I just saw the movie, Jesus Camp. The movie tracks a preacher and a few youngsters out of about a hundred that attend an Evangelical summer camp. It shows kids becoming indoctrinated and some of the tactics used, the kids speaking in tongues, and being emotionally charged. If this was really widespread, I'd be severely alarmed, but the movie presents a Pentecostal fringe of Evangelicalism working to out-radicalize radical Islam. The evangelicals that I know and how I was raised is not quite so extreme. Still, there was certainly some overlap with my evangelical upbringing. For example, I'd long forgotten that pledges of allegiance to the Bible and the Christian flag. There are several discussions about so many parts of the film, now two years old. I want to make one observation.
What is it about extreme fundamentalists that would allow themselves to be filmed like this? I don't think they got paid, and to the outside world, they look like brainwashers and fearmongers to the innocent. What it is, I think, is that they believe themselves so righteous that anybody seeing their lifestyle and tactics would not in any way see anything wrong with what they were doing, and in fact, they believe that outsiders would condone it and want to join forces. When you know your beliefs are unsubstantiated, you have to convince yourself in so many ways that they are correct. It's disconcerting that one way to seek validation is through the coercion of children to also believe your craziness.
3 days ago