OK. I'm gonna be real careful here. its always the way when you're dealing with religion. tread carefully. speak generically. don't avert your eyes.
on Friday night, after a rousing recommendation, Ben and i watched 'Jesus camp'. anyone seen it? it's a documentary about a camp in America for evangelists. (I'm tipping it's probably the hard core born agains) Anyway, what occurs on these camps is nothing short of mind-boggling.
young kids, perhaps only eight or nine, take part in the summoning of the spirits. during this time, the preacher (there is one woman who does most of it, but apparently anyone with a mic can get up there too) talks to the kids about their journey with the 'holy savior Jesus Christ'. they are questioned about their belief in him, their dedication to him. 'are you one of those kids who goes to school and pretends you are like everyone else? pretends you don't believe in god? you're a phony. a hypocrite. put your hands up'.
on cue the kids begin to raise their hands. well hello! duh! as if any child out there doesn't want to just fit in. i know i was oust for having a funny accent. if i told them i was catholic i might never have made it! as their little faces turned up towards 'our heavenly father' the tears ran down the cracks of their little eyes. these children were crying because they felt they had done something wrong. something evil. that they had publicly embarrassed themselves. the ironic thing is, they were doing all this in front of other kids. kids they probably wanted to be like. when one started crying, they all started crying. when one fell to his knees, they all fell to their knees. when one started speaking in tongues, they all started speaking in tongues. you get my point.
i suppose i am writing about this because i am a little confused on a number of subjects.
one: how many of these camps are out there?
two: has anyone else seen this doco and if so what are you thoughts?
three: is it just me or is religion meant to be about faith. about having a higher power to turn to, to ask direction from and in whom you can seek solace. this higher power does not judge. ever. it treats children as they ought to be treated - as the purest of us all. their souls are young and eager. they will have many lessons to learn, some harder than others. they are sensitive and as such it is our job to protect them.
with that said i will leave you with a disturbing scene from the movie that plays over and over in my mind...
an adult hands a child a plastic 8 week old foetus and tells them that's it wrong to commit murder and then covers her mouths with tape labeled 'LIFE' and insists she summon the holy spirit.
what. is. this. world. coming. too.