Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


I'm going to Jesus Camp!
July 13, 2006 9:21 AM   Subscribe

Kids on Fire Summer School of Ministry is not, actually, a school about setting children on fire. Unless you mean the fire of religious fervor! Jesus Camp indoctrinates young kids in the true dangers inherent in our secular lifestyle, including a proper fear of gays, Harry Potter & all other manner of sin. Camp activities include the pentacostalist trifecta: laying on of hands, speaking in tongues, and letting the holy spirit inhabit you. A brief clip from an A&E documentary about the school can be seen here, with the highlight (for me) being at 2:25 in.
posted by jonson (123 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
"In the presence of this blood banner which represents our Führer, I swear to devote all my energies and my strength to the saviour of our country, Adolf Hitler. I am willing and ready to give up my life for him, so help me God."
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:31 AM on July 13, 2006


Dammmnnn!!!!

Sign me up now!
I'm taking lots of beer, drugs and persons of few sexual inhibitions.
Attack them while they're all in one group and convert their asses.
posted by nofundy at 9:33 AM on July 13, 2006


Sigh.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:35 AM on July 13, 2006


"We kickin' it for Christ!"
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 9:36 AM on July 13, 2006



posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:39 AM on July 13, 2006


Godwin'd on the first comment.

Look, I really don't see the point of this kind of thing. Okay, yes, extremist religious indoctrination of children is bad for all kinds of reasons, but lots of religions do it. It seems to me that a better post would look at a camp like this, a fervent Zionist equivalent, a radical madras, etc...

Just throwing up one bunch of crazy Christians smacks of "let's all point and laugh" rather than "let's talk about the issue of religious indoctrination and how, when done at an early age, it leads to the development of more and more extreme ideologies that are often violently opposed to one another." Or maybe, "hey, what religions don't do this kind of thing and why?" Just tossin' out a few ideas that might be a little more productive or interesting than I see this conversation being.
posted by jedicus at 9:39 AM on July 13, 2006


I find it interesting that these groups are co-opting music that they not too long ago said were inherently evil, e.g., heavy metal, or hip hop.

I also find it funny that the woman condemning harry potter could be accused of breaking the deadly sin of gluttony.
posted by milarepa at 9:42 AM on July 13, 2006


Conversation, what conversation, jedicus? There's nothing really to talk about. Point and look indeed.
posted by canine epigram at 9:44 AM on July 13, 2006


That kid in the top banner seems to have been washed a little carelessly in the blood of the lamb.
posted by jonmc at 9:47 AM on July 13, 2006


jedicus - then go make that post, by all means. Quickly! The sooner you post it, the better it will seem in comparison to this one!!
posted by jonson at 9:48 AM on July 13, 2006


the Jesse Helms,

Take a look at this to know just how deeply linked the church and the church youth was to that guy with the mustache.
posted by nofundy at 9:48 AM on July 13, 2006


I also find it funny that the woman condemning harry potter could be accused of breaking the deadly sin of gluttony.

The seven deadly sins are not given much theological weight in the kind of Christianity espoused by the folks at this camp. For most evangelicals, sin is sin, period. Even the tiniest screw up damns you forever unless you receive the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Also, as you might imagine, gluttony and sloth don't get the bad rap they used to, especially in America. This makes some sense, of course, when you consider that the list was formulated at a time and in a culture where, for most people, food was relatively scarce and hard work was a necessity. Ironically, the very kind of cultural analysis that might pardon the woman's gluttony is stridently opposed by most evangelicals.
posted by jedicus at 9:50 AM on July 13, 2006


"but lots of religions do it"
That's the lamest excuse for child abuse I've seen.
These people are mentally ill, and are incapable of having a conversation about it.
Exhibit A:
Lets all cheer for Jesus.
posted by 2sheets at 9:53 AM on July 13, 2006


"There were so many kids piled up on the floor and there was no room for me, so I was moved to a bench where I continued to cry and shake until God was done with me"

Does reading this make me a pedophile?
posted by Mach5 at 9:54 AM on July 13, 2006


oh no.... flashbacks of my church youth group going on pope trip coming back.... seized with the urge to burn harry potter books and drink pepsi..... and shave my hair into a mullet..... urge to kick it for christ overpowering.... kickin it for christ.... kickin it for christ.....

kicking WHAT for christ, exactly?
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 9:54 AM on July 13, 2006


One little girl went down under the power of God and was pinned to the floor by the Holy Spirit and could not get up for over an hour

And nodoby touched her, except a guy who said he was possessed by the Spirit itself. Uhm uhhmm, yeah sure.
posted by elpapacito at 9:55 AM on July 13, 2006


Bible camp was the only camp I attended that actually had circle jerks.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:57 AM on July 13, 2006 [3 favorites]


Godwin'd on the first comment.

'Godwin' is a cheap way of brushing aside history. The Hitler Youth analogy is both relevant and important.



Look, I really don't see the point of this kind of thing. Okay, yes, extremist religious indoctrination of children is bad for all kinds of reasons, but lots of religions do it.

This, however, is the Tu Quoque fallacy. And in the context of mind-raping children, frightening.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:58 AM on July 13, 2006


I went to a fundy camp as a kid --not a pentecostal one though. Even though as a preteen I "believed" I told my mother she was to never ever send me to one of those places again and that I would rather be punished than go through another week of fundy camp.

It's nothing but a constant assault on children to get them to capitulate and conform to these radical belief systems. Incessant opportunities to bend the knee and completely surrender abound -- usually following alternate sessions of harangues (You're bad unless you debase yourself and surrender to Jesus.) and/or incessant emotive appeals (God loves you so much he brutally murdered his own son, how can you reject him?). Camp Counselors who were constantly trying to corner you and make you feel bad if you had not made an act of submission yet, etc. And you are completely cut off from the world so that all of this is completely "normal".

