Documentaries: Jesus Camp

In putting together my blog’s tabs, I’ve been trying to incorporate documentaries I’ve found useful or informative or interesting. This one, Jesus Camp, encapsulates my upbringing if you subtract the speaking in tongues and add in some Quiverfull and Christian Patriarchy. And growing up, I attended events much like the camp shown in the documentary. If you haven’t already seen it, it’s worth a watch.

Feel free to share your thoughts!

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Cathy W

    I’ve often wondered what became of the kids featured in this documentary.

  • Gordon

    This should be illegal.

  • http://biomedicalephemera.tumblr.com Arallyn

    I remember seeing this about a year after it came out. In the beginning of the movie, my SO laughed “I wish I had that much control over the kids in the classroom. They’re like little puppets!” But as it went on, he pointed out every specific incidence of psychological manipulation and how it works on kids. Needless to say, he didn’t want puppet-students in real life, especially after he saw what it took to make them that way.

    As horrifying as I found it on my own level (having a solid foundation in psychology, but not child psychology), it was so much worse when I learned all the ugly details of what’s going on in their heads, and why they’ll likely never escape that culture…

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    I tried watching this a few years ago but I stopped because it was just too depressing for me at the time. Probably still is, considering these people are now taking over the country even more than were a few years ago. But maybe I’ll give it a shot again. After a drink or 4.

    • Liberated Liberal

      It is unbelievable! I am frightened by the movement and see it taking over our culture so quickly. Everything about that movie made my skin crawl.

      Vile human beings. Movies like this don’t allow me the compassion to try to understand them.

  • thalwen

    I too wonder what happened to these kids. I’ve seen this before but it still scares and infuriates me every time I see it again. It is just so manipulative that they lie to children and use them for their own political purposes. The kids really deserve better, they deserve a future and that’s being taken away from them in order to fulfil a political agenda. It’s sickening.

  • shadowspring

    Okay at minute 7:05, that is too funny, considering the source.

  • Rebecca M

    I still haven’t seen it, and I am not sure I will ever be able to. I used to attend at least one camp per year. Usually 2-3. Tongues and all. I think seeing this documentary might be too triggering for me to handle.

  • Laura C.

    I attended a camp pretty similar to this when I was a kid (sans much, but far from all, of the politics), but only once; afterwards, my mom was willing to let me choose between Bible Camp and Girl Scout Camp because she could only afford one. It’s kind of scary to imagine what my life might have been like if I’d chosen the former over the latter.

    The scene with Rachel at 44:00 was pretty shocking, though, because it reminded me of finding that passage in Revelations for the first time and pointing out to my mom that our old church (Methodist) was dead, but our new church (Southern Baptist) wasn’t. It’s a little strange how much each of the kids reminded me of myself, despite my religious upbringing being much more mild than theirs.

  • Daniel McHugh

    I had to stop at ~51:00… it just keeps on going and going and it never gets any better. Will finish watching after I’ve cooled down a bit. I want to go back an hour and forget I watched any of it at all, but sometimes the truth just sucks. There’s a perverse sort of satisfaction in not wanting to know something but realizing that it was important to see; it’s not the first time I’ve had a moment like that and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like to grow up in that world. Knowing that for every one of those kids who’ll reach out and escape, there are dozens if not hundreds more who never will… forget horror movies. This is the scary stuff, right here.

    Thanks for putting it up. I always seem to link away from your blog a little bit wiser.


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