Scaring Your Kids Into Religious Intolerance

Most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches. I do not buy candy during the Halloween season. Curses are sent through the tricks and treats – Kimberly Daniels (700 Club)

Here we are in October again, one of the busiest times of year for Evangelical Christianity, Inc.  Easter and Christmas are not really good “sale days” when new converts are easily added to the ranks because these holidays are for those who already believe.  Barring the bribery of cool toys, there’s really not much of an incentive package that can assure a good crop of new tithers.

But Halloween? You can’t ask for a better holiday for Fundy America to pull out all the stops and really ramp up their sales drives. You got your demons, ghosts, specters, spooks, spirits, apparitions and that old Serpent, the Devil, taking center stage in sermon after sermon, all month long. All this is leading up to the main event, which is designed to do nothing short of scaring the crap out of another crop of impressionable young minds that will be freshly squeezed into their brainwashed ranks.

All during October, Evangelicals all across the country will be doing their level best to convince the youth of America that if they do not convert to Christianity, they will be doomed to eternal punishment, tortured in hell, where their flesh will burn forever, where there is constant wailing, gnashing of teeth and where worms will be forever and painfully burrowing into whatever flesh they have that is not perpetually on fire.  By far, their favorite way to do this is by staging productions that go by a variety of names. Two of the most popular are “Hell House” and “Judgement House.” After all, what better way is there to impress upon a young mind the love of god than a guided tour of hell?

And it works, which is why every October tens of thousands of churches all across the land use this tactic of terrorism to let kids know that if they don’t straighten up and accept Jesus into their life before they die, which can happen at any moment, then they are forever and hopelessly doomed.

Usually set up on the grounds of a larger church due to their many Sunday school rooms, as well as the availability of a large enough parking lot big enough to set up mock car accidents. Some of these Hell Houses are really an awesome spectacle that resemble professionally staged sets. Generally, there are five parts to a Hell House, and we’ll examine each one in detail.

Part one: Guilt

Your child enters through a seemingly benign front door. Once inside, the fun begins. Christian ‘actors’ portray, in realistic method, a variety of sins such as drug use, prostitution, listening to secular music, sex of almost any kind and, of course, atheism.  These sins are acted out first to give your child warning by guilt if they should happen to be engaging in any of these things.

Part Two: Fear

This is usually when they are herded outside to view a mock car accident. The church hauls in a couple of wrecked cars and places their actors in various locations with a heightened aspect of gory reality. Dismembered bodies, gallons of fake blood, smoke and often there is one unrepentant actor who is on the verge of death when the tour group arrives, only to die right in front of them with last words to the effect of, “No! I am only fourteen!” or some such other tear-jerking comment. Next stop may be a mock hospital emergency room where the actor has just died. Onward to another scene of an equally grisly portrayal of human pain and suffering, where the victim has died without knowing Christ, which sets the scene for volley number three…

Part Three: Hell, itself.

This is where these people really shine! While the tour group is making their way to the auditorium, gym or whatever large room the church has, the actors who have just died in the previous room scurry behind the scenes to take their places for their next role, which takes place in the church’s production of hell, complete with Satan and fallen angels. Satan, of course, is done up about as scary as he can be and his demons are not much better.

The Hell Room is usually set up according to what the bible depicts hell to be. Plenty of shredded sheets soaked in fake blood, dry ice smoke, shrieks and moans coming from high-end sound systems, strobe lights and everything drenched in red lighting. The actors from the previous scenes of human misery on earth are now spotlighted here in hell, screaming and writhing in torture. One of them might look directly at your child with typical warnings about not receiving Christ before death, or right at the parent with an admonition for not yet making sure their kid is saved. Sometimes the now-dead-and-rotting-in-hell child actor will spout off something like, “Why didn’t my parents tell me about this place?! They could have told me about Jesus and I would not be suffering!”

Added in for effect are bodies lying on the ground close enough so that occasionally an actor grabs one of your kids legs and screams, “Help Meeeeee!” If this room does not require years of therapy for these kids, then the speech at the end of the Hell tour by Satan will. Basically, Satan pitches the usual evangelical shtick, but with a twist. Statistics are sometimes cited about the rate of death amongst children and young teens, and how many of them died without knowing Jesus and how they are all down there with him, being tortured for fun and profit. Just when the effects of the death, mutilation, sorrow, torture, lights, sound and speeches have got your kid scared shitless, it’s time for part four.

