Thursday, September 21, 2006

SHOW ME YOUR WAR FACE

Jesus Camp: Prepare to feel the love...



Yes, you heard that right, she said:
"I want to see them as radically laying down their lives for the Gospel, as they are over in Pakistan and Israel and Palestine and and all those different places."

Isn't that special? I went to religious camp for a few summers when I was a kid. Nobody spoke in tongues as I remember, but they did like to show us this film about the Rapture that scared the crap out everybody. I can speak to the sense of siege that the adults tried to pound into us, the idea that Christians were at war with a culture which rejected Christianity. It wasn't until, oh, about age thirteen when I realized how monumentally stupid the notion was that Christians were a threatened class in American society, and also that Christian rock music was shitty. So shitty.

It's one thing to pass thing to pass your beliefs to your children, quite another to indoctrinate them into little Christianist jihadis, which is precisely what we're seeing in Jesus Camp. This is where the Christianist movement separates from more mainstream Christian denominations, and even, I would argue, from the mainstream of evangelicalism. The Christianist movement is not interested in merely living the example of Jesus, they are looking to radically transform American politics to reflect their particular, and very theologically shaky, interpretation of scripture, to create institutions that would have been utterly unrecognizable to the American founders. They have a patron in the White House, and supporters in Congress.

And they start young. We've seen, and many rightly criticize, the success that jihadist movements have had teaching holy war to children in Muslim societies like Palestine (a significant difference being, of course, that the siege of Palestine is real, and not just a dramatic conceit to make children cry, but which makes the transformation of children into soldiers no less outrageous).



Mark what Itamar Marcus says about children being "taught to hate", then watch this video taken in Tel Rumeida, Palestine, where brave Israeli Defense Force troops accompany Jewish settler children on their daily morning ritual of harassing, insulting, shoving, and stoning Palestinian women and children on their way to school.



Notice how, after a settler teen strikes a Palestinian woman, the Israeli soldier steps in to make sure that the Palestinian woman does not hit back. I can't think of a more perfect encapsulation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Years from now, when one of the children in this video, or any of the other thousands of Palestinian children who experience this sort of state-sponsored violence day after day after day, decides that he's had enough, and blows himself up in an Israeli restaurant, Charles Krauthammer will write a column deploring the anti-Semitism which infests Arab culture.

Militant political-religious indoctrination: It's bad for children and other living things.

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