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Brian

I'm showing this to everyone, just for the record.

I started coming to this blog for ANTM recaps, and slowly found myself staying for your cats.

Now everytime you post I read, and I'm amazed at the amount of thought you put into these, and the depth you go, and make it relatable to the public (seeing as you have a diverse audience to cater to).

Basically, I'm not here to kiss ass. I'm here to tell you that you have my support, and although movies like this don't come by every week to review, that I appreciate it.

As a reformed Jewish teenager my life is integrated into that of a mainstream teenager, and my life is hardly oppresing, but being in the minority is never an experience that most could really sympythze with. It's a lot easier to jump on a bandwagon than to take a stand.

Thanks again.

dondadav

Seriously Rich, this is extremely insightful. You point out the extreme rediculousness with being overly condescending and harsh. The whole "a sign of great ignorance is being too ignorant to know that you're ignorant" truely sums up the problem with these people.

Also, this ("I want to see young people who are as committed to the cause of Jesus Christ, as the young people are to the cause of Islam. I wanna see them as radically laying dowin their lives for the gospel, as they are over in Pakistan and Israel and Palestine and all those different places. Because we have, excuse me, but we have the truth.") is quite possibly the scariest thing that I have every read. EVER!

Ashley

I almost picked this movie up at Blockbuster the other day.

I just called my boyfriend to tell him that we really must see it now.

dondadav

Sorry. I didn't mean to repost the whole story. Just the quote.

Stormy70

This is a joke, not representative of any religious people I know, who happen to be evangelical. This is just looking for a kook fringe and filming it, which is always fun, but not real life.
I believe in God, does that mean I should be subjected to derision, or is this the last bastion of acceptable bigotry? Should every religious person be tarnished by the views of a few crazies? I would think gay people would be sensitive to painting with a broad brush, since the San Fransisco gay parade is not representative of most gays. Why should anyone respect the gay position on marriage, when they deride the very people they are trying to convince? Seems silly to me, and I am for healthy marriages, gay or straight.
This documentary is just silly and campy, and completely made up to evoke such a reaction from sneering hipster types. But don't believe it represents anything but the complete and utter fringe.

Stormy70

I didn't make it clear, but the review from Rich was very good, and done very well. I am speaking to people who would assume this is representative and use their atheism as a way to bash religious believers of all stripes.

thomas

"Why should anyone respect the gay position on marriage, when they deride the very people they are trying to convince?"

The "gay position"? Why can't it simply be a more equal position? And why can't one make fun of or look on in horror at a group of people who purposefully try to scare children and lock them in an ignorant abyss?

Justin Winslow

Fantastic take on a documentary I was wanting to see, but now, thanks to your post, I am DYING to see firsthand.

I grew up with Baptist fundamendalists (my Dad's side of the family) in the South and have moved to New York to escape them, so this sort of things really haunts me.

I haven't read "The God delusion", but I want to, especially after recently reading Sam Harris's "Letter to a Christian Nation" and "The End of Faith", which you also might enjoy. I highly recommend them.

Lastly, thanks for the laughs concerning something that usually depresses me!

Kitten

Settle all. Don't make Rich stop and turn this car around.

Well, frankly I'm repelled by any form of group-think, be it evangelicals or my friends and their Burning Man obsession. I was raised Episcopalian, defected into atheism, and eventually found my to a belief system that accepts all religious philosophies while subscribing to none. So I guess that's just an agnostic Golden Ruler.

My mother has, since her recent marriage, converted to Seventh Day Adventism which, while not as terrifying the Jesus Camp zealotry, still leaves me concerned with her newfound notions on what makes a "good Christian" in a way I've never been fully able to express to her. At the risk of sounding all Hallmark, I think watching this movie will help open up a dialogue for us. Thanks for the suggestion.

But first I'll be watching something infinitely less disturbing on TCM tonight. Namely, Tod Browning's "Freaks."

guerlane

You know what I love about you Rich? Your Evil out loud. I'm still mostly Evil in my head. Your example is letting me draw it out a show a little more every day. I'm starting to laugh more...a lot more.

