"Kids on Fire" Doused
November 8, 2006 8:30 PM   Subscribe

"Right now we're just not a safe ministry," Jesus Camp shuts down. Previously discussed here.
posted by landis (79 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Good.
posted by econous at 8:36 PM on November 8, 2006


Teachin' evolution to illegal immigrants! WHILE HIGH!
posted by fungible at 8:38 PM on November 8, 2006


Gay Junkies for Bush! or, if you prefer "Fags for Hag!"
posted by ColdChef at 8:42 PM on November 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


or, if you prefer "Fags for Hag!"

Hag fags?
posted by rkent at 8:45 PM on November 8, 2006


Wait - what happened to fighting for God?

Oh - right, you don't actually believe in God that much.
posted by odinsdream at 8:51 PM on November 8, 2006


I have to say... if that was being done by outsiders, it really sucks. That's a horrid camp, and it makes me shudder to even think about, but at the same time, they have the right to believe what they want.

That said, it wouldn't surprise me if it were some of the kids themselves who were the vandals. When I was a kid, the Mormon troops were always horrible to the summer camp we used. There were one or two specific weeks where they all came in together, and the camp was always a disaster afterward. They'd do more damage in their one or two weeks than would happen in two normal summers of regular troops.

We attributed it to the fact that the Mormon boys didn't have a choice about being Scouts; it was our understanding that all teenage boys in the church were required to join. They didn't want to be there, and misbehaved.

I don't know if these evangelical kids are volunteers or not. If they're being forced to go by zealous parents, breaking the windows would be entirely consistent with behavior I've seen myself. It may not be outsiders at all, but rather angry, resentful campers. It's the nature of kids to rebel, and when they're under that kind of intense religious pressure, the rebellion can be extreme.

(Note that just because it started after the movie doesn't automatically mean outsiders... presumably, these kids have more mainstream friends, and they could be under new social pressure that they weren't experiencing before.)

Just a thought.
posted by Malor at 8:59 PM on November 8, 2006


I absolutely can't wait for "Jesus Camp." Like Christmas, the Superbowl, and my first handjob all rolled into one!
posted by ColdChef at 9:02 PM on November 8, 2006


Score one for common sense.
posted by cerulgalactus at 9:12 PM on November 8, 2006


The House, the Senate, Rumsfeld gone, Haggard humiliated, and now this. Somebody pinch me.
posted by jokeefe at 9:18 PM on November 8, 2006


Good riddance. Vandalism and hate mail? All the better.
posted by bob sarabia at 9:19 PM on November 8, 2006


I'm glad the brainwashing, at least at camp, is ended. I am disappointed it was the result of vandelism, instead of common sense.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:26 PM on November 8, 2006


fff, I think it was just as much all the negative letters, emails and phone calls as the vandalism that caused the shutdown.
posted by landis at 9:29 PM on November 8, 2006


Malor,

My own anecdotal evidence suggests that you might be on to something. I know a few people who were sent to these kinds of "Jesus camps" when they were in their pre-teen/early teen years. Days would be filled with illicit make-out sessions and hand jobs, followed by tears and prayers for forgiveness. A few days after leaving the camp, they would be all, "WTF was that?" I wouldn't be surprised if some of the kids decided to get back at their tormentors.
posted by papakwanz at 9:32 PM on November 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


it was a big day on jesus ranch. jesus ranch.
posted by Hat Maui at 9:54 PM on November 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


"I am disappointed it was the result of vandelism, instead of common sense."

I wouldn't be so sure that it's about the vandalism and hate mail, but that makes a good story and lays the blame on unhinged leftwing moonbats.
Not that It would be related directly to Haggard, but there could be a few skeletons in the closet that have somebody really worried in the aftermath of Haggard's downfall.
And what kind of christian gives up that easily when they are supposed to be training spiritual warriors?
This doesn't pass the smell test.
posted by 2sheets at 9:58 PM on November 8, 2006


The House, the Senate, Rumsfeld gone, Haggard humiliated, and now this.

It was my birthday this week. Just saying...

