Thursday, April 5, 2007

Jesus Camp

Has anyone out there seen this movie yet? Swing by your neighborhood video store & take a look; it is definitely worth watching for anyone interested in religion & public life in the U.S (click on the title of this post to see the trailer). I am glad to have seen it, although I must admit it was painful for me to watch for a couple different reasons:

1) Whenever I see groups of people frame the world in stark "us vs. them" terms, which is certainly the case for the protagonists in this film, I question their capacity to work together with anyone who does not share their views.

2) The film is peppered with clips from Mike Papantonio's Air America program, Ring of Fire. Papantonio's perspective on Christian fundamentalism is full of a fear and rancor that seems to have become more common for prominent voices on the political left (for a local example, see Lauren Sandler's article on, Come As You Are). It seems to me that liberals who are afraid/suspicious of their Pentacostal neighbors, whom they have not been willing to get to know personally, are not choosing to form their worldviews all that differently than the Jesus Camp protagonists themselves. I think that the shrill voices on both sides of the debate at the climax of this movie would do well to learn to play better with others.

Is there anyone else who has seen the movie and would like to react? Or feel free to reflect on the red-blue divide that the film is seeking to explore...

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