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Saturday, November 04, 2006
Church sends Kids to 'hell'
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Religion :: Christian fright house sends kids to 'hell'

Has anyone see this before? I just can not wrap my thoughts around "WHY" Christian's do this! Well I know the obvious, but it is just appalling to me! Any thoughts?


posted by Unknown at 2:42 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 11/04/2006 03:30:00 PM, Anonymous Jamie Hollis

    That's horrible. Really, really horrible.

  • At 11/04/2006 04:15:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Monroe

    Now in my onion that's minipulative generically, and in terms of actually showing a man in scrubs pretending to perform an abortion -- wow that's TOTALLY inappropriate. Wonder if they showed the sparkly boys actually mimicking the movements of sex...

    The article also kind of points to a works-based theology that sure emphasizes the pet sins of the original Christian Coalition. Is this really about encouraging reflection on the spiritual condition of our hearts and lives or about scary kids out of embarrassing their parents and promoting "god's (aka Pat Robertson') agenda?

    Well at least he Buddhist seemed peaceful enough, even in hell.

    But it's an interesting phenomonenon. I couldn't help wondering about the pyschology behind the Hell House. Now clearly it's gotta be just terrifying and traumatic for a kid or young teen girl. But what an older, more sophisticated teen?

    I mean C'mon, a voice resounding off garbage bag-covered halls saying, "Welcome to Hell..." For something trying to provoke serious reflection, this almost sounds more like a parody.

    And what about for the pastor who plays Satan? Has anyone elsed mused that there might be something to Jung's theory that if we don't openly acknowledge and learn from our dark side, that it will just sneak out and get attention in some unconscious way?

    Then there's the theology -- for a conservative, literally scary (in my opnion) crowd, kind of cool that they at least represent to believe that all visitors of hell will get a second chance in the afterlife, ala the angel in heaven who invites all to ask Jesus to forgive their sins/come into their hearts. Sort of a new hybrid between Christian fundamentalism and universalism. Maybe the pastor reads devotionally from "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," by Jonathan Edwards, side by side with "The last word and the word after that" by Brian Mclaren.


  • At 11/04/2006 04:34:00 PM, Blogger Nancy

    Someone should have ripped off the "confession booth" idea from "Blue Like Jazz" and set it up right next door so that they could beg forgiveness of the poor souls subjected to such treatment.

    How obtuse can people be?

  • At 11/04/2006 04:47:00 PM, Blogger lydia

    I've never seen one of these hell shows in person, for the record.

    But I do think it's a pretty manipulative thing to do, especially since it seems to be marketed (for lack of a better term) to minors.

    One of the other things that concern me about it is what the program could do to the visitors who have had an abortion or struggled with their sexual orientation.

    The last thing anyone with a painful past needs is another serving of condemnation. I know that some Christians feel the need to "take a stand" on X (whatever X might be), but beating people over the head with it isn't the best way to help other people become more spiritually healthy.

    That said, if you're going to do a halloween-themed event...why in the heck are you sending us to hell? All of the zombie, demon, and serial killer movies that I've ever seen have them coming to us. ;)

  • At 11/04/2006 04:53:00 PM, Blogger Michele L

    OK, so I am not alone with my thoughts on this.
    Jemila, I thought what you said was funny, and it didn't occur to me. Maybe the twist, I am all for, is the fact that "a second chance" appears at the end. I am SURE that is not what they were getting at, but I guess when you get over the "jaw to the floor" response, it can be almost commical.
    AHH lengths "Christian's" go to 'instill' their own agendas and not be able to step back and see how it can be perceived in a different light....almost commical, except for the fact that it was directed at youth and teens. I am wrong to say this, but it is what I feel...sometimes I wish I could kick people in the head, and say "what are you thinking?!"

  • At 11/04/2006 05:02:00 PM, Blogger Michele L

    Nancy, I am all for the "confession booth", I really liked that idea in Blue Like Jazz.

    Lydia, I know many that agree it comes to us....my mother-in-law likes to say, "I'm not going to Hell, I live here." ;) Needless to say, she has had her reponses to the "religious" establishments.

