It’s 2am on a Saturday and I just finished watching the documentary Jesus Camp. There’s no way I can give a review of it without being called bias, so I’m not going to even try. Suffice to say, and I say this with all honesty and seriousness, I don’t remember the last time watching anything that made me this scared.
I had to write this post with the lights on.
Where did you get it? One of your 1 Jd specials? I would like to see it since I am afraid I have people like that in my family and it is good to be armed against that kind of thinking. The trailer was very scary.
The trailer is definitely scary. I haven’t yet seen the documentary.
the trailer is extremely scary!
It IS scary, but is it reality? I guess this is going to force me to watch the whole thing and learn more about those who put it together and why. I have found that when these kind of ‘documentaries’ are made, they pick the stupidest people, the most extreme views and put them forth as the ‘norm’ for all. Just like media does with Palestine, with the agenda to demonize a whole people.
I’ve seen it, I thought it was on the out-of-the-ordinary side but I don’t get why so many people found it so alarming. There are lots of people out there who are very passionate about their beliefs and faith, whatever it may be, and aim to train their kids to be that way too.
Yes, is it very scary. But also, now you know how an American feels when they see live footage of Hizbouallah and Hamas promising the death and fall of America.
Extremism is extremism, no matter what religion it belongs to. At least Americans admit that these Christians are extremists and that such cults are mere brainwash tactics. We still haven’t come that far.
What really is scary, is when extremists of the two religions start fighting against together in a “Holy War”.
Um Omar: yup…1JD special 😀
Pheras: that’s a bad analogy. if you remember, the woman who runs the camp makes the same analogy when she talks about the “enemy” muslims in palestine who teach their kids how to use guns.
i agree that there is extremism in every religion, but what is unique about this form of extremism is that it is self-created and self-taught, right there in white america. i dont like extremists of any religion, but i can understand that there are people subject to an environment. when a population lives in forced poverty, unemployment and has to deal with occupation and the potential that their house may not be home tomorrow, one can understand how extremism is born.
what was shocking here was how it is so alive in an environment that doesn’t have any of those elements. it’s like a bacteria growing in a freezer.
but the scary layer wasn’t really that extremism exists; that’s a given. to me it was the kids. it was like watching children of the corn, except everyone loves jesus.
so no, “extremism is extremism” isn’t the mantra here. there is a consistent difference between a white kid, who grows up in the suburbs, is home schooled by mom, has a roomful of toys, attends a megachurch on sundays and gets to go to camp every summer…and a kid who grows up in a refugee camp, lives in absurd poverty, witnesses and experiences his enemy every day, and is taught in a massively underfunded school that has nothing but religious books and extremist imams for teachers; schools (if we want to call them that) which make the school in the movie “Dangerous Minds” look like paradise.
Kinzi, I found the following concerning the movie as quoted by Ted Haggard, who was featured in the film:
(Disclaimer: the posting of this quote is because of its relevance to the discussion only!)
Pheras, I agree that religious extremism is religious extremism. It doesn’t really matter what the influencing background factors involved. Hopefully we will all be appalled enough to call it out and denounce it, as extremist tactics have never been a positive furtherance for a movement or religion.
Nas, I think I mentioned Hamas in my comment, and not the Palestinians. You are describing the situation of every Palestinian now living in Gaza and the West Bank, while I do not believe that a poor misguided Palestinian who throws a bunch of rocks is an extremist. The extremists are those that lead Hamas, those that are equipped with the weaponry of Hamas and those that hold its flag. I don’t blame the public because I know what they are going through.
But not every suburban child in mid-town/small town America ends up joining such cults, nor does every Palestinian child end up throwing stones at the Israeli troops. There are plenty of Palestinians that overcome such obstacles and yet rise up to actually create a life and a future for themselves. So some people do make it. I have relatives who still study in Beir Zeit, and still go to college, but I don’t see them throwing stones! You are justifying somebody throwing his life away by blowing himself up based on his environment and background. Yes it’s an extremely hard life, but still, is blowing yourself up an escape from such a life? No, it’s an easy way out. Tell you what? I don’t blame the poor sod that blows himself up, because he is brainwashed by Hamas. Just the same way these Christian kids are brainwashed by their priests.
