And if seeing kids this your declare themselves in training to be “the army of God” and “the key generation to Jesus coming back” doesn’t worry you a little (and it didn’t help that at the moment I’m reading The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount, about folks who want to help armageddon along by rebuilding the Third Temple) consider seeing Jesus Camp as a part of a double feature.
The woman in the rainbow sweater (yeah, I know, and I’m not even gonna start on that) is Gladys Gill. She runs the Mississippi chapter of Concerned Women for America. And, yes, she did say civil rights and “repeal” in the same sentence, and I’m pretty sure she meant it too. Gladys has me a little more convinced of just how far back she and her fellow travelers want to turn back the clock.
I’m tempted to say that I wouldn’t want to sell my house to someone with that sweater (Really, Gladys. A rainbow?), and inflict upon my neighbors the day-to-day reality of sharing a street with her. But that would be too flip, and there’s good reason to take these folks seriously.
The guy in the Jesus Camp clip estimates their numbers at about 25 million. That’s not a majority of Christians, or a majority of the country. But, as Kevin Phillips explains in American Theocracy, they do make up a significant part (anywhere from 30% to 40%) of the Republicans’ voter base. That translates into the ability to influence policy and shape it according to their beliefs. Both abroad and at home.
That brings me back to Jesus Camp. Taking these folks at their word as far as what they believe, and wondering what it means for the rest of us unbelievers if they get it, keep in mind that the kids in this movie are enthusiastically reciting the pledge to the Christian flag. Pay close attention to the last line of the pledge.
I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the Savior for whose Kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life and liberty to all who believe.
If they’re talking about the millennial kingdom, which I assume they plan to return for, that’s one thing since the rest of us will be in hell by then. But if they’re talking about here and now in America, or their plans for our future? Well, that something entirely different.
If I don’t see Jesus Camp and Red State in the theaters, I’ll definitely rent them via Netflix once they’re available. But I’m gonna watch ’em with the lights on.
Update: Jill has a review up.
These kids are growing up thoroughly insulated and under-educated. And yet they’re being bred to strive for powerful positions in government, and not rest until their religious beliefs are the ruling laws of our country. They’re being trained, and aren’t afraid to call themselves soldiers and warriors for their cause. And if there’s one thing that Jesus Camp drives home, it’s the idea that we should not continue to underestimate them.
Read the rest.