Religion. Iz so elegants. JUDGMENT HOUSE

A group of OKC Atheists went to one of those ‘Hell Houses’ last night.

I didnt go, but I can only assume from their summary of the event, that the parishioners of Wilmont Place Baptist Church in OKC have absolutely no social grace or even basic, common decency.

You see, we have had a little ‘spat’ of young people committing suicide recently. Young people killing themselves after enduring constant bullying and tormenting by their peers. Not just in ‘LA’ or ‘NYC’, but right at home, here in OKC.

What was the ‘plot’ of Wilmont Place Baptist Churchs ‘Judgment House’? Why, a young girl who has had a hard life, is constantly bullied by her peers, and kills herself. Oh, and goes to hell.

Rachel is a teenage girl who was poorly raised by drug-dealing parents who do not show her much love, and as a result she now lives with her grandmother and dresses like a goth. She is persuaded by her pious grandma to hang out with the church youth group and goes off to church camp, where she is ruthlessly mocked, maltreated, and ostracized by Christian youth evidently devoid of any semblance of brotherly love…

Next we are taken to Hell, in which we find Rachel being pushed around and bullied and mocked once again, this time by church boys portraying demons rather than church boys portraying themselves. It would appear that Hell is not without a sense of irony, torturing Rachel in the afterlife with nasty echoes of her short but unpleasant Earthly existence.

I want nothing to do with the ‘morals’ and ‘ethics’ of people… ‘humans’… who think this kind of behavior– mocking bullying, mocking the suicide of young people– is appropriate. If this is what Christians like those found in Wilmont Place Baptist Church have to offer society, society is better off without them.

Buuuuuut Im sure that ‘Judgment House’ was just a mass hallucination by the militant, angry, Gnu Atheists of OKC. Disgusting ‘Christians’ like these dont exist. Theyre straw-man caricatures of thoughtful, clever, deep theism. How dare I write this post, castigating the heart-felt beliefs of caring, loving, Christians? They will NEVER accept evilution now. I ruined everything.

*shrug*

I wont sacrifice the corpses of children, ‘playing nice’, for sake of theistic evolution.

Im such an extremist.

Comments

  1. #1 SVN
    November 1, 2010

    I was raised buddhist who went to an Oklahoman public school that was heavily dominated by christians. There were weekly “meet you at the pole” prayer events, I had a teacher who would pray with some students before class, but I never felt religion encroaching on my life.

    I didn’t directly experience christian hatred but a particular incident changed my perspective permanently. An acquaintance of mine had came out gay in high school and had been bullied. Christian “morals” and “ethics” likely resulted in him feeling isolated. Things took a turn for the worse after he came out to his parents.

    He committed suicide one day in summer and wrote a note directed to his dad: “Happy Father’s Day, are you happy now”. When I found out, I was so stunned. That was one of the first times that I felt the intolerant flames of monotheistic religions especially when contrasted with my buddhist upbringings.

  2. #2 Prometheus
    November 1, 2010

    Blech.

    This:

    “She is persuaded by her pious grandma to hang out with the church youth group and goes off to church camp, where she is ruthlessly mocked, maltreated, and ostracized by Christian youth evidently devoid of any semblance of brotherly love”

    All of those kids at Wilmont go to Falls Creek Camp. It’s the “brotherly love” capitol of the Midwest.

    http://www.thelostogle.com/2010/08/23/here-are-those-tales-of-falls-creek-debauchery/

  3. #3 Verbose Stoic
    November 1, 2010

    My comment, as a Christian:

    This post isn’t a problem, in my opinion, since you do seem to be fairly careful to restrict your comments to THESE Christians (read: Baptists or, even more specifically, those of this specific church) and don’t tar all of them with the same brush. Ultimately, that’s the basic level of respect that should be demanded at least in these discussions, and is sometimes lost, unfortunately.

  4. #4 Galwayskeptic
    November 1, 2010

    Fuck off Verbose Stoic. THAT’S the take home message from this post, in your opinion?! That sometimes people don’t ‘respect’ your choice to close your eyes, put your fingers in your ears and generally be a complete moron is ‘unfortunate’ is it? I notice you didn’t have time to condemn the incident mentioned above. No doubt your church practices a more nuanced form of prejudice against homosexuals.

