Wednesday, April 24, 2019
FilmHot TopicsLGBT RightsReligion

Jesus Camp…Where Are They Now?

UPDATE AS OF JANUARY 2013: A video of Levi has surfaced on YouTube. He’s nearly 20 now and even more in love with Jesus than before.

You can check out the video here:

You can also check out Levi’s Facebook by going to the following link: Levi’s Facebook.

While I’m not certain this is Rachael’s Facebook, it is the only one with her name (which has an unusual spelling. You can check out Rachael’s possible Facebook here. Rachael shared an update on Becky Fischer’s My Time at Jesus Camp page, when she was 15. She was still as in love with Jesus and was living in North Dakota.

While Tory does not seem to have a Facebook (or it’s been hidden from public view), she did write something for Becky Fischer’s book on Jesus Camp. She was moving away from God, for a bit, but found him again at age 16.

—————
A friend of mine was talking on Facebook about how homeschool groups and co-ops are kicking families out of their groups if they support LGBT rights. This is no big surprise to Ash and I. We’ve been homeschooling Robert since he was in 2nd grade. We have felt the oppression of such groups on both LGBT and disability related issues. In response, someone posted a clip from Jesus Camp, a documentary we had a chance to review, a few years back.

The clip shows pre-teen, Levi O’Brien, talking to his mom, Tracy, who is homeschooling him. In it, she tells him that there is no basis behind science. The entire scene is pretty scary, especially when Levi expresses his views concerning how smart he believes Galileo was for giving up science for God (Apparently, Levi has no idea that Galileo was forced to recant his scientific beliefs and discoveries in the name of religion). This is not the only obviously inaccurate thing Levi is being taught.

The only thing I do agree with his mother on is the fact that I do not believe I, as a parent, should send my son off to school for eight hours a day, when I know I am capable of giving him as good of an education (or better) than the one he could receive at a public school. Of course, I also believe not all parents are capable of this, which is why public schools do exist. I also believe that Science is based in fact, and therefore it is an important subject to be taught accurately, to children.

Anyway, this prompted me to do some digging to try and find the brainwashed Jesus Camp kids. It took a little digging, but lo and behold I found most of them on Facebook, and you will never guess who else I found?

Despite the Kids on Fire camp being shut down due to public reaction from the documentary and vandalism on the property, Becky Fischer is keeping up with her young “soldiers” through Facebook. She has also been schooling a new group of children, to be soldiers in the last days army. This is through the School of Supernatural Children’s Ministry.

Her hardcore message is best summed up in her own words, so here they are:

Becky Fischer talking about the School of Supernatural Children's Ministry

If the text is too small, click on the above image to see a bigger version of it!

You can find out more about what Becky is up to and find more of her “prophetic words” on her Facebook. The scary part is that over 2,000 people subscribe to her BS.

Becky’s most promising student was Levi O’Brien. He was just a pre-teen with a rattail when he was featured as a child preacher in the film. Not much has changed from then. Now, Levi is 18. He still screams and yells when he is preaching. His messages are still somewhat incomprehensible. He no longer has the rattail (that we can see), but he is using his Facebook as a platform to spread his uneducated, close-minded message about Jesus and God.

Levi believes his God is the only God (and his God did not create other religions). However, Levi’s FB has a lot more opposition to his constant messages of faith than Becky’s does. His 400+ friends constantly debate the validity of his words. His mom, Tracy, even hops in on one post to back up his claims, by stressing just how accurate The Bible is and how it is used as a school textbook in many places. All in all, the message of Levi remains the same.

You can check him out on his Facebook here.

Despite being kind of mousy and a loner, Rachael Elhardt had very specific beliefs about religion. She was the girl who believed she had to convert people to her fundie style of Christianity or they were going to hell. Despite her outspoken nature on religion, she has opted to keep her Facebook private. As such, we can only assume she is still a crazy Christian because she remains friends with Levi and Becky. You can at least see a picture of 16 or 17 year old Rachael on her Facebook page.

