Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Putting people through hell intentionally

How disgusting can the fundamentalist Christians get? It seems to be a question that we keep asking and they seem to keep finding more atrocities or disgusting ventures to engagte in or horrific remarks to make.

Newsweek discusses a recent venture by these born-again mental cases. Come Halloween they produce a thing called a “Hell House” where they depict the evil sinful lives of liberals, gays, the secular, etc. Of course in the end all these people end up in hell where the loving Jesus will roast them for eternity and have them tormented. Nice guy this Jesus.

In this “play” they use different rooms of the Hell House to depict the evils of not being a born-again nutter. Newsweek described the encounter as “a grotesque and shocking imagining of contemporary secular culture, an extreme version of the way some very conservative Christians may think the unsaved live. Reading "Harry Potter" turns a young boy into a school shooter. Going to a rave gets a young woman gang-raped. In its most graphic scene, "Hell House" depicts an abortion. Blood covers the walls, the woman screams in pain while her doctor smokes a cigarette. Tiny body parts are everywhere. Fifteen people fainted while watching that scene, says Lemon-Strauss. Even the diluted 2004 Hollywood version made Susan Thistlethwaite, president of the Chicago Theological Seminary, so irate that she wrote an editorial for the Chicago Tribune: ‘Don't justify exposing kids to horror ... and tell me that's religion.’”

The orginator of this Hell House is a fundamentalist minister, credentials which in and of themselves tell you he has to be insane. Keenan Roberts is the pastor of a Denver church. Denver is the mile-high city -- obviously not enough oxygen up their to feed the brain cells properly. Roberts says his only reason for doing this is to save poor sinners from wrath of his loving god. Yes, the only reason is to save souls. He sells the kits to produce the play for $299 each. He says he’s sold 800 of them which means that he’s taken in almost a quarter of a million dollars. But his only motive is to save souls.

Roberts is one of those who works himself up into an emotional lather and babbles incoherently and then claims it is the language of angels given to him by Jesus. He believes in faith healing and lots of other nonsense. Ten years ago when Roberts started this monstrous exercise he was charging $149 for the kit. So in ten years the price has doubled.

The Hell House movement within these churches is not new. Some of them hide the facts about the house and present it as a “haunted house” for amusement purposes. Individuals then only learn they are being subjected to religious preaching after they have paid for the tickets to enter. Yes, while their ONLY purpose may be to save souls they charge people for admission.

Religious Tolerance lists some of the other scenes sometimes found in these so-called plays:

A realistic reenactment of the murder of Cassie Bernall, a teenager victim at the Columbine High School in 1999-APR. She was allegedly asked whether she believed in God, answered yes, and was murdered on the spot. The incident never happened. But the story has taken on a life of its own, and is frequently referred to in conservative Christian magazines and radio programs. A person being sacrificed during a Satanic ritual. Women undergoing very bloody late-term abortions, complete with screaming, lots of blood, and particularly insensitive, uncaring health providers. This scene has been partly abandoned in recent years in favor of a portrayal of guilt and depression arising from Post Abortion Syndrome. Gays and lesbians being tortured in hell for all eternity because of their behavior while they were alive on earth. The dangers of "dabbling" in the occult and becoming demon possessed. Personal tragedies arising from pre-marital sex. Disastrous tragedies and loss of life resulting from drunk driving. A man has an argument with his wife and is later seduced by his secretary. Witches pressuring a depressed teen to murder his fellow students. A 9/11 ground zero scene.

Here is how Keenan’s manual describes how to stage an abortion. The participants are told to put “pieces of meat” “in a glass bowl to look like pieces of a baby” and told they should “purchase a meat product that closely resembles pieces of a baby.” He says they need to stir up a full “vat” of theatrical blood every night “Because a large amount of blood is used in this scene and in others...” And the medical staff performing the abotion are told be “cold, uncaring, abrupt and completely insensitive.” Right, your typical abortion.

