Watch Jesus Camp
Jesus Camp is a documentary film from 2006 that explores the inner workings of an evangelical Christian summer camp for children located in Devil's Lake, North Dakota. The film is directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, and it features a cast of real-life people, including Mike Papantonio, Lou Engle, and Becky Fischer. The film follows the lives of several young children who attend the summer camp, which is designed to instill in them a deep and passionate faith in Jesus Christ. The camp's curriculum is based on a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible, and the children are taught to believe in the literal truth of the text. Throughout the film, we see the children engaging in a variety of activities, including speaking in tongues, crying out to Jesus, and participating in mock political rallies. They are taught that they are soldiers in God's army, and that they must fight against the forces of evil in the world. They are also taught that they must be willing to sacrifice everything for their faith, including their own lives. As the film progresses, we see the children becoming increasingly fervent in their beliefs, and we see their parents, who are also devout Christians, supporting them in their quest for righteousness. We also see the camp's leaders, including Becky Fischer, expressing their desire to raise up a generation of Christian warriors who will change the world. The filmmakers take a largely observational approach to the subject matter, allowing the children and adults to speak for themselves without inserting their own opinions or commentary. However, the film does raise some important questions about the impact of religious extremism on young minds, and it suggests that the kind of indoctrination that takes place at the Jesus Camp may not be healthy for a developing child. One of the most memorable scenes in the film shows the children praying over a cardboard cutout of George W. Bush, who was president at the time. The children are instructed to ask God to protect the president and to help him make decisions that are in line with God's will. This scene is particularly striking in light of the current political climate, which has been marked by a resurgence of religious conservatism. Overall, Jesus Camp is a thought-provoking and often disturbing look at the world of evangelical Christianity in America. The film provides a glimpse into a subculture that is rarely seen by outsiders, and it raises important questions about the role of religion in society. Whether you are a believer or a skeptic, this film is sure to leave you with plenty to think about.