Who Is Mike Papantonio's Jesus Camp?

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‘I really feel we are a key generation to Jesus coming back. We’re being trained to be God’s army.’ Ten-year old Levi O’Brien is a devoted young preacher and a visitor of the camp Kids on Fire. Kids on Fire is a seven-day camp in the United States to which Evangelical Christians send their children, as part of their Christian education. Evangelical Christians, also known as Pentecostals or charismatic Christians, make up about thirty percent of the US population and are therefore a huge and influential group. Despite this enormous audience of a couple hundred children every camp, the camps are a relatively unknown world. After living with the tight knit community for one year, filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady released ‘Jesus Camp’, the Oscar-nominated documentary that created heated debates…show more content…
Papantonio is an Air American Radio host, and serves as the voice of the more moderate Christian. Throughout Jesus Camp scenes of the camp are alternated with clips from Papantonio’s radio show, in which he comments on the habits and behaviour of the Evangelical movement. At one moment he interviews Becky Fisher, the organizing power behind the camps, and the conversation intensified to a furious debate. Papantonio thinks children can be persuaded to belief anything, and that these camps are designed to brainwash them. It escalates in Papantonio saying to Fischer: ‘I gotta tell you, God is watching us. And God has a very special place for those people who mess with our children. It’s not a pretty place.’ These parts in the film are the rare moments the evangelicals receive any criticism, and Becky Fischer does not succeed in conveying clear counterarguments. If the audience is not already shocked at this point in the documentary, this conversation will ensure they are. As Mike Papantonio says: ‘The more I hear about this… It just gets crazier and

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