In another scene a demon dances around the coffin of a gay man who, of course, had to die of AIDS. The demon tells the audience: “I tricked him into believing he was born gay! Have you ever heard something so silly.” One church advertised the play saying “come see the funeral of a homosexual AIDS patient”.

New Beginning Christian Center put on such a Hell House and the pastor bragged to the media: “We’re going to scare the hell out of people...” One witness to one of these projects said he was appalled when he saw two children in tears at the end of the performance. What I can't figure out is what is more terrifying, that they engage in such tactics or that they really believe this crap.


Blogger yelling_at_the_radio said...

Thank you for this post. I don't think there is a higher arrogance than the arrogance of the people who put on these hell house shows. It is not about salvation, Hell Houses are about the Fundamentalist Christian's need to feel special and superior, and have a warrent to hate and villify. It is easy to hate when "God" is on your side.

November 01, 2006

Blogger luggage79 said...

This is disconcerting at the least...I guess if this were a non-religious group such practices are tolerated. I bet authorities would crack down on any non-religious group doing anything like that.

November 02, 2006

Blogger David said...

As a non christian, I LIKE the sound of this hell house thing. It sounds like quality entertainment \m/

November 02, 2006

Blogger David said...

Addendum : Although I would have moral obligations not to attend, since you know, I don't like paying money to churchs :(

November 02, 2006

Blogger Publius II said...

I think it is sad and funny that you guys are not seeing the hypocrisy here. I've seen scenes just as bad in Halloween Haunted Houses, with the exception of possibly the abortion scene, which is no doubt way over the line.

So the why the outrage, if you think that what the church believes is mere fairy tale? After all, if you or I go into a haunted house filled with lord knows what horrors, but we know that it is mere make-believe, and then we go to one of these "hell houses" and you think the same thing - all make-believe, what's the difference??

It would seem to me that you simply can't stomach somebody else's opinion because it differs from your own.

Sounds familiar, does it not? It's the same accussation you guys throw at the fundamentalists day in and day out.

November 02, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Publius, how can you even walk with you knickers in such a twist. Your little rant is actually amusing albeit irrational. Why are these people hypocrites?

But let us cover the difference which in blind faith you are unable to see. Most haunted houses or scary films are sold a make believe. People go out of there way to tell children these are fairy tales, false, not real, fake. But the vile fundies go out of their way to tell children this is real, that they will be tortured, that they will burn for eternity, etc. So on side we have entertainment which is sold as fiction and where responsible adults tell impressionable children that is not true. In fact many of the more violent films don’t allow in children.

But the Hell Houses want children. The intend to terrify them and covert them. They openly brag that their intention is to scare the shit out of kids. They want the kids to believe it is real and to be traumatized and “find Jesus” as a result of that trauma. Is it all make believe? Yes. The difference is you people tell young children it is real and intentionally try to inflict this horror on them in a way that fictional horror stories don’’t.

What is another difference? Do regular haunted houses (which are generally fairly mild in my experience) go out of their way to attack specific groups of people? No. You won’t find them showing the evils of being a Republican and how all Republicans will burn in hell. But almost every one of the Hell Houses by fundies particularly attacks people specifically for being gay. Now I’ve seen my share of horror films (though generally I don’t watch them because I don’t like that kind of entertainment). And I’ve never seen them target specific groups of people except may teenagers and baby-sitters. But then they are showing teens because that is their audience.

They aren’t out to trying to persuade teens that something awful will happen to them because they are teens. But you Christians have groups of people who you say will be tortured for eternity precisely because of such things.

Now I didn’t see anyone say that the assholes who put on these demonstrations ought to be banned. I would defend their right to free speech but I think their lies and their deceit should be exposed. Why don’t they openly say “this is a religious show “ up front? Why do they hide their intentions until after people have paid to enter?

November 02, 2006

Blogger Indioheathen said...

This website is good for laugh:

November 03, 2006


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