Decidedly absent from the Jesus lovefest on FB is young Tory. If you remember, she is the one who was a dancer. She was a part of the children’s praise dance team at Christ Triumphant Church who was afraid of dancing for the flesh. Tory questioned her faith more than once in the documentary and spent much of her time on film bawling her eyes out. Of all the kids, I felt bad for her the most. I have tried to find out what happened to Tory and whether she still attends Christ Triumphant Church (which by the way has been endorsed, or at least it’s head pastor Alan Koch has, by Becky Fischer).

I would like to believe that these kids have learned to think for themselves, but sadly, despite the negative press for Jesus Camp, they continue to hold these steadfast, terrifying beliefs that their religion is the only way and all others must be converted to their thinking.

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73 Comments

  1. I just watched that movie for the first time. It’s so sad, because Levi seemed like such a smart kid with a good heart. It’s too bad he got brainwashed…

    I’m really curious to know what happened to the blond kid with the bowl cut who was questioning the existence of God. I bet he’s an atheist now.

  2. The children are still young. Levi can still become the next Sam Kinison … just hopefully not as self destructive. Thank you for taking time with your investigation and putting up this web site.

  3. I just finished watching this movie as well. I had seen the preview for it many years prior but never got around to watching it until today. It’s sad because I do believe these kids were brainwashed and it’s very hard if not impossible to un-do.

    Anyways, like any religion they each have their own extremists and these kids are modern day christian extremists. Luckily Christianity is a peaceful religion which doesnt necessarily condone violence.

  4. I just watched Jesus Camp last night, and it was a really heartbreaking experience for me. I was homeschooled as a kid, and although my parents were not particularly right-wing or anti-science, we did attend several Evangelical churches at various points. These churches had a profound and somewhat traumatizing effect on me as a child, and it was very difficult to watch the same BS being fed to a new generation of young people at such a mentally and emotionally vulnerable time in their life.
    Thanks for posting this brief update on some of the characters in the film. It may encourage some of you to know that, although I was heavily influenced by communities like that portrayed in Jesus Camp during my childhood, I (as well as my brother) have freed ourselves completely of that world view and are now not religious at all. We were lucky, in that our parents were not nearly as crazy as other people in our churches and homeschool communities. For a kid like Levi, whose parents are in on it as well, freedom of thought will be hard won. I’m glad to hear he has facebook friends arguing with him.

  5. I really appreciate the update. I had not seen that movie b/c I was not a Christian at the time when it came out. Very sad that people think that represents Christianity at all or anything like the Jesus of the scriptures. Thanks for the update and please dont judge us by our worst kind (if they are a kind which I would say not).

    I do have one question that seems to keep coming up about the movie and that is about brainwashing. Even in the post you made, you said in a negative sense that these children still hold the “terrifying beliefs that their religion is the only way and all others must be converted to their thinking”. I dont know anyone who believes their opinion is wrong. I would hope they would change it. So I am having trouble understanding why people are so blown away by people having beliefs that they try to convince others to believe. In particular, people who have opinionated blogs. Im seriously not trying to be a punk. I just dont see the difference. We all believe our way is correct and the only way, even if that way includes within it a multitude of ways. I dont see the difference. Maybe you could shed some light there.

    Anyways, thanks for the update and I assume this post will be helpful for some time as people straggle across that terrible movie like I did.

  6. Very interesting. And Levi’s FB is interesting too… though his girlfriend’s page is even more interesting. She likes a lot of stuff that tells me that she’s probably a pretty good (some may call it bad ;-)) influence on him. “Mythbusters”? “House MD”? Check out her likes. She seems to be fine.

