Jesus CampDirector: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady, Pastor Becky Fischer, Levi
The youngest foot soldiers for the Lord are shown in their native environment in this documentary. Becky Fischer is a children's pastor who runs "Kids on Fire," a summer camp for evangelical Christian children in North Dakota. Fischer believes in the political and moral importance of a Christian presence in America, and uses her camp to reinforce the religious training most of her charges are already receiving at home (the majority of the campers are home-schooled by their parents). Using video games, animated videos, and group activities to help put her message across, Fischer encourages the kids to pray for George W. Bush and his Supreme Court appointees while urging them to help "take back America for Christ." For the most part, the children seem reasonably ordinary beyond the fact they pray with uncommon fervor and sometimes speak in tongues. Along with Fischer and her cohorts, Jesus Camp features interviews with Ted Haggard, an evangelist and advisor to George W. Bush, and Mike Papantonio, a Christian talk-show host who believes the right-wing slant of many Christian evangelists is taking the church into a dangerous direction. Jesus Camp was directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, who previously made the acclaimed The Boys of Baraka.
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Cast & Crew
|Pastor Becky Fischer||Participant|
|Mira Chang||Camera Operator|
|Margaret Crimmins||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Nancy Dubuc||Executive Producer|
|Michael Furjanic||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Jenna Rosher||Camera Operator|
|Greg Smith||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Dog Bark Sound||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Force Theory||Score Composer|
|Molly Thompson||Executive Producer|
1. Opening [3:53]
2. Children's Prayer Conference [5:35]
3. Becky Fischer [4:38]
4. Levi [3:52]
5. Ring of Fire [5:21]
6. Tory [4:49]
7. Kids on Fire [2:49]
8. "Kickin' it for Christ" [6:32]
9. Nighttime at Camp [6:00]
10. "Dead Churches" [3:48]
11. Breaking Cups [4:00]
12. Exploring the Cave [2:09]
13. Welcome the President [7:07]
14. Another Point of View [4:27]
15. Pastor Ted Haggard [3:41]
16. In Washington [2:45]
17. An Army for God [2:29]
18. Radio Debate [4:11]
19. Becky's Joy [2:21]
20. End Credits [3:54]
Commentary With Co-Directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady On
Commentary With Co-Directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady Off
Rachael Sings to God
Hearing the Voice of God
Levi: Prayer Warrior
God is the Biggest
Rachael Saves the Neighbor
Levi Fasts for God
The End Times Puppet Show
Off to Iraq
Did God Tell You to do This?
Our Kids are not Forced
Changing the Culture
Ted Haggard's Sermon
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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If anyone outside Evangelical Protestantism has ever wondered what it is like, this is the movie to watch. Having grown up in the denomination, I can attest to the film's accuracy. The group profiled was more charismatic than the one I was raised in, but the film brought back many memories (mostly unpleasent ones). I would like the directors to to a follow-up movie in ten years and see how many of them kids in the film (esp. Rachel) are still as "on fire for Jesus" as they are in the film. I know many of my peers who grew up in the denomination aren't it's easy to get caught up in the music and the excitment of camps, conferences, praise services, etc., but once they are over, so is the "commitment" to Christ. Dedication to Christ must be rooted in something more then the emotional highs experienced at such events. There is little time for prayer and Bible study because all time is spent in so-called "worship" and evangelism training. Many of these kids (as is evident in the film) have little conception of the real world, because they are only exposed to the idelogy of the denomination. At the end of the film, the little girl Rachel tries to witness to a group of black men and afterwards makes the comment "I think they were Muslim" (she just assumes this if you look at the men, there is nothing to indicate they are Muslim). Their theology is also very shallow, since it is based on emotion just ask them a deep theological question and see how they answer. And if they ask you where you'll go after you die or if you are saved, ask them the same question. I left the Evangelical church in my late teens because I was sick of all the things portrayed in this film. Much to the surprise of my family and friends I became Catholic. It also is interesting what has happened to Ted Haggard and his church since the release of this film. The only reason I gave this film four stars is because of its accuracy, not because I thought it was a great film.
