One of the many different ways that Christians lie to children, besides cajoling them into believing in a God they cannot demonstrate in any way to exist, as well as sin, saints, heaven, hell, and so much more, is the belief that only through a belief in all of these things can a person hope to be saved from addiction to sex, drugs, and maybe even rock and roll. Christianity, according to this perspective, is the only panacea available to humanity for all of the vices that poison our soul, rob us of our discipline, and corrupt our sense of empathy and human compassion. (Don't mind everything from the Inquisitions to ISIS, by the way. Some "Believers" are still working the kinks out of the system. Thank you for your patience, Humanity.)
Fundamentalist Christians have tried to advance this lie using something they call Hell Houses. First popularized in 1970s by Jerry Falwell and the Trinity Assembly of God in Cedar Hill, Hell Houses are like the Haunted Houses someone may visit during Halloween, only the "horrors" depicted in Hell Houses are offered as examples of what the Christians consider "sinful behavior." As Wikipedia puts it:
"Common scare examples include abortion, homosexuality, raving and the use of alcoholic beverages and drugs, and teen suicide. Other hell houses focus on the theme of the seven deadly sins. Hell houses typically emphasize the belief that those who do not repent of their sins and choose to follow Christ are condemned to Hell."
Such lies suggest that things like addiction and teen suicide, and even homosexuality, are all simply the result of a "lack of faith" or belief in God. Such scare tactics are used for the exclusive purpose of using a person's fears and emotions to convince them of the need to abandon their reason, stop asking if God exists or if Christianity is a sham, and simply believe in their particular God and religion (or else!). (It's only too bad such "Hell Houses" do not include rooms filled with those young boys the Church was responsible for castrating in the Netherlands during the 1950s, for simply being accused of being homosexuals, or the countless others whom the Catholic Church was responsible for murdering in any number of 'hellish' ways, and all for the glory of God.)
Such bold faced emotional manipulation for a belief is a bit like converting people to accept their lord and savior Jesus Christ, by using the Ludovico technique from Stanley Kubrick's, A Clock Work Orange. And this is by no means an exaggeration. If you haven't seen the movie, Wikipedia defines it this way:
The Ludovico technique is a fictional aversion therapy from the novel A Clockwork Orange administered by a "Dr. Brodsky" at the Ludovico medical facility, with the approval of the UK Minister of the Interior. It involved forcing a patient to watch, through the use of specula to hold the eyes open, violent images for long periods, while under the effect of a nausea-, paralysis-, and fear-inducing
drug. The aim of the therapy was to condition the patient to experience
severe nausea when experiencing or even thinking about violence, thus
creating an aversion to violent behaviour.
Like the those suffering from mental health conditions during the sixteenth and seventeenth century, whom Christians sought to "free from the clutches of Satan" by branding them as Witches and burning them at the stake (among other hellish methods), such Hell Houses accuse all those who are already suffering from deep emotional and psychological difficulties - which are sometimes the result of being physically or sexually abused by Catholic Priests, by the way - of simply failing to have enough faith in God.
As if the problems of this life are not hard enough to handle already, Christians who use these Hell Houses to manipulate children into accepting their beliefs, do so by exploiting those who are suffering from real world problems already. But reducing and labeling people with serious emotional and psychological problems to "sinners" is no different than labeling those who suffered from psychological problems as "witches" a few centuries ago. Instead, all it does is allow the most narrow minded people in a society to collectively reconfirm their institutionalized superstitions once a week by getting together and singing kumbaya.
Of course, if you were one of the boys castrated by Catholic priests and nuns in the Netherlands, or one of the over 100,000 children raped by Catholic priests and nuns (all of whom, for the most part, went unpunished by the Catholic Church for years) the scariest Hell House of all is the one people around the world flock to in sheepish droves, every Sunday morning.
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