And if you did not go forward to the altar at the big "commitment" service at the end of the week, well, let's just say, they probably would have drug out a waterboard if they thought they could get away with it.
posted by MasonDixon at 10:00 AM on July 13, 2006


Mach5 asks: Does reading this make me a pedophile?

Sure sounds like kiddie porn to me:

Leon spoke with a very ordinary, calm tone of voice and talked about how God wants to use kids to do miracles. He had the children touch this woman as well, and down she went. The kids giggled delightedly to see God was using them in such a way. Then he called the rest of us forward.
posted by leftcoastbob at 10:04 AM on July 13, 2006


You're missing the point of my first response, TJH and 2sheets. I was just saying that because lots of religions do it, there's little to be gained by singling out one version because it lends itself to a) thinking that only that group does it and b) simplistic "look at those nutcases" responses rather than talking about what might be done about the phenomenon, either to stop it from happening or to undo the results.

I'm not trying to excuse it, no matter who's doing it. Lord knows (ha!) I've seen enough of my friends and relatives apparently permanently brainwashed because of it. On the other hand, I managed (I'd like to think) to overcome it and move on to a considerably more tolerant, nuanced worldview. I'm more interested in how that happens and why it so often doesn't than the "indoctrination as freakshow" approach that I was concerned would develop in this thread.

It's probably worth pointing out that, by and large that hasn't happened, so my apologies for raising a false alarm. Note that I am very specifically not taking any sort of credit for preventing what I was worried about.
posted by jedicus at 10:06 AM on July 13, 2006


Exhibit A:
Lets all cheer for Jesus.


yeah, good thing the rapture is coming. Sort of puts things into perspective. Global Warming, poor health care systems, wars of aggression killing innocent people, corrupt politicians bought by corporations, squelching of free speech, inequality of wealth, abuse of natural resources.... It's a good thing we don't have to worry about these things on a long term basis, or come up with a way to solve them now. We just have to wait a liiiiiittle bit longer and everything will sort itself out.......

come on jesus...... come on rapture.......

just a little bit longer.......
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 10:07 AM on July 13, 2006


"Summer Camp was never so much FUN!!!"


posted by mr.curmudgeon at 10:08 AM on July 13, 2006


The rapture's been right around the corner since, like, forever. Seriously people. Wise up.
posted by boo_radley at 10:11 AM on July 13, 2006


It's not nice to laugh at other peoples' religions.
posted by Mayor Peace Love and Unity at 10:11 AM on July 13, 2006


Child abuse indeed. This is horrible.
posted by agregoli at 10:12 AM on July 13, 2006


Also, from the first link:
One little girl went down under the power of God and was pinned to the floor by the Holy Spirit and could not get up for over an hour. The presence of God was so thick in the room one could almost reach out and touch it.
This sounds like a seizure and lack of adequate ventilation.
posted by boo_radley at 10:13 AM on July 13, 2006


The presence of God was so thick in the room one could almost reach out and touch it.

Sounds like the presence of something else was so thick in the room that you'd need boots to wade through it.
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 10:16 AM on July 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


Looking at the link 2sheets posted, an end times discussion thread, apparently (I could only read so much), I'm most struck by how childlike the posters are--very much so emotionally, and then all the animated emoticon-like things...creepy.

I live in a part of California that's FULL of people who have religion almost to this degree (I don't know how deep that particular rabbit hole goes, I refuse even to look). While I sympahtize with the viewpoint that it's not nice to make fun of people, particularly people's religions, this is crazy, fucked-up stuff and should be criticized openly. IMO.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:18 AM on July 13, 2006


kicking WHAT for christ, exactly?

Shit, of course.
posted by jdotglenn at 10:18 AM on July 13, 2006


(Not sure if it's god's or satan's Book of Grammar that taught me to hyphenate 'fucked up'.)
posted by LooseFilter at 10:19 AM on July 13, 2006


"there's little to be gained by singling out one version"

Well I disagree. Yes, there is religous extremism and mental illness all over the world, but this is what's happening in our borders here and now. I don't care if it's Branch Davidians, the Manson Cult, or more "mainstream" snakehandlers like these sick bastards - children are being abused on our watch, and to shrug it off is not an acceptable response.
posted by 2sheets at 10:23 AM on July 13, 2006


Child abuse indeed. This is horrible.

While I think this camp is nuts and that many of the beliefs they propogate are dangerous, the devils advocate in me wonders: if this stuff was happening in the Indigenous Church Of Lower Wackistan would you be as outraged, or would many of you be oohing and ahhing over the 'unspoiled' 'indigineous' culture and chiding people for their Eurocentric prejudices if they objected? Just saying...
posted by jonmc at 10:27 AM on July 13, 2006


posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 10:28 AM on July 13, 2006


The rapture's been right around the corner since, like, forever. Seriously people. Wise up.

Nowhere does the word "Rapture" appear in the New Testament, nor does the concept. For example, one of the most noted and acclaimed Christian thinkers of the twentieth century, Rev. Dr. John RW Stott, refers to "rapture teaching" as "escapism" and regards it as one of the most damaging doctrines to infiltrate evangelicalism.

The idea of rapture can be traced to an event in 1831 when it was first taught, in Scotland, by Margaret McDonald, who claimed that God had shown it to her. It was slow to gain acceptance until it was promoted by John Nelson Darby, the founder of the Christian (Plymouth) Brethren movement. With the development of Fundamentalist Christianity around the turn of the 20th century, it was Cyrus Ignatius Schofield who became the champion of this new Rapture doctrine with the publication of his now famous Reference Bible.

