an extremely liberal religion that had its own strange stuff as a kid, and yet I don’t practice it today. In fact, I am more of a conservative myself and I was not in favor of the radio show guy in the film and I don’t think Evangelicals are promoting Jihad for kids as stated in Christianity Today, this idea is media sensationalism. Having been in Charismatic circles over a decade, terms like “spiritual warfare” and the “army of God” have no implied physical acts of aggression toward others. I do believe that to teach those terms to children is not healthy, partly because kids don’t think metaphorically until a certain age and that it has an effect on their thinking. We don’t need a war mentality in our generation, and I have seen stuff like this in Pentecostal churches where I just want to have these parents shut up, stop scaring their kids about the devil!Something that Born-Again Christians admit is that only a small percent of these kids even continue in church after high school. I taught in Christian schools and I can tell you that we have nothing to worry about! Many of these kids mimic their elders for approval and it will amount to very little… There is another side to this, and I do think the film left you some room to think for yourself – how much of all this goofy church stuff could actually be God doing something? If God uses people, and some of us have some messed-up ideas, don’t you think that God, the Creator of the Universe can touch humans, speak to us, and heal us through imperfect vessels?Its weird how Fundamentalists are so scared of the “secular” and the “liberal” media and how much of that same attitude was portrayed as coming from the opposite position in this film. I am mostly referring to the spooky music at key places, the clever inserts in the editing of facial expressions and that radio guy flipping out at these church people. But this was not a Michael Moore film, and it did not have a pounding reoccurring doctrinal agenda even though from my perspective it was quite tainted for my taste. Another note here: conservative videos from Focus on the Family and folks like that have all their information coming from stuff that agrees with their fundamentalist agenda and maybe one opposing view. Funny how this film was reminiscent of that style – lots of conservatives talking a lot and one liberal…What I find amusing and equally disturbing is that Ted Haggard seemed to feel the most misrepresented of everyone in the film. Well of course he was misrepresented! He’s preaching against homosexuality while practicing it! His silly charm got the worst of him at the mercy of the editor. Reminded me of George W. How we love charm and charisma… One last note: Charismatic churches took their name from a Greek word to represent spiritual gifts, not captivating personalities which this movie showed very well how sheep follow fun, intense, confident, powerful people. But really, don’t be afraid of them, they are not as scary as they are portrayed. Let’s build unity and send love to our nation’s Bible Bashers! Thanks Magnolia for building relationships with these folks to make this intense film…Jason

  36. says

    To quote:

    "Jessica Sideways said…Unfortunately, this is not the only place with disseminating psychotic Christian values at it's core. I have been to ex-gay camps as bad as the "Kids on Fire" camp."

    I have also done exgay live-in "straight jail" stuff and it was very damaging, but I am recovering well from it, however some do not unfortunately. I also went to camps at an extremely liberal religion that had its own strange stuff as a kid, and yet I don't practice it today. In fact, I am more of a conservative myself and I was not in favor of the radio show guy in the film and I don't think Evangelicals are promoting Jihad for kids as stated in Christianity Today, this idea is media sensationalism. Having been in Charismatic circles over a decade, terms like "spiritual warfare" and the "army of God" have no implied physical acts of aggression toward others. I do believe that to teach those terms to children is not healthy, partly because kids don't think metaphorically until a certain age and that it has an effect on their thinking. We don't need a war mentality in our generation, and I have seen stuff like this in Pentecostal churches where I just want to have these parents shut up, stop scaring their kids about the devil!

    Something that Born-Again Christians admit is that only a small percent of these kids even continue in church after high school. I taught in Christian schools and I can tell you that we have nothing to worry about! Many of these kids mimic their elders for approval and it will amount to very little… There is another side to this, and I do think the film left you some room to think for yourself – how much of all this goofy church stuff could actually be God doing something? If God uses people, and some of us have some messed-up ideas, don't you think that God, the Creator of the Universe can touch humans, speak to us, and heal us through imperfect vessels?

    Its weird how Fundamentalists are so scared of the "secular" and the "liberal" media and how much of that same attitude was portrayed as coming from the opposite position in this film. I am mostly referring to the spooky music at key places, the clever inserts in the editing of facial expressions and that radio guy flipping out at these church people. But this was not a Michael Moore film, and it did not have a pounding reoccurring doctrinal agenda even though from my perspective it was quite tainted for my taste. Another note here: conservative videos from Focus on the Family and folks like that have all their information coming from stuff that agrees with their fundamentalist agenda and maybe one opposing view. Funny how this film was reminiscent of that style – lots of conservatives talking a lot and one liberal…

    What I find amusing and equally disturbing is that Ted Haggard seemed to feel the most misrepresented of everyone in the film. Well of course he was misrepresented! He's preaching against homosexuality while practicing it! His silly charm got the worst of him at the mercy of the editor. Reminded me of George W. How we love charm and charisma… One last note: Charismatic churches took their name from a Greek word to represent spiritual gifts, not captivating personalities which this movie showed very well how sheep follow fun, intense, confident, powerful people. But really, don't be afraid of them, they are not as scary as they are portrayed. Let's build unity and send love to our nation's Bible Bashers! Thanks Magnolia for building relationships with these folks to make this intense film…

    Jason

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