Erica

having grown up Assemblies of God (the denomination from whom Jesus Camp rented their campgrounds) i went out and rented this movie immediately after reading your post. i went to a camp like Jesus Camp in Minnesota during the summers after 2nd through 8th grade and attended countless other events like it in my growing-up years. it f'ed me up royally. it look a long time for me to recover, and i'm still recovering from the brainwashing. my husband can never get enough of the crazy stories i tell him about being raised fundamentalist christian. the stories are hilarious (in a you-can't-be-serious kind of way) when told after the fact, but the truth is, the whole scene is just really sad and scary. i agree with the person above who said it's just a mask for depravity past, present, or intended. i've seen it a million times. the self-delusion is incredible.

Erica

By the way... if any of you reading this are recovering Fundamentalists, you'll like this site: http://www.walkawayers.org/
Especially their forum: http://walkaway.aimoo.com/
(especially the humor section). This site helped me alot a few years ago when I was first coming to terms with the damage my Jesus Camp life did to me.

brian

Crazy, I had a very similar reaction upon seeing the film. You even took a screencap of my favorite moment!

I have to agree with Clay about the score and the DJ. The fact that the filmmakers felt the need to show a counterpoint to Fischer and her clan really lets you know how they feel about her. Just let her craziness speak for itself and get rid of the boring DJ. And how much creepier would the film have been with no score, especially when the kids were wailing and crying?

Anyway, another great post.

brandy

Watched this a couple weeks ago and loved it.
The directors do point out that these folks are the extremists with the segments of the Christian radio talk show host who basically says that it isn't any type of Christianity he knows. Which is a good thing to point out to people who might not know otherwise.
Things I loved: The complete freakiness of Racheal or as I like to call her Ramona Forever. The Reese's inspired Jesus shirt. The praying over computers, the devil causes computer crashes, how anyone was able to keep a straight face during that is beyond me.

The one thing that really stuck in my head though is when the boys are telling ghost stories and you can tell they are really having fun and being kids and the adult comes in and says something about ghost stories being the devils work. That one scene sort of shows you that most of these kids are just trying to please the adults.

Two other docs to check out that you would probably dig are Hell House and Devil's Playground. I'd love to read your reviews on those two.

Hope the devil don't crash your computer.

Marisa

I saw this movie last week when I read about it Rolling Stone. I almost had to turn it off 2-3 times b/c it scared the shit out of me. I kept texting my brother (who watched the movie hours before me) things like, "WTF?!" and "Bowling for Jesus!". The little fetuses were a bit creepy as well.

Nightingale

A-men, Brother Rich!

AtlanticVamp

Reminds me a little too much of the fundamentalist propaganda that was foisted upon me when I was ten or eleven. Thank God for college.

Jennifer

Rich is evil? Out loud? I thought merely just reason out loud. I just got a 'long wait' message in my netflix when I tried to get this. Don't hang on to it too long guys!

Nonplussed

Oh my God?

Alexandra

I love reading your reviews - in the intellectual vacuum that is my life it is so refreshing to read what you have to say. Thanks!

Maya

The tendency of people in this movie to disregard science is appalling. I am a firm believer in evolution and an agnostic. Although i think intelligent design is in no way a scientific theory (if you cannot prove it and reproduce it, then it ain't science), there is also no proof that there is not a god. Although I do not fully agree with Francis Collins (one of the pioneers of the genome project), his book on how believing in god can be compatible with believing in evolution is completely respectable. Though his explanation that god is beyond what we can study, and therefore it cannot be proved by science, is kind of a cop-out, he has presented a theory that reconciles belief and science and does little to alienate either side. This time article is a really interesting discussion between Collins and Richard Dawkins (who presents the god is not science view);
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1555132-1,00.html

As for their anti-abortion views, stop running around a waving model fetuses, if you want to make a point adopt a child, take in a foster child, because then you are really being pro-life.

Victoria Page

I put this movie on the top of my queue in Netflix (still not available). Looks like its gonna be a good one! Nice post :)

jonathan

You are too hot and too funny - drop me a line whenever you're in Atlanta...

Emily McBrush

I love it when one of these religious documentaries comes out, like Jesus Camp and Hell House, because its the only time I feel like anyone I know in New York has any idea of what my life was like growing up, or truly understands what it means to be raised religious in the Bible belt.

duane

Best blog post so far this year... Thanks for writing this Rich! It scares me that people out there really act like this, and I now want to see the movie for myself!

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