Jesus Camp, sneak PEEK

I attended a preview screening of Jesus Camp last night (trailer right) and walked away with a pit in my belly every bit as unsettling as intended.

The documentary follows several young children as they progress through a summer of conservative Christian indoctrination as beautiful as it is insidious.

Youth pastor Becky Fischer's "Kids on Fire" summer camp is beautiful in the sense that Fischer has a preternatural sense both for what young children are seeking (love, acceptance, comfort in a confusing world) and how to reach them (this generation is visual. Fischer uses Ken and Barbie, sticky hands, jello brain molds, and powerpoint)

What one comes away with is the overwhelming sense that there is another America; an America that occupies a completely different reality with which no dialogue is possible.

But just as progressives chide those who simply label Al Qaeda or any other terrorists as "evil" without attempting to rationally understand the irrationality they represent, Progressives must look into the heart of this growing Army of God and put aside fear and anger for understanding and compassion.

Look for a Q&A on AlterNet soon...


To Revspitz in comments who quotes the Bible to show that homosexuality is a sin:

You REALLY don't want to go down that road.

Your Bible quoting may work with those who have no theology and no understanding of their own religion but that's not the case here. PEEK has an abiding love for the Bible and for religion and thus does not cotton to hateful misuse of a book which can, according to Rabbi Hillel, be summed up as: "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary."

So, here goes. You're stuck between a rock and a hard place (no pun intended). Either you take every word as the word of God or you accept that the Bible is a flawed translation, heard by frail human ears, filtered through frail human understanding and written by the limpest of human hands.

The same Leviticus you quote (and on which much anti-gay bigotry relies) also states that it's okay to sell your daughter into slavery. Leviticus 21:7

21:7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.
It also states in 20:10 that adulterers should be put to death (were we to abide by that one, a goodly number of gay-hating politicians would be unable to vote):
20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with [another] man's wife, [even he] that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
Exodus 35:2 states that those who work on the Sabbath shall be put to death:
35:2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.
So what's really going on here? Do we accept that the flawed human minds that received the word of God were hopelessly trapped in their historical contexts and that we, as evolving humans, must therefore use our God-given gift of intelligence and compassion to update the word of God?

Or do we go down the road you suggest and cherrypick the parts of the Bible that support our own fears while dismissing those that we feel we've gotten past? Beware: this choice forces you to dismiss the word of God which, in your conception is immutable.

Your choice.

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