Part Four: The Rescue

The group is ushered through a door into a room dark enough so that nothing in it can be discerned. Then, the lights come on. And they are really bright lights. White light everywhere. The set is made up to look like what the bible predicts heaven will look like, or as close as the budget will allow. Then, Jesus shows up. Usually a white guy with real long hair and a beard, flowing white robes and smile that would make a dentist have an orgasm. This is usually short, because the producers don’t want the group to forget about what they just went through. Jesusdude explains that everything they just saw can be avoided if they just get to know him a little. Nothing complicated, just making him lord of your life and everything you do, accepting a life of credulous servility and joining him in brainwashing as many other kids as possible. After a few minutes of this comes part five.

Part Five: The Decision Room

This is usually in the sanctuary where all the blissy stuff is. Huge cross, shiny chalices, candles and plush carpeting. Usually the youth minister oversees this, as the whole point of a youth minister is to attract as many youth as possible. He will probably be dressed in way that will be appealing to the youth. He will give a short sermon and ask if anyone wants to make a commitment or decision for Christ. At this point usually most, if not all, of the group are very enthusiastic about receiving Christ into their lives. Of course, at this point, most of them would eat a live insect covered in rhinoceros vomit if they thought it would keep them out of hell. Names are taken, information packets are given out and there are always ‘counselors’ on hand if anyone has any questions.

And… CUT!

Production over and a new crop of converts has been harvested. These productions usually last about a week, and during this time maybe a thousand people go in the front door, eight hundred “accept” christ at the back door and the pastor tells the flock the following Sunday morning that they had an eighty-percent success rate, which obviously proves that a “vast majority of our children are hungry for Christ” or some such nonsense. They are actually hungry for not dying in a horrific car accident and ending up in what amounts to the scariest situation imaginable.

Thus ends a week of church-sanctioned child abuse that is supported by almost every adult in the church. If you think “child abuse” is overstating it, then consider the fact that if this was done in any other venue for any other reason other than evangelism, parents would be calling lawyers so fast it would make your head spin. But this is religion, so it’s OK to poison your kids mental health. These Hell Houses are horrifically damaging to a young mind and it is not the threat of torture that hurts them, but the actual torture of having to go through this, usually at the behest of their parents.

Funny, Christian parents won’t let their kids go see an R-rated horror movie, but they allow them to participate in a theatrical presentation that would probably get an NC-17 rating. Just another example of how twisted the virus of religion is.

So, here’s an idea…

If you have or belong to a local Atheist, Freethinker or Secularist group, go ahead and get yourselves one of those “instant gazebos” and some chairs. Set up just on the other side of their property, in either a legal public venue (get permits, they will make sure you need them) or on private property at the permission of the owner. If you can, purchase several cases of water bottles and print-outs containing information about how this type of garbage adversely affects young minds, preferably by a well-respected mental health organization, along with information about how religion has caused untold death and destruction. For good measure, throw in a pamphlet on Evolutionary Theory. Sort of like little atheist care packages.

You should make up some signs like the ones that freethought groups have on buses and billboards, too. I would suggest you alert the local law enforcement community, because these people have a propensity to get violent sometimes, just in case you forgot the last five-thousand years of church history. Don’t be confrontational, don’t respond to threats with threats. Be peaceful, civil and have a well-spoken representative of your group handy, because it is very possible that the media will be present and asking questions. We want to keep our community of unbelievers in a positive light, so this is not the time nor the venue to be polemic.

Don’t give the entire month to the evangelicals, people.

  22 comments for “Scaring Your Kids Into Religious Intolerance

  1. Aliasalpha
    October 3, 2011 at 9:04 am

    You’d think that the godbotherers could do things far more simply by just having the best sweets so the kids would want to go there more often

    Then again I suppose that doesn’t tick the terror box as comprehensively

  2. Gordon
    October 3, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Why is it that the Christians feel they own Christmas but not Halloween? Both are (largely) secular holidays with christian and pagan roots.

  3. Cuttlefish
    October 3, 2011 at 9:29 am
  4. Anonymous
    October 3, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Moral of the story:

    Give a christian a picture of the Milky Way and ask him where this “hell” place is supposed to be.
    Most christians will rage at this simple test.

    It seems the easiest way to find hell is church. Hell is in church.

  5. October 3, 2011 at 10:35 am

    “…Most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches.”

