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Jesus Camp

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  Becky Fischer is a Missouri pastor who runs a summer camp in which children roughly between the ages of 6 and 12 are trained to be soldiers for God. That’d be fine if this were an ordinary Christian organization that practiced Jesus’ messages of peace, love and tolerance. Instead, this is yet one more example of the insidious and far-right Evangelical movement that’s helping destroy the fabric of this nation. Scene after scene in this sobering documentary shows young children being brainwashed at every turn by the fanatical adults surrounding them: Kids enjoying the telling of ghost stories are told to cut it out because it doesn’t serve God; parents home-schooling their children sneer at the very notion of fact-based science; and Fischer herself informs her young charges that had that “warlock” Harry Potter been around in the days of the Old Testament, he would have been put to death. Offering the film’s lone voice of reason is radio talk show host Mike Papantonio, a devout Christian who, like the rest of us sane believers, is aghast at how these zealots are turning the religion’s saintly sentiments into something ugly and brutal (Fischer discusses everything in terms of war and battles, failing to note the similarities between her methods and those of -- what’s the popular term these days among Republican parrots? -- Islamofascists). The most surreal scene finds Fischer bringing out a cardboard standup of George W. Bush for the kids to worship -- and one can’t help but note with amusement that it seems no less intelligent than the real thing. Sunday 7 p.m. at the Lucas Theatre. $8 cash only. Presented by Reel Savannah. 




 

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