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Jesus Camp

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Jesus Camp
Jesuscamp.jpg
Jesus Camp? More like Devil Camp.
Genre: Documentary
Directed By: Heidi Ewing

Rachel Grady

Produced By: Heidi Ewing

Rachel Grady

Starring: Becky Fischer

Mike Papantonio

Cinematography: Mira Chang

Jenna Rosher

Release Date: September 15, 2006
Runtime: 85 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Box Office: $1 million


Jesus Camp is a 2006 documentary film directed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing. It focuses on the now-defunct Christian summer camp Kids on Fire School of Ministry in Devils Lake, North Dakota. The film has attained lots of controversy as many see the actions of the pastors in the film as extreme and irrational. The controversy lead to the camp's closure.

Synopsis

The film focuses on the extreme beliefs of the now-defunct Christian summer camp Kids on Fire School of Ministry in Devils Lake, North Dakota run by controversial Pentecostal children's pastor, Becky Fischer.

Why It Should Be Called Devil Camp

  1. The actions of Becky Fischer and other pastors in the film are overly extreme and can be considered child abuse to many.
  2. Fischer insults the children in one scene by calling them phonies and hypocrites as she believed they were kids in the room that say they were Christian but do the opposite of what they claim to believe when she does not know that for a fact and is generalizing the children.
  3. In the most iconic scene of the film, Fischer condemns the Harry Potter series similar to Caryl Matrisciana and Robert S. McGee in the documentary Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged saying that if Harry Potter was a warlock living in the Old Testament he would've been put to death when it is none of her business what parents expose to their children and the character of Harry Potter is fictional.
  4. A pastor in the film named Ted Haggard said that homosexuality is a sin in one scene when he was in a relationship with a man at the time which makes him a hypocrite.
  5. Fischer states in one scene that people who don't go to church will not make their relationship with Jesus stronger which is another generalization.
  6. One of the children named Rachel says that God does not like churches where the people do not show excessive energy which is judgmental and very offensive.
  7. Fischer says that there are too many Christians that as what she calls "fat and lazy" which is rude.
  8. Fischer had a speaker bring out a cardboard cutout of then president George W. Bush and had the children reach hands toward the cutout and talk to it which can be considered disturbing.
  9. The adults at the summer camp inform the children about abortion even though some of the children are males as well as the fact that abortion is a grown-up conversation topic.
  10. The adults also allow the children to break porcelain cups which can be dangerous as the shards can cut people.

Reception

Jesus Camp received an 87% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 105 reviews, with an average rating of 7.26/10. The film has received negative reviews from several viewers as many see the actions of Becky Fischer and the pastors as child abuse. Some have said that the pastors in the film were not doing anything wrong.

According to Ron Reno of Focus on the Family,
The directors' claims that they were simply trying to create an 'objective' film about children and faith ring hollow. I don't question the motives of the Christians shown in the film. Indeed, the earnestness and zeal with which the young people pictured attempt to live out their faith are admirable. Unfortunately, however, it appears that they were unknowingly being manipulated by the directors in their effort to cast evangelical Christianity in an unflattering light.

In November 2006, Becky Fischer closed the summer camp for fear of vandalism to the premises. The scene where she condemns the Harry Potter franchise has become famous.

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