    In the interest of full disclosure: I’m a “born-again christian” myself. Just not of the kind portraited The quotes mean I have not really that much in common with what you USians understand by that term. I do go to church (sometimes more often than at other times) and I do pray. And believe in a lot of the stuff “they” believe in. Loves Jesus Camp (the movie). Loved especially that talk radio host! Hated the homeschooling bit (not that I hate homeschooling on principles, just miseducation).

    Really, Emily sounds fine from her FB comments and her likes. And she sounds and seems to be quite stable in here likes/believe not to be influenced *too much* by Levi’s mom (I saw Tracy comment on a pic of Emily’s…)

  7. I met Tory today while visiting Christ Triumphant Church. Apparently she still attends. She seemed kind of quiet but also very nice.

  8. @Greg – Thanks for your comment. I think the big issue is that when these kids are trying to force their beliefs on others they do not give up. Further, they also refuse to accept people saying they are sorry or not interested. Instead, they cast judgment on the people by telling them if they do not change they will be going to hell. They believe it is their job to convert others to their way of thinking.

    The difference with an opinionated blog is that people have choices. People can choose to read or not read what I say. If they do not agree, they can shut the page down or they can respond by commenting their disagreements. I only believe we should try to change the beliefs that affect the well-being of others. Most beliefs are harmless towards others and as such, I can respect differing opinions. These kids are led to believe there is only one way and anyone differing in their belief is not to be respected but also to be looked down upon and even castigated.

    I hope this makes more sense?

    Oh, also, about brainwashing. Brainwashing means these kids do not have the ability to think for themselves. I am proud to say my beliefs come from research, life experience and my own thoughts on matters. My beliefs differ from my ancestors before me in some ways, but are similar in others. A brainwashed person is not given the freedom to learn and thus make their own assessments about their beliefs. They grow up believing exactly what those who are brainwashing them want them to believe. The saddest thing is these kids often do not learn to think for themselves.

    A great example is the homeschool curriculum, which is obviously inaccurate due to our knowledge of actual science, but these kids truly believe it is right because they have been brainwashed to believe it is right without even questioning its validity. The awesome thing about scientific theories is we have the option of questioning them and testing their validity ourselves. The option of testing such validity is taken from these kids. They believe what their brainwashers want them to believe is fact.

  9. In response to Greg’s comment ” I do have one question that seems to keep coming up about the movie and that is about brainwashing. Even in the post you made, you said in a negative sense that these children still hold the “terrifying beliefs that their religion is the only way and all others must be converted to their thinking”. I dont know anyone who believes their opinion is wrong. I would hope they would change it. So I am having trouble understanding why people are so blown away by people having beliefs that they try to convince others to believe.”:
    Greg, not everyone who believes in something thinks that it must be force-fed to everyone else. It is entirely possible to believe in something without thinking others should as well. I am pagan, and just about any pagan will tell you that there are many spiritual paths, and that each person much choose the one that is right for them. If I have a place to go, often there are tons of ways to get there. I might have a preferred route, while someone else might prefer to take an entirely different one, and that’s fine. It’s all about respect for various ways of thinking and viewing the world. Blessed be!

  10. I just watch this scary movie last night. I can’t believe that a grown adult is purposly having kids believe that they need to go out and start wars on goverment and everyting else. Are you kidding me? I can’t believe after that movie about that camp, that she is still gettin POSITIVE reveiws and people agree with this madness. I took a look at their facebooks like you said and also gave Becky Ficsher’s website a look and oh my God she needs help in the worse way…. Using kids like that and not really forcing or making them ALL believe that. I’m sure some agree with her veiws but I’m sure not all of them did before they brainwashing anyway.

  11. This is why I converted to Deism. These are terribly brainwashed to thinking in such a twisted way. My God Jesus would not accept this bullshit.

  12. Watched this film today, and my take on it that floored me while watching was how similar the indoctrination of the kids was to what goes on in Islam. Truly frightening in the points of congruity.