    I’ve heard Americans don’t get sarcasm, but if you can’t see that she doesn’t ACTUALLY give a fuck about offending yours or any other church, then you sir, are retarded.

    I am currently spending a year studying in the Netherlands, and sometimes I forget (given that I’m living in an entirely secular society at the moment) why it’s my moral duty to criticise and condemn you assholes. Thanks for reminding us, Abbie and please, pleeease forgive my obnoxious tone!

  5. #5 Verbose Stoic
    November 1, 2010

    Galwayskeptic,

    Let me remind you of this part of the post:

    “Buuuuuut Im sure that ‘Judgment House’ was just a mass hallucination by the militant, angry, Gnu Atheists of OKC. Disgusting ‘Christians’ like these dont exist. Theyre straw-man caricatures of thoughtful, clever, deep theism. How dare I write this post, castigating the heart-felt beliefs of caring, loving, Christians? They will NEVER accept evilution now. I ruined everything.

    *shrug*

    I wont sacrifice the corpses of children, ‘playing nice’, for sake of theistic evolution.

    Im such an extremist.”

    My comment was aimed precisely that that: that the post wasn’t a problem and wasn’t one that should cause offense in general. In short, it was a good post, and she didn’t need to worry if it caused offense because it shouldn’t.

    Congratulations for expanding that so that you can rant. I hope that sort of ranting makes you happy.

    As for my views on the contents of the play: I think them wrong, both theologically — since I don’t think that someone in her position would be condemned — and personally — since I think that the bullying should never have been seen as right. And I’ll defend the post and poster if that comes up. Does that make you happy?

    I find it odd that a comment essentially saying “You kept your comments to the specific people this, so it’s all good” could somehow lead you to conclude that I wasn’t agreeing that this sort of thing was wrong …

  6. #6 Prometheus
    November 1, 2010

    Galwayskeptic@#4

    “Thanks for reminding us, Abbie and please, pleeease forgive my obnoxious tone!”

    You are apologizing for snacking on a ham sandwich in an abattoir. I’m sure you are fine.

    ….but is it trolls eat free day or what?

    “…you do seem to be fairly careful to restrict your comments to THESE Christians…”

    Ha ha ha ha ha

    Translation=The enemy of the enemy is my friend! I give you permission, from my superior position as a [insert flavor here] Christian, to speak evil of the [insert flavor here] Christians!

    Flap your gums all day. You are the arbiter of nothing. The approval, disapproval agreement or disagreement of a person who crows their unshakable commitment to flapdoodle by way of introduction is worthless.

    What are you looking for? Evangelical street cred?

    You aren’t verbose, you are prolix because your defense isn’t just wordy it is also tedious.

    *fart noise*

    As for the more enlightened, intolerantly demonstrating the intolerance of your polytheistic bullshit to intolerant monotheistic bullshit gives us gems like this:

    “That was one of the first times that I felt the intolerant flames of monotheistic religions especially when contrasted with my Buddhist upbringings.”

    Ha ha ha ha ha

    You do know that Buddha was a bit of a sick fuck? He banned gay males from ordination because he claimed the other monks (you know, “the straights”) would be unable to resist anal seduction.

    Double Blech.

    Read the title of the O.P. if you want to advance a position.

    On second thought…don’t.

    You guys make the Wilmont/Falls Creek Baptist Ninja Turtles for Jesus Team look like the Algonquin Round Table.

    Elegants nd eloqwince fum da twoo beelivers.

  7. #7 Jason
    November 1, 2010

    hi, first time reader here. i think the word you were looking for is “spate.” also, although i agree with much of what you’re getting at sarcasm is often the least effective method of persuasion. in this situation the facts are damning enough; let them speak for themselves. my $.02. best of luck w/your blog.

  8. #8 Lee Harrison
    November 1, 2010

    ERV – great post, with just the right amount of bite.

    Sorry Jason, in my experience the facts themselves often aren’t enough. A heavy dose of biting sarcasm, a dollop of disgust and a leavening of contempt are often required to shock the apathetic theist types into recognising evil that’s right under their nose – but only when the evil is being done by ‘one of their own’.

    For some reason they’re just great at recognising evil done by Muslims.

  9. #9 Cuttlefish
    November 1, 2010

    VS–

    As a christian, you have an opportunity the rest of us (mostly) do not. Will you go to your congregation and ask your brethren to publicly denounce these bottom-feeders?