    Just a note, I hadn't mentioned. I found the link to this article, on a friend's blog. He has been attending our church for some time, but is a professed "unbeliever". He has been attracted to our church due to acceptance and love he has felt. He was writing about Halloween, and said this concept is something that he finds very scary. Nothing like coloring "God" or "how to follow God" in this light. I am a believer and it totally turns me off. I can only imagine what it says to those that don't believe. Real reflective of God's love, grace, and forgiveness!

  • At 11/04/2006 07:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    I think the "hell house" was incomplete. They omitted the room with hypocrites condemned to repeat endlessly all the things they purported to have done during their earthly life. Where was the room for Sunday best American Christians who think the U.S. is the only country on earth worthy of God's provision and blessing? And the room for those who so judgmentally attack others' lifestyles while happily practicing those other "abominations" of gluttony and, gasp, wearing TWO THREADS OF DIFFERENT MATERIALS IN THE SAME GARMENT!!! I think I could have rolled with these oversights, if only there had been a room where fundamentalist preachers were forced to watch videos of themselves preaching with Enya dubbed over the sound.

  • At 11/04/2006 07:49:00 PM, Blogger Nancy

    That's really funny, Medium Guy. It does seem they left out some important rooms. There's always next year...perhaps we could email them some ideas. ; )

  • At 11/04/2006 09:32:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    the latest Newsweek had an article on this. the pictures looked really cheezy and the reporter said that the people coming out of it seemed more disgusted by it than anything. one more reason for people to reject the freaky christians.

    it a way it reminds me of a summer camp my youth group did. My youth pastor was very much into experiential role-playing camps and retreats. Well this camp was all about the end times and being a good little dispensational church we role-played the rapture. honestly. During camp those of us who had been good christias (gone to youth group all summer, gone to early morning bible studies, went to a communion service instead of a youth casino night...) were persecuted (dunked in the river, "honeyed and feathered"). One night a list of our names were called out and we were told we were being kicked out of the bunkhouses and had to sleep outside for the night. But when we went out, we were instead "raptured" - i.e. put ona bus and taked to San Antonio for an all-nighter at an amusment park they had rented for us. Everyone else who were left behind (including my two brothers) were locked in the main hall and experienced the tribulation. that consisted of being forced to stay awake all night, watch Thief in the Night repeatedly, and play phonetic hangman. The saddest part it, is that at the time I thought it was really cool...

  • At 11/04/2006 09:52:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Monroe

    Wow. Hey what if we collected all our tramatic (and sometimes humorous) stories of fundamentalism and turned them into a sort of Chicken Soup for the Post-Fundamentalists's soul, with a little flare of satire and the healthy dose of the Spirit? Maybe could bring resonance/recognition, laughter and spiritual healing to people who've left the church or feel like their about to die in the church if they bear it one moment longer.

  • At 11/05/2006 12:53:00 AM, Blogger sylvia skinner

    Ah, Julie, memories of Thief in the Night! You are too young for that! That movie did two things for me...scared the s--- out of me whenever I came home to an empty house and made me go crazy worrying about whether or not I would get married before the rapture...you know...so I could have sex!

    Now, that's pretty scary!

  • At 11/05/2006 08:04:00 AM, Blogger Michele L

    Wow Julie! When I think my raising was crazy, I find out more than I think I want to know. No wonder many of us are bolting...looking for a different way. If anything, it leaves me totally self concious of how I represent God/Faith to my kids, and those I teach. I didn't ever see Thief in the Night (I guess thank God!) but somehow that fear was placed in me. When everyone else couldn't wait for the next book in the Left Behind series, I ran the other direction. I had so much fear, I didn't want to even attempt to read Revelation. I will be happy if I can somehow shelter my kids from those things. It will be tough, I am up against a strong family!

  • At 11/05/2006 08:28:00 AM, Blogger Julie

    Sylvia - I remember a 6th grade sunday school class about how we allshould be eagerly awaiting the rapture. I mentioned that I would like to grow up get married and have kids first - and had everyone laugh at me. You cant apparently want anything more than the rapture...

    hmmm... so Ive grown up, gotten married, and had a kid and no rapture yet.. ;)


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