    For those with an interest, Netflix also has Islam: What the West Needs to Know available for instant viewing, and is a real eye-opener as to the blinders Western leaders have on concerning that religious belief due to lack of understanding of the fundamental tenets and how they are required to be practiced.

  13. The fact that Becky is still allowed to teach and brainwash people is disguisting.

    John Lewis, I think you can’t compare Muslim countries (which are sitting on top of mounds of oil and being invaded and raped by ‘Western leaders’) and these suburban white Christian kids. These white kids are being bombed daily. Besides, the movie you refer to is a rightwing peace of crap from Zionist apologists who are in bed with the likes of thse Jesus Campers.

  14. Regarding brainwashing…these are CHILDREN. They were essentially “born” Christian. They had no chance to develop any type of thinking other than their dangerous fundamental thinking. If we withheld all religious teaching from children until they were 18, and enforced a requirement to pass a physics and a biology class in high school- religion would disappear in two generations, and be viewed just as mythical as Greek gods (which is what the other religions are…. kinda like “The Hangover 2”- same story, different locale).

  15. What Becky Fisher and her minions do to those kids is a form of child abuse. Her schooling of a new group of children, to be soldiers in the last days army is a mirror image of the Hitler Youth in Germany in the 1920’s.

    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/hitler_youth.htm

    http://www.setop.net/history-2/hitler-youth-thought-control-and-brainwashing-in-nazi-germany.html

    There’s a lot out there on the subject to be googled up. There are so many similarities I’m convinced that Becky got her ideas directly from Hitler’s manifesto.

    I felt so bad for those kids in Jesus Camp, it made me cry for them.
    Thanks Dominick for taking the time to put this up.

  16. I just watched the movie for the first time, one week ago. it was sad to see that. Its great that you found some news about the kids.
    ist crazy when you know that they worsiph Bush–he was the war-lord–there where never atomic bombs in Irak, all was a lie.
    and the scene with Ted Haggard……brrrrrrr
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhcScBdnEhY

  17. Pearl–you can stop crying. Go to Levi’s or Luke’s (his bro) fb and see for yourself how they are doing. They are both well-adjusted, happy, productive members of society.

  18. i would love to know what happened to the young blonde haired boy who stood up and said he sometimes questioned his faith, he is seen later in the film reading a book against a tree. He looked so tortured by guilt for his thoughts, it was heart breaking.

  19. Notable quotables from “Jesus Camp”:

    “Pres. Bush has brought credibility to our Christian faith.” Becky

    “Giving everyone equal freedom is going to destroy us.” Becky

    “I think they’re Muslim.” Rachel (after approaching three older black guys who told her they were for sure going to heaven. HILARIOUS!)

    I enjoyed “Jesus Camp.” It was an accurate portrayal of right-wing, conservative evangelical Christians. And they would agree the portrayal was spot on! They DO believe that Pres. Bush was a great president. They DO believe that equality equals destruction. They DO believe that ending abortion will bring revival to America.

    I loved the cutaways to Mike Papantonio as a way of balancing the perspective. He self-identified as a Christian, serving as a beacon of light for the loving, thinking, true representation of Christianity. We’re not a homogenous group. Many of us live and believe in the God of expansive love. Unfortunately, that’s far less salacious than the “Save the Babies”/”Kill the Fags” nut-jobs to whom the media constantly passes the mic.

  20. I don’t know how much time you spent poking around Becky Fisher’s KidsInMinistry.com site, but if you haven’t seen them already, to get a better idea of where she’s at you should really look at some of her videos she has posted on the site. Specifically, the videos where she has others who have entered her fold (folds?) are particularly interesting. One is of her and some woman who acts totally wired sitting in what looks like a Denny’s restaurant, and they are both engaging in more of the same talk about recruiting small children to be soldiers etc. They are both very hyper, and the other woman gestures wildly and keeps making these “whoosh” sounds…She looks like a stripper that Becky met in a dive bar and brought back to her motel room for company.