AND I got a MacBook.
posted by c13 at 10:02 PM on November 8, 2006


Now I feel even more justified in deing so brunk!
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:22 PM on November 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yes, and vandals too!
posted by luckypozzo at 10:30 PM on November 8, 2006


It's obvious to me that MeFi is bending the world to the will of its collective consciousness somehow.
posted by aliasless at 10:33 PM on November 8, 2006


The House, the Senate, Rumsfeld gone, Haggard humiliated, and now this.

It was my birthday this week. Just saying...

AND I got a MacBook.

And then I found $5!
posted by Mikey-San at 10:35 PM on November 8, 2006


I grew up in Bismarck, ND. In a religious family. My parents forced me to be around all kinds of sick fucks like these. I know they meant well, and were only doing what they thought was right, but it had a deep effect on me, and not the way they intended. The priest in their church, Corpus Christi, Fr. Steve Zastoupil, fucked kid(s) and got away with it. I still remember my dad telling me about the church meeting - people still wanted him to be the community's leader! But that's not what this post is about.

Kids who went to camps like these were my fellow students in High School. One organization, in particular, was called Youth Alive.

Youth Alive was awful -- self righteous, arrogant, and always slighting the goth kids (my beloved friends). They also met every Tuesdsay morning -- gathered around the flagpole -- and sang hymns, loudly, obnoxiously, and as visibly as possible. Their arrogance and visibility angered a lot of people.

Responding to the lack of non-theistic organizations, I founded the Youth of Death, using only a sheet of ruled notebook paper and some art supplies. I screenprinted patches and t-shirts - their logo was the Jesus fish, ours was a fish skeleton. We were, according to my list, about 75 strong. We met every Tuesday morning before school (no small feat for a bunch of goths and freaks) and ate donuts, which I provided.

Our stated purpose: to eat donuts on Tuesday mornings. Our true mission: to annoy the Youth Alive by Just Our Being Us.

We succeeded, of course, brilliantly. They were profoundly annoyed and spent a lot of time and effort trying to get us "shut down". Luckily, nobody can stop a bunch of misfits from eating donuts - not the administration, not the Youth Alive, not even, it seems, God himself.

But that's not all - not by a long shot. Two of the higher-ups in the Youth Alive bought me a ticket to an event in the Bismarck Civic Center, and invited me. Something called "River Fire" or some similar Christian construct. Two beautiful, chaste Lutheran girls picked me up and brought me to this event. There, they had a rapper, a Nirvana-like group, and a speaker. The rapper rapped about Christ, the Nirvana-like group sang in the Jesus Christ pose, (but not too loud) and then the speaker came on.

He told a story, hardly a story, more a long blathering mess punctuated with lots of mic sound effects "BOOM" "pSSSHHH" and so on. Lots of jokes about his kids. The story was about two young lovers who, infatuated, went to their neighbors' house when they were on vacation, jumping the fence to hit the pool on this gorgeous sweltering summer love day and "POOOOOOMM KSSshhhhhh" (silence)... THERE WAS NO WATER IN THE POOL.


"That's what it's like without Jesus."


After the shock wore off, and the gasps died down- (mostly from the sound effects), the speaker said:

"I know there are a few of you out there who are very brave. I know there are a few of you who aren't willing to hit the bottom. I know there are a few of you who are ready - ready to stand up, to take my hand, and to accept Jesus Christ into your heart at this moment, to save you from Hell, and to let you live forever."

Predictably, two or three kids shakily stood up, and, WHOOSH, in the space of a second, everyone else but me. Gretch and Sara tried to pull me up, but I wasn't going.

Everybody prayed, prayed some bastardized prayer about let Jesus into my heart blah blah. And then, they all got up and went into the "back". Really, the entry hall of the Civic Center, facing north. There, there were dozens of adults, all lined up, cutting kids into groups of ten and sitting them in circles for programming. My guides took me to one with a woman I vaguely recognized. Everybody prayed together, and then individually, starting with one of my guides. She cried, prayed for me, and my lost soul, and my involvement with the Satanic Youth of Death. I countered that we only love donuts, and not Satan, but that I couldn't speak for everyone. More tears.

The others prayed for me as well, prodding me to accept Jesus into my heart, but of course, I refused. Indeed, I got so pissed off - and was so weirded out, that I got up and went outside for a cigarette. (I've since stopped- no thanks to Jesus) Prayer continued in my absence.