So, Boo Radley, I guess your forever is like 177 years, really.
posted by parmanparman at 10:32 AM on July 13, 2006


Quote from 2sheets link: "I think we should be slow to find reasons to criticize our fellow Christians."

For those of you who are uncomfortable with the rest of us dissecting these seemingly perverse behaviors, the quote above demonstrates, to me, *exactly* why we need to continue. It has completely been left up to us.
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 10:32 AM on July 13, 2006


This provokes such an ethical dilemma: I want their DVD so bad that it hurts-- I've simply got to check this out. And yet I simply cannot in good conscience give them a single red hot cent.

Same problem with the Ann Coulter DVD that her site advertises.

*Sigh*
posted by hermitosis at 10:32 AM on July 13, 2006


Jedicus: My point was that for people with such rigid beliefs, they sure do change and bend them a lot when it suits their purpose. Even their mistakes and prejudices are infallible.
posted by milarepa at 10:33 AM on July 13, 2006


from the page advertising the DVD:

If you have never seen children being touched by the presence of God, you need to view these services.

This is ghastly. The impulse that led the parents and 'counselors' to film this stuff in the first place is questionable at best, but to sell images of little kids writhing in agony on the goddamn web for $20 a pop is just.... We do have laws here about this kind of thing, don't we? Or does throwing the jesus tarp over an operation give it instant immunity?
posted by maryh at 10:33 AM on July 13, 2006


Jedicus: "I was just saying that because lots of religions do it, there's little to be gained by singling out one version" Do they? Really? Obviously Islam has its madrassas, but other than that, do you find this in any other major religions? If so, I encourage you to do a writeup, because it would be interesting and educational. If not, don't brush it off as "everyone does it."
posted by adamrice at 10:33 AM on July 13, 2006


Glossolalia. It's good for what ails ya.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:34 AM on July 13, 2006


ultra-religious people scare the fucking shit out of me.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 10:34 AM on July 13, 2006



posted by mr.curmudgeon at 10:35 AM on July 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


There are a few other interesting camps here in California as well. Most of them seem to be like summer camps, and there aren't any children flopping around on the floor, but I recall an article recently about how some of the camps are trying to be "extreme" and "edgy." They're adding Christian rock bands and trying to bring the church into modern youth. One of them even had something about eating goldfish, as well as the other "on fire for the lord" stuff. I'm trying to find it now.
posted by drstein at 10:36 AM on July 13, 2006


if this stuff was happening in the Indigenous Church Of Lower Wackistan would you be as outraged[?]

If the Indigenous Church of Lower Wackistan was in my culture, and its kids would exist in the same society I do, yep, sure would. Crazy is crazy, and we're all going to have to deal with a whole generation of emotional and intellectual idiots because of the thousands and thousands of kids being indoctrinated this way.

Also, maryh: Or does throwing the jesus tarp over an operation give it instant immunity? Yes, I think it does. That's what this guy is on about.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:38 AM on July 13, 2006


It's not nice to laugh at other peoples' religions.

Then they should stop making them so funny.
posted by InfidelZombie at 10:39 AM on July 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


parmanparman, The idea of rapture can be traced to an event in 1831 when it was first taught, in Scotland, by Margaret McDonald, who claimed that God had shown it to her.

I did not know that. Thanks.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:40 AM on July 13, 2006


if this stuff was happening in the Indigenous Church Of Lower Wackistan would you be as outraged, or would many of you be oohing and ahhing over the 'unspoiled' 'indigineous' culture and chiding people for their Eurocentric prejudices if they objected? Just saying...
posted by jonmc at 10:27 AM PST on July 13


You ask this question every fucking time the issue comes up, and guess what? The answer is still the same: yes, we would be just as outraged. Pure cultural relativists are few and far between, and not many populate MeFi.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:40 AM on July 13, 2006


"...trying to be "extreme" and "edgy."
"Into the street the Piper stept,
Smiling first a little smile,
As if he knew what magic slept
In his quiet pipe the while;"
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 10:40 AM on July 13, 2006


to shrug it off is not an acceptable response.

I'm not shrugging it off! By all means, investigate the camp, expose them as frauds and shysters and coercive child abusers. Haul the folks who would do such things off to jail. Less crazy Christians should decry their practices, not send their kids to such places, and try to rehabilitate those that have been mistreated and ill-educated.

But I don't know that any of us are necessarily in a position to do most of those things, if any. What we can do best is talk about the phenomenon and try to effect change where we are and among the people we know and meet. Hence my interest in the broader questions of stopping the phenomenon of religious indoctrination of children generally and 'fixing' those who've been subjected to it.

I apologize if I don't come across as angry enough to compare the places to the Hitler Youth right off the bat, but do not mistake it for complacency or complicity.

adamrice: the only other example that springs to mind is extreme Zionism, supposing that it gets passed on through indoctrination of children, which seems pretty likely. On the one hand, one could say that perhaps the common thread is monotheism. On the other hand, the three major monotheistic religions make up an enormous chunk of the world population and only hinduism can challenge them for size, so it could be statistics: only big religions are big enough to have a substantial, self-perpetuating violent or lunatic fringe.

