Friday, October 05, 2007

Jesus Camp

I watched Jesus Camp last night. It was frieghtening. While it was clear that the makers of the film had an agenda of exposing the radical nature of Christianity, I too, have been a part of that "get 'em while they're young" movement - on both sides actually. And we "knew in our hearts" what we had been called to do. The amazing part of the film is that there is no narration, no real commentary about what is happening. You see folks from a Pentacostal background (called Evangelical throughout the film) doing what they are doing. Proud to have it being made into film. And there is one lone voice - a radio host of a call-in show who seems to be a voice of reason. A voice that is not being heeded by those at Jesus Camp.

It makes me so nervous when I see it this exposed on the screen. What are we doing? It also makes me so greatful for my community. Yes, we are exposing our kids to our views, but it feels more responsible. (Of course, this begs the question: is it really?) I believe that we are informing them and allowing them to take it or leave it; Jesus Camp reminded me of how we preyed on the emotions (fragile as they are) of the kids we "worked with." And the most amazing part is that these people who were homeschooling their kids, and running the camp, were so genuinely concerned for the next generation. They clearly believed that they were doing what was best for them.

Contrast this with the last episode of Boston Legal, in which Alan - a self-avowed filanderer - is confronted with being a father. He has a choice. He notes that he comes from a long line of dastardly fathers, the last always worse than the man before him. Then he says, "I just don't know that I would be a good leader for a young soul." That a "sinner" would be so reflective of what it means to raise a child strikes me as an interesting contradiction to those who seem to be "as sheep" following blindly the dictums of their faith, or doctrine, as it may be. It reminds me of what an enormous job it is to raise a child and how very much we need a village in order to do it. And perhaps a diverse one, at that.

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