I just saw the most chilling, scary movie of the year today.
No, it didn't involve blood, gore, severed fingers or screaming. There was no suspense, no hacking people up with chainsaws, or weird underground mutants who want to rip your head off.
It's called Jesus Camp (www.jesuscampthemovie.com), and I've never cried quite like that for a film, or been so angry, or wanted so much to make my life better as a result of seeing this documentary. I'm not sure every one will have the reaction I did. Most of my tears were a result of my upbringing, and most of my anger was from feeling like I wasted so much of my life on something that doesn't make sense the way it used to. At one point, Lisa leaned over to me and had to ask if I was okay. This was after a particularly disturbing part that she had just finished commenting on by saying, "No way. People don't really do that, do they?"...and then I watched as her mouth fell open when I was able to recite along.
They do. And I can state unequivocally now that it's wrong. We were wrong. It's all wrong. In today's climate of gray, this is something that I feel is very black and white. Clear cut. Wrong. I'm pretty sure Jesus had some specific intentions about how he wanted his followers to be, and the same dude who ate with prostitutes and thieves is probably a little appalled at how his views have been so twisted and skewed as to so fit and align with the Religious Right. I have the feeling that the same peaceful guy who got pissed off, not at Caesar, but at the religious/political hybrid that was taking over synagogues and worship would go into a modern, evangelical church that has not only an American flag in it, but a cardboard cut-out of George Bush and start flipping tables. (Especially with kids involved...you know, all that stuff about whoever misguides the little ones deserves to have a millstone hung around his neck and thrown into the sea.)
The thing is, there will be people who watch the film and be proud and say, "What a great way for our cause to be spread." They won't see the problem, they'll see the opposition as just not having "the truth", and any flak they receive will be "suffering for Jesus." I feel as though I can't change anything about them...and I can't decide if I even want to. I do know that I need to get my head out of my ass and truly figure out what I believe. I know what I don't believe--that's easy enough--but for a person to be able to sit down, as the (misguided?) people in this movie do, and say, "THIS is it", without any doubt, well, that's a little tougher. Especially when you feel like you're starting from scratch.
I felt like today that there's something I can do, but I don't know what. I feel as though I'm on the cusp of something great...be it a discovery or a revelation or just a different mindset. Scary movie, yes...but a good kick in the pants, as well. See it, if you will, but be prepared to think.
Or hell, skip it and go see "Employee of the Month."