I am not against resistance, I am all for it, but if any Palestinian resistance has been fruitful, then we wouldn’t have Palestinian groups killing off each other, and Palestine would have been to at least slightly develop. But unfortunately, resistance now means to blow yourself up or throw a couple of stones and then to get shot by an Israeli soldier. I encourage a different kind of resistance.
If the institution of Hamas (and Fateh) were any loyal, they would know better than to send young teenagers and young adults to war. That DOES NOT liberalize Palestine. It would not kill Palestinians over control. If Fateh was truly a loyal and responsible regime, it wouldn’t have left Suha Arafat with a mansion in Tunisia (before she was deported) and several other assets in the South of France.
Take a look at America back in the 1970s, yes, there were more extremist Christians, but they didn’t have such a severe tone as we see today. I really think that this is a reaction to the propaganda perpetuated against Islam, and well, the small Islamic extremist groups. Again, they feel threatened and they are fearful of such extremism, due to lack of education on their part, they choose to fight fire with fire. I am not justifying such aggression on their part, but it’s also due to the same factors that you’ve mentioned that lead to breeding Islamic extremism. I don’t see these Christians educated any more than an Islamic extremist.
Again Nas, I don’t blame individuals. I blame regimes and institutions. The institution of Hamas, Hizboullah, Qaeda, Taliban, etc. they all exist to serve the global agenda set by the United States, they all exist for one reason, and that reason is NOT to serve the interest of Muslims and Islam (obviously, they’ve done more damage to Muslims). These are the movements that I refer to as extremist, and these are the movements that I oppose. I am not a self-hating Palestinian (I know that you didn’t accuse me of that – I just wanted to clear it out :-). And finally, I don’t approve the Christian groups mentioned in the trailer, but like Islamic extremists, they are also brainwashed, and they are also created to serve a global agenda.
I don’t blame religion either. Religion is good when it is cherished as an ideology, and when it remains as a personal matter, without any imposition. But I blame the way hidden forces in the world (those damn WASPs) are manipulating religion to serve their own personal agendas.
where do you think they recruit from? abdoun?
I never said every suburban small-town american kid ends up like that, i said that’s what I found to be the shock value of the film…that they originate from such an environment. and no, not every palestinian throws rocks, but when the tanks roll in…
lol, please stop with the straw man fallacies bro. i’m not justifying anything. should i repeat myself? i said i “understand” the act based on the environment. it’s like saying you can understand the fact that most criminals come from certain areas in Jordanian cities based on the conditions they live in. am i justifying crime now?
simply put, people are subject to their environments and thus follows their behavior, actions and rhetoric. in other words, i’m making an obvious observation, not a justification.
resistance is a whole other topic, one i’ve discussed on this blog before, but i don’t want to digress from the topic at hand. but i do have to point out that i’m not talking about any one group or any one people. i didnt mention hamas or palestinians. the film did.
i disagree with that completely. the extremist voices of american christianity, particularly evangelicals, is louder today than at any point in time in the past half century of american history.
while i agree that might be part of it, i dont think it plays as big a role as you think. this group doesn’t fear islamic extremism as infringing on their own christianity, they fear their values being threatened on a national level. the biggest issue is not national security or killing muslims in iraq…the biggest issues are abortion, education, homosexuality and anything that relates to their homefront values. those values are what they feel are being attacked. they do fear muslim extremists, but they fear liberal “extremists” more. they are more concerned with the laws of their land than the happenings of elsewhere.
i agree with, however my argument is that extremism is not an all encompassing ideal. painting everything we view to be extremist, as just another side of the same coin, isn’t accurate. it pushes us to group everything together and miss the essential aspects of it.
people are subject to their environments, and extremism is a major by-product of that environment.
for me personally, it is easier to understand – not justify, but understand – islamic extremism due to the nature and elements of the environment in which it grows.
christian extremism, in the suburbs of middle america; in an environment that is free from occupation, war, strife, starvation, unemployment, and other harsh realities…to have an extremist form of a religion not only survive, but actually flourish in such a contrary environment baffles me.
that was the shock value of the film for me.
that was my argument.
