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Is Jesus Camp Objective? Or Unfair?

Christians debate the documentary Jesus Camp; even Ted Haggard joins the fray. The Black Dahlia takes us to the dark side, while Gridiron Gang and Everyone's Hero make sports fans and families cheer. Plus: The Last Kiss, and more reviews of Lassie and Hollywoodland.

You've never seen this in a movie before—young children speaking in tongues and rolling on the floor, apparently under the power of the Holy Spirit. And what is more, they're dressed in camouflage, to represent their identity as soldiers in God's army. They're asking God to fill the U.S. Supreme Court with "righteous judges." They're protesting abortion. They're shouting prayers for President Bush while they lay hands on a cardboard cut-out of his likeness. And—don't tell Al Gore—but they're being taught that global warming isn't a problem at all.

Jesus Camp is not a drama or a comedy. It's a documentary, made by award-winning filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, who follow the experiences of three young children—Levi, Tory, and Rachael—as they attend the "Kids on Fire" summer camp in Devil's Lake, North Dakota. The camp, directed by Becky Fischer, encourages children to embrace Christianity through programs of intense instruction and charismatic worship.

Some Christian media personalities are speaking out against the movie, but for differing reasons. A few accuse the filmmakers of trying to discredit Fischer and her camp, and they rush to the defense of the film's subjects, saying that their methods of worship and education are to be celebrated. Others are criticizing the film by saying that this documentary footage severely misrepresents Christianity, and that it has been framed to draw viewers into viewing Christians as lunatics.

CT Movies editor Mark Moring expressed that very concern his weekly newsletter, and now Rich Tatum, a Pentecostal who is upset about how his denomination is portrayed in the film, has written a commentary for CT Movies titled, "Brainwashed in the Blood." Also at ...

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July/August
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