David Byrne Journal: 8.2.06: American Madrassas

Ξ August 3rd, 2006 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Politics and Society |





American Madrassas by David Byrne

Saw a screening of a documentary called Jesus Camp. It focuses on a woman preacher (Becky Fischer) who indoctrinates children in a summer camp in North Dakota. Right wing political agendas and slogans are mixed with born again rituals that end with most of the kids in tears. Tears of release and joy, they would claim -- the children are not physically abused. The kids are around 9 or 10 years old, recruited from various churches, and are pliant willing receptacles. They are instructed that evolution is being forced upon us by evil Godless secular humanists, that abortion must be stopped at all costs, that we must form an "army" to defeat the Godless influences, that we must band together to insure that the right judges and politicians get into the courts and office and that global warming is a lie. (This last one is a puzzle -- how did accepting the evidence for climate change and global warming become anti-Jesus? Did someone simply conflate all corporate agendas with Jesus and God and these folks accept that? Would Jesus drive an SUV? Is every conclusion responsible scientists make now suspect?)

Awareness of the rest of the world is curtailed -- one can only view or read that which agrees with the agenda.

Naturally, the kids being so young, there is no questioning of any kind -- they simply accept what grownups Fischer and the others say -- they get pumped up, agitated, they memorize right wing and Jesus slogans and shout them back obediently. They become part of a support group -- a warm, safe, comfortable feeling for anyone, for any social animal, for you and me. No one strays or gets out of line even the slightest bit. (More on peer pressure later.)

There were some perfect sound bites -- at one point Pastor Fischer instructs the little ones that they should be willing to die for Christ, and the little ones obediently agree. She may even use the word martyr, which has a shocking echo in the Middle East. I can see future suicide bombers for Jesus -- the next step will be learning to fly planes into buildings. Of course, the grownups would say, "Oh no, we're not like them" -- but they admit that the principal difference is simply that "We're right."

Continued...

 

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