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Friday, September 22, 2006


Battling the brainwashing of children: "Jesus Camp" v. LEADD


The Interfaith Alliance rises to the occasion required by the release of the film, and the existence of such places as "Jesus Camp." The Alliance has its own summer camp for high school students, LEADD. Frankly, I'd like to attend it, and I could think of more than a few people who need it.

From the Alliance:

On this Sunday's "State of Belief," The Interfaith Alliance Foundation's show on Air America Radio, Rev. Welton Gaddy takes a look at the new film "Jesus Camp," a documentary about an evangelical Christian summer camp for children in Devils Lake, North Dakota.

But this is no ordinary Bible camp – here, campers perform spiritual war dances and learn how to bless a cardboard cut out of President Bush. The mission of this camp is to teach kids to become dedicated Christian soldiers in "God's army." The film's directors, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, join Welton to discuss the film, which is now playing in New York and will be released nationwide later this fall.

Welton considers the implications of the film with Mike Papantonio, co-host of the Air America Radio show, Ring of Fire. Papantonio concludes that the camp crosses the dangerous line between religious education and political indoctrination. "When you look at everything going on in this administration, you have to ask, 'How can the leaders of this camp be telling those kids that President Bush is God's anointed savior for our country?,'" he says.

In his "Preaching to the Choir" segment, Welton observes, "Knowing the difference between indoctrination and education of young people is crucial, especially in the realms of religion and politics. The results can vary as widely and dramatically as a person who grows up to live as the puppet of a particular religious ideology – at the greatest extreme, becoming a suicide bomber – or a person who develops a capacity for critical thinking that appreciates questions as well as answers and refuses to place faith in conflict with honest inquiry any more than with personal compassion."

Plus, Welton highlights a more pluralistic summer camp, the Interfaith Alliance's own LEADD camp. The week-long program, which stands for Leadership Education Advancing Democracy and Diversity, empowers high school students to become informed and engaged citizens in our religiously diverse nation. Welton states, "I want to argue vociferously for a form of religious education aimed at the development of a mature person who can think and act for herself or himself about religion, a young person who sees religious actions not as some form of warrior behavior, but as evidence of responsible engagement with and in a civil society."

Emphasis is mine.

Read about what the LEADD campers did and see the action plans they produced here. Check out the people who worked with these kids. They've even started a blog - go and encourage them to keep blogging.

Really now - is there any question as to which experience is healthier for our kids?

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Blogger redhorse said...

The lady that leads this camp, Fischer, was on Big Ed's show this week.

He let her "dispel" every "misconception" about her camp with little or no resistence.

Frankly, he got rolled, and it's a shame. This is not a normal camp, not even a normal church camp, but one designed to create the future soldiers of a continuing culture war.

9/23/2006 11:28 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Well, maybe it's like with We Believe - until others who follow primarily the same text speak out about the perversion, all people see is this woman's schtick. Honestly, I just don't understand how people square such behavior with their very own teachings.

9/24/2006 8:20 AM  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: More on the Jesus Camp video including Parody

9/25/2006 11:05 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Thanks, Beep! Will definitely take a look. Thanks for reading and commenting.

9/27/2006 1:10 PM  

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