2/02/2007

I Know I'm Way Behind On This One...

I finally saw this for the first time the other night and all I can say is:

Ho. Lee. Shit.

That is some fucked-up stuff going on. I had heard about the praising of Dubya that goes on in the film, but had no idea just how ridiculous it would be. Not to mention all that praying. Praying over the audio-visual equipment, praying at Planned Parenthood, praying before your turn at bowling. LOTS of praying.

As strange as these people seemed, it got me thinking about my religious upbringing. Granted, I never spoke in tongues or flopped around on the ground or broke down in tears, BUT I did engage in religious rituals. My family said grace (Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, and may the food to us be blessed. Amen.) every night before dinner. I went to Sunday School every week. I was confirmed. I took communion. I was an acolyte. I even went to church youth leadership events at Augustana College two summers, although they were more opportunities to chase tail than to find christ. Most importantly, I was never given a choice about whether I wanted to go to church or not. It was just assumed. I don't see how this wouldn't be considered indoctrination.

I know there are probably a lot of church-goers who will see this film and think these people are insane. I'd ask them to reflect on their own religious practices and, if they have kids, whether they are truly giving them a chance to decide for themselves. If you're not, do you really have the right to make fun of the people in the film? I guess you do, but it seems a little hypocritical.

12 comments:

Flannery Alden said...

I used to work with a lady who prayed for everything. It seemed a little kooky and annoying. I mean, if you're such a good child of God, wouldn't He cover you for most of the day? With so much suffering and need, why bother him with protecting your stupid cameras?

It seriously makes me so mad, I want to chew on some roofing nails.

The [Cherry] Ride said...

I was born and raised catholic and one summer my parents sent my brother and I to a week-long Jewish camp. Not because they wanted us to learn about other religions; more so because they just wanted us out of the house. Now that's fucked up.

Melissa said...

I was raised Southern Baptist and went to church every single Sunday (even if I had slept over at a friend's house on Saturday night, there were my parents, knocking on the door at 7am), most Wednesdays, church camps in the summer, evangelical conferences, etc., etc. I, too, was never asked if I wanted to go, or wanted to continue going, and the moment I turned 17 and got my own car, I told my parents they could no longer make me go to church. I haven't been to one since, unless it was for a wedding. And that was only once.

K.I.D. said...

I was raised Catholic...did the whole shebang. I'm nonpracticing now, but I'm grateful I had the experience when I was younger. Had I not had a religious upbringing, I'm not sure I would have been exposed to spirituality. I certainly wouldn't have known what I did and did not like about faith. I think it's important that children have exposure to religion as well as science and math, etc. I don't think kids need spirituality...but I'm glad it's there waiting for me if I need it as an adult.

Dick Small said...

When I was around 4 or 5, mom used to make me say the prayer "now I lay me down to sleep" at night before I went to bed. I used to be DEATHLY afraid of saying it. "Why", you ask?? What scared me the most was the part: "if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take"... Um, dying before I woke, and the Lord taking my soul, seemed SO morbid and frightening. It almost gave me nightmares. Like I was just asking for it. I would never make any kid say that one..

P.s. I've never seen Jesus Camp

lulu said...

I grew up in the church, I guess, my dad is a UCC minister, but he was never a pastor, and church and religion were much more about social justice and service than God and Jesus. We were also encouraged to go to church with our friends and to experience other religions besides the UCC. I think part of tht is that the UCC is not evangelical, they have no interst in converting people, they just want to do good works.

I am glad I was raised in the church, even though I almost never go, and if I had kids I would want them to be exposed to religion.

Megan said...

No fucking way, Chris. The type of indoctrination going on in this film is WAY beyond taking your kids to church without asking them if they want to go.

You got to go to REAL school somewhere other than your own fucking kitchen, and to associate with people who had different religious and political beliefs than you, and to read books and watch mainstream television. You weren't shamed into sobbing in front of a room full of your fellow "Christians" for expressing ordinary doubts about the presence and works of God. You may not have been given an option about going to church, but you were obviously given the option of thinking for yourself or we wouldn't be reading this post.

I don't just think these people are insane, and they're far too scary to simply make fun of. What goes on in this film is abusive. You should NOT be allowed to do that to a child, regardless of what beliefs you're trying to indoctrinate the child with.

Big Orange said...

Cool. All my God Talks are rubbin' off!! Finally!!

I think there's a danger of FORCING children to do stuff: FORCE them to play piano, they hate it. FORCE them to go to church, 8 times outta 10 they'll leave it. FORCE them to write book reports every week, they'll hate reading.

No, better is to explain your reasoning and take a mental holiday now and then and be open.

I've not seen the movie, nor do I think I want to: I get enough pain, suffering and madness just by being alive.

Dick Small said...

Believe me, I know ALL about pain. And regret.

Scarlet said...

http://www.thegodmovie.com/atheism/



check out the trailer for the film....

Dale said...

Having a mother who's a bit of a religious fanatic and a sister who's a cloistered nun did make me feel a bit indoctrinated but certainly not on the level on display in this film.

Dale said...

Also, the title for this post could have gone on the one above it as well.