They took me home in a minivan that reeked of fast food and candles. The girls stopped talking to me. Jesus never weaseled his way into my heart. The Youth of Death eventually just petered out- we'd had our fun, annoyed the other kids, and that was enough... and then High School was over.

I moved a few hundred miles away shortly after.
posted by fake at 10:45 PM on November 8, 2006 [57 favorites]


Am I to understand that in a mere two days' time, we've got Democratic majorities in the house and maybe the Senate, Rumsfeld is gone and Jesus Camp is closing its' doors?

If I'm dreaming, don't wake me!
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:14 PM on November 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


fake:

I wanted to be you when I was in high school. Except, I went to a Catholic secondary school. And when I told questioning members of the administration that I was 'decidedly atheist' and that I had no worries about failing my mandatory religious education classes by not doing the work (it didn't affect my grades to get into uni), they told me that it was my choice, wished me luck, and let me do my homework for other subjects during those classes, as long as I didn't disturb everyone else.

Australian Catholics, man. what a riot. Makes me wish I had gone to a school with this element, simply to be the antagonist.
posted by cheaily at 11:15 PM on November 8, 2006


fake: thanks for sharing, dude. That's a great story.
posted by ninazer0 at 11:17 PM on November 8, 2006


fake - that's awesome. You should look into opening a chapter in your new community.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:20 PM on November 8, 2006


At my high school, they hired the youth pastor from the local kool-aid church to serve as the Volleyball coach and school counselor. On Wednesdays, he hosted meetings for a youth group called "IMPACT", which became a kind of Junior Illuminatti as far as high school politics went.

By the time I graduated, they'd opened up a middle school division called "MANIA" - to this day, I cannot imagine a more appropriate name.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:23 PM on November 8, 2006


fake: Nice. I had similar, albeit less religious confrontations with my brethren in high school and college. My little cable radio station was in a sort of constant conflict with the Young Republicans. It was... messy. (and not worthy of explanation considering your well spoken comment)

To speak to the thread: Jesus Camp got shut down? Just because one of the formative members was into gay prostitutes and meth? Shocking!

I mean honestly, how can one expect li'l zealots to hate the muslims and Arabs if the leader is banging a dude and snorting amphetamines? I mean really, that's just not cool.

Poor kids. Brain washing is teh suck.
posted by quin at 11:35 PM on November 8, 2006


fake : It don't matter that you made a choice not to believe, Jesus loves you anyway. When you come back home he will welcome you, and even if you are sure you will never do that, his love will be there anyway. Jesus won't judge you. You are quite able to do that yourself. He will simply be there for you if you need him. Even Jesus has a smelly anus. Think on this. Peace Bro.
posted by econous at 11:36 PM on November 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Even Jesus has a smelly anus.
posted by chillmost at 12:07 AM on November 9, 2006


Fake, my imaginary unicorn loves you more than Jesus.
posted by cytherea at 12:09 AM on November 9, 2006


"local kool-aid church" = perfect phrase.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:16 AM on November 9, 2006


If I were a carpenter, and your were a whore
do you think I'd get a freebie if I built you a door?
posted by econous at 12:40 AM on November 9, 2006


Hmm, I think I was in your Youth of Death club, except my chapter was in semi-rural Alabama and our club also included the bonus that we freely associated with nerds and even, gasp, black people.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:12 AM on November 9, 2006


It is not about Jesus, who at best could have been a brilliant philospher before some idiot deified him.

It's about getting rid forever of individuals who exploit deity to exploit people. I bet they have wasted these kids for life, but there is hope they will recover and fight back the insanity.

Among others it seems that Becky Fisher also needs to feel the same fire she was brainwashing kids with.
posted by elpapacito at 2:06 AM on November 9, 2006


Wow. I just can't relate at all. I was in high school in Canada during the 80's . In a school of ~2600 kids there were about 30 jesus lovers and about 30 cigarette smokers and several hundred pot smokers. I had no idea that I grew up in a bubble, or sickly sweet cloud, of modern enlightenment.
posted by srboisvert at 2:21 AM on November 9, 2006


in a mere two days' time, we've got Democratic majorities in the house and maybe the Senate, Rumsfeld is gone and Jesus Camp is closing its' doors

Bullies can't stand up to a real fight. They're cowards.
posted by psmealey at 3:47 AM on November 9, 2006


Bullies can't stand up to a real fight. They're cowards.