That said, speaking of Hinduism, I have heard that a fair number of Hindus don't particularly care for the Muslim minority in India, but I don't know that such sentiments are very extreme or that they get passed on through coercive indoctrination of children.
posted by jedicus at 10:40 AM on July 13, 2006


jonmc, good point. but this is a voting block. rapture-armaggeddon-excuse-for-atrocities-religious-agenda-marionnette voting block.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 10:41 AM on July 13, 2006




MOM THE SPIRIT TOUCHED ME IN A BAD PLACE
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 10:43 AM on July 13, 2006


You ask this question every fucking time the issue comes up, and guess what? The answer is still the same: yes, we would be just as outraged. Pure cultural relativists are few and far between, and not many populate MeFi.

*moves hand away from nerve*

easy, I think I've maybe asked it once before. And I still haven't got a satisfactory answer. And even a cursory look at Metafilter will show that while we (and I'm speaking only of our community, not the larger world where the picture is obviously quite different) are incredibly eager to criticize Christian fundies (usually justifiably) we're very cautious about criticizing other religions, lest we be labeled prejudiced. Sorry if that observation bothers you.
posted by jonmc at 10:43 AM on July 13, 2006


Hey, cool. A rave! *waves glowstick, dances some Nordic-stompy* Wait, what? No! Get your hands off of me, you j-tards! I don't want to be saved!
posted by loquacious at 10:44 AM on July 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


jonmc: as I mentioned above, I worry about Christian fundamentalists because they affect the world I live in, day to day, far, far more than any other religiously whacky group does.

(Yes, more than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. I imagine people in Israel are more worried about those kind of fundies. Location does matter.)

(Also, criticizing fundamentalism is not necessarily a criticism of all religions or religiosity. What's going on at places like this camp goes far, far beyond what would go on at more mainstream churches. The question of degree is everything--these people are way more dangerous to my way of life than the milquetoast Methodists I grew up around.)
posted by LooseFilter at 10:47 AM on July 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


Strasbourg, i am losing it.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 10:50 AM on July 13, 2006


There are reasons why Metafilter is particularly eager to criticize Christian fundies.

Metafilter swings to the left and its members largely aren't Christian or any other brand of fundy, so Christian fundies don't get too much special protection on Metafilter.

On that initially level playing field, add the fact that a lot of MeFites are American, and that Christian fundies are nearly the only politically and culturally important fundies in America, and they're VERY politcally and culturally important.

For the non-Americans, Christian fundies are having an impact the world over; or at least, in the eyes of many, they seem to, because so much of the war rhetoric is couched in religious terms.

Add a dash of a-lot-of-us-grew-up-in-religious-communities-that-we-hated.

Add a dash of Christian-fundies-want-radical-changes-to-American-public-schools.

These reasons are why, I think, we see a lot of these kinds of posts. This is a topic that we, as a community, have several reasons to be interested in. And why the hell not? I'd be just as interested to hear about Jewish, Muslim or Hindu extremist schools. Bring 'em! But why do we have to go through "this is fundiefilter" every time there's an interesting post like this?
posted by gurple at 10:51 AM on July 13, 2006 [2 favorites]


if this stuff was happening in the Indigenous Church Of Lower Wackistan would you be as outraged, or would many of you be oohing and ahhing over the 'unspoiled' 'indigineous' culture and chiding people for their Eurocentric prejudices if they objected?

I think this is good question. I think if we looked at how people practices Baptist faith throughout the 19th century, we would see a profoundly different tradition. A good place to see this up close is in the Pentacostal Revival. This is now a predominantly black tradition, but that goes back only 100 years to a milestone revival on Azuza Street in Los Angeles. Before then, Pentacostalism was a majority white, majority rural tradition.
posted by parmanparman at 10:53 AM on July 13, 2006


I have heard that a fair number of Hindus don't particularly care for the Muslim minority in India, but I don't know that such sentiments are very extreme

You must be joking! You havent heard of the Gujarat massacres, the calls by right-wing extremists for ethnic cleansing of muslims? The fact that many are trying to pin the blame for the recent train bombings on muslims? What then, defines extreme?
posted by vacapinta at 10:54 AM on July 13, 2006


While I think this camp is nuts and that many of the beliefs they propogate are dangerous, the devils advocate in me wonders: if this stuff was happening in the Indigenous Church Of Lower Wackistan would you be as outraged, or would many of you be oohing and ahhing over the 'unspoiled' 'indigineous' culture and chiding people for their Eurocentric prejudices if they objected? Just saying...


Uh, no?
posted by agregoli at 10:55 AM on July 13, 2006


gurple: good and reasonable answer and I don't disagree. And granted, Christian fundies have more potential to directly impact my life in this country, but I don't think any other kinds of fundies should be cut slack either. True believers of any kind (religious or politically) give me the heebie-jeebies.
posted by jonmc at 10:58 AM on July 13, 2006


Uh, no?

Um, wow, articulate answer. You must be speaking in tongues.
posted by jonmc at 10:58 AM on July 13, 2006


If one of those kids actually did have a seizure, would they recognize it and seek medical treament for him or her, or just go "hallelujah, praise Him" as he/she thrashed around and bit off his/her own tongue?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:01 AM on July 13, 2006


Uh, no?

Um, wow, articulate answer. You must be speaking in tongues.


Jon, your endless annoyance with anything I say is getting really boring. Could you please can it?
posted by agregoli at 11:03 AM on July 13, 2006


If you have to ask that George, you obviously haven't been saved yet.
posted by eurasian at 11:03 AM on July 13, 2006


If one of those kids actually did have a seizure...

