It seems like I see a new sign for Vacation Bible School pop up every time I drive down the road. They are usually big white banners displayed in the front lawn of your standard corner church, presenting bright smiling faces, crosses, and colorful rainbows.
As a good Baptist child, I went to my fair share of Jesus Camps growing up. I remember lots of praying, going to the front of the church to ask for forgiveness, raising your arms and closing your eyes to sing hymns, people getting Baptized in the lake, and watching the plays (puppets and live-action).
I don't have any bad memories from my time at VBS, but looking back as an adult it seems like a nightmare. I was presented a one-sided story, not permitted to ask questions, and told that if I didn't follow the instructions I would probably suffer an eternal damnation. Ouch.
A documentary came out about 5 years ago called 'Jesus Camp.' I've seen most of the movie by watching clips online and you can also stream it on netflix. The documentary follows a group of children attending a fundamentalist VBS in North Dakota.
It infuriated me. Take a look at the video.
I cried for these children. As you can see from the video, they are brainwashed to the point of delirium. They are told over and over again that they are impure and undeserving of love. They are sinners, vile, and cruel and can only have their sins washed away by listening to their preacher and praying to God.
These are children! My readers know I feel very strongly when it comes to children being treated badly by adults, and once again I will use the term 'child abuse'. What the adults in this video do to these children is CHILD ABUSE - plain and simple.
How do you feel watching this video? What would you think if you saw your children speaking in tongues and twitching on the floor? This video scares me and I just hope these children are exposed to other viewpoints during their lives.