That's pretty much it. The last 12 years have consisted of the GOP and the GOP-enabled special interests (e.g. evangelicals) acting cocky (Karl Rove is an unstoppable genius!) and systematically emasculating the opposition (e.g. "liberal" being a slur, convincing people that the opposition could never have any message of its own). One steady breeze, though, and they aren't so tough.
posted by rxrfrx at 4:21 AM on November 9, 2006


So when is New America(tm) becoming a brand?
posted by flippant at 4:32 AM on November 9, 2006


Wow, what fake said.

I'm a believer as an adult (tshyeahright) even though I was all Carl Sagan-ish and agnostic and stuff in school; a lot of the reason I shied away from religion is simplistic, overbearing crapola like s/he describes. (Dated a girl who informed me I was going to Hell, etc.)

Christianity, more of a religion for adults than for kids, doesn't really lend itself well to that sort of interpretation anyway. I think you have to go through a lot of stuff to appreciate the power of ideas like sacrifice, forgiveness, and loving the seemingly unlovable (especially your adversaries), by which point you're no longer exactly young and you start realizing how complex life and relationships -- including metaphysical ones -- can be. It's a lot more nuanced than this goofy sort of love-in stuff s/he describes at the story's climax.

I really love the Alternative Fellowship of the Tuesday Morning Doughnuts. I hope that meme starts spreading. I like to think I'd've been there munching a cruller with you guys, and funnily enough, I bet that's where Jesus would've preferred to be too!

Peace, y'all.
posted by pax digita at 5:00 AM on November 9, 2006 [3 favorites]


I used to go to a private Catholic high school, the most prestigious one in Quebec City (if you lived there you'll automatically know which one it was, it's that famous). Anyway, one priest in particular was particularly involved in organizing activities for people on weekends and during lunches, and was pretty much always with students. When I came back to Canada in 2004 I found out that this same priest was convicted of molesting minors over a period of 30 years.

Now I didn't associate much with him myself, was neither victim of nor witness to anything appropriate, but I pretty much have to assume that some people who attended when I did would have been.
posted by clevershark at 5:01 AM on November 9, 2006


Metafilter: bending the world to the will of its collective consciousness somehow.
posted by imperium at 5:11 AM on November 9, 2006


Oh, and...sometimes I feel like....

MetaFilter: Simplistic, overbearing crapola.

posted by pax digita at 5:27 AM on November 9, 2006


I like donuts. Were they Krispy Kreme or Dunkin' Donuts?

Even I don't like the Jesus-down-the-throat type interaction. I think Jesus would have been having donuts with you guys and discussing deep topics with you. Would have been a totally different experience.
posted by konolia at 5:28 AM on November 9, 2006


If Jesus had showed up at one of our meetings, you can bet he'd get a donut, free of charge.

Thanks everyone for your reading, and most of all for your comments. I know we found a lot of like minds then (a lot of similarly independent/rebellious, and even similarly hurt people) - and it seems the idea still has resonance years later.


Fake, my imaginary unicorn loves you more than Jesus.


;)
posted by fake at 5:35 AM on November 9, 2006


I like donuts. Were they Krispy Kreme or Dunkin' Donuts?

Tim Horton's toffee-glazed is the One True Donut. Also, good riddance.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:35 AM on November 9, 2006


But now where will the Santorumlets go for camp?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:36 AM on November 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


Thanks for that meme.

sings/ Where, oh where, will the Santorumlets go? Everybody,now! /sings

Gotta wipe the spewed cofee off my monitor now...
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:46 AM on November 9, 2006


That's right, I drink cofee. Not coffee. What's it to you?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:53 AM on November 9, 2006


I went to a Quaker high school, and at those places dissent is actively encouraged.