    Or are you part of the problem?

  10. #10 Notagod
    November 1, 2010

    So, Verbose Stoic, since you have so much faith in the other christians, how about sponsoring a law making that type of child abuse performed by christians illegal?

    Bullying is a common christian practice, I’m sure you remember the christian support heaped on G. duhb shrub. I don’t think the U.S. christians will support limiting their religious practices to non-abusive behavior.

  11. #11 Verbose Stoic
    November 1, 2010

    Cuttlefish,

    I’m not a Baptist, and as far as I know my denomination doesn’t believe the things I objected to. I’m not an activist, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to encourage religions to fight each other. But, I disagree and am public in my disagreement, to an extent, and that will have to do.

  12. #12 Galwayskeptic
    November 1, 2010

    A weak and impotent response. That’s the problem when you’re morality is ‘given’ to you by any religious denomination. If you gave a damn, you’d do some soul searching and seek out the arguments against your delusion. But you don’t, so you won’t and instead you’ll come here and congratulate us for taking the right ‘tone’ with the despots you represent.

    Because you are all the same, fundamentally. You’re only religious by virtue of broken logic, indoctrination and poor reasoning. Have you had a go at reading any of the many arguments made against faith? Tell us where WE’RE getting it all wrong!

    In this day and age, you have a duty to be informed, and then stand up and be counted as being against this evil and this ultimate stupidity. Nothing less will do.

  13. #13 Cuttlefish
    November 1, 2010

    Cuttlefish,

    I’m not a Baptist, and as far as I know my denomination doesn’t believe the things I objected to. I’m not an activist, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to encourage religions to fight each other. But, I disagree and am public in my disagreement, to an extent, and that will have to do.

    It would be asking a bit much to expect people to take a stand against the celebration of teen suicide, and the exploitation of those deaths for propaganda/entertainment. I can see why you might not think that’s a good idea. Much better not to make waves.

  14. #14 Rorschach
    November 1, 2010

    “Verbose Stoic” is a nice example of why the so-called moderate believers are part of the problem.The but-my-cult-doesnt-do-X get-out-of-jail-free gambit in action, absolving people like Verbose Stoic from responsibility and common decency for 2000 years.

  15. #15 William Wallace
    November 1, 2010

    Sorry, not buying it. Sounds like selective recall.

    Are you sure there wasn’t some other message in this scene?

    Maybe not. Hard to believe, though.

    Anybody got a video? (Pardon me for not taking atheists’ words for it).

  16. #16 T. Bruce McNeely
    November 2, 2010

    William Wallace:

    What exactly do you doubt in this account? It sounds to me like SOP for Fundagelical Idiots.

    I have no trouble believing it at all.

  17. #17 Jerry Coyne
    November 2, 2010

    It’s not just the fundies who run Hell Houses. The Catholics do it too: they call it “church.”

  18. #18 Prometheus
    November 2, 2010

    WW@#15

    “Anybody got a video? (Pardon me for not taking atheists’ words for it).”

    Why don’t you read the script synopsis and attend a training seminar?
    http://www.judgementhouse.org/index.php
    You can get a scene by scene DVD, posters, a promo kit and a T-shirt for a tax deductible “gift” of $599.

    Do it Wally. WWJD.

  19. #19 GaryU
    November 2, 2010

    I attended a fundie church for most of my life, and I have to say… I don’t get it. What is the lesson I’m supposed to learn from this morality play? Christian kids bully other kids and cause them to commit suicide (and thus spend an eternity in hell)? What a load of crap. What do they say at the end? “Do you want to accept Jebus into your heart so that you can be one of us? The Big Bad Bullies? Or do you want to end up in hell?”

  20. #20 W. Kevin Vicklund
    November 2, 2010

    The script synopsis, right from the Judgment House page. Note that Russ was changed to Rachel due to gender of the actor. The descriptions are almost identical. It’s merely the interpretations that are different.

    Words

    Russ has never felt “good enough”. Not for his parents who are incarcerated, or even the kids at school. At least that’s what he thinks, and for him, perception is reality. He feels as if he doesn’t have a friend in the world except his grandma Joyce.

