imnotasquirrel (imnotasquirrel) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

The kids of Jesus Camp, 10 years later - where are they now?

Jesus Camp is a 2006 documentary about children's pastor Becky Fischer and her Kids on Fire camp ministry:

(oh hi, pre-scandal Ted Haggard)

10 years on, the Guardian caught up with a couple of the kids in the movie to see what they're up to now...


Andrew back in 2006:

Andrew Sommerkamp was one of the few kids we saw questioning his beliefs throughout the movie. He was also the only kid who brought in a giant fish pillow to camp:

fish fish fish fish fish

Memorable quote from Andrew:

"I just want to talk about belief in God...I've been having a hard time with it. To believe in God is hard because you don't see him, you don't know him much. Sometimes I don't even believe what the Bible says. It makes me a faker, it makes me feel guilty and bad."

^ This coming from a 10-year-old child...

Anyway, this is Andrew now:

Probably won't come as a surprise to learn that he no longer identifies as an evangelical Christian. According to the Guardian:

* He broke away from evangelical Christianity when his father came out as gay and has found peace in "eastern mysticism, quantum mechanics, and psychotropic drugs."
* He believes that the camp leaders had the best intentions, but that it was like sick people trying to treat
sick people, and that this both was and wasn't child abuse.
* He calls Becky Fischer a "terrible fucking person who is fueled by the spiritual suffering of other people."
* Despite everything, he does not regret his experience with the Kids on Fire ministry camp.


Levi back in 2006:

Levi O'Brien was one of the main kids profiled in Jesus Camp, known mostly for being a preacher wannabe and having a rattail. We've kept up with Levi through the years. This was an interview he did back in 2012:

Memorable quotes from Levi:

"At five, I got saved, because I just wanted more of life. Because there was just nothing I thought was fun."


"Whenever I run into a non-Christian, you know, there's always something that doesn't feel right--something that makes my spirit feel yucky."

This is Levi now:

He's still as evangelical as ever. Per the Guardian:

* He works at World Revival Ministries.
* He says, "I have peace in my mind, I have drive and purpose and character."

Levi's also engaged to be married! He met his fiancee Shannae at World Revival Church. They have a wedding website and everything. The wedding is next month; if you feel like buying shit for the happy couple, they're registered at Bed Bath & Beyond. Might I suggest the $1.99 bamboo coaster?


Rachael back in 2006:

Memorable quotes from Rachael:

"When I grow up, I thought it would be fun to be one of those people who paint nails and stuff, because you would get a chance to tell them about the Lord."

"God is not in every church. There's such a thing, there are certain churches, they're called dead churches,
and the people there, they sit there, like this ...
(folds hands into lap, adopts sarcastic monotone) 'We worship you God, we worship you God.' They sing like three songs and then they listen to a sermon. Churches that God likes to go to are churches where they're jumping up and down, shouting His name and just praising Him. They're not acting, they're not quiet, like (monotone) "We worship you." They're like, "Hallejuah, God!" And depending on how they invite him, he'll be there or not."

She also liked evangelizing to anyone and everyone. I mean she REALLY liked it:

(you can tell the lady is unsaved bc her hair is dyed and she's wearing a form-fitting shirt)

The Guardian didn't have a follow-up with Rachael, but she made this video a couple of years ago:

My Anthem - Rachel from ElementBismarck on Vimeo.


Tory back in 2006:

Tory was mostly known for dancing for God (not for the flesh) and enjoying Christian heavy metal.

Memorable quote from Tory:

"When I dance, I really have to make sure that that's God, because people will notice when I'm dancing for the flesh."

Unfortunately there were no updates about Tory in the Guardian either, but back in 2014 Becky Fischer (who declined to speak with the Guardian for this story) did leave this comment on her Jesus Camp My Story website: "Torry is in her second year of college majoring in dance and communications, and still loving Jesus. Rachael in is her first year of college studying to be an English teacher. She is still radically sold out to Jesus."

Also in 2014, someone on tumblr claimed to know Tory and said that she was doing just fine and didn't seem like a fundie anymore.

So, there's that.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Tags: film - documentary, not today satan, religion, where are they now

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