Oh, come now, you can have that same complaint about secular summer camps. Li'l Milgram's Kamp for Kids, for instance.
posted by gurple at 11:06 AM on July 13, 2006


If one of those kids actually did have a seizure, would they recognize it and seek medical treament for him or her, or just go "hallelujah, praise Him" as he/she thrashed around and bit off his/her own tongue?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:01 AM PST on July 13


Probably not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anneliese_Michel
http://www.masskids.org/dbre/dbre_9.html
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:09 AM on July 13, 2006


You know, when we start arguing amongst ourselves, the Fundies have already won. You all must hate freedom.
posted by eurasian at 11:10 AM on July 13, 2006


the devil doesn't need to go out of his way to get damned souls. we damn ourselves all of our own free will.

the video is a prime example of damning yourself. breeding fear and hate into our children is pure sin. why is it that the "righteous" feel the need to breed hate? Jesus said "love thy neighbor", love thy neighbor regardless of his sins. these people are fucking retarded.
posted by Doorstop at 11:10 AM on July 13, 2006


The idea of rapture can be traced to an event in 1831 when it was first taught, in Scotland, by Margaret McDonald, who claimed that God had shown it to her.
posted by parmanparman at 10:32 AM PST on July 13




1 Thessalonians 4:17 (King James Version)

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:12 AM on July 13, 2006



posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:14 AM on July 13, 2006


I've never been to a camp like this, but I've been in similar places. It is really interesting from a mob mentality standpoint. I was lucky. In my experience, this stuff doesn't last if it's not reinforced at home. But, if the kiddos are dealing with this during the summer, at home, at church, and at school---that's brainwashing.
posted by rex dart, eskimo spy at 11:15 AM on July 13, 2006


Metafilter: not cutting any other kinds of fundies slack either!

Yeah, I like it.

Moderation in all things, including moderation.
(and for these sick fucks, perversion needs moderated)

Sam Harris' The End of Faith is required reading for those interested in why this is extremely important.
posted by nofundy at 11:16 AM on July 13, 2006


ARE YOU READY FOR RAPTURE 1998 ?

IF YOU MISSED "IT" IN '95, '94, '89, '88, OR SOME OTHER TIME — NOW YOU SHOULD PREPARE FOR ....RAPTURE '98 !

by BOB L. ROSS

[Latest Update June 7, 1998]
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:18 AM on July 13, 2006


Gold dust began appearing on the hands of the kids for the second night

Where can I get some religous children, and how easy is it to get them to express valuable metals?

So when I invited this African Pied Piper to join our slate of guest speakers for the Summer School of Ministry...

Either this person has never read the story of the Pied Piper, or your man has a lot of dead kids in a cave somewhere. After looking over the site, I'm actually leaning towards the latter.


WolfDaddy said 'Bible camp was the only camp I attended that actually had circle jerks.'

When I was a teenager, I seriously considered going to a Scripture Camp on the grounds that everyone I knew who did go spent the every night getting out of their minds on booze and fucking each other. Seemed a fair deal for spending all day going on hikes and pretending to pray a lot, but I knew if I asked my parents they'd immediately guess why I was so keen to go.
posted by jack_mo at 11:19 AM on July 13, 2006


TJH: Here's a good site analyzing the scriptures typically used as a basis for the rapture. It is true that the rapture (particularly the typical evangelical view thereof) is a largely ahistorical doctrine.

vacapinta: In fact, those things had largely escaped my attention, except for blaming the train bombings on Muslim extremists (which doesn't strike me as too crazy given the modus operandi of the Madrid and London bombers). It's also worth noting that the topic of interest to me is not so much religious fundamentalism and zealotry (which is to be found in virtually all religions) but the perpetuation of fundamentalism and violent attitudes via coercive indoctrination of children. So, while there may be violent, fundamentalist Hindus who hate all Muslims, the question, to me, is do they coerce their children into believing the same thing? I would be interested to know the answer.
posted by jedicus at 11:19 AM on July 13, 2006


I'm not a Xian, but I can't *wait* for the Rapture! That'll remove the nutjobs, hopefully.

I do want one of thos bumper stickers reading "In case of Rapture, I'm taking your car."
posted by grubi at 11:20 AM on July 13, 2006


so, now that the rapture has been in full effect for nearly 15 years, how has your life changed?

i find i'm not waiting in as many lines as i used to.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 11:20 AM on July 13, 2006


Oh, by the way---

When I was at that church camp thingy I went to, I noticed something sppokier than circle jerks or boozing

All us teens were going to bed and everyone pulled out their stash of illicit magazines.

Playboy? Penthouse? Juggz?

No. To my horror...

Guns and Ammo
posted by rex dart, eskimo spy at 11:23 AM on July 13, 2006


Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

we which are alive . . . shall be caught up--after having been "changed in a moment" (1Co 15:51, 52). Again he says, "we," recommending thus the expression to Christians of all ages, each generation bequeathing to the succeeding one a continually increasing obligation to look for the coming of the Lord. [EDMUNDS].
together with them--all together: the raised dead, and changed living, forming one joint body.
in the clouds--Greek, "in clouds." The same honor is conferred on them as on their Lord. As He was taken in a cloud at His ascension (Ac 1:9), so at His return with clouds (Re 1:7), they shall be caught up in clouds. The clouds are His and their triumphal chariot (Ps 104:3; Da 7:13). ELLICOTT explains the Greek, "robed round by upbearing clouds" [Aids to Faith].
in the air--rather, "into the air"; caught up into the region just above the earth, where the meeting (compare Mt 25:1, 6) shall take place between them ascending, and their Lord descending towards the earth. Not that the air is to be the place of their lasting abode with Him.
and so shall we ever be with the Lord--no more parting, and no more going out (Re 3:12). His point being established, that the dead in Christ shall be on terms of equal advantage with those found alive at Christ's coming, he leaves undefined here the other events foretold elsewhere (as not being necessary to his discussion), Christ's reign on earth with His saints (1Co 6:2, 3), the final judgment and glorification of His saints in the new heaven and earth.