Here is--albeit in a softened and overmild version--a glimpse into the mind of fundamentalist-evangelical insanity, a group who has only a single goal: to convert every person in the USA into a "soldier" for God, then subvert the secular character of the nation and use our military might to force their views on the rest of the world. To put it bluntly: they cannot tolerate any ideology but their own. So we have in the Middle East fanatical muslims creating an army for Allah starting with young boys, we fight fire with fire, but creating an army of children for "Jesus" in the USA. If anybody is unable to predict the logical outcome of these facts: WWIII, then somebody needs medical attention, because they are dead! I myself was a victim of this type of brainwash, and it takes an almost Herculean effort to overcome it. I was one of those children once. Now I fight tooth and nail to expose these monsters carrying bibles and crosses for what they are. I especially enjoyed the post written prior in time to this one which asked "I wonder how many of these children are still with the movement in 10 years?". Good question. Sometimes the opposite of what these brainwashers desire comes to be and they create an enemy who knows their weaknesses like myself, or a Marilyn Manson who was exposed to similar idiocy in a Christian Highschool, which try as he might, he couldn't even get kicked out of because his parents actually paid. The state of Ohio, due to a shortage of public school spaces, paid this school to educate students. Separation of Church and State? What separation? It practically does not exist, the proverbial "Wall" has been torn to pieces for quite awhile now. It's time to rebuild it while there's still time. This movement towards homeschooling is nothing but an attempt to prevent children from facing alternative viewpoints, secular science, humanistic philosophy and all. This is seriously degrading knowledge of science, mathematics and history here in the USA and will result eventually in the USA lagging behind the more enlightened nations who would never allow such nonsense. Not all religious based schools are weak, as Roman Catholic schools pretty much let science be taught as such without being adulterated with propaganda. But this homeschool movement is allowing ignorant parents who know next to nothing about reality to teach their children only what they want to and nothing more. My niece and nephew are both homeschooled and sound exactly like the children in the Jesus Camp movie. It's true that the States oversee this program, but the children who come out of it can read-- but read only the Bible, can write-- but only write propaganda, and can do math--only to calculate how many exist between the two camps : Jesus Camp and the "Devil" Camp, which is all the rest of us who don't buy into such drivel, even if we are believers in God, or Jesus. It is not just atheists, humanists or members of the other four major world religions that are viciously attacked by these people, but any and all Christian churches out there that try to exercise a little reason behind their theology or behaviors. See this film and judge for yourself. Of course, I'm biased against these people because I was the subject of serious abuse in my childhood. I hate to see it happen to other children. Like I said at the beginning, this movie presents a very "soft" version. There is a "hard" version of what goes on at some of these "camps" and it isn't pretty. One flaw in this movie, was it didn't show how a child, who decided he or she could think for themselves and wanted no part of it, would be treated. That's what I mean by the "hard" version. Those who toe the line are treated more or less OK, but those who do not are treated to the delights of hell here and now! I know what I'm talking about.
I don't think I've even been more disturbed by a film in my life. Regardless of political motivations, the concept of 9 year-olds who are ready to martyr themselves for God disturbs me. These are babies who are cheering over the prospect of Harry Potter being put into death and conducting borderline spiritual warfare by smashing cups turned into effigies of our government. There's no defending what the Third Wave/Generation movement has done to these children. I mean, there's a 10 year-old girl who feels guilty for enjoying dancing if she's not " dancing for God" . How can anyone cite this as a healthy mentality for a child? Everyone needs to see this movie to understand just how radical these heretical factions of the Evangelical movement have become. This movie is not a bash against Christianity, but against those who do injustices under the name of Christ while throwing his ideals and sermons about Trust, Love, and Compassion for your fellow man right out the window. Pastor Ted Haggard, once a part of the churches exemplified in his movie before his scandal, quoted them as 25% of the American population. Watch this documentary, know what kinds of mindsets you are up against in the poles, and get out and vote!
Many of the negative reviews posted here decry the manipulation of the audience by the film makers. As if they are shocked to see someone guiding them to an over arching premise. THAT'S THE IDEA!!! This film shows very simply and without a filter the insanity being thrust upon our youth by religious extremism. It is chilling and absurd. Teaching our youth to speak in tongues and question passers-by about their faith is amazingly irresponsible. It is not staged. This really happens. The filmakers allow these individuals to speak openly about how they see America and why they think it must be guided by Christianity. If they didn't want to come off as lunatics, perhaps they shouldn't have agreed to be filmed. This is a eye-opening and important work that reminds us how maliable our children's minds are and the depths some people will go to to indoctrinate them with their own insane religious agenda. Kudos to Jesus Camp for shining a light on what is hopefully a dying movement among thinking Christians.
