Training Extremists While They Are Young

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It is probably no more than an ironic coincidence that the Kids on Fire camp is in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. Or perhaps not. Kids on Fire is not your mother’s summer camp; rather, it is a place where children–some as young as six–receive instruction in glossolalia, go on field trips to political protests, and learn to chant for “righteous judges” for America.

At Kids on Fire, the children pray over a cardboard cutout of George W. Bush, and they wash their hands in bottled water to cleanse themselves of their wicked ways and drive out the devil. Some children are filled with the Holy Spirit and go down in a trance-like state. One little girl is said to have been “pinned to the floor” for over an hour by the Holy Spirit. Children describe seeing “gold dust” on their hands, feeling compelled to dance, and being “slain by the Holy Spirit.”

Becky Fischer
, leader of Kids of Fire, who wants to “take back America for Christ,” says “I want to see young people who are as committed to the cause of Jesus Christ as the young people are to the cause of Islam. I want to see them radically laying down their lives for the gospel, as they are over in Pakistan and Israel and Palestine.”

The documentary film, Jesus Camp, made by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, follows three children as they participate in camp activities. Opening today in Los Angeles, the film has already stirred quite a bit of attention. It won in the “scariest movie” category at the Traverse City Film Festival.

One of the children in the documentary, Tory, who is ten years old, says something that is scary enough for me. Tory explains that she prefers “Christian, heavy metal rock and roll” to Britney Spears:

“When I dance, I have to make sure that that’s God. People will notice when I’m just dancing for the flesh.”


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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