Jesus Camp

How young is fair-game in religion?

“I can go into a playground of kids that don’t know anything about Christianity, lead them to the lord in…in a matter of just no time at all—and moments later they can be seeing visions and hearing the voice of god”.

“Because they are so open—they are so usable for Christianity. 1/3 of all people are children under the age of 15. Where should we be putting our efforts? I’ll tell you where are enemies are putting their efforts—they’re putting it on the kids”—Becky Fischer, Jesus Camp Pentecostal Children’s Minister

I wonder if the children realize they’re are being targeted for mass manipulation? Or is this a good thing? What is the benefit to these children?

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs escaping the faith trap.

63 thoughts on “Jesus Camp”

  1. Over decades, I have found that most monotheists have unwittingly created the nature of God (whom/which I perceive as not being in humanoid/singular form nor with gender) in their own characteristically fallible and angry, vengeful image. In the case of Christianity, I believe that Jesus was/is intended in large part to show humankind what Messiah ought to and needs to be; to prove to people that there really was/is hope for the many — especially for young people living in today’s physical, mental and spiritual turmoil — perceiving hopelessness in an otherwise fire-and-brimstone angry-God-condemnation creator. [Also, I wonder whether the general need by humans (including me) for retributive justice is intrinsically linked to the same terribly flawed aspect of humankind that enables the most horrible acts of violent cruelty to readily occur on this planet, perhaps not all of which we learn about.]

    From my understanding, Judaism’s messiah is reflective of the unambiguously fire-and-brimstone angry-God Almighty of the Torah, Old Testament and Quran. This thus left even John the Baptist, who believed in Jesus as the savior, troubled by Jesus’ apparently contradictory version of Messiah, notably his revolutionary teaching of non-violently offering the other cheek as the proper response to being physically assaulted by one’s enemy. … Perhaps Jesus was viciously killed because he did not in the least behave in accordance to corrupted human conduct and expectation — and in particular because he was nowhere near to being the vengeful, wrathful behemoth so many people seemingly wanted or needed their savior to be and therefore believed he’d have to be.

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    1. Well said. This falls in line with one of my favorite quotes. “Now with the word ‘god’ there is nothing to which it refers, so each man creates his own image of that for which there is no reference”
      Or if not a thinker, accept another’s definition. But any approach, if reasoned beyond the accepted norms is complete fallacy.

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      1. I believe that if it wasn’t theism, a different form of fanaticism or extremist belief system could/would take its problematic place. One might look at Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge concept of the righteous society as a scary example of this. Having said that, however, I can see how there could be no greater perceived justification for, or the-end-justifies-the-means motivator of, inhumane/immoral behavior than ‘the Almighty hath willed it!’

        Also, some of the best humanitarians I’ve met or heard about ironically were/are atheists or agnostics who’d make better examples of many of Christ’s teachings than too many (whom I refer to as) institutional Christians (i.e. those most resistant to Christ’s fundamental teachings of non-violence, compassion and non-wealth). Conversely, some of the worst human(e) beings I’ve met or heard about are the most devout practitioners of institutional Christian theology.

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        1. This goes way beyond modern atheism as well. Willam Penn, as quoted in the society of friends said—
          “But what is most striking of the Indians character, is his often repeated eulogy of the Indians natural piety. Again and again he dwells on the fact that the Indian shames the Christian in the sincerity of his religious belief and the correctness of his moral conduct”.
          Describing the frugal meal that satisfies them, “pumpkin without butter or spice, the bare ground for a table, shells for spoons and leaves of the forest for plates”, he winds up exclaiming, “these wild men who never in their life heard Christs teaching of temperance and contentment, herein far surpass the Christian” Ten years later he goes on again with his praises; “They live far more contented and unconcerned for the morrow than we Christians. They do not over-reach in trade. They know nothing of our everlasting pomp and stylishness. They neither curse nor swear, are temperate in food and drink, and if any of them get drunk it is the fault of the Christians for the sake of accursed lucre”
          He goes on to say “but will continue to teach them our language in the hope of bringing them to Christ”
          Total arrogance!

          Liked by 1 person

            1. He really said that at the end. Society of friends is a 18+ volume set of conversations, journals, and sermons from that time period. It’s rather Christian in piety and quite a bore over all, but there are some gems in it too, like that!
              What could possibly be the cause of someone being outclassed in every way, yet still want to convert you to their truth? Seems an honest seeker of the truth would reconsider

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  2. “I wonder if the children realize they’re are being targeted for mass manipulation? Or is this a good thing? What is the benefit to these children?”

    I don’t think we should say teaching children what we believe to be the truth is manipulation. I think it is good that parents are the ones mainly entrusted with teaching their children more than anyone. That is because usually parents are going to care about their children more than anyone else.

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  3. You never mentioned Jesus Camp was a documentary, Jim. I thought it was something from your past, or whatever. I had absolutely no reference for this post.
    Kinda like believing in a god. Without a real point-of-interest, it makes no sense at all!

