I recently showed the documentary Jesus Camp to my students. Many were deeply disturbed by what they saw. For nearly all of them this was their first look inside the evangelical Christian movement. If you have never seen Jesus Camp, I do recommend it. It is a documentary about an evangelical camp for young kids. If you click on the following link you can see a little clip that captures the essence of the camp. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSwZJ55g80Q
After finishing the video I instructed the students to write a reaction essay. I told them to explain why they would or would not send their children to this camp. Not one student said they would want their child to attend this camp.Not one! Here are some excerpts.
I would never send my child to such a camp. What this camp does is cruel!
This movie was hard for me to watch. The way the adults brainwashed these young kids was frightening. These kids have no chance to think for themselves, or even develop any independent beliefs or ideas.
This movie is very disturbing. The adults are way too involved in trying to make these kids believe in something that may not even be real…This camp was just really disturbing to me…I don’t know how to express how I feel other than disturbed.
This film evokes many emotions for me, ranging from anger to hate. And it shames me as a human to know this is actually happening in my society.
It is my belief that religion is an important life decision, one that should not be made until you have “seen all sides.” The legal drinking age is twenty-one. Drinking before your brain is fully developed can harm it. The same goes for religion. Introduce a harmful thought too soon and there is damage. This camp is nothing more than a brainwashing facility and the leaders should be locked up.
As a person, I carry my own beliefs. I also expect my children to have their own beliefs. Hence, I would not let my children anywhere near this camp. There would be a fifty mile radius around the camp that my child could not cross.
I would not want my child raised this way. These kids were brainwashed. This was too extreme and weird.
I would never send my child to a camp like this…The director wants to turn the kids into Christian soldiers willing to die for their religion…There is no excuse for trying to do something this terrible to a child.
This camp brainwashes children into thinking that the Bible can run the United States. The director of the camp says the children are learning, but they are not because learning is about gaining knowledge to help you form your own ideas. …but children can’t do that if they are being brainwashed.
I find this video horrendous. This camp is absolutely ridiculous! As a parent, I would never send my kids to this camp