As some of you know, I get really pissed off with certain segments of the Christian community, not the humble faithful who are sincere and don't feel the need to insult you and your own beliefs or lack thereof. I don't like the ones who berate the way I live and are so in your face and arrogant with their beliefs. I really dislike the rise of Christians who feel it is their duty to convert you and "save your soul." I can't stand the "holier than thou" bullshit that is so evident amongst the fanatical Christian Evangelical movement. So with that introduction, I give you my analysis of a program we saw called, "48 Hours: The Lord's Boot Camp."
The Lord's Boot Camp is a camp where some Evangelical Christians send their kids to prepare them to go out and get people to come to Jesus. They send these kids out into the wilderness and run them through these physically and emotionally demanding obstacle courses while they yell the ten commandments at them and many of the kids breakdown and cry from the intensity. This is what I saw, impressionable kids being separated from society and their families and physically and emotionally broken down so that they were ripe for indoctrination and vulnerable to suggestion.
The militancy of the whole thing really disturbs me and reminds me of the militancy of some of the radical Muslim indoctrination camps/schools. It plays into the whole martyrdom complex, that they suffer from persecution and thrive on victim hood. Traits of a martyrdom complex include: They have the need to be a victim and complain always (Christians complaining that our country isn't Christian enough and they are being persecuted if anyone dares oppose their views and plans), They lie and twist facts to prove their point (because, well it's the truth and therefore somehow justified. The ends justify the means. They'll thank me later), They selectively forget, ignore or avoid any facts that may conflict with their point and resort to name-calling when everything else fails (you're beliefs are demonic and you're a sinner because you don't agree with me).
These kids went around trying to convert people in Africa and in Indiana and telling people that they are wrong and that they are right because they, "just know." It's maddening to deal with such stubbornness and circular logic. To this end, one of the adults leading the boot camp was asked if their methods were brainwashing, to which he responded, "No, we're just telling them the truth." Which is more circular logic because how do they know it's the truth if they don't do their own investigation into other belief systems and lack of them. How can you know, "the truth" if you aren't given another option? If it's really the truth then they'll easily come back to Christianity after their personal soul searching. It's the old patriarchal, authoritarian trick of, "Because I said so" which is backed up with a large dose of guilt, fear of eternal damnation and shame.
Then there is the peer pressure to do what the other kids are doing. So how is that different from drug peer pressure? Oh, I forgot, it's different because it's--"the truth."
Then there was the girl who said she wasn't angry at people when they didn't listen to her pitch, she just felt sorry for them. That is another attitude that pisses me off. They are so arrogant that they honestly think that people couldn't possibly be as happy as they are because they don't know, "the truth" yet. They don't believe people who have heard, "the truth" and turned it down and say that they are very happy without Christianity and so they double their efforts to bring you the, "good news." In other words, "God" loves you whether you like it or not. They also explain your rejection away as you aren't ready to hear "the truth." Or that you aren't being honest with yourself, that if you look deep inside of yourself you'll know it's true.
You disrespect peoples' beliefs, their lifestyle choices and their very intelligence but then wonder why people hate you??? Un-fucking-believable. It's like talking to a rock sometimes except a rock doesn't berate and insult you.