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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Class Notes 3/8/07

Class Notes for Thurs. March 8, 2007

Melissa M.

Gender and Popular Culture

Professor Gamble

Class Film: Jesus Camp

Notes before film:

  • Power, empowerment, and power effects:
    • Look for conflicts within power. How is power operating?
  • Remember trio of popular culture: money, government, and RELIGION (This is what the film focuses on.)
  • Look for popular culture in religion used to further its own success.
  • Look at voice in relation to power. Who has it? What is the mediating the voice?
  • While watching film: No positive evaluations or negative judgments. ( As the viewer- should see ties with children and advertising)
    • Take notice of the man on the radio. (especially his comments)

Rough Outline and Main Points of Film: Jesus Camp

  • Voice on Radio: “We are engaged in a culture war today…Reclaim America for Christ…entanglement of politics and religion”
  • At a church, the viewer sees children of all ages, at a Prayer Conference in Missouri, where a woman named Becky Fisher, a Pentecostal minister, is preaching that they can change the world.
    • Children are seen raising hands and praying loudly in another tongue. ( no known language)
  • Some of Becky Fisher’s thoughts:
    • “ Children are usable for Christianity”
    • “ We need to stand up and take over the land”
    • She compares the Christian children that she has under her wing with children that are raised through Islam. She said that she wants to have Christian children to have early, religious training, so they could be just as devoted to their own religion.
  • Fact shown on screen: Evangelicals believe that to be saved, they need to be “born-again.”
  • Personal Story: The film introduces Levi, 12 year old, that is home schooled by mother.
    • Some ideas that were shared while she was teaching:
      • Global warming is not a big deal. ( all politics)
      • Creationist theory is the solution to all questions.
      • Science doesn’t prove anything.
    • Mother stated there are two kinds of people in the world:
      • People who love Jesus.
      • People who don’t.
  • Fact shown on screen: 75% of home schooled children are Evangelical.
  • Personal Story: The film introduces Rachel, 9 years old, in a bowling alley.
    • She randomly approached a young woman and tells her that she needs Jesus in her life, that he has special plans for her, and that she needs to go to him. Rachel gives the woman a religious booklet and is proud of her decision of picking her.
  • Personal Story: Tory, a 10 year old, is shown dancing Christian heavy metal music.
    • Tory stated that she personally doesn’t care about Lindsey Lohan or Britney Spears.
    • At her home, Tory and her siblings say a special pledge of allegiance specifically about Christianity and the Bible.
  • The film shows Fisher and the children that follow the church at the summer camp. (at Devil’s Lake, North Dakota)
  • Fisher begins to preach to children:
    • She speaks about the devil and says that temptation is through sin.
      • “Can’t have phonies in the army of God”
      • She has children cleanse their hands from bottled water as a symbolic event.
    • She states that Harry Potter is evil, since warlocks are enemies of God. “Harry Potter would have been put to death in the time of God.”
  • Next scene: Fisher describes how children are visual learners.
    • For example, on the computer, she was preparing on her screen the following statement: “Punishment for sin is death.”
  • Next scene: Children are shown to break cups with hammers as symbolism for destroying the power of the devil in the nation.
    • She proclaims during this scene to the children: “This means war! Are you apart of it or not?!”
  • Personal talk from Levi: He describes the fact that he feels “yucky” when he meets non-Christians. He felt that he wouldn’t be different than other kids if they would go for their religious calling, since we are all under the nation of God.
  • Next scene: Back at the church, a woman brings a cardboard figure of President Bush to praise- especially with statement : “ one nation under God”
  • A motivational speaker comes to talk to these children basically about abortion. He riles them up and even has them praying and crying to stop abortion.
  • The End: The man on the radio wraps up everything. In class, we could not hear the end. Professor Gamble does confirm though that the man on the radio states that this religion portrayed is a radical form of Christianity and even though he was Christian, he did not necessarily liked Bush.

Professor Gamble at the ends starts a small discussion about this film showing an interesting power paradox, etc.


-A woman is the leader.

-Fear tactics were used.

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