Nas, I wasn’t trying to use a straw dog fallacy tactic. I was rather explaining myself (and my first comment about your post). Anyway, I’m going to cut to the chase since I think we’re going to go around in circles in discussing what I wrote in my previous response. Although all that I was trying to say is that poverty and unemployment does mean that you should blow yourself up. It reminds of how Americans explain high crime in areas like Compton or South Central LA.
I understand what you are throwing at, but I think that such cults in America gain ground due to a culture shock that many conservative Americans face today. Unlike extremism in the Middle East where such movements grow due to economical situations, such as you were saying.
but I think you answered your own question in your comment above:
Such Christian cults gain popularity because Americans, mainly in the Mid-West oppose the social problems that have been arising in big cities, such as abortion, pre-marital sex, drugs, etc. Simply put, some Americans believe that the Mid-West is a better environment to raise a family than the city (because homes in cities cost much more, pollution, traffic, etc.), so they move to these small towns, and eventually, I guess these extremist values start sinking in. Initially, the parent is happy that their child is a good Christian and that they won’t pick any bad habits or social diseases. And eventually, before they know it, both the parent and the child become brainwashed by leaders and public speakers of these cults, and even residents of the small town.
You don’t become an extremist in one day. I think it’s a gradual process where emotionalism starts replacing logic little by little. But to me, it’s just so very similar to the Middle Eastern version of extremism. Parents send their children to Islamic groups in order for the children to become better Muslims and so that they don’t get involved in sex and drugs. Of course, the parents themselves are brainwashed. The curriculum at school brainwashes them, TV plays a major role.
You don’t have to be poor to become an extremist (take Osama Bin Laden for example), you don’t have to live in a war zone or to be unemployed (again, look at Wahhabism and other extremists in Saudi and the Gulf).
It’s basically a war against anything that isn’t a Christian extremist, I think that they would even oppose a moderate but practicing Christian.
hmmm sooo much to catch up on…
ok, Kinzi i think they did a fair representation of evangelical america in this movie, maybe the camp was a bit over board but the core and heart of the film, the philosophy and motives are not skewed in this movie
Dave, quoting Ted of all people to discredit the movie is actually irrelevant to the extent its border line satire. that person has no credibility and he objected about them including that statement of his about how they influence the elections
ok mentioning the environment as the main cause is true unless u mean by an enviroment anything other than religion. adherence to any religion always creates a group of extremists that are the moving force for a religion. whether its jewish, muslim, or christian they always have the extremists on top so if its anything related to an enviroment is that religious stoutness harbors religion. and its always the rich that initiate the group and target the poor and people who are worst off.
religion back in the 70’s US was almost invisible at least from what i read and heard, and that movement started picking up pace in the 80’s with the religious tv shows and sermons.
Nas these people u saw in the movie are mainly from the south and midwest, areas not exactly well off… yes they have cars and toys but they are barely middle class. living on credit can get u a long way in the US so don’t be fooled by their life style and look at their professions and education and you can tell that they are barely middle class (land is cheap out there so they take mortgages on those and live on them too bad they are all but screwed now if they keep on living that way)
as for the motives of this group is that they see Christianity as the correct way of governance and despise the secular life style and the only way to live a righteous life is when you believe in JC, that explains the preaching kids part and the fighting the ACLU and any other liberal group or law. they do that by working to get evangelicals into core position of government practically achieving the shadow coup we have witnessed in the past 6 years or so …
and the reason they want a christian gov’t is that they see that the heathen europeans forsake christianity and america is the nation under god that will usher in the return of JC by establishing and supporting Isreal. so they are practically excellent friends with AIPAC they even hold a charity ball every year that is attended by whose who in gov’t to get their blessings.
So saying that they are only concern us on a national level you are mistaken in that claim, hell the amount of disinformation they show in their ads on tv to raise money for israel you would think that israel is under the threat of extinction so they are really proactive in that domain and hence they factor in the policy for the region here a lot !