    Another video has a former small town alcoholic tramp discussing how Becky Fisher saved her during a tent revival or something like that. This woman can actually be seen briefly in Jesus Camp, sitting at a table with a group of kids in the cafeteria scene.

    There are also some other videos of Becky Fisher alone, in which she discusses how she’s keeping up with everything and it’s business as usual etc. Unfortunately for Becky, these videos look like they are filmed in some random parking lot, and she looks like she’s been livin’ on the streets.

    Obviously I have chosen to find humor in these videos, the reason being that Becky and her ilk really do upset me deeply. By “ilk” I do not mean Christians—TRUE Christians—I mean those folks out there who claim to be Christians yet carry out business such as that which Becky Fisher is doing. These people have an agenda that is not very Christian at all, and are dangerous.

  21. Here’s the thing, we all as humans have unsatisfied needs for more. More of what??? We don’t know so we live life satisfying that need with material things that don’t hold to our satisfactions long. Yes for the some time we are “satisfied,” or we tell ourselves we are and go buy more things, make more friends, or whatever it is to keep us from being/understanding we are unsatisfied. We all will come to a self awareness halt one day and ask ourselves; “Why am I not satisfied?, Why am I here, and What am I suppose to do?” These are the make it or break it questions in a faith sense. It’s either you believe in God or you break off and believe nothing/ “a higher power” (just as long as God isn’t the in the full picture). It’s sad that people have bad experiences with “Christians” converting someone’s mind into believing God which can cause one to misunderstand truths to God. Please have an open heart and understand God isn’t the cause of your bad experience. Man is the cause. Do not mistake man’s inability to teach God’s goodness and grace to be the liability to your belief in God or why God should be at fault. If you are still doubting God or believing in God, I challenge you to think this over without being biased.

    What kind of being tell’s you to Love others, be patient, care for one another, forgive others, share, be truthful, don’t hurt others period? In all asking for you to be pure. What kind of being dies for not just one or two people, but for the world?

    Imagine the love in that person to have laid down His life for the entire world…?

    Didn’t your parents and your grandparents all learn these things. Did you know that these morals came directly from the Bible, from the mouth of Jesus? Doesn’t lying, cheating, and stealing kick in the gear to pain & unsatisfactory? If your understand what I am talking about please don’t be defensive I’m just asking for a re-evaluation of God. Have you ever really seek with all your heart, mind, and soul for God through the Bible? Or a quick prayer?

    I challenge you to seek for God unbiased through the Bible and prayer for the first time and see if He’s the God you thought he would be. (New Living Translation) Start in Matthew.

  22. “Jesus Camp” does a really good job of showing how you have to indoctrinate the believers while they are young … or they may not grow up to believe.

    It does beg the question, Would people believe in the doctrine once they reach adulthood and beyond?

  23. I know the O’Brien family quite well. They have since moved to Kansas City, where both of their sons are currently attending World Revival Church School of Ministry and living with their parents. I’m sad to report that they appear to be even more fundamental and extremist than before…apparantly the “real” world is too hard for them and they feel it is necessary to surround themselves with only like minded people. I truly hope they wake up and start to find their way soon!

  24. I just checked out Rachel's page, and one of her favourite sports is Quidditch. Considering the fact that the movie constantly shuns and hates Harry Potter for its use of witchcraft, I think it's good to see that she can be separated by at least that much.
    It's such a shame to hear about the others, though. But why should we be surprised? They were clearly brainwashed at such a young age and their faith was completely exploited o create a hatred for all other ideas and beliefs. It's not going to be easy to think outside of the Bible.

  25. Does anybody know what happened to the little blonde boy,Andrew i think his name is, his the boy that questions his belief in ‘God’ quoting ‘ you cant see him or hear him’ It upsets me to watch that part the most , since I watched the documentary out of every one he was the one that stuck with me , I just wonder what his beliefs are now , if they have change since he has grown up.