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      1. All I have is broadcast TV. My old age pension does not allow for luxuries. It just so happens I am told another movie is a must see. DON’T LOOK UP! I don’t have NETFLIX either. Capitalism: just another way to create an elite society. If you want to be in the know, pay through the nose!

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Thanks, Jim. $4.95 down there is priceless up here. Hulu is not available in Canada. Netflix is at least $11.99 a month where I am up here, plus 20% for exchange. Canadians help make profits for American companies.

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          1. Agreed. My spouse loves television. She watches almost every reno show there is. Me? I watch 3 or 4 shows, on tape, when I chose to watch them… Without commercials.

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            1. Sounds good to me. We have 6 little tyrants bossing us around. Are you old enough to remember what Harlan Ellison called television, “The Boob Tube!”? He did not means tits!

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Boob tube is close. Actually he called it the “Glass Teat”. He published a collection of television columns that he’d written for the los angeles free press by that name back in 1970. His reviews of television and pop culture back then were absolutely scathing.

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            3. The old mind plays tricks, lol. I do remember the Glass Teat now, but my memory prefers the Boob Tube designation. It was so much more expressive, for me!

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        1. It seems that when a public/political figure openly fantasizes about world peace (or universal healthcare coverage, etcetera), conservative ‘Christians’ will reactively presume that that person must therefore be Godless thus evil or, far worse, a socialist. This, despite a big chunk of Christ’s own teachings epitomizing primary components of socialism (e.g. do not hoard morbidly superfluous wealth in the midst of poverty). Just the concept of socialists having any power anywhere on the planet likely distresses them.

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  4. Even as a kid, i knew that we were being bamboozled. I knew that they did not really have God locked up in a box on the alter.
    And, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the nuns told us to get to Confession quick or we’d go straight to Hell. There was a long line of kids to see the priest, after class, for Confession. That meant that, since i did not run fast enough to get to the confessional after class, that i (if the bombs came) would go straight to Hell. (So it depended on my running ability!) Yeah right! 🙄

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      1. Well everyone forms their own image of god for which there is no reference. Depends on the cultural influence around you what your image of god becomes.

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        1. Depends on the cultural influence around you what your image of god becomes.

          TOTALLY!!! (If anyone doesn’t believe this, I urge them to watch the video “Dear Believer.”)

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Generatrix, Roman Catholics believe that bread and wine consecrated during the mass is literally the body and blood of Jesus. Unused hosts are locked in an ornate box called a tabernacle. So yeah, literally they have god locked up in a box.

        P.S. Please don’t ask me how they can claim a piece of bread and some bad wine can literally be the body and blood of Jesus when it obviously isn’t. Nothing changes. It doesn’t turn into a piece of human meat or anything like that. It is still just a bit of bread and spoiled grape juice, but through some kind of bizarre leap of logic they claim it is.

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  5. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. KJB, Proverbs 22:6

    This is the STANDARD within the Christian community because they FULLY recognize the malleability of the young mind. (And so apparently did the writer(s) of Proverbs.)

    It’s sickening.

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  6. It’s the only way people believe the stupid claims of religion. You have to teach them when they still believe in the tooth fairy and reinforce that belief the rest of their lives. If they learn to think critically, you are too late.

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    1. It gave you the creeps because it IS creepy. Funny thing about the documentary though, the participants all thought it was wonderful and held nothing back of the crazy.
      The God Virus sounds better in Spanish —El virus de Dios…El ve-roos day dee-os

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      1. lol It does sound better in Spanish but sorry, it’s not been published in that language yet.

        Yes, definitely creepy and not surprising that they think it it wonderful. Sick lot.

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  7. It’s not a good thing.

    Zoe: A vulnerable kid who was converted in a “Jesus Camp” type camp and later was an adult lay youth minister who thought it was a good thing.

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    1. Targeting children is immoral for whatever adult purposes seem so necessary. There is an interesting side to this—that lifetime struggle to measure up—breaking out of it helps you master any other religious koan.

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      1. “and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet”…
        and “You shall weave the tunic of checkered work of fine linen, and make a turban of fine linen. You shall make a sash, the work of an embroiderer”
        —you gotta look good man to play the part.

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        1. I remember back in the 1970s a priest was giving a sermon about women’s fashions and I kept thinking in the back of my head that a 50 year old man wearing a silk dress, embroidered in gold, with a stole, and a funny hat in public, has no right to criticize what other people wear.

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      2. He doesn’t have a girlfriend to smell good for, and his boyfriends probably love that musky odor. I’m actually doing him a favour. Maybe something in lavender. Or old socks!

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      1. Very icky. Didn’t the Jesuits say something like ‘give me the child until the age of seven and I will give you the man”?

        That’s why the RC church pumps so much money into educational institutions, especially elementary schools. If you can fill a kid with enough guilt, shame and fear at an early age you can control them for life.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. We are only candidates for the kingdom of Heaven. Just the same way most parents raise their children on probation.
          Methinks that doctrine is immoral

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