January 23, 2007

Stopped in My Tracks: Facing True Horror

Jesus CampI love horror films, but I recognize that most of them are garbage, with few redeeming qualities. I'm okay with that because I find them an entertaining sort of escape. Of the countless horror films I've seen, only a handful have been so disturbing that I had a hard time dealing with them. Fewer still have haunted me for days afterward. I saw just such a film tonight. You won't find it in the horror section (it is a documentary), but it was easily the vilest, gut-wrenching, despicable, nauseating, horrific, I'm-going-to-be-up-all-night movie I have ever seen.

The film was Jesus Camp, and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to get it out of my head anytime soon. I feel like I just watched more than an hour of sadistic adults psychologically torturing young children. I was not raised in an evangelical Christian tradition, and I had never actually seen the force of their indoctrination, its effects, and the spectacle that can only be described as mass hysteria. Atheist or not, watching Jesus Camp made me feel ashamed to be human.

If I didn't already have ample reasons for being an atheist (not that any reasons are required when theists have no support for their case), this film would be sufficient. Whenever I am tempted to abandon blogging, avoid casting a vote, or decide that other issues are more deserving of my time, I need only to remember what I saw tonight. Something tells me that I won't have much of a choice.