At the end of the day when i watched that movie for the first time i felt so sorry for the kids, the fact that they are getting mental abuse by the adults instilling a twisted view of the world in their heads that they will never recover from. the children seriously need to be kept away from such parents and forced to join the world again … that is the worse form of parental abuse since it scars them for life !
would anybody define extremism please? 🙂
i think every signle person in this discussion that used the word extremism defines it in a diferent way.
you can meet muslims that think that one that insists that praying is a must in islam is an extremest. you can meet muslims that say that one that believe in armed resistence is an extremest. you can meet muslims that say that that those who believe in killing civillians in the middle of their armed resistence are extremests. and tons of others too that you can meet. if you go to dictionary its useless, if you use any literature definition its useless, extremesim is an extremely relative expression, and hence means nothing really, indicates no idea or discription that is measurable or understandable.
you think that hamas are extremests. Naseem might not. I think that the people in Jesus camp are extremest, Pheras might not!
so how about we stop using that word at all? 😀 exchange it with other words that actually indicate a meaning we all agree on and can understand.
watched Jesus Camp .
I didn’t think it was disturbing. I thought it was awesome!
Why can’t we do that to kids only teach them really cool things like:
Religious Freedom Will Heal The World! CAN YOU FEEL IT!
Poverty breeds crime! Let’s SHARE The Wealth!
Kids love to feel the power of love pulsing through their little veins.
How about instead of raising ANOTHER generation of Narcissistic apathtic sarcastic losers
HOW ABOUT a generation of:
Civil Liberties Defendin’
Kids to TAKE BACK AMERICA!!!!
Watch Jesus Camp and tell me it wouldn’t work.
We are all brain washed in our own special ways… can’t we just do it right??!??!?!?
BamBam, maybe it was a slice of Southern Pentecostalism, but those folks in NO way represented ‘the norm’ for Evangelicals I know in the Mid-West, Texas, California, Pac Northwest and East Coast. Now I’m REALLY going to have to look into it (core and motive), just cause you said that :).
Tedd Haggert did do all that, even as he represented my wing of the Christian faith. But he said it as our representative, and that view stands for me even if he was not a trustworthy person saying it. I mean, some script writer probably penned, mish?. His sin (which disgusted me and I have forgiven him for) doesn’t take the truth out of the words.
Khaled, sometimes I think people define an ‘extremist’ as anybody that truly believes what their faith states.
What I found more disturbing than the topic of the movie is that someone is putting Hamas and Hizbollah in the same boat with Al-Qaeda and Taliban. This is an argument often made in the US to mislead the ignorant public, it is the Israeli version of the story. We should know better!
hehe kinzi i already anticipated the pentecostal label thats why i took out the camp out of the picture since you will come across quite a few of their colorful holly spirit rituals 😛 you should really check out the movie regardless.
as for ted, it wasnt something penned by screenwriters he was boasting about it shamelessly and its not out of character for him to do so. what he said in that quote specifically is a bit silly especially in terms of the analogy of a serious documentary to a crappy wrestling comedy … and drawing credibility from such a statement and even worse such a person is questionable at best.
at the end of the end don’t take a side on anything before you create your own view of it and don’t rely on third person accounts to take a stance 😀
for once i agree with bambam :-p
you should really watch it kinzi, i’d especially look forward to hearing your view.
Nas and Bam, I guess I should be happy I provided you a point of agreement.
Bam, um, thanks for the smiley, but I have lived long enough to know that. I watched the YouTube bit going around last year. Watching the whole thing is going to be about as fun for me as for you two to read the archives of JihadWatch for an hour.
But for you two, I will do it. 🙂
kinzi sorry if i sounded condescending there, i apologize but it wasn;t exactly easy on me to watch that documentary … i was in shock for a couple of days and i think nas was too.so thanks for atleast checking it out and i would love to hear ur side of the story 🙂
as for jihad watch i have been known to check it every so often but i actually check it for comedic value though it does get my blood boiling sometimes
weird that we agreed on something, eh ? i guess its a start. u know one thing if everyone is clapping there wouldn’t be too much thinking about what we are clapping about so i think its a good thing that i don’t agree with u most of the time since atleast it forces me to rethink my position 😀 so no hard feelings i hope
“so i think its a good thing that i donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t agree with u most of the time since atleast it forces me to rethink my position”
that’s what it’s all about 😀
Bam, of course no hard feelings. They were hurt for 5 minutes :), to be honest, but I did take it as a reaction from the program, not toward me.
So, can I borrow it from one of you? If I have to go downtown to get it, I know I won’t.
I wouldn’t mind lending it to you kinzi …. but how would i go about to do that ? -_-‘