Good times. Even if it cost my parents 25K/year.
posted by bardic at 5:57 AM on November 9, 2006


On behalf of our censor at Mefi:

[grind, grind, grind, grind, grind]

(no need to thank me, happy to help out)
posted by nofundy at 6:41 AM on November 9, 2006


Awesome, fake. If only we had 75 donut lovin goths in my highschool.

ps - Added your comment to the Mefi CommentFables on the wiki.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:59 AM on November 9, 2006


In the 80s I went to a catholic high school in the Netherlands as a non-believer because my best friend went there too (he was/is catholic). About 25% were not catholic at the time I think. I had to follow religion classes though.

Only in the third year I had (some) problems. That year religion classes were given by the last (very conservative) priest we had at school. Because I was a non-believer I got bad marks. One time my mum even went to the monastery next to the school with a paper of me that had an unsatisfying mark (4 on a scale of 1 to 10). The guy had to admit that he was wrong and I got a 7 instead.

During the 7 years I went to school a shift was perceptable in the way the school carried out their catholic ways. The first years they asked everybody to attend the masses at Eastern, Xmas, and the start and end of the year, 'even if you did not believe'. As I left school in '85, they asked only people to attend that really wanted to take part.
posted by RobHoi at 7:03 AM on November 9, 2006


I've been to many Jesus Camp like things. I can say that as a child, I was quite successfully brainwashed by folks running these camps, church leaders, parents, assorted other relatives. Once I got into my teens, having been so thoroughly indoctrinated for the preceeding 10 years (I recall getting in trouble on more than one occasion in 2nd grade for lecturing fellow students about Jesus and hell and whatnot), I was quite comfortable with things such as going door-to-door and witnessing at people on their own front steps, subjecting all of my friends to my beliefs -- repeatedly (conclusion: not very many friends), starting a prayer group at my high school, being one of the musicians playing all them worship songs for the congregation, having visions and prophetic messages for people.

I was one of the few on our "missions trips" who actually took them seriously. Yeah. I'm pretty agnostic, now. Thanks, in part, to rigorous questioning which began with things like "Wait a minute ... if God is infinite and unfathomnable, how can we possibly know so much about what his desires are?" and, also, to copious amounts of hallucinogens.

I'm still dealing with the growing up brainwashed thing, however. Yay therapy!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 7:07 AM on November 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


fake: Wheredya get all the donuts? Can you get me some?
posted by Joeforking at 7:25 AM on November 9, 2006


There's a place
Near Devil's Lake
Where I can go
And not feel forsaked!
Jesusland
It's a panacea
Jesusland
They're always glad to see ya
You'll understand
When you go
On
Down to Jesusland
When I feel
My world is lost
I go to Jesusland
And I get really tossed!
I wish my band would always pla-a-ay
Jesusland, I want to sta-a-ay
You'll understand
When you go
On
Down to Jesusland
There's a girl who truly cares
She speaks to Satan on a dare
She speaks a lot in tongues
Hell, she's got a lot to share
Jesusland
We hate a lot of fags
They passed around a Playgirl
And we stroked our penis flag
It's nature's plan
To go
On
Down to Jesusland
Jesusland
Just three quarters of a mile past the Rockwood exit in beautiful downtown
Devils Lake, North Dakota


apologies to Dave Blood and the rest of the gang
posted by Fezboy! at 7:34 AM on November 9, 2006 [3 favorites]


That camp was creepy, but Jesus Camp the movie is just as creepy. It essentially exploits kids in the same way as the evangelicals do in the movie--that is, as some sort of symbol of innocence to be deployed in a cultural war. The fact that I'm on the side of the film makers doesn't make it any less distasteful.
posted by OmieWise at 8:00 AM on November 9, 2006


Is the article coming up for anyone? The site redirects to a domain squatter parking page. Same deal with the passport.com site you get when you log out of hotmail.
posted by dr_dank at 8:03 AM on November 9, 2006


Can I claim "donut lovin' goths" as a band name?
posted by bashos_frog at 8:04 AM on November 9, 2006


From the article: "'[Evangelicalism has] got enough growth to essentially sway every election,' Haggard says with a smile. 'If the evangelicals vote, they determine the election.'"

Wanna say that again, Teddy?
posted by ericb at 8:04 AM on November 9, 2006


On second thought, Teddy, maybe folks are swayrf this election away from your misguided agenda.