  26. Check out the comments – someone posted a link to his blog. If it’s the same boy, his mom was a suppressed lesbian and father religious nut. He is no longer involved in the cultish religion.

  27. I really have no problem with Jesus camp although I was kind of turned off at the holy water thing. I like their energy and passion for Jesus Christ.

  28. I wanted to hug the blonde boy who said he didn't always believe what was in the Bible and tell him "This makes you a thinker. Edison, Einstein, Carl Sagan, Marie Curie, Louis Braille, The Wright brothers were all thinkers. You can have your faith and still be a thinker. God gave you a brain, it's a waste of that gift to not use it."

  29. I will like to know the name of the little blond boy on the documentary that say that he didint beleive in God.. Someone?

  30. It seems pretty stupid and nasty to link to a private FB profile of a girl who has been abused and brainwashed. Opening her up to abusive private messages and pointless gawking won't turn her around.

  31. I looked at Rachael's profile, and I refuse to send her any bad messages or say anything bad about her. I think going to school may have helped her, and I think her view on politics is hilarious. As for Levi, I feel really sad that he grew up in the atmosphere he was born into. He's a really smart, articulate guy who's not afraid to speak up and can easily be liked. Now he's going to go on and have kids that he can indoctrinate as well as his parents had indoctrinated him.

  32. Oh! I don’t encourage anyone to harass these children. Do not send them bad messages, please. That makes you as bad as the people who indoctrinated them in the first place.

  33. FYI – Einstein, Curie, Edison and Sagan were atheists. Please don't incorrectly assume that faith or god had anything to do with their brilliance or their ideologies.

  34. This woman Beck Fischer who runs the camp suffers from obesity and the many illnesses compounded with it.

    Her obesity is a direct outcome of her anger which lead her to hatred. Being obese is not a pretty picture in the eyes of people. She knows this and it makes her angry because she can’t stop eating. She directs the anger toward the world. This anger toward people and herself leads to hatred. As her disease progressed she began to hate the world and want revenge on it. The complexity of this disease makes her a very unhappy woman who indulges in tons of food to quell her anger.

    Religion afforded her an opportunity to be around others in her obese state. But the only way she can have enough courage to do this, is through self righteousness. She cannot be around others unless she assumes an intimidating role, the more intimidating, the less apt is a follower to ask about or remark on her obesity. It’s far too involved to go into here but that’s her, in a nutshell.

    It is too bad for the kids that the parents are useless and unable to protect them from Fischer’s twisted thinking. They are intimidated and too frightened to speak up because they are the type of people who believe in a punishing God.

    Their stance on abortion would not comply with Christ’s assessment of the subject.

    Proof being that Christ once said to some very self-righteous temple going people. ” Even the prostitutes and tax collectors are going into Heaven ahead of you.” Christ was knowledgeable of prostitution and the things women had to go through if they were a prostitute.

    Christ was well aware of abortion. Prostitutes have practiced abortion for centuries. Christ, knowing this and being a very intelligent person, still claimed that even they, the prostitutes were going to enter Heaven.

    He claimed that others were going to have to wait outside while these prostitutes and tax collectors went in ahead of the self-righteous. Since he knew that they practiced abortion from time to time and still stated that they would enter Heaven, it means Christ is a very loving person for allowing prostitutes into his kingdom. I saw no love coming from these people in the film. I saw zealots stating phrases that had the word love in them but as a famous writer once wrote. “What you are, shouts so loud, I can’t hear a word you say.

    I’ll get back to the film in a minute: This part is for all people regardless of believers or nonbelievers.

    When Christ said “I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” He was simply stating the fact that we can only come from the energy and matter contained in the Universe. This is the Creator or Father and we are part of the Universe. The energy and matter of the Universe is inside of us. The Father cannot exist outside of the Universe because the Universe is All. We are the Universe beholding Itself.

