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god's next army

I've just watched Channel 4's documentary "God's Next Army". Its backed with a website at channel4.com/believe.

I heard someone describe the previews as "biased and angering". This was a very carefully produced film that documented students preparing to attend and working at Patrick Henry College.

From wikipedia:
"Patrick Henry College, or PHC, is an unaccredited private Christian Protestant college that focuses on teaching classical liberal arts and government, located in Purcellville, Virginia. It is the first college in America founded specifically for Christian home-schooled students. It is well-known for its extreme conservatism and evangelical christian ethos, including creationism, pro-gun rights and anti-abortionism. It has also been criticised for a heavily pro-republican bias."

The film allowed the children to speak for themselves. What they said scared me. What they said made me pity them. These home-schooled children were actively kept away from the rest of society by their parents - for fear they might be contaminated. After all, what's worse than the crime on an idea?

One of the lecturers at the college even says "after spending so much time and care on my child should I just dump them on Princeton or Yale?".

I would argue that a person who truly believes in what is right can only benefit from meeting new ideas and people - to be allowed to think for ourselves is probably our greatest freedom - it must be protected. That these parents should take it away from their children is cruel. What else but cruelty could drive a child of eleven to begin crying and between wails protest the need to pray and change her sinful ways?

Very early on we heard an extremely telling phrase from an 18 year old boy while he worked at the local butcher's shop making sausages:

"God did work on the cross to save sinners like me"

This was from a boy who wakes up, does his school work, works at the butcher's, goes home to work, helps clean his father's church, and probably works some more. He really believes that he is a sinner, that he needs "saving".

I hate that idea. Hate it.

I strongly urge you to watch this documentary if you can and to be wary of these people. They are growing in number and in power, they believe in "one nation under God" - and, it would seem, they are willing to remove anything that doesn't quite fit in with their vision.


Blogger Lisa said...

I remember watching the commercial for the documentarty and thinking "oh no, another one...". Meaning another documentarty feeding innacuracies about God and the Christian faith and those who believe in it. It wasn't nerely as biased as I expected it to be. Of course, what they choose to show from their footage always paints a specific picture.

I fully agree with you on most of what you said. What scared me the most about it was the single-mindedness of the people in the school. I think an integral part of religion is (or should be) debate and discussion of different viewpoints. To take that away is to take away our individuality.

I find it very interesting that you hate the idea of being a sinner. What is it about it that you dislike so?

Sat Jun 10, 10:30:00 PM GMT  
Blogger chris said...

Its the fact that he believes in "original sin" or as close to it as possible.

Remember that we are supposedly created in God's image - the call for us to do anything other than just be who we are to avoid ETERNAL FIRE AND DAMNATION is both fabricated at bizzare.

To be me is noble and much harder work than copying a book or attempting to be somebody else.

Fri Jun 16, 10:59:00 PM GMT  
Blogger Lisa said...

I don't understand where you're coming from. Christianity doesn't say you should try to be someone you're not. To be made in God's image doesn't mean you are supposed to try and be God.

That may seem contrary to what you're thinking, so I'll explain a tiny bit. The good qualities of God (eg. love, joy, peace, patience, yadda yadda), those are what Christians are meant to try to attain. That isn't being someone you're not, that's trying to improve who you are.

Not to mention that I'm a direct contrast to your thinking - I have always been and will always be myself, yet I am religious. To be religious I continually examine and re-examine my thoughts, my feelings, and my beliefs. As a result, I know myself better than most. I've never tried to be anyone other than the best me I can be.

I don't understand why the concept of original sin bothers you.

Wed Jun 21, 09:41:00 PM GMT  
Blogger chris said...

I'm sorry what??? "The good qualities of God"?? When the hell did we mere mortals gain the insight to be able to tell God when He's doing wrong?

"if it is written so shall it be."

I hadn't realised these thing were quite so flexible in your brand of christianity.

What is it about being religious that requires constant reexamination? Seems like you've already decided there is nothing that will make you stop believing. Something shit happens to you - its god just testing. What if an infection took your baby? Still believe that god is looking out for you?

What's my problem with original sin? Everything. Do you really accept that you have more work to do than me because you're a woman?

That my baby would not be born innocent, that she would have to attone for my sins.

Its manipulative fabrication created by men.

And that's my major problem with your position - you put divinity in things where there is none.

What you read was written by men. Men with an agenda. Men who wanted to control people. Thousands of years later you're giving them godly authority where it is not warranted.

To be made in God's imagine doesn't mean you're supposed to do anything. At worst you start off neutral in the balance - in fact I'm sure a whole crucifiction thing was supposed to weigh in our favour... so the fear put into those children's minds that they are dirty sinners going to hell if they don't lead a life of piety... bollocks.

Thu Jun 22, 09:56:00 PM GMT  

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