New Republic: Catholics and evangelicals are now voting for Democrats.
posted by ericb at 8:11 AM on November 9, 2006


*folks swayed*
posted by ericb at 8:12 AM on November 9, 2006


Interesting thread.

I went to a public high school in the north side of Chicago back in the eighties, and while there were some religious kids, there were absolutely no evangelical types at all. Lots of goth, punk types, and nerds like me who wore flannel shirts before flannel shirts were cool.

We had our niece in a Catholic shcool for a little while, and the religious part was an afterthought, at best. No priests or nuns I ever saw, and their website looks almost completely secular, except for the word "Saint" in the name of the school.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 9:02 AM on November 9, 2006


nobody can stop a bunch of misfits from eating donuts

Amen brother! [wipes away single tear]

that was a great story, in particular because of the anticlimactic ending
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:05 AM on November 9, 2006


I went to HS with a bunch of white Catholics and black Baptists. No scary-ass evangelicals eying the rapture index and calling dinos Jesus-lizards. None the less, I got no end of grief when it came out that I didn't believe in a god. Basically, it was like my classmates were simply not familiar with the idea of atheism. Several of them thought that I believed that, instead of God, scientists created the universe.

Very odd.
posted by brundlefly at 9:35 AM on November 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


I dated a girl once who kept wanting me to go to these sorts of places, and (of course) I did, but never had I felt so excluded from a place of all-encompassing inclusion. It was the witnessing that really got to me. That and the fact that it was interspersed with the most mundane, highschool-type conversation. One minute there'd be a cluster of girls talking about clothes and literally the next they'd be up at the stage with the hands in the air, crying. Then back to the chatting. I honestly feel I'm better for the experience though. I'm certain that if I were ever to find Jesus, it would be on my own and not in an old decrepit barn with Grape Flavor-Aid stains on the floorboards.
posted by hoborg at 10:26 AM on November 9, 2006


I'm certain that if I were ever to find Jesus, it would be on my own and not in an old decrepit barn with Grape Flavor-Aid stains on the floorboards.

Funny, that's where I lost my virginity...wait, did I lose my virginity to Jesus?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:56 AM on November 9, 2006


I went to a couple camps when I was a kid, not the type of Jesus camps portrayed in the movie but church camp. I'm still a Christian, I voted for Bush, and I'm quite positive that the camps I went to for a couple weeks in summer had nothing to do with that. I'm suprised at the number of people who look back on a couple weeks spent in summer and still remember them vividly or need therapy because of them. I went to mormon camp once because my friend really wanted me to come and I find mormonism very creepy but I can hardly remember what happened there.
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 11:43 AM on November 9, 2006


"I think Jesus would have been having donuts with you guys and discussing deep topics with you."

Yeah, but he probably wouldn't have been telling the queers they were going to hell.
posted by mijuta at 11:50 AM on November 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


Because I was a non-believer I got bad marks.
This way they solicit "charitable gifts to help the poor" ; it is just the way the religion racket uses charity to cover up their misappropriation.

I'm suprised at the number of people who look back on a couple weeks spent in summer and still remember them vividly or need therapy because of them.

Oh no wonder you are surprised, one couldn't imagine how much damage can be done by an idiot and a religious book on a young mind. Maybe the most similar experience is being mobbed as adult, something that can crush even bright minds. For both the religious indoctrinators and the mobbers, I wouldn't be moved if they accidentally stepped on a IED, but rather then eliminating the carrier one should assault the methods and messages. maybe by offering solution to the problems that entangle people with religious nuts and mobbing companies.
posted by elpapacito at 1:05 PM on November 9, 2006


2 thoughts:

1. Christians need madrassas too. What's with all the haters?

2. I've never been prouder to be part of the Timbit nation (3 years running!).
posted by bonehead at 3:49 PM on November 9, 2006


The House, the Senate, Rumsfeld gone, Haggard humiliated, and now this.

It was my birthday this week. Just saying...

AND I got a MacBook.

And then I found $5!


And then my rabbit got cancer!

