Jesus H. Christ!

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-12-12 01:35

Jesus! What a nut!

Who? Pastor Becky bloody Fischer, that's who, the former head of the 'Jesus Camp' documented in the film of the same name (hold on to your head, here's a trailer), and still head of KidsInMinistry.Com -- tagline, "redefining children's ministry in the 21st Century"! The exclamation mark, by the way, is mine. You'll understand why quite quickly.

Regarding what exactly Fischer means by "redefining children's ministry in the 21st Century" might look like, this fruitcake tells ABC News in a short news item about her 'Ministry' and the Jesus Camps her Ministry used to run (pre-film) for thousands of pre-teen Christians: "I want to see young people ... as radically laying down their lives for the Gospel as they are over in Pakistan and Israel and Palestine, and all those places..." I don't need to tell you how they lay down their lives (and others) in Pakistan, Israel and Palestine.

In fact Fatah in Palestine just gave us another lesson in their brand of radicalism yesterday when they killed three children in a drive-by shooting. Radical, huh. As Voltaire observed, people who believe absurdities tend to commit atrocities.

But back to Beckie. And her young proteges. Says one of them, "You know, a lot of people die for God and stuff, and they're not even afraid." Says another poor sap, "We're kind of being trained to be warriors, only in a much funner way."! (There's another exclamation mark.) You see, Pastor Beckie is worried that America is-- as Bill Maher puts it -- "losing the Fanaticism Race," and she wants to indoctrinate young kids to join the nuts on the other side by abandoning reason entirely -- or just "kind of" -- and embracing .. well, what exactly ... martyrdom?

The line between different brands of dangerous religious nuts is only paper thin. If this is what Leonard Peikoff was warning about before the recent US election -- and I confess, I thought he was exaggerating -- then he was right on the money. These people are dangerous. "A specter is haunting America," says Peikoff, "the specter of religion."

"What does determine the survival of [America]," said Peikoff back in October, "is not political concretes, but fundamental philosophy. And in this area the only real threat to the country now, the only political evil comparable to or even greater than the threat once posed by Soviet Communism, is religion and the Party which is its home and sponsor."

The only thing funny about it is that religious conservatives like O'Reilly can react with equanimity to Pastor Becky bloody Fischer, but so septically about a child actor making fun of religion and those "goddamn Christians." The kid's funny too (see below). But they sure ain't.

The Coolest 8 Year Old In The World Talks About O'Reilly


You can find more of those horrifying religious nuts at You Tube just by typing in "Jesus Camp," including this clip about why Harry Potter should be put to death.

And you can read more about Religion versus America at the Ayn Rand Institute Religion page.

LINKS: Jesus Camp - Wikipedia
Jesus Camp (trailer) - You Tube
Jesus Camp (ABC News) - You Tube --> --> -->
Peikoff on the coming election - Capitalism Magazine (October 19, 2006)
Religion v America- Ayn Rand Institute
Bill Maher - Jesus Camp - You Tube --> --> -->
The coolest 8 year old in the world talks about O'Reilly - You Tube --> --> -->
Bill O'Reilly labels YOu Tube video as child abuse - You Tube --> --> -->

RELATED: Religion, Nonsense

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Jeff Perren's picture


The reason was that it was only one survey, and that we only had the results. I agree with you, however, that even that is worrisome. But, it doesn't incline me to believe that America is 'heavily infected' with religion, in the sense that Peikoff and others suggest.

I live here. I know what people are like.

My examples were chosen to suggest that on the wider issue -- rationality vs belief in mysticism -- Americans are doing pretty well.

I grant you this, the campaign about and against the Theory of Evolution has been considerably more successful than I would like. Nevertheless, ID and its worse variants have been repeatedly shot down from being allowed to enter the public classrooms in a lot of places. I don't consider the battle over, much less the war and -- as far as I can tell -- we are winning.


Reason - dup deleted

Jeff Perren's picture

duplicate deleted.

"Still, I don't accept your

Peter Cresswell's picture

"Still, I don't accept your proxy, for the reason I stated."

Well, to be fair, you didn't state a reason, you just said that the survey was a "Chicken Little story" -- something I'm sure the readers of 'Science' magazine will be surprised to hear -- and you listed some magnificent achievements, none of which say anything about what the survey showed about the high number of Americans who reject evolution, and what that might say about those Americans.

But if you're all talked out on this already, that's fine.

Cheers, Peter Cresswell

I'm commenting here without

Fraser Stephen-Smith's picture

I'm commenting here without carefully reading all other posts and checking out other links; which is poor form, so apologies in advance.

One interesting comparison between the US and the UK in terms of religion, is that (I understand) very few US politicians can get elected without specifically mentioning their faith, whereas politicians with religious faith in the UK (e.g. Tony Blair) have to downplay their belief in order to avoid mockery.

We have a national religion, which the Head of State is also the leader of; and religious education is part of most school's curricula. Despite this, the UK seems less religious to me than the popular portrayl of the US.

None of this will stop me from demanding that my daughter (now 13 days old) wears a hijab from the age of 10 and is schooled in a convent.

Not exactly

Jeff Perren's picture

I never asserted, nor believed you were anti-American. That would be not only contrary to much evidence I've seen, but... a hasty generalization. I wasn't focusing on you, incidentally. If you are referring to the 'your scales' point, change it to 'the scales' if you wish. I was just acting on the same motive you exhibit when you (rightly) leap to Wright's defense.

"Perhaps you just have a problem with non-Americans discussing America?"

There might be a touch of Cyrano's nose going on, for sure. But after arguing for weeks with Objectivists about the subject, I'm probably a little chafed. That's more likely to be a partial determinate of my behavior than the fact that you are in NZ. Anyway, let's not make the discussion about me, eh?

