jesus camp According to Wikipedia, Jesus Camp is:

… a 2006 American documentary film directed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing about a charismatic Christian summer camp, where children spend their summers learning and practicing their prophetic gifts and being taught that they can "take back America for Christ."

This film raises interesting questions about the ethics of indoctrinating children, who, one could argue, are too young to provide informed consent about whether or not they would want to partake of religion – be it the religion of their parents. There are some who have even suggested that indoctrinating children is tantamount to child abuse:

On the other hand, good parenting is often thought to be the act of instilling values and morals into children so that they can grow up to be responsible human beings. If those values and morals are part and parcel of a religious worldview, then it seems almost inevitable that children will have to be taught the tenets of the religion that incorporates those values and morals.

If this is the case, then is the issue one of the degree of indoctrination?

Maybe all of this is irrelevant. After all, would it not be a violation of the parent’s right to freedom of worship, for them to be denied the right to impart to their children the tenets of the faith they subscribe to? Many religious people, in fact, believe that it is their mandate from their ‘God’ to instruct their children in the ways of the faith. Are they justified? Or should parents wait until the child is 18 and is able to provide consent, or make her or his own informed choice about which path to follow – even if it ends up being a path that the parents disapprove of?

Let’s watch the movie, then discuss!

The June 2012 Freethinkers’ Night will take place on Thursday, 28th June, at 4 Points Bar & Restaurant (now called SPICE GARDEN), Centenary Park, Kampala, starting 6PM. Entrance is FREE.

If you are an open minded person whose opinions are formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason and are interested in meeting like-minded individuals – you are more than welcome to join us.