Oh, wait...
posted by arcticwoman at 4:14 PM on November 9, 2006


I went to a Jesus Camp type thing when I was a young teen. Not because I really felt religious, but because my friends were going and I had never gone to a summer camp. I have some good memories of soapbox-car racing, cheerleading, backwards day (clothes backwards, burgers for breakfast/eggs for dinner), games, etc. I also have some pretty unhappy memories of being told to take off my peace-sign earrings because they are the broken cross, being forced to throw out my yin-yang necklace because it implies that there is a bit of Satan in God and God in Satan, and being told that my mother was going to burn in Hell for all eternity because she wasn't Christian enough. My mom was My World, so that was more upsetting that you might realize.

The most traumatic part, though, was the whole charismatic experience. Prior to this I had only ever attended a very mellow church in rural Canada, and had never heard of anything like what I was to experience. It seems cliche now, but the speaking in tongues, writhing on the floor, screaming and crying, laughing maniacally, really freaked me out. It happened every night, though, and I was the only one upset and confused. My friends, my cousin (whom I hadn't even realized was actually religious - I thought she was there for the same reason I was) were doing all these things. Since God was talking to them and not me, I felt there must be something wrong with me. Worse than that, everyone must know there was something wrong with me. So I summoned up my inner drama queen and I faked it. I faked speaking in tongues at my local kool-aid church Jesus Camp. Now, that's one of my favorite stories about myself, but then I was pretty traumatized.

That wasn't my last time in church, I have tried and tried and tried different religions, different denominations, everything. What I think of when I am in church though is that if I could fake it, maybe I'm not the only one. Maybe some people just have more pressure forcing them to fake it longer and more convincingly. Ted Haggard did. I think he faked it until he believed it. I'm glad I quit much much sooner.
posted by arcticwoman at 4:34 PM on November 9, 2006


I'd really love to see this movie, when does it come out ?
personally - i had an experience of speaking in tongues that was very peaceful indeed - but then again i wasnt being prodded by far-right types of people and they'd pretty much know not to prod me.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:21 PM on November 9, 2006


I've been part of the charismatic thing. But being queer, I was oddly insulated/protected. At one point I stayed on a ranch in the Texas hill country, full of young folks (teens and twenties). It was better than being homeless, and I liked singing (actually, that's an understatement. I'm quite good, and trained).

In those far-off days (early 70's) it was a different world. People outside the extreme religion tended to look down on us, and we knew it. Of course this benefited the persecuted, as it always has. And kept them more reasonable, too.

But IMO, there was much less dogma in those days, and far, far, more Jesus. Yes there were charlatans, usually the ones on TV. But there were plenty of preachers that were true believers, trying to actually do the right thing.

I have total loathing for most of these so-called 'evangelicals', going around demanding their idea of 'right' be enforced with the power of the state. They are nothing but a bunch of what Jesus called 'pharasees'.

Count me in with the donut crowd.
posted by Goofyy at 12:35 AM on November 10, 2006


throw out my yin-yang necklace because it implies that there is a bit of Satan in God and God in Satan

Never heard that before, but it makes all kinds of sense, for reasons I'm sure the people that told you that can't possibly bring themselves to see.

To anyone that's spent any time at all reading the Bible, this fear strikes me as 100% founded as well as relevant to the study of Christianity. You can't look at Job's tormentor, and the god that challenged Abraham to sacrifice his infant son as not being part of the same force that tempted Jesus in the desert.
posted by psmealey at 6:43 AM on November 10, 2006


psmealey - But I think the way they explain Job and Abraham is "God works in mysterious ways." God can do things that seem bad, but really aren't bad in his Great Mysterious Plan. As long as God has a reason for them, they aren't bad, at least not evil the way Satan is. I guess it comes down to motivation.

That's always been one of the big contradictions that pushed me away, though. I can't really guess to know what they believe because I really don't have the same frame of reference.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:13 AM on November 10, 2006


I don't disagree with that, arctic woman. That said, in the way the devil tempted Jesus isn't the desert, wasn't he also doing the same thing (making Jesus affirm his faith by testing him) just from the other perspective?
posted by psmealey at 9:17 AM on November 10, 2006


isn't in the desert
posted by psmealey at 9:18 AM on November 10, 2006


Yes it is, completely. That's why I don't understand.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:35 AM on November 10, 2006


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