This tract does not anywhere mention or even have to do with Rapture, it has to do with what salvation Christians will find, which was the point of Thessalonians, it was a letter to Romans in Thessalonia to urge them to accept the message of the Jews who had accepted Jesus as the Messiah, and telling them to accept him and prepare for the end of the world.

More on this can found in the great book The Reluctant Parting by Julie Galambush.
posted by parmanparman at 11:23 AM on July 13, 2006


Maybe you're just sitting around, reading "Guns and Ammo", masturbating in your own feces, do you just stop and go, "Wow! It is amazing how fucking crazy I really am!"?
posted by prostyle at 11:27 AM on July 13, 2006


May I make the first solution to ending this madness?

I say it's time we stop treating children like property that parents _own_. Just because you gave birth to the child doesn't give the parent any moral right to fill the kid's head with so much bullshit. I want all the talk about 'protecting my children' and 'teaching my child as I want' to end. Now.

Children should be raised in secular houses with other kids learning secular values. They will be taught all of the traditional school lessons as well: math, science, history, literature, art, and philosophy.

If at the end, the child still believes he should be a Christian, more power to them. However, I believe 99% of all Christians are such because of the way they were raised, and not by any decision.
posted by triolus at 11:33 AM on July 13, 2006


Hear, hear.
posted by grubi at 11:48 AM on July 13, 2006


But if all the children go to heaven, who's going to mow the lawn?
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:48 AM on July 13, 2006


if this stuff was happening in the Indigenous Church Of Lower Wackistan would you be as outraged [...]
posted by jonmc at 10:27 AM PST on July 13

You ask this question every fucking time the issue comes up, and guess what? The answer is still the same: yes, we would be just as outraged. Pure cultural relativists are few and far between, and not many populate MeFi.

posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:40 AM PST on July 13 [+fave] [!]
People are twitchy about this strawman because it's bad enough that it's spewed all over less intelligent mediums, youdathunk we'd (Whoever the f "we" is) have at least kicked it on Metafilter.

Buuuuut, jonmc, you mighta got more mileage if you compared the Mefite reaction to the Fundamentalist Christian community's child manipulation/exploitation to the Mefite reaction to the artistic community's child manipulation/exploitation. There are differences and similarities between the two scenarios, certainly and I'm not interested enough to waste time right now delving into them, but the gut and deontological ethics feel the same to me: It's wrong to manipulate someone into pain or the mimicry of pain without consent and then film it without consent. Children can't consent. There's the added bonus of the church's indoctrination, but all churches do that.

I would think that the real reason here that makes the difference between on person's gut ethics pro artist but anti fundy are the political ramifications. One kid who had their lollypop stolen by some wacked out artist won't nullify my vote. Fundy kids probably will.
posted by Skwirl at 11:51 AM on July 13, 2006


If nothing else, this thread has brought a new notable mefite to my attention: parmanparman. Well done, sir.
posted by boo_radley at 11:51 AM on July 13, 2006


kids on fire for The Lord patio sealant
posted by maryh at 11:54 AM on July 13, 2006


Triolus-- great idea! Now all we need is some sort of organization that could bring all the kids together and teach them how to be good citizens.
posted by InfidelZombie at 12:01 PM on July 13, 2006


The seven deadly sins are not given much theological weight in the kind of Christianity espoused by the folks at this camp. For most evangelicals, sin is sin, period. Even the tiniest screw up damns you forever unless you receive the saving grace of Jesus Christ. - jedicus

Yeah, but if you are 'saved' by Jesus it doesn't matter what the fuck you did, you're a-okay!
posted by raedyn at 12:02 PM on July 13, 2006


FWIW, stuff like this drives me nuts.

As a "moderate" Christian, (I'd better watch out for Sam Harris!) this stuff scares me a lot. It bothers me for the sake of those children and everyone involved. It just doesn't seem safe...religious expression is one thing, but these kids are so young. I'm not for any kind of brainwashing. The people who run this camp are probably blinded by dollar signs. sigh.
posted by rex dart, eskimo spy at 12:13 PM on July 13, 2006


Godwin'd on the first comment.

Look, fuck Godwin, and fuck his stupid law. Either the shoe fits or it doesn't. If the comparison isn't accurate, then demonstrate it isn't accurate.
posted by eustacescrubb at 12:26 PM on July 13, 2006


For years shunned by society
Outcasts, condemned for our beliefs
Our legions grew in secrecy
And now, the time is here
I see the Jesus everywhere
I think the Rapture's drawing near

We hold our rebel bibles up with pride
The cover's leather, the crucifix the sign

Kids On Fire, Kids On Fire, etc

posted by Wolfdog at 12:31 PM on July 13, 2006


This one time... at Jesus camp...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:33 PM on July 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


Kids in Ministry is a project of a woman named Pastor Becky Fischer, Fischer is a pastor of Christ Triumphant Church of Missouri. The camp is Pentacostal, but comes from the tongues tradition, which is not done in some Pentacostal churches, because it is deemed uncouth.

I don't think you can rightly call Pentacostals Evangelical with a capital E because it is not that they take their faith so much that they are involved in politics to a great degree. I would definitely say they mission, but these camps are not meant to mission, they are meant to infuse those who are already believers with the Pentacostal word of God.

In the film Fischer is asked whether she feels it is right to indoctrinate children in this way: "As I understood, your question to me was 'Do you feel it's right for the fundamentalists to indoctrinate their children with their own beliefs?' I guess fundamentally, yes I do, because every other religion is indoctrinating their kids. I would like to see more churches indoctrinating," she says.

