'Jesus Camp' shuts down

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Thursday, November 9, 2006

The evangelical Christian summer camp "Kids on Fire " featured in the documentary Jesus Camp will shut down for several years due to negative reactions to the film, negative e-mails, phone calls and letters. Many accuse camp leader Becky Fischer of "brainwashing" the children.

The documentary showed camp leader Becky Fischer acting as a "drill instructor" for young children preparing themselves for spiritual and political warfare. Fischer makes explicit comparisons between her camp and Islamist 'jihad training camps'. It also shows children praying before a photograph of President Bush.

The film included scenes with disgraced preacher Ted Haggard, who resigned his leadership of the National Association of Evangelicals after he was accused of having sex with a male prostitute and using methamphetamine.

Haggard has criticized the film as mocking the evangelical movement and for using his statement that "If the Evangelicals vote, they determine the election." The film makers responded that "Pastor Haggard is the only person in Jesus Camp who has a problem with how he was portrayed" and stated that they had been careful to avoid his more inflammatory and divisive comments.

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