The documentary “Jesus Camp” — which takes its viewers to a North Dakota children’s camp where kids are brainwashed for Jesus — is causing many blue-state movie-goers to consider it a horror movie. But is it being fair to evangelicals?
The film equates evangelicals with the almost cartoonish image of intolerant, close-minded fundamentalists you see so often in the mass media. And that, say some, is lazy thinking. Rene Schlaepfer, senior pastor at Twin Lakes Church in Aptos, is proud to call himself an evangelical, but he is no right-winger.
“It’s always frustrating,” wrote Schlaepfer to the Sentinel in response to our review of “Jesus Camp,” “to find my own subculture stereotyped in ways that are inaccurate to the point of being unrecognizable. I see the same three blowhards on Larry King all the time parading as “evangelical spokesman”, and I think: who are these people? What influence have they ever had on our church? I watch movies with judgmental, hate-filled Christian characters and I’m both thankful that these sorts of people have not characterized my experience and sad that these portrayals might be drawn from deep wounds inflicted by Christians. I hear news of yet another “evangelical” pastor accused of immorality and it literally makes me sick.
“I agree with you that these kinds of “evangelicals” are scary. But what’s just as scary, to me at least, is people are thinking they are typical. The descriptions of “Kids on Fire” Camp in your article sound as alien to me as they do to you: Riveting and repulsive, certainly; but not representative.”
The Associated Press is reporting (as polls are closing on Election Day) that their exit polls are showing that, of those whites who call themselves “evangelicalsl,” one third of them are voting Democrat. That doesn’t sound like lock-step thinking to me.