This past Friday I experienced a documentary that has inspired me to vote from here on out. I'm not quite left wing, not quite right. I believe I'm what you call a social liberal, fiscal conservative. However, I don't vote in presidential elections because I think the electoral college is completely whack, and in fact, I almost wrote a paper about it in grad school...
Anyways, I watched a film called Jesus Camp, and it seriously blew my mind. The filmmakers basically follow a few kids around right before and during a time they spend at a church camp in North Dakota. Seems pretty boring, except for the fact that these kids come from fundamentalist evangelical families. In other words, Pentecostals. And by Pentecostals, I mean those people who get all jiggy in church, seize up on the floor, speak in tongues, etc.
The woman who organizes the church camp is more or less brain washing these kids into joining an army of God, who are here to support the United States of America and George W. Bush. A particular scene in the movie portrays a woman holding a life-size cardboard cutout of GWB, to which the children are all asked to send a blessing, and welcome him to their camp. Riiiiight... But the truly frightening part is that if these children don't grow up and end up as strippers or crack dealers, they're going to be trying to take my social freedoms away or will be the next Timothy McVey.
This film is also set during the time when Sandra Day O'Connor left the Supreme Court and GWB's ultra-conservative nomination gained the position (can't recall his name now). We also get a visit with Ted Haggard, the "leader" of the evangelical nation, who turned out to be paying a male prostitute for sex and meth. Watch the movie... he is a complete jerk to this young kid with a rullet (a rat tail that is nearly a mullet) who likes to preach the Word to his friends (or whoever will listen), and is clearly totally self-absorbed, being the leader of a group of delusional Jesus freaks. I can't even imagine a more hypocritical situation in my wildest dreams...
I don't want to spoil the uncomfortable moments and ridiculous ideas these ignorant zealots hold close to their hearts, but they include anti-abortion (of course), the "fact" that global warming doesn't exist (and they're trashing the planet while they're here because Jesus is coming back tomorrow), and the idea that people who don't go to the crazy, clap your hands and scream to God churches don't have God in their churches at all (I guess this includes me and my Episcopalians, who do the stand-sit-kneel routine). The point is, we social liberals need to exercise out right to vote and be heard, because unfortunately people like me who are just sort of incapable where politics are concerned are not as motivated to go stand in front of the Lincoln Memorial in freezing weather at a Pro-Choice rally as these people are. And they don't know any more about it than I do. The difference is that they don't care if they're made a fool. In fact, I don't even think they know they possess such a wide range of misinformation and have made complete imbeciles of themselves.
I will share with you the moment the title from this blog came from. One of the young zealots approaches a group of middle-aged-to-elder African American men in a park who are playing cards or dominoes or something and says, "If you were to die today, do you know where you'd go?" The man answers, "To Heaven," and she says, "Well, are you sure?" to which he replies, "Yes." So she says, "Ok," and proceeds to run back across the street, fellow Magic Christian children in tow, and says, "I think they were Muslim."
These kids are frighteningly ignorant by no fault of their own. I feel so sorry for them and their home-schooled asses.