Sunday, March 4, 2007

God as Documentary

I was raised as a Catholic. Father Arnold, the priest at my church, always told me that questioning your religion brings you to a stronger faith. Well, Father Arnold neglected to tell me about Evangelicals (or charismatic Christians as they like to be called). The only questions these people have is why you're not as strong a believer as they are.

Jesus Camp is not meant to anger anyone or convert anyone. It's simply there to educate you about the Kids of Fire Camp, the children who attend, and the woman who runs it. I watched this documentary with an open mind, but I was still waiting for the gauntlet to fall, waiting for the filmmakers to make fun of these children who believe so heartily in the power of Holy Spirit that they cry on a regular basis as they pray. It never happened. The feeling the viewer gets from this film is completely dependent on the viewer. If you are a hard-core Christian, the movie will empower you. If you are a moderate Christian, the movie might spark healthy debate. If you're in no way religious, the movie will scare the bejesus out of you.

In a truly un-Christian turn on my part, I must say that the highlight of the movie was when 12-year-old Levi, one of the subjects of the doc, attends service at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. where Ted Haggard is leading the congregation. If Mr. Haggard had never admitted to "sexual immorality" or drug abuse, this would've just been another moment in the movie, but listening to this man preach the word of God and talk about how to be a good Christian honestly just seemed a little creepy. I couldn't help but wonder how Levi felt the day Pastor Ted publicly announced his sins and stepped down in November of last year.

If you like documentaries, check out Jesus Camp. If you've always been curious about the Religious Right, watch Jesus Camp. It's educational and well-done...if not just a teensy bit scary.

1 comment:

k8 said...

I was wondering how this was going to be done. I'm with you, I'd be watching for the gauntlet to fall. I'll probly eventually see it. Especially if you come to my house and demand it! :) hahahha!