Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

02 July, 2007

Fold Your Hands And Pray For Rain

Alabama governor Bob Riley is asking folks in his state to pray for rain.

With the state's weather forecasters not delivering much-needed rain, Gov. Bob Riley on Thursday turned to a higher power. The governor issued a proclamation calling for a week of prayer for rain, beginning Saturday.

Riley encouraged Alabamians to pray "individually and in their houses of worship."

They've got head full of ideas driving them insane.

Speaking of which, The Dulcinea rented Jesus Camp this weekend. The title comes from a summer camp for children put on by a woman named Becky Fischer who is a Pentecostal children's minister. The viewer is given an inside peek at the camp and the figures surrounding it with an emphasis placed on two children in particular, Levi and Rachael. Despite knowing that the Evangelicals in the film are not representative of all Christians and that they probably aren't representative even of all Evangelicals, I still felt afterwards that it wasn't too late for the South to secede.

The ignorance and the superiority these people feel is absolutely astounding. There are a few instances in which we see Mike Papantonio of Air America's Ring of Fire give an opposing viewpoint. These scenes aren't so much about offering a real, critical challenge to the film's subjects and their point of view as they are about offering secular-minded viewers a chance to breathe. They also serve to throw the Evangelical beliefs into sharp relief. Ms. Fischer actually calls at one point and tells Papantonio & his audience, "Democracy is designed to destroy itself because we have to give everyone equal freedom."

These comments come on the heels of others in which she defends herself against the accusation that her teaching is tantamount to brainwashing. Richard Dawkins gets a lot of flak over his assertion that indoctrinating children into a particular religion is a form of child abuse but Jesus Camp offers portrayals that serve to bolster his case. There are several instances which feature Rachael and Levi talking about their beliefs and proselytizing. In one, Rachael labels non-charismatic churches as "dead churches" and says that her deity wouldn't want to be in them. Watching the children speak, they seemed like mindless automatons parroting what the adults in their lives says. If there's any abuse going on, it's that these adults are closing the minds of these children. Instead of preparing the kids for life in a complex and diverse world, the likes of Becky Fischer only serve to indoctrinate the children with notions of superiority to others and to impose ignorance upon them. The latter is best illustrated when we see Levi being homeschooled by his mother. She uses a textbook on "creationist" physical science and declares global warming to be a lie.

Ted Haggard even puts in an appearance. It was rather funny to watch this knowing that, within a couple months of the film's release, it was revealed that, as Jay might say, he loves the cock.

Jesus Camp complemented something else I watched this weekend – an interview with Victor Gold on how the neo-cons and people like Becky Fischer stole his beloved Republican Party. Here's the first part of that interview:



Part 2
Part 3
|| Palmer, 1:34 PM

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