There you have it, so what this really boils down to is why doesn't the liberal spiritual crowd speak its values in this way?
posted by parmanparman at 12:34 PM on July 13, 2006


why doesn't the liberal spiritual crowd speak its values in this way? -parmanparman

That's a good question, I guess. I worked as a counselor at a Christian summer camp while I was in college. It was an LCMS camp, which is a far cry from Pentacostal.

Did we indoctrinate there? I guess, although I didn't think about it that way. Of course, the children going there were already Christians (or forced to go by mom and dad). We didn't speak in tongues or roll around.

If values were transmitted, it wasn't vote Republican, blow up abortion clinics, or hate gays. Instead, we tried to teach "Love thy Neighbor". There are places where "liberal spiritual values" are communicated, I hope. But the squeaky wheel gets all the attention and something like this is really, really squeaky.

I don't much about the Pentacostals. Is this a transmission of values? Or is supposed to be some kind of religious experience? Am I anywhere near touching on what you are asking parmanparman?
posted by rex dart, eskimo spy at 12:43 PM on July 13, 2006


The presence of God was so thick in the room one could almost reach out and touch it.

I was inspired to contribute to Wikipedia!
posted by sourwookie at 12:44 PM on July 13, 2006


If the comparison isn't accurate, then demonstrate it isn't accurate.

3 important features distinguish this kind of thing from the Hitler Youth:

1. It isn't state sponsored (yet, anyway)
2. There isn't a cult of personality surrounding a living person (i.e., Jesus doesn't count)
3. Modern American evangelical protestantism has yet to convert the country to a dictatorship, start a war with virtually the entire rest of the world, and commit genocide.

I'm not being flippant with number 3. There's an enormous difference in degree, if not (as I would argue) quality.
posted by jedicus at 12:47 PM on July 13, 2006


agregoli: Uh, no?

jonmc: Um, wow, articulate answer. You must be speaking in tongues.

agregoli: Jon, your endless annoyance with anything I say is getting really boring. Could you please can it?


Arrogance aside, I think his point is that your answer doesn't make sense. The question is "either/or" (and rhetorical), and you answered with a negative. What were you trying to say?
posted by medialyte at 12:48 PM on July 13, 2006


3. Modern American evangelical protestantism has yet to convert the country to a dictatorship, start a war with virtually the entire rest of the world, and commit genocide.

Damn near two out of three on that point!
posted by sourwookie at 12:50 PM on July 13, 2006


Somehow, I don't think "Jews of Fire" would get many followers.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:53 PM on July 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


Godwin law is only allowed to be applied once per thread please Astro Zombie. Once.
posted by eurasian at 12:54 PM on July 13, 2006


Look, fuck Godwin, and fuck his stupid law. Either the shoe fits or it doesn't. If the comparison isn't accurate, then demonstrate it isn't accurate

a) Hitler is such a symbolic embodiment of evil that if anything is analogized to something hitler did, the presumed conclusion is that it therefore must be inherently evil. But remember that hitler breathed air and drank water / etc / just like everyone else, so saying "that's just like something hitler once did" isn't much of an argument if you don't explain what makes it evil. Is hitler evil for having implemented a youth program, or for the specific indoctrination he gave those youth, or even for unrelated wartime events?

b) in what way does this shoe even fit? Is any activity that involves children that you dislike presumed analogous? Why is a seemingly uncontrolled, unorganized, exhaustingly emotional frenzy-for-god analogous to a young soldiers unit? Just because you don't like either? I would say the boy scouts are far more obviously analogous to the hitler youth than this crap, and I would call that a ridiculous argument as well, because it is not in the ways in which the hitler youth were like the boy scouts that they were problematic, but in the ways in which the hitler youth were uniquely hitlerian (ie, the problem is not a youth program per se, but one which advocates racism, heroic death, etc)

Children should be raised in secular houses with other kids learning secular values.

government sanctioned belief systems are not likely to go over well in a country founded on freedom of speech & freedom of religion.
posted by mdn at 12:56 PM on July 13, 2006


Rex Dart, Eskimo Spy. We are on the same wavelength. Are you aware of the Network of Spiritual Progressives? It's on off-shoot of the Tikkum Olam movement (Tikkun Olam is a Hebraic term meaning "[to] repair the world" that was started by Rabbi Michael Lerner and Rev. Jim Wallis. The gist is explaining to people that you can be pro-environment/gay/pro-choice/anti-war and still be faithful to a religion. So often in the Evangelical movement (and in many other Christian traditions), we see people being told to cast off social justice values in favor of a meandering, difficult, unchristian, non-Christ-affirming message of social exclusion of those who are lesser/different than themselves.
posted by parmanparman at 12:57 PM on July 13, 2006


The thing that really bothers me is the low standards. If you're going to go through the trouble of brainwashing a bunch of kids, why not brainwash them into believing something useful? Faith in Christ really isn't a saleable skill. Why not teach them construction? Or train them to be ninjas? I suppose once you have them believing in God you can make them do anything but still, I'd like to see a more results-oriented approach. Ideally, we should be able to export our excess evangelicals to other countries and turn a tidy sum.
posted by nixerman at 1:02 PM on July 13, 2006


But why do we have to go through "this is fundiefilter" every time there's an interesting post like this?


But is this interesting, aside from the shock and revulsion value? What conversation or discussion has it generated beyond - "Wow, that's fucked up"? I think it could have been a much better post if it at least had an opinion, or a contrast or even a question (like the one later in the threat) - like why don't liberal religious-types get the press that the wackos do?
posted by canine epigram at 1:06 PM on July 13, 2006


It's Raining Florence Henderson wins the intarweb for today.

