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January 29, 2007



i've been telling people "fug Dreamgirls...its all about Jesus Camp!"

thank you for the reinforcement Rich.


I've been putting off seeing this movie because I feel like I need to see it holding someone else's hand with all of the lights on and partially covering my eyes with my other hand. A friend of mine watched it last night, got twenty minutes into it, then had to call me with, "Its scary!"

Yet, now I feel like perhaps I should pop some popcorn, have plenty of alcohol on hand and laugh to cover my tears, your review has inspired me so much. Thanks, Rich!


Thanks - I just added this to my online movie queue and ranked it #1.

The horror. The horror.


Didn't Hitler have a camp much like this?


I saw this documentary a few months ago... I still find it chilling-- I was raised Southern Baptist, and to see stuff that's even *more* extremist and *more* intolerant just hurts.


Wow. I grew up Baptist in the Midwest AND went to church camp. I gotta see this!

Brandon H

As a child of a Baptist Deacon, I don't know what's more frightening- that these extremists exist or that none of this surprises me. The ideals that 'regular' Christians believe aren't too far off, so I've found it's best not to dwell too much on it to avoid depression. I recently felt the full blunt of this sword after I came out to my folks- who everyday pray that I'll revert back to women and 'get caught up in The Rapture' with them.


I haven't seen this yet, but I'm definitely going to throw that on my Netflix now. That was a really good review and personal inflection on relgious fundementalism... however not enough funny animated GIFS.....


I enjoyed this movie, but thought the filmmakers did a disservice to the audience with the score (a rehashed horror movie soundtrack laid on top of many of the religious scenes). The content itself was disturbing enough. I didn't think we needed music to manipulate us into recognizing how disturbing it was.

Also - I know that they were trying to offer a point of comparison with the DJ segments, but I almost feel like they would have improved the film by focusing solely on the "Jesus campers" and letting them have their time. The time we spent in the DJ booth seemed out of place to me.

Miss Kitty

Damn. Now I *have* to rent this.

I grew up in & live in the Bible Belt, and at age 11 was forced to go to a Pentecostal service with a babysitter. I asked God, "Please get me out of here, and I'll never ask you for anything ever again!"

All jokes aside--the Jesus Camp thing is real, and serious. My college English students write essays based 100% on the things they learn growing up at Jesus Camp, and then can't figure out why they don't get good grades. "Because the Bible says so" is not a good thesis statement for an essay, unless you're preaching to the converted.


This article was AMAZING, Rich. Not only did you crack my shit up ("on top of carrying around fetus models in a jewelry case..."), but you always seem to be able to express my thoughts so acurately and completely. I totally appreciate that there are reasonable people like me out there.


When I saw this in the theater, it was before Haggard got busted and my first thought of him was, he is a pedophile. The way he was jealous of Levi the mullet boy was just really skeevy. Turns out he wasn't into little boys, but I knew there was something off about him and not just those big creepy dick-chomping teeth. I wouldn't let anything near those things.


I love Dawkins. I read "The Selfish Gene" a couple of years ago, and, strangely enough, "The God Delusion" was a 2006 Christmas present. From a Catholic.


"At times it's like refusing to carry an umbrella solely because of what the weatherman said yesterday, and disregarding the fact that it actually did rain today."
Love it. BTW, did you watch the documentary by Alexandria Pelosi on HBO? It's about evangelicals as well, and the segment on creationism is particularly disturbing.

slut machine

clay, about the music, i thought it was creepy when i first saw it too, especially during the dance with the kids in commando face paint. but i realized that when it was at its creepiest, it was the actual christian music they were playing in the church, particularly when that girl with the dry hair was wailing.

when that was going on, i thought it was some like abstract, remixed incidental track, but then they showed her "singing." i hadn't realized that was a real voice.


"Kickin' it for Christ" is more akin to "Blue" than "Who Let the Dogs Out".


It was loose meat sandwiches. On Roseanne. Loose meat.

I am netflixing this film as I type - thanks!

Rachael Anne

This is the first review of the film that actually makes me want to see Jesus Camp. I was raised evangelical Christian (my parents still are) and I'm almost afraid to see with adult eyes the religious training I received as a child.


Following your link to the news about the camp closing, I found myself staring at a button that read, "Leading the Lambs to the Lion." Are these people so incapable of seeing things on multiple levels that they ignore the basic Animal Kingdom consequence of herding lambs towards top predators? Amazing how a relgion so rooted in symbology could belong to a people whose minds can't see beyond one possibility.

Mike V.

Excellent review, thank you!
I'm adding it to my queue.

I've lived my entire life in urban California areas, so for the most part, I have not been exposed to wackos like this.

Those that I have been in contact with usually fit a stereotype or two: They are either basically insane, or they have come from VERY damaged backgrounds with lots of lovely dysfunction in the family. Drunks, druggies, jailbirds, etc.. They traded one addiction for another or needed very badly the regimen of uber-religion (take-out-the-crayon kind).


I'm in the exact same boat as Rachael Anne...I need to see it.


It's displays such as the ones seen in this movie that make me believe that evangelicals are the most depraved people on the planet.

Their self-righteousness is merely a way to cover-up said depravity - either past present, or intended.

This is what happens when people repress the human experience.


Haven't seen the movie but your review brings back memories growing up as a Jehovah Witness. Everything about secluding yourself from non-believers and thinking yours is the only true religion. But I thank God everday (on the days I actually believe in God) that I didn't have to wear war paint and dance in front of the entire congregation.


Rich, I want to print this shit out and pass it to every religious psycho who approaches me on the subway trying to convert me to something or other! Succinct, insightful and fucking funny man! Love it!


obviously i agree that these people are completely insane-- i had to turn this movie off halfway through because it was freaking me out-- but as to your argument above, isn't the whole point of the born again christian thing that they DON'T look at it as a birthright? this explains why the boy with the rattail claims he found Christ at age 5. in his mind, it is not something that he was born into, but something that he found, through a long personal journey. (possibly on tricycle.) anyway, sure this argument is totally fatuous, but the point is that a lot of born agains DO catch the spirit as adults. they probably live in oklahoma or whatever so it's not as much of a leap as it would be for, say, a small iranian child, but i'm not sure that they would see it that way. i think the reasoning here is, "I found Christ,-- and I was a tina smoking PNP pig bottom-- therefore anyone can." maybe it's fucked up, but there does seem to be some internal logic at work here. what I think is more frightening and irrational is the fact that pastor becky seems to be endorsing honest to goodness bomb-strapping, plane-hijacking holy war. (and enlisting children to do the dirty work!) wait, I thought that as patriotic christian republican americans we were supposed to be OPPOSED to plane hijackings and sucide bombings. and child soldiers. do I love or hate america? I am so confused!

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