    Probably the most interesting thing Jesus verified (and don’t get too excited, since most likely none of us are anywhere near to having what it takes.) but he said : We humans are Gods and children of the most high. He was saying that we have a capacity in us that can do nearly anything and went on to say that we as humans would do even greater works than he was doing.

    It requires something beyond merely going to a temple, church, synagog or holy place every day. It requires truly believing what he said, ‘You are Gods’ but none of us believes it. If we truly did, I have no doubt we would be able to heal blind and crippled people. I’ve seen a lot of fake religious healers on TV get a person to stand up from a wheel chair but a lot of people in wheel chairs can do that, even though it’s painful. None of us are near to where we should be by now.

    This poor woman Fischer can’t even pull off a slight miracle like giving up a bag of Frito’s to save herself from obesity. If something so obvious as this escapes her understanding; that she will never be able to lose weight until she gives up her anger and hatred, then how can she understand deeper issues like abortion, homosexuality and war?

    It was fearful and self-righteous feelings that got our Nation into a war with Iraq, a nation that had never done anything to us. The religious right-wing and people such as these and Bush took us into this war. Now the Karmic principle that Christ taught is being visited on our nation. “As you do unto others, it shall be done unto you.”

    We destroyed their economy, Our economy was destroyed. We destroyed their infrastructure, Katrina and the Gulf Oil Spill destroyed ours. We made millions of them homeless, millions of our homes went into foreclosure. Isn’t it just like he stated? Millions of our jobs were exported overseas and our own bankers turned on us, robbing our retirement savings and lowered the value of our homes by 40%. Now our tax dollars are being used to rebuild Iraq infrastructure.

    Christ was an incredible teacher and this film is actually quite a lesson as to how religious people, armed with incomplete understanding can do so much damage to themselves and the world in general.
    This film portrays what happens in any religion, not just the Christian people.

    As a last observation on this film, their teaching of hatred toward homosexuality is totally off.

    Christ never said anything about homosexuals and for a very good reason.

    His Father is the Creation itself and in the Creation or Universe, this planet came into being. On this planet, homosexuality exists in several of the animal life forms. It didn’t just develop in Mankind. Christ knew this and there was no reason for him to say anything about it. The Creation doesn’t make mistakes. Everything that exists can only exist because of the way it arranges in the Ever-Present-Eternal-Now.

    One has to be careful of the ancient writings in all holy books. Some of the passages were written by minds that were either very enlightened or very twisted and fearful. Any writers that talk of God being an angry god or hating humans in any way is wrong. God is Love.

    300 years after the death of Christ the Council of Nicaea, oversaw which writings would go into the New Testament. Remember that these were people trying to establish their power. That’s not to say that some of them weren’t there with good intentions. But we all know people and what people do. They have agendas, they have desires, they are known to cheat and force their will on others. I’m sure the Beck Fischer type mentality was present at that Council.

    For the Atheist and non-believers who feel frustrated by the religious right wing types in this film and elsewhere, Christ felt the same way. All of my quotes are paraphrased but true. Christ also said to some self righteous church going types. “On that day you will claim that you always called on me and used my name for all of your works but I will say to you. Away from me, I never knew you.”

    If there is a Judgment Day, there are going to be a lot of shocked Christians, for God weighs the Heart of a person.

  35. Einstein wasn't an atheist; he was agnostic. Atheism is a pursuit of the ego whereas agnosticism is a pursuit of humility and an admission of ignorance.

    'I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth.' – Einstein

  36. Joshua McNary Thank you for your purely subjective and mildly self righteous definitions of atheism versus agnosticism. We can split hairs on Einstein's exact beliefs (describing god as nature or energy or the mathematic principles that govern the universe is simply redefining words that already have specific meanings) but in the context of this article, Amanda's post, and my response, atheism and agnosticism are synonymous. Which is to say, it's both ironic and in poor form to say that "you can have your faith and still be a thinker," while citing people you know nothing about and who very clearly and publicly did not believe in faith or a personal god.

