Archive for April, 2007

“Jesus Camp”

The film reveals a culture I know well.

I am struck by two things having watched this film. First, the rhetoric of the evangelical movement is essentially devoid of content. As far as I can tell the children in the movie were repeating what they’d heard adults say, which consisted of lots of vulgar theological sloganizing. Second, the heart of mysticism is to harness
the sexual energy and call it “god.”

When I was a teenager, I could be found spouting the language I had heard from the pulpits. Theology has to be simplified, apparently, for the masses, and this film reveals that children as young as seven can “talk the talk” flawlessly. The sermons were simply vapid. One of the main formulae seemed to begin with a process of revealing a moral “wrong” that ‘the world’ (and perhaps members of the congregation) was guilty of. After that, the psychodrama of returning trust to the church and surrender ensues easily. The preachers need only have the capacity to remind the followers of their guilt. One giving testemony or speaking personally need only the capacity to feel their own constant guilt. Suffice it to say that the main preacher in the film had a good capacity for guilt. I noticed this while watching her look down her nose in near-reproach as the children gave ‘testimony’ at her services, only their deep penitance earning her approval.

With regards to sexuality the movements are obvious in the back and forth motion of the people praying, the rocking of penitant sinners and the orgasmic thrashing of tranced out Christians. The sexual content is only slightly less obvious in the tearful look to the heavens, and the rythmic monotonic wailing of the singers. Just as the Orwellian junior anti-sex legue wore their scarlett sashes across their thighs, simultaneously denying sex and dripping with it, the conservative Charismatics sublimate their sexual power by coopting it into their rites. One can easily picture a ceremony honoring Dionysius having the same movements, with slightly different words.

The antisexual paradox climaxed when the “Funny” male preacher took the stage. He was brought in to speak about politics and abortion. He had a thoroughly childish and nonthreatening tone to his movements and his speech, castrated. His face was animated and he told interesting stories. As he began to pray over the children, he rocked with constant sexual movement. The forward and backward movement was timed perfectly and consistantly, as he was filmed praying in church and in Washington D.C. at the White House.

What was most striking about this film was, of course, the primary subjects. That children could be duped into compulsively checking and rechecking their speech and actions like one young girl the film featured was no surprise. That children could be pressed into the service of adults, by rewarding their extreme adherance to and ability to parrot doctrine is also predictable. On the other hand, that children were being indoctrinated into forms of mysticism involving obvious orgasmic sublimation was astounding and unforgiveable. I cannot believe that no one spots the obviously damaging sexual conditioning permeating charismatic Christianity. Yet the Christians themselves seem to overlook it en flagrante delicto, even when children are the actors.

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Secret Stance Place

I found a little place where no students hang out at night… a little porch area on top of a building.

I stood there for awhile, and my stance was a little better. I stared at an old building as I was doing it, and notice that the blocks were actually just sitting there, one on top of another, the lower ones holding the unfathomable weight of the upper ones. Sinking my weight down and pushing up from my feet, I felt similar.

My intention is to capitalize off of doing stance more times a day until I get built back up to doing it better. I also recall that when I did it twice a day, I had more awareness of my structure throughout the day than if I just did it at night.

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