For many who are shocked to see the breeding up of Jesus medicine being marketed into the kids’ brain, most of the childhood and others I have seen is the fear of god. To eat, to bathe, to study (evolution too!) and to respect any one, the tool is that and the unknown presence did indeed work on most of us but eventually we did screw up our life anyways (Ok this is supposed to be funny and sarcastic. I have very minimal belief in my comedic writing that I am explaining it in braces). This film brought back those failed attempts by our well wishers. It felt different to not have narration or a voice to direct us in what to take or side on. It made me sense that how much of the documentary I have been watching fell for that, taking sides unknowingly. It is tough in documentaries to a perspective vehemently neutral and let the audience decide.
The camp’s organizer Becky Fisher, a big lady with excellent command over language and a strenuous belief in her mission and thoughts is not hailed as a villainous figure. Rather it views her as some one thoroughly drenched in the religion which is no way wrong but has this frightening vibe of spreading it in grabbing the throat and shaking us to swallow it. Every step in the film as it is taught to the kids on them being the next generation warriors and the holy saviours of this infected sin filled world, it is a step to step pyramid process a.k.a products like Amway. It is easy to dismiss people’s opinion on the non-listeners as be damned to hell. This is the lesson which kid’s are preached.
The thing which shocked me the most is not the full force of this camp but the deep into the skin belief the kid’s express and become in the process. It saddened me that their opportunity of free thinking gets so mashed up that their passion is made up by some one else. It is much like the conveyor belt routine most of the Indian students get into including me. Computer Science in twelfth grade to Bachelors in Computer or Eletronics Engineering to Masters in Electrical or Computer Engineering in US to a permanent Software Engineer, brain damage to life. While I have seen colleagues and friends of mine passionate towards it, some where the purpose of art or the creative part is not only destroyed but acknowledging or appreciating it has become scarce. The kids in “Jesus Camp” are destined to shun away the experiences and choices they ought to make.
This is neither a pro-religion nor anti-religion but a scary look at how the teachings and misled/confused adults can permanently damage life of kids. True is that some kids will find passion in this and go on trusting the spirit of the holy god and every thing they say but the choice of it was made for him/her. There might even be a stronger reason to stick with it since they have talked too much and they have believed too much in a thing which declared themselves as the superiors in the world in unifying every one under one religion.
“Jesus Camp” is a strong work from the directors and it advocates its side on judging the actions in the film over its making. It justifies its state in the free thinking and opportunity people are given. Choosing a religion or not, listening to death metal or Britney Spears, watching a film or painting a picture or any thing is a thought to be investigated and acted upon. The people in the film would have liked it (at least before the controversy and before Becky Fisher shut down the camp indefinitely) as it is a clear objective vision on the camp while the people against it will obviously be infuriated. But what I felt was scarier than I thought. For a moment, I was completely in to the realm of the speeches and activities given by them. If for a moment I can be brought under the control of something that I will never even think of, I would not be surprised if some day the kid in the film comes to me and gives a leaflet to join Christianity and even threatening me to some level.