  37. Maybe I was being a bit subjective, but not anymore subjective than your assertion that Einstein was an atheist. In his own words, Einstein very much disliked being labeled as such and described his own views of the universe as humble and agnostic. So in that regard, I suppose I am guilty of being as subjective and self-righteous as Einstein was.

    However, you seem to be conveniently ignoring these objective and verifiable facts, so that you can put Einstein into your own subjective narrative. Isn't that being self-righteous, intellectually dishonest, and the same thing you are accusing original poster of being guilty of?

  38. Joshua McNary I do like the debate; sorry if I came across abrasive. My comment regarding subjectivity and self righteousness was specific to your definitions of atheism/agnosticism, as you paint the former as purely selfish and the latter as sagacious humility.

    My original point that I think you keep missing is the same whether Einstein was atheist or agnostic. I think calling god "Spinoza's God" is comparable to atheism. You're redefining 'god' as harmony in nature through forces unknown, and pretending that it still fits within theism. If I rename physics or biology 'God', does that make me theist?

    In addition, the original poster claimed those individuals as people of faith, yet they weren't. Moreover, they all stood for the polar opposite of what faith posits. No subjective narrative necessary.

  39. James Toffel You seem very reasonable, so I will explain myself in detail.

    I saw your reply as 'missing the point' of original poster who was encouraging someone for thinking and being a thinker. I'll agree that her attributing certain people to have faiths they may not have had is perhaps factually inaccurate, but the spirit of her post was kind and complimentary.

    However, you sought to go out of your way to strike her down based on factual inaccuracies and completely ignored the point of her message which was to uplift somebody.

    I will admit I am only assuming your motivation to do this come from a complete lack of intolerance towards others' beliefs that don't follow your own because I don't understand why you would put any effort at all if you weren't driven by some negative emotion.

    My initial reply towards you also 'missed the point' and focused on a specific portion of what you said to completely discredit what you said, much like you were doing to the original poster.

    In other words, I have only tried to mirror the spirit of your original reply in kind.

  40. I was simply pointing out ironies that contradict the central point of her argument. Nothing you've said undermines, erodes, or discredits my point: Einstein was referenced as an emblem of faith, which, whether he was agnostic or atheist, we can agree that his belief system was nothing close to what the original poster associated him with.

    Perhaps the only point we can agree, however, is that I do have a lack of tolerance on lending credence to purely mythical ideas, even when the message is kind and uplifting–talk about intellectual dishonesty.

    "Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower."

    I'm done posting here so enjoy the last word.

  41. James Toffel You using Einstein as a symbol of atheism is no less false than her statement that Einstein is a symbol of faith. At the very least, your statement is untrue, if not plainly hypocritical.

    Atheism and agnosticism are not the same, otherwise Einstein wouldn't have gone out of the way to make the distinction that he could be called agnostic but should not be referenced as atheist, which is what you have chosen to do.

    The thing I think we would most fundamentally disagree on though is that you think intellectual purity trumps human decency, but that's something I do not subscribe to. In this instance, I see what you've done as 1 level above grammar nazi.

  42. Jesus/Christianity is the only way to Heaven and God the father. Don’t mock the kids for their beliefs. You should come to Jesus too.

  43. Julia,
    That isn’t the blonde child in the movie that you linked. I know his father well. His father isn’t a religious nut as someone else stated. In fact, his parents are divorced and his father just legally married his boyfriend. The blonde boy, Andrew, is happy for his father and step-father and is happy with his own life. He is a free spirit and when last I saw him (today) he was enjoying the beautiful day on his father’s front porch (he’s in town for his father’s wedding reception) playing his ukelele.

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Dominick
Dominick is a director/filmmaker, activist, writer, advocate, FTM transman from the Midwest who lives in New York. Follow his film career and join his weekly Twitter chat on film and disability by following #FilmDis. He received his BFA in Film Production in 2014.