Still, I don't accept your proxy, for the reason I stated. I presented lots of evidence and argument on the other side not long ago and I don't want to have to reiterate all that. With no hostility in my voice, I recommend you read some of the threads on SOLO and on The Forum for a more extensive discussion.

Here's one.
Imminent theocracy?

Now I guess I better go wash my hands.


Wrong end of the stick, my friend

Peter Cresswell's picture

Well, I'm sure my friends and blog readers will be highly amused to learn I'm anti-American, but even if it were true (and it's not), it's hardly the point here.

The point under discussion here is the extent to which America is infected with religiosity, and the study that I posted showing non-belief in evolution is a reasonable proxy for religiosity. No? The conclusion "I draw" is simply the conclusion of the poll.

I'm just giving you the news. If you'd rather focus on me than on the news, that's up to you.

Perhaps you just have a problem with non-Americans discussing America?

Peter Cresswell

Well said, Jeff.

Ross Elliot's picture

I'll take an inconsistently pluralistic America over almost anything else, any old day.


Jeff Perren's picture

I'll give you this much. Oprah's audience is far larger than it should be.


Let's face it ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Americans in this, the Age of Crap, are more susceptible than most to bullshit, period—not just supernatural bullshit. Look at the Therapy Culture for starters. Look at CCS (California Crybaby Syndrome) whereby Americans cry about "hurt feelings" at the merest hint of criticism or disagreement. And you simply can't tease many Americans—they think you're serious! They're a nation rife with militantly self-pitying neurotics who would appall the robust, emotionally muscular Founding Fathers, as I'm sure they do authentic Americans of the type who mucked in after 9/11. I doubt that the religious nuttery evinced here is any more virulent or prevalent than it was in Ingersoll's time, and I rather suspect it's less so. As far as more mainstream evangelism is concerned, I'd have been far more worried about the likes of Billy Graham in Nixon's time than I am now.

"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance"—against all unreason.


Hasty Generalization, Part 2

Jeff Perren's picture

Hasty generalization. From one instance, a poll about Evolution (the details of which are not shown in the graph, and I don't have time to analyze yet another Chicken Little story), you can not draw the conclusion you draw.

But if you want to make comparisons in that way, how many Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry and Physics are American? How many Fields Medal winners are American? Where live the majority of readers of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged? per capita? Which country's film industry produces the most reality oriented heroes? Which country's military has the most effective training? (Though Britain is a strong competitor on that one.) Which country produces more innovations in technology every year?

Or is that all just a matter of having more money or political power? And what, after all, is the root of that wealth and political power? And while I'm asking questions, which country's major religion is the least mystical and the most rational? Assuming Objectivism is a correct theory, how would it be possible to have all that freedom ("freedom is a greater indicator of prosperity than clear-headedness") if America didn't have more rationality?

And, now, perhaps the most important question of all:

Why do only the bad things count on your scales?


While Gulliver Naps

Ted Keer's picture

The Liliputians note how prone he is to nightmares? Please Peter, we Americans may be scared of jack-o-lanterns, easter bunnies, stocking coal, the raptures featured in Jurassic Park, Pookae, Fairy Rings, and Nuclear Armed NZ Vessels docking in our ports, but one thing we are not scared of is graffs. Why I've never even seen one at a zoo!

Once again, the scary specter not of faith bashing, but of Yank-baiting rears its ugly head. God bless Linz for not doing this, and for defending our honor with his Turandot marathon. Please come visit America and see just how prone to anything we are except perhaps generosity outside of the paranoid creations of the producers of Borat. Or at least pick on someone your own size, you mean man you.



Supernatural nonsense

Peter Cresswell's picture

I'd love to believe that, Jeff, except that Americans are more prone to supernatural nonsense than people from any other Western country except Turkey.

That graph is rather frightening, no?

Cheers, Peter Cresswell

There are three hundred million Americans

Jason Quintana's picture

Only the most absurd make it on TV shows like that.

- Jason


Jeff Perren's picture

"it's hard to understand just how infected with religion America is."

That's a bit of a hasty generalization, if you're relying heavily on what you saw in that disgusting trailer.

There are many millions of Americans who, in daily life, could not care less about religion, Christian or otherwise. The vast majority pay it no more than lip service, and that only rarely. Most of the time, they're much more interested in what's on TV or what's going on at work, or whether their spouse is healthy or angry, or whether their kids won a football game, etc.

There have been several religious revivals in U.S. history and this latest is just one more blip on their way to oblivion. The trend is toward continuing secularization, as has been discussed at length on SOLO and The Forum already over the past few weeks.



Sandi's picture

Initially I was absolutely stunned, but I can see some good coming out of this.

Is it naive of me to think that this type of exposure is actually going to slap enough people into reality or at least to consider what they are doing with their children's minds?

This is not a pretty sight and when some people get a good hard look at the monster they are creating, surely it must sink in?

However, the underlying message is a religious war and that is totally terrifying. In fact my optimism is now waning.


Ted Keer's picture

You have my sympathies, and congratulations, as appropriate. But perhaps sending some of these people to clean minefield for us wouldn't be such a bad idea. Just watch them around the cool-aid stand!


Peter Cresswell's picture

From this distance here in New Zealand, which in many respects is comfortingly atheist, or at least agnostic, it's hard to understand just how infected with religion America is.

I was shocked by what I saw here.

Cheers, Peter Cresswell

* * * *

**Setting Brushfires In People's Minds**

**Integrating Architecture With Your Site**

Thank you for putting this

Adam Buker's picture

Thank you for putting this up Peter. This is exactly what Peikoff has been talking about. Not only that, I've spent my whole childhood growing up around this crap. I want to see an end to this shit once and for all.

Adam Buker

Music Composition

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