I want to step away from Philosophical debates and the sort for a second and talk about something that I think is truly a detriment to modern society. As the title of this post indicates the subject of my post is about these places called Hell Houses.
Now these places depict graphic scenes of what they consider sins. They depict the torment in hell that the sinful suffer. Some of you may be asking yourselves what makes these places different from other horror productions or stage performances? To be honest there is a gigantic difference between these places and haunted houses and that difference is, what I call, the depiction of reality. They depict what they believe is reality to scare people into agreeing with your religious beliefs. In my opinion these people who put these shows on are emotional and spiritual terrorists. For any other movie, stage show, or haunted house they will make sure that people know that the scenes depicted are not real. There is one more factor that hasn't been considered (speaking of theater and stage), is age restrictions. The people putting on these Hell Houses do not hold strict age restrictions. For a child younger than 10 the experiences shown of stage, that these people say will happen to you if you sin, will give them nightmares and will have an extremely adverse effect on their minds. The official stance of these people is that they would rather scar a child for life with their spiritual terrorism than have that child grow up different from them (example: gay, lesbian, bisexual, atheist or a different religion, etc.) This is my opinion, but these types of tactics or extremely wrong, crude, and frightening. What I find most frightening is not the actual show, but how the people who throw them present it. The views they represent are quite extreme, and any extremism is dangerous. I think that the purpose of these shows are ironic, they throw these shows so as to make sure that the youthful do not come out damaged, however these shows are more damaging than anything else. I know I said that I would stray from philosophy but I think that a thought experiment is in order:
Let us imagine that a gay or lesbian Christian teenager is attending one of these events. The extreme anti-gay/lesbian views portrayed will psychologically damage and already psychologically frail teen. Being a teenager is extremely difficult in and of itself. I know know, I was a teenager once. Being a gay/lesbian teen is even harder WITHOUT bigotry, and I fear that the added bigotry these small minded people will be too much for some gay/lesbian teens to handle. Imagine that indeed these shows were just what it took to push a gay/lesbian teen over the edge and they committed suicide. Take a moment to let that last statement sink in. We are talking about a human being choosing to end their own life because of the views that someone else has tried to force feed this teen. I wonder what these Hell House people would say to that. Would they be happy? Would they regret what they have done? I don't know what would happen, but I hope that they realize what they are doing before it gets that far.
In conclusion, I do not think that these are bad people, but I do think they are doing something bad. This reminds me of a quote from Steven Weinberg, "Religion is and insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."