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By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Jesus Camp: Ewing and Grady testify

As attacks on Boys of Baraka directors Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing‘s new doc, Jesus Camp, accelerate, they talk sect vs. secular with Annie Nocenti at Filmmaker. Of the bubble the Jesus Camp kids live in, Ewing says, “Two types of parents home-school: far-right conservatives and the far left, the hippies. Anyone in an extreme situation wants to remove his or her children from the mainstream. That is their right. But you can’t shelter somebody forever. JesusCamp_levi_450.jpgEventually they’re going to interact with the outside world, and the parents’ hope is that their children will stay strong and be for God.” And what about the dogs? Nocenti asks, “When one of the mothers says something ridiculous, you cut to a dog looking up startled, almost like an eyebrow raised. I thought, Is that Heidi and Rachel’s POV?” Grady concedes, “You’re right.” Ewing says, “We have to be honest. You are right. It’s not like the dogs are the director’s voice necessarily, but we do have two scenes where we cut to dogs.” Grady adds, “The dogs look into the camera like, ‘Huh? I just live here.'” Nocenti asks, “What about the comparisons of the political side of the Jesus Camp training to the extremist Islamic madrassas? Is that a fair comparison?” Grady answers, “It’s fair in the way that you can make a comparison of all fundamentalist religions worldwide. They have something in common: blind faith.” But Ewing adds, “I initially said something similar. But comparing the kids in Jesus Camp to the kids in madrassas is a little overstated, just like it irritates me when people bring up Hitler Youth. The difference is that Evangelicals do not need to strap on guns and bombs. We have something called a democracy, and these children are learning how to utilize the offerings of this democracy to get what they want. That’s what the movement’s doing. They’re not doing anything illegal… Their leadership keeps abreast of every single hot-button issue, and that’s legal. These guys aren’t going to kill anybody, ever.”

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“We’re all going to die so it makes it very easy. I haven’t always thought that way but I’ve realized it’s the truth. I think age gets you there, questioning your mortality… When you realize that, it’s so liberating, it’s so free, you can fly! There’s no need to hold on to anything. Like, think of the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you; it’s probably happened to 500 million people as well. Who gives a shit!”
~ Steve McQueen

“Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them—to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater—one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he’s down on ALL foreigners. He hates people he’s never seen—people he’s never known—with equal intensity—with equal venom. Now, we’re not trying to say it’s unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race—to despise an entire nation—to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill out hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God–a God who calls us ALL—His children.”
~ Stan Lee, 1965