    But Grandma Joyce wants Russ to reach out and make some friends, so she pushes him to attend camp with students from the local church. However, the youth group “clique” is too tough to break into and keeps Russ at a distance because of his unusual appearance and weird personality. The whispered insults and cut-downs don’t help either.

    Jason, the youth pastor reaches out to Russ but to no avail, and the “church kids” continue ostracizing Russ only adding to his devastation when he receives word that his Grandma has suddenly passed away.

    Overwhelmed by his loss and loneliness, Russ wants nothing to do with Jesus Christ and decides that the best escape from the pain is to end his own life. If only he had known that he was loved. If only someone had embraced him or told him how much God loved him. His rejection of the free gift of salvation catapults him into eternity and a place that he never would have dreamed.

    Words are powerful and affect the lives of individuals deeply and can easily be a prescription for tragedy.

  21. #21 William Wallace
    November 2, 2010

    W. Kevin Vicklund @20 thanks, makes sense, now.

    In the text you quote, the author laments “If only someone had embraced him or told him how much God loved him.”

    So, if the church stuck to the script, the Oklahoma atheists have a comprehension problem.

    If they didn’t stick to the script, they have some explaining to do.

  22. #22 GaryU
    November 2, 2010

    So, if the church stuck to the script, then the Xtians victimized Rachel and then god punished the victim. And the punishment in Hell was exactly the way the Xtians treated her here on earth. Sounds like they summarized it nicely.

  23. #23 Prometheus
    November 2, 2010

    Wait.

    “catapults him into eternity”

    They fling him into strip bar on 10th street with a medieval siege machine?

    Where do I get tickets?

  24. #24 T. Bruce McNeely
    November 2, 2010

    His rejection of the free gift of salvation catapults him into eternity and a place that he never would have dreamed.

    Holy shit.

    This really is the way Fundies think.

    I have no words.

  25. #25 LR
    November 2, 2010

    Is it “just” and “correct” for everyone to get on the wagon to throw stones at one another? I think not. Regardless of religious choice (or abstinence) I think we can all agree that this church has some issues (yep, being nice here) that need to be addressed.

    FYI, I believe if you go back far enough, EVERY religion has MAJOR issues in the tolerance department … just saying.

  26. #26 Notagod
    November 2, 2010

    While it is good certainly to agree that every christian religion has major issues. It is also good to remind christians that they have major issues with reality as well because they just are not getting that yet. Another thing is that, I’ll just come right out with it, christians suck. Sure, every religion has major issues but christians suck! …just saying.

    That throwing stones part though, I think the christian holey book commands that the christians stone people, so LR you should start by getting the christians in some semblance of mental health first before admonishing those that do not require disgusting behavior.

  27. #27 Theo Bromine
    November 2, 2010

    quoth Verbose Stoic: I’m not an activist, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to encourage religions to fight each other.

    Stoic: You are apparently someone who avows disagreement with odious positions taken by other religious people on gay rights, eternal damnation etc. I find it worrisome (ok downright frightening) that your response to a call to speak out on behalf of those who (by your own standards) are being unfairly treated is to take a position of solidarity with other believers on principle.

  28. #28 rnb
    November 2, 2010

    When I was a Universalist, I would have been quite happy to call these Baptists heretics, blasphemers, and apostates.

  29. #29 Theo Bromine
    November 2, 2010

    When I was a Universalist, I would have been quite happy to call these Baptists heretics, blasphemers, and apostates.

    Same for me when I was a very active member of the United Church of Canada (flaming liberals that marry and even ordain gays). Maybe that’s why I’m now an atheist.

  30. #30 gillt
    November 2, 2010

    Communication Expert Jason: “[…] sarcasm is often the least effective method of persuasion. in this situation the facts are damning enough; let them speak for themselves.”

    What harm is sarcasm going to do…de-convince people of the horribleness of what went on here?

    Or is it going to reveal the true alliances of self-proclaimed moderates like verbosestoic.

  31. #31 William Wallace
    November 3, 2010

    I just want to stop in to say: What a wonderful morning.

    Michele Bachmann won.

    Still, the smarmy Chris Mathews from the “all things degenerate” network P- MSNBC is about to flee the country out of concerns that he is going to be investigated for his Marxist inclinations.

    Gridlock is good. President Carter is no longer the worst president in the history of the United States.

    It looks like the left is not going to be able to pass a law making it illegal to mock and ridicule grown men who get tingling feelings in their legs after listening to an Obama speech.