This documentary doesn't appear to either oppose or endorse anything. A viewer can watch this and draw one's own conclusion. I see it as exposing religious extremism, hypocrisy, and brainwashing. This documents much of the paranoia many parents have. It shows home schooled children hidden away from the world. It shows denial of evolution and science - to the point where they claim science doesn't prove anything. It also shows children being taught to believe the Earth is only 6000 years old. It has scenes with Ted Haggard openly preaching anti-homosexual views. A short time after this was filmed Ted was arrested for drugs, and exposed as a Homosexual. Typical hypocrisy. Becky Fischer's North Dakota camp is a flawless example of how politics and religion have melded. How so many conservatives can't separate Religion from Republicanism. How they use the phrase "Jesus Loves You" to spread religious, and political, hate. Shortly into the movie Becky denies that children she minister's to are in a trance or out of it. She later goes on to show the forms of visual and audio manipulation she uses. Goes on to dismiss Democracy, the Supreme Court, and any criticism of Indoctrination - she actually stated that indoctrination is a good thing. Most of the children this documents were 5 when "saved". Almost all were under 13. Becky goes on to say how she wants to raise children to have the commitment as Muslim terrorists. Her children were like a fanatical army. Trained to attack any None-Republican views and any interpretation of Christ's Words other than the one they were indoctrinated to.
A summer camp in north dakotaA summer camp full of prayer on behalf of George W Bush on his trial for "Take America for Christ" . 3 Children who are devoted Christians entered the camp. Although I was not feeling exciting to watch the video, it really made me think. It made me realise how this actually can happen, and how religious extremists behave. I did not like that the 9 year olds would martyr them selves for god, because they are so young and haven’t experienced life. I realized the differences between them and me, and the different practices between Judaism and Christianity. If you are having second thoughts about watching this movie I highly recommend you watch it, it opened my worldview just that much more. I did not LOVE the video but it gave me reasons to wonder and new points to understand. I disagree with points of the film but the accuracy was convincing. Fischer tries to make these children part of "Gods army" and I was opened up to a whole new world. God was their teacher, family and everything they needed. They devoted their lives for him, and he was always there. -170927
This whole production seemed robotic, as if the filmmakers wanted to accentuate certain details. Like many secular liberals, Ms. Ewing underestimates the charisma and power of the evangelicals. Who are these people? is the growing question of the Democrats. The reason they are finally asking is that they are finally seeing that the fundamentalists are more pragmatic than what may be proffered on the surface. As shown by Obama's " unity" message and his own pragmatic political savvy, he is easing the anti-religious forces in his party and is cozying up with leaders of charismatic churches by quoting Bible verse like a Southern Baptist. This film is highly manipulative of one of the most powerful movements in American political history.
The 2006 movie "Jesus Camp" follows three children who attend the Kids on Fire camp in Devil's Lake, ND led by Becky Fischer, director of Kids in Ministry International. The movie producers claim to be objective in its presentation of Evangelical Christianity. That claim to objectivity is a pile of crap! Here's a sampling of deliberate content manipulation and editing designed to demonize the camp: (1.) Music can affect the emotional content of what is caught on camera. If the filmmakers want you to be disturbed, you will hear creepy-sounding music. This happens when the kids are speaking in tongues near the beginning of the film. Be afraid. Be very afraid. (2.) There's Becky's cry "This means war!" Actually, we're not talking about a war between people and people, as the filmakers would want you to believe. It is a war against demonic forces that happen to have human POWs. See Ephesians 6. We're not giving the kids hand grenades, AK-47s, bomb-belts, or RPG launchers. That is never explained in the film, and if an explanation was given, it was edited out. (3.) No, those kids ARE NOT PRAYING TO PRESIDENT BUSH! They are praying FOR him. The cardboard cut-out was provided to facilitate a Pentecostal practice of laying hands on the person that they're praying for. (4.) Tracy O'Brien, Levi's mother, addresses the camera and we hear her say, "There are two kinds of people in the world, those who love Jesus and those who don't." What you don't hear is the other half of the statement that the editors cut out: "And both are worthy of dignity and respect by virtue of the fact that Jesus died for them." (5.) The O'Briens listen to a kitchen radio, but the editors superimposed audio that was not actually playing on the radio. (6.) The creation video that Levi and Luke are watching was brought in by the film crew. The O'Briens did not own the video and had never seen it. Overall, Jesus Camp was a cleverly devised film designed to deceive the public into believing that Christians are just another form of terrorists. If the movie disturbs you, do yourself a huge favor and find out the facts before you lynch someone.