Jesus Camp Anti-Religion?

By Michael Lerman | "Lincoln Blogs" by Michael Lerman March 14, 2007 at 2:18AM

Jesus Camp Anti-Religion?

I was disturbed to hear from a non-industry friend recently that he had not gone to see Jesus Camp because he was under the impression that it was anti-religion. I tried to explain to him that, first and foremost, Jesus Camp isn’t anti-anything. The films greatest strength is in its non-judgmental style, providing us with “facts” and letting us draw our own conclusions. Also, it does not portray ALL religions or not every piece of one religion, just a certain disturbing (in my opinion) interpretation of Christianity. It is a film for Christian’s and non-Christian’s alike. Its subjects praise it as a document and others, including myself, praise it as a warning.

I think what bothered me the most about hearing this out of my friend is that I consider him to be a fairly progressive person and one that I think would greatly appreciate the film for many of its merits. Do others have this perception? Would the film have done better at the box-office if this perception was not circulating, assuming it is? I’m going to set out to find out, but I wanted to post here to see if anyone has thoughts.

I know this is a rather naïve set of questions. Every time a film is released that is potential criticism of Christian, rumors and controversy circulate around it. But for reason I thought Jesus Camp had broken that mold. I guess I was wrong.