Still chuckling.
posted by bardic at 1:06 PM on July 13, 2006


like why don't liberal religious-types get the press that the wackos do?

Because wackos make good copy, at least in terms of attention grabbing and that seems to be all the media cares about.
posted by jonmc at 1:07 PM on July 13, 2006


Note: I wasn't saying the shoe fit in this case, I'm just tired of people typing "Godwin" instead of making arguments. The arguments are much more interesting and helpful.

if anything is analogized to something hitler did, the presumed conclusion is that it therefore must be inherently evil.

The thing with Hitler/Nazism is that normal, everyday people were party to hideous crimes. Hitler stands as an example of how the concept of evil as the penultimate Badness misses the point that lots and lots of people being apathetic or "just doing what they're told" or follwing a charismatic leader without critically thinking can led otherwise good people down the path to evil.

Why is a seemingly uncontrolled, unorganized, exhaustingly emotional frenzy-for-god analogous to a young soldiers unit?

I'm guessing you don't know a lot about pentecostalism or the frenzy that Hitler created. The man could whip crowds up into quite an ecstatic state. Women were known to faint at his speeches. There are striking similarities between the emotionalism used to manipulate these kids and the emotionalism Hitler used to manufacture consensus in crowds.
posted by eustacescrubb at 1:10 PM on July 13, 2006


I read the FFP and got excited that Al Jourgensen had somehow started a summer camp for kids.

Reality rarely lives up to my expectations.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:13 PM on July 13, 2006


The man could whip crowds up into quite an ecstatic state. Women were known to faint at his speeches.

Thanks eustacescrubb! I've got evidence connecting Hitler to the Beatles now, as well!

parmanparman, I'll examine those links, thanks!
posted by rex dart, eskimo spy at 1:14 PM on July 13, 2006


like why don't liberal religious-types get the press that the wackos do?

Because wackos make good copy, at least in terms of attention grabbing and that seems to be all the media cares about.


JonMC, that is indiscriminately untrue. The issue, as I see it, as a religion journalist, is that too often when people want a comment on any issue they turn to those who can make themselves readily available and have the capacity to make a statement immediately. One of the issues groups like FAIR have raised is that often when a conservative religious person appears on television or radio, they are paired with a journalist, who can offer little rebuttal to issues of religion usually.

A stunning example is after Katrina, when Jerry Falwell was carted onto MSNBC and paired with Bill Press. (Press, for reference, is Catholic and spent several years in seminary before becoming and commentator and journalist). Press could simply not offer the same kind of theological experience Falwell could. But pair Falwell with someone like Obery Hendricks, Sister Joan Chittister, or Jim Wallis it would be a different and better debate alltold.
posted by parmanparman at 1:18 PM on July 13, 2006


JonMC, that is indiscriminately untrue.

In terms of mainstream TV News, what I see argues otherwise, and not just in terms of religion.
posted by jonmc at 1:21 PM on July 13, 2006


Nobody ever talks about the good that Hitler did for the German economy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:26 PM on July 13, 2006


Thanks eustacescrubb! I've got evidence connecting Hitler to the Beatles now, as well!

Who were cooler than Jesus. And so we come full circle.
posted by eustacescrubb at 1:43 PM on July 13, 2006


Why not teach them construction? Or train them to be ninjas?

I vote ninjas.
posted by grubi at 1:45 PM on July 13, 2006


mr.curmudgeon:

being slain out in the spirit is very fun. It's about as intense & fun as taking shrooms or acid (but usually doesn't last nearly as long)

as to the anti-potter woman's obesity, yes the whole "your body is the temple of the lord" thing is a massive cesspit of hypocrisy in pentecostalism. Dancing in the spirit, speaking in tongues, etc. leaves you emotionally drained & hungry, so every night after the altar call is finished it's off to McDonalds, Burger King or Pizza Hut.

I remember the days of sick rage I felt when, shortly after having left home & becoming an atheist vegetarian university student I heard about the death of one of the P.K.'s I grew up with, of bowel cancer at age 19. As the son of an evangelist, he probably ate 75% of his meals on the road in fast food joints. Not necessarily any cause/effect of course...but the prevalence of obesity and physical unfitness among the pentecostals is undeniable, and in my opinion, unbiblical too.
posted by lastobelus at 1:50 PM on July 13, 2006


Constuction ninjas! Nobody knows how that new highway got built, or when. They came out of the night with dump trucks and cranes, and made not a sound when they worked.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:00 PM on July 13, 2006 [2 favorites]


Astro Zombie: That is HI-larious! We need more great examples of profession + ninja!
posted by parmanparman at 2:08 PM on July 13, 2006


"I've got evidence connecting Hitler to the Beatles now, as well! "
It's interesting that you bring that up, because the first time I attended a Pentacostal service I was struck by how the crowd was acting exactly like those maniacal beatles fans you see in old news clips - screaming, grabbing the hair, bobbing back and forth and crying. Scary shit, but kind of funny in a way.
posted by 2sheets at 2:10 PM on July 13, 2006


"I vote ninjas."

Yeah, just what we need, thousands of lethal fundie zealot assassins running around...

Might want to rethink that vote.
posted by zoogleplex at 2:11 PM on July 13, 2006



posted by tkchrist at 2:55 PM on July 13, 2006


C'mon. Jesus is overrated.
posted by yeti at 3:23 PM on July 13, 2006


but lots of religions do it

That may be, junior, but if lots of religions put their head in the gas stove would you do it too?

Jesus.
posted by Decani at 6:33 AM on July 14, 2006


« Older London's 'flushers':...  |  Kiteboarding is an argument fo... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments