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Jesus Camp - Religion or Brainwashing?


jon_hill987
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Some do believe the cross to be offensive, I think it was for a time after Jesus was crucified. But the cross is a symbol of the sacrifice he made for our sins, if you believe that sort of thing. So by praying to the cross we are praying to Jesus, the son of God, as I understand it. By praying to Bush as though he is a God that is meant to be offensive, in this case, to the Christian God.

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Sorry, I seem to recall there being a commandment against idolatry. It would stand to reason that it matters little whether it be the image of Christ or the image of Bush. In fact, I would think that the image of Christ would be the more offensive in the eyes of God.

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  • 2 months later...

i saw the movie, and in my opinon it was very sad how stubborn and closed-minded these people were. at the end of the film, i believe the director called into a radio show. about halfway through the converstaion the radio host was pretty much shutting her down. Heck, she even had the guts to say that the world should abandon democrocy and replace it with radical christianity. not to mention most perceptions of hell is not from the bible, it's from Dante's Inferno. Pretty much what happened was that the church liked it so much that they decided to start preaching that description. And just for the record, I never watched a movie that made feel even prouder to be jewish. (except maybe for schindler's list;).

 

Edit: PS: christianity didnt appear until 100yrs after christ died.

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Sorry, I seem to recall there being a commandment against idolatry. It would stand to reason that it matters little whether it be the image of Christ or the image of Bush. In fact, I would think that the image of Christ would be the more offensive in the eyes of God.
To be clear, I don't think many people would pray to the statue itself. They are praying to whatever idea is behind the statue, which is why the idolatry rules don't apply to statues and icons used in this manner - the issue doesn't even come up. Praying to Bush is a bit far out, but praying for him is quite normal.
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Hebraic scholars have debated this issue, and many have concluded that the idolatry that the hebrew god so disliked was not in fact merely the worship OF an object, but also the worship of another deity (or himself) THROUGH an object.

 

If one accepts this as biblical law, then any and all graven images, photographs, paintings or any other physical objects qualify as idols and should be banned from being the focus of worship, full stop.

 

But hey, lest we forget... religious texts are all confused nonsense anyway. Debating the meaning of religious texts is like debating the meaning of an Abba song.

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  • 1 month later...

Brainwashing issue notwithstanding, 'Jesus Camp' has officially shut down after a storm of negative criticism. The camp leader says her indoctrination will continue, though. I particularly like these quotes:

When [the movie] took the political twist, no one was more shocked than I was, because what we were doing wasn't political," Fischer said. "To me, it was good Christianity".
Fighting abortion and supporting (praying for) a sitting president is politics, Fischer.

We have the idea that indoctrination is like the Chinese shoving bamboo up your fingernails or dropping a drop of water on your head until you say, 'Okay, Buddha is god.
I had no idea that the Buddhists consider Buddha a god.

 

they look like "I want to touch the paper president!"

That portion where they all want to touch him reminds me so much of a certain politician in Germany in the thirties that it's frightening [/shameless Godwin].

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This is gonna get me grilled, but here goes...

 

What's so bad about that brief thing I saw? granted, I have not seen the whole film. It's "Jesus Camp" and they brought out a cardboard cutout of President Bush, and although the kids knew it was fake, it was just a symbol. Even if you don't like him, he's still the PRESIDENT and deserves some respect. Would it have been Clinton in '94-'95, or would it have been Newt Gingrich?

 

It wasn't "worshipping" him. They, to me, were trying to teach the kids about faith and duty in one's country and in your leaders, and I don't see a problem with that. After all, religion is all about faith.

 

If you want corruption of the youth, go to Palestine or to Africa. Trust me, much worse there.

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You don't tell kids to pray for a political leader. The kids were not even teenagers, they were way too young to be introduced to politics - especially in the way they were in the documentary where they were indoctrinated into supporting Dubya. I don't care if they worshipped him, prayed for him, stripped for him, or lit incense to him. I'm not opposing it for religious reasons and calling it idolatry, I'm reacting to that they were being indoctrinated into supporting a specific leader.

 

It wasn't "worshipping" him. They, to me, were trying to teach the kids about faith and duty in one's country and in your leaders, and I don't see a problem with that. After all, religion is all about faith.
One of the problems with US political debate is this expectation of some that one is supposed to be loyal to his leaders ('don't criticize Bush, you may not like him, but he's our President and we need to support him'). This is a big enough problem already if the fundies aren't going to make it worse.

 

As for faith, I don't know how you see it, but to me it is defined by the belief in something without evidence, a stance which is a very dangerous one to have in politics, and extremely easy for others to take advantage of. Should I have faith in that Iraq had WMDs, that global warming is fueled by humans, or that Korea is making nukes? Absolutely not.

 

If you want corruption of the youth, go to Palestine or to Africa. Trust me, much worse there.
It's pointless of them to even try. North Korea beats them anyway.

 

Nowhere in the Bible does it say 'Thou art going to Hell if thou dost not attend Church'.
It does, however, strike down hard on going to church and praying there;).
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Eagle, I got no idea where you are coming from. There are prayers in every religion for the leader and advisors of a country. Jews have one. Christians have one. Muslims have one. So this one named President Bush directly. Big deal to me? No.

 

Faith is sort of that, but I had faith that the President was telling the truth about Iraq. Now, hey, most people think he lied or whatever. I think he really believed it and then the evidence was incorrect (which is most likely what happened). Oh, and I do believe they did have WMDs, they were just moved out of the country because if the warning that the U.S. was coming was any bigger, it would have a bright neon sign that said, "Hey Saddam, wer're coming for your butt!"

 

Off topic. Sorry. My guess is that you don't like faith in much, which leads me to believe Eagle that you are most likely an atheist, or at the least pragmatic. Not saying I have a problem with that, but those that doubt faith usually have that strain of belief.

 

The bigger problem is not what you listed as people should be loyal to their leaders, but the fact that it's worse than that. I don't say you have to support him, but he is the President of the United States and the symbol of the United States and deserves respect as such. Heck, I don't like Clinton and think he's a complete scumbag, but if I ever met him I wouldn't be just nasty.

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I think the main thrust of the debate is Jesus Camp takes things too far, at least as far as what we criticise extremist Muslims for acting like. For example praying to a effigy of Bush or praying for Bush, the religious experts I spoke to about this say it's wrong, the way they did it (having the cutout of Bush and praying before it) goes against not putting others before God. They believed, seriously, that the devil was trying to stop them from running the camp when they encountered technical difficulties (such as using a slideshow program). And the very warlike manner and attitude they have, they may not seriously believe in actually waging a Christian Jihad, but given their devotion and how seriously they take themselves and religion the question mark is there, and I think it wouldn't be a stretch to say that it is hypocritical to act the same way as the enemy (given the pro Bush Christian stance the msin enemy being Islam, even though we shouldn't look at it this way).

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Eagle, I got no idea where you are coming from. There are prayers in every religion for the leader and advisors of a country. Jews have one. Christians have one. Muslims have one. So this one named President Bush directly. Big deal to me? No.
It should be a big deal to you. You don't tell kids to support specific political leaders, and if you feel you have to do so, you don't use theology as reasoning. What kind of country would we have if the incentive for voting for candidate a was simply that 'God loves him more than candidate b'? Is this really OK to you? To me it's a disgusting way to recruit children into future neo-conservative party membership.

 

I have a funny feeling you're supporting this just because it's part of a religious ceremony. Would it be OK to you if I indoctrinated my 7-year old cousin into supporting Kerry, without invoking God or any other deity? Somehow I don't think so.

 

Nance, you summed it up pretty well. Heck, even they themselves not only realized they were acting like Palestinian intifada recruiters, they used it as a defence (paraphrased, their reasoning is that 'the enemy does it, so we're forced to follow suit to keep up with them'). Sickening.

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Okay, not supporting indoctrination at all. Never said I was. If they forced the kids, I wouldn't allow it. Thought it was really creepy though. Did understand it, but was kinda creepy (touch the President who's really a piece of cardboard that I may do things that are nsfw.)

 

Why do you have a problem with a religious prayer saying, "Bless this country, it's leaer and advisors, and lead the country in the right way?" Is that picking one group of people over another? Is that politics in religion? I don't think so. I thnk as long as they focus on ISSUES in religion that are big in politics, I don't have a problem with it. But the pulpit isn't a podium on the someone's campaign stop either, and anything that talks about it needs related to something else.

 

And if you indoctrinated your cousin in the ways of the John Kerry, go ahead, get to it. If you said, "G-d bless John Kerry in his righteous ways against Bush", yeah I'd be concerned. Never heard that in that video. Never heard them say anything like "if you don't love America you hate Bush and wish we were France" or some junk like that.

 

But if it was doing worse without cameras on, then I don't see a need for it to continue.

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If nothing else Jesus Camp provides Atheists wioth bucketloads of ammunition to use against religion.

 

Atheists do it as much as religious types. Not saying it's right for either side, but you do not usually see atheist republicans or religious democrats (although both do occur).

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I'm not a Christian but I don't believe that this is what Jesus would have wanted for his followers.

 

I am a Christian, and I completely and utterly agree with this statement.

 

In Christianity at least, taking religion to an extreme and becoming warriors and getting militant is exactly the opposite of what your suppose to do.

 

Here's a bible verse to back that up

 

"And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them"

 

And there was another good one in the bible Jesus is preaching and talking about being so kind as when someone slaps you to turn the other cheek and even let them slap you again or something like that.

 

Well anyway, my point is, religion (or Christianity) isn't suppose to be taken to the extreme.

 

It's supposed to be quite the opposite.

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The unfortunate thing about christianity (or any other large, organizanized religion with a collection of holy scriptures) is that it's very easy to cherry-pick for verses that will support your views.

 

During the abolisionst movement in the U.S. one group of people were quoting the bible, chapter and verse, to support the argument that slavery wasn't immoral while another groups was quoting the bible, also chapter and verse, to show that it was.

 

To your point, there are multitudes of passages (some jesus and some not) that contradict what you stated above and support the viewpoints expressed by Fischer.

 

The best bet is put the holy book down, pick up some Kant, and make your own opinion rather than take someone else's at face value. :D

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I see what your saying, and I understand your thinking.

 

Bible verses can be easily mis-interpreted, I might read one, then read what it's suppose to mean, and find I was completely off by my understanding of it.

 

I'd assume it could be somewhat of a puzzle to interpret exactly what a bible verse means, or what anything means really.

 

People can mis-interpret things, it's been done before with other stuff.

 

And people can cherry-pick words and twist them, stretch them, or say it as it is while making it seem different then it is, or plainly lie about them, and then the truth itself, almost dissappears, because any way of finding it out, dissappears.

 

My point is, whatever is being cherry-picked from the Bible, it could be interpreting it wrong, stretching it, twisting it, lieing about it, thinking he interpreted it right, or telling the absolute pure un-tainted non-mis-interpreted truth about it.

 

If you don't believe in God, I'm not trying to change your point of view on that, but I'm just trying to make a point that possible Christian Extremists aren't neccassarily doing what the bible says, they could be doing exactly what it says, but that seems a bit unlikely.

 

And you can quote what something says out of context too (I don't have to explain this one)

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To expand upon ET Warrior's point: who's to say that the verses are being "mis-interpreted"? It almost comes down to the age old "glass half-empty/half-full" debate. Does the bible contain a message that is inherently good but can be "mis-interpreted" as bad or vice versa?

 

I say the parts that there are sufficient explicit contradictions to merit the whole dicussion moot, as the document itself lacks any credibility. All the best parts of the bible can and do exist independently of it, therefore it's completely un-necessary in every sense of the word.

 

Theists love to rally around the misconception that "atheistic morality" is subjective. The reality is that religious morality (and religion itself) the most eggregious offender when it comes to being subject, whereas "atheistic morality" is almost entirely objective. This isn't even the pot calling the kettle black.

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