    There’s some good old fashion twelfth-century-peasant-level thinking for you. I suppose witches are hired like seasonal workers to roam distribution warehouses hexing pallets of Milk Duds and Snickers.

    Leave it to the Religious Right™ to crap all over any childhood joy. I went to one of these “Hell Houses” a while back and was thrown out because I laughed and heckled my way through the worst of it. Kind of puts the scenes off a bit when someone is bent over in hysterics and the rest of the crowd joins in. I guess the performers didn’t have a sense of humor. Too bad, it really was great comedy!

  6. kerfluffle
    October 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I’ve got friends with teen kids who meandered over to atheism on their own. Maybe we can all go in together and then all get a massive case of the giggles in “hell.” Start off by trying not to laugh, chuckle, chuckle, then explode with guffaws.

    And of course, even just the word “hell” would set off another laugh attack during the sermon. With many apologetic “I am very sorry but it’s all just too funny.” looks.

  7. Happy Camper
    October 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Several years back I was reading that a local “hell house” was broken up by an unknown person with liquid fart from a joke shop. No, it wasn’t me and no I don’t advocate tactics like this butt it was funny.

    I’m just saying

  8. Brownian
    October 3, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Several years back I was reading that a local “hell house” was broken up by an unknown person with liquid fart from a joke shop. No, it wasn’t me and no I don’t advocate tactics like this butt it was funny.

    So, someone brought their own brimstone and hell got too real? Bah. These ‘performers’ have no dedication to their art.

  9. Robert B.
    October 4, 2011 at 12:52 am

    I really, really like that idea you offer at the end. That’s… just a very good thing to do, to offer water and kindness and truth against one of those psychological child-torture chambers. Is anyone planning to do something like this in the Baltimore-DC area?

  10. October 4, 2011 at 4:30 am

    Al, I wrote a rhetorical article that was inspired by your post. I cordially invite you and your readers to give it a look. I had known about hell houses since around the time Dawkins helped expose the issue, but your article laid bare the truth about this terrorist tactic. Thank you for your hard work and the inspiration.

  11. James Thompson
    October 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Not sure how else to contact you.

    I was hoping to download Radio Free Atheism files to my iPhone. But iTunes and do not work.

    • Al Stefanelli
      October 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm


      I discontinued the Podcast due to a lack of time. I might repost the existing ones on my website, though. Stay tuned.

      • James Thompson
        October 5, 2011 at 1:15 pm

        Please repost if you can.

  12. John Morales
    October 5, 2011 at 5:12 am

    It’s poor form not to indicate that quotation dates from 2009.

    • October 5, 2011 at 8:57 am

      I might agree if the quote were time-sensitive. But if she said it two years ago that doesn’t change anything; I doubt her views have radically changed. Hell houses are a yearly phenomenon. The quote is relevant.

  13. NJ Osprey
    October 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches. I do not buy candy during the Halloween season. Curses are sent through the tricks and treats

    OK, its just seasonal work, but it does get us ready for the War on Christmas. By the way, Reese’s chocolate/peanut butter cups are safe. We like to eat those.

    2131st Coven, 21st Samhain Squadron, Secret Pagan Army

  14. 'Tis Himself, OM
    October 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches. I do not buy candy during the Halloween season. Curses are sent through the tricks and treats

    There are actually people who believe this. My flabber is gasted.

  15. Francisco Bacopa
    October 5, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Several years back I was reading that a local “hell house” was broken up by an unknown person with liquid fart from a joke shop. No, it wasn’t me and no I don’t advocate tactics like this butt it was funny.

    I’m just saying

    Here’s the product you want:

    Trust me, it works.

  16. Tsu Dho Nimh
    October 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    And you know the sponsors are getting quite a thrill from all the vicarious sinning they do.

  17. Sandman
    October 7, 2011 at 6:27 am

    “In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child.”

    Hmmmm… scaring the hell out of kids (bad pun) and probably giving them a week or so of screaming bedwetter nightmares would seem to constitute child abuse.

    Combine that with the fact, as stated by Al, that the acts and goresplattered stupidity and ham acting on display in these places would not get a kid friendly film rating, or possibly even one usually applied to Texas Chainsaw style flms…..

    ACLU test case somewhere in there?

    If you want to see an end to this snuff porn japery hit the offenders where it hurts….in their wallets via a court.

    In the meantime keep up the clowning…it makes for hilarious “dumb hicks” headlines and news stories over in Europe.

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