    Now, if Chris Mathews goes back on his word, and decides he can’t live with his tingling feelings getting mocked, and offs himself, there will be no law there to persecute the person who held the sign.

  32. #32 LanceR, JSG
    November 3, 2010

    Great Ghu, Limp Willy. You really are an a$$hole.

    Goest thou into the desert and fornicate thyself with a saguaro.

    Really.

  33. #33 Verbose Stoic
    November 4, 2010

    Theo,

    Considering how often atheists point to how bad wars between religions are, I’m somewhat surprised that you’d leap to my response meaning that I was taking a position of solidarity with them as opposed to a position of “It never goes well when religions fight, so it’s probably a good idea for religions to not pick fights with each other.” I am not a Baptist, and so my being a Christian confers upon me no greater obligation to speak out or get my religion to speak out than would be for anyone else. I’m not an activist, so I don’t normally push anyone to do anything. So, why would I be part of the problem if I support the position expressed by ERV and go no further?

    What are you guys — or ERV — doing that’s more than simply talking about it on a blog? Why should I do more than you are?

  34. #34 Prometheus
    November 4, 2010

    “What are you guys — or ERV — doing that’s more than simply talking about it on a blog? Why should I do more than you are?”

    Nice try.

    Abbie covers the waterfront with public presentations often in churches and in counterpoint to the science=magicjesus shills exploiting the people in her audience.

    This week I have reported candidates and churches to the attorney general’s office, the state ethics commission and the internal revenue service for reporting violations, violations of 501C3 status and engaging in competing commercial enterprises without sales or income tax reporting (including judgment house’s illegal competition with traditional commercial haunted houses through coerced deductible donations).

    I made no political donations this cycle(except time and my name) because The Bride and I resolved to contribute money to the municipal housing facilities for emancipated minors who for a variety of reasons including parental religious intolerance live on their own.

    We provide free legal service and find jobs for minors seeking emancipation due to parental religious intolerance.

    We are going to buy dresses and cover tuxedo rentals so they can go to prom.

    Did you succeed in your effort to feel like less of a chickenshit yet?

    Let us know how that is going.

  35. #35 Verbose Stoic
    November 5, 2010

    Prometheus,

    Now tell me what that has to do with THIS SPECIFIC ISSUE? It’s nice, I suppose, that you’re an activist against religion, but since I don’t agree with you on that why in the world would _I_ do that? Would you like me to support, say, anti-atheist groups or give money to causes to put religion back into schools? Or would you rather I just let everyone who doesn’t have the same religious views as I do live their lives the way they want to?

    Again, I’m a moderate. I’m not an activist. I’m not going to be an activist. That doesn’t make me part of the problem. That just makes me an average person living his life.

    You need to win the votes of moderates. What won’t win that is insisting that they be activists. They won’t; they’ll stay home instead. What you need is to say “You don’t have to be an activist, you don’t have to get up and yell and scream about this, but at least do THIS”. Which is usually “But at least vote for propositions/parties that will deal with it.” The only suggestion for what I should do has been to somehow go to that congregation that I attend infrequently and convince them to condemn the actions of a church of a completely different denomination in a completely different COUNTRY. Yeah, I’ll get right on that.

    So, if I am willing to say that I don’t agree with this when the topic comes up — and would do it to members of the religion — why isn’t that enough for someone who isn’t going to be an activist?

  36. #36 Praetor
    November 8, 2010

    The wide-sweeping, stereotyping of Christians that is going on is remarkable for an audience that I would guess would lean towards being more rationale than average. Clearly the scenario given was terrible, but to vehemently attack all Christians because of it is ignorant and barbaric. Really kinda of scary that people think this way–this is the same type of reasoning that leads to thinking all Muslims are terrorists.

  37. #37 Prometheus
    November 8, 2010

    Speaking for myself, only myself and not as an anything but a me, the appropriate response to offensive speech is opposing speech.

    Good on ya VB. But you had to do it with a caveat and the pretense of a moral high ground

    “As a christian..”

    At that point it isn’t enough because you have a greater responsibility as a member of the franchise.

    I don’t mean VB and Praetor hopped a bus and held the paint pot for the raw boned okie hills-have-eyes teenagers while they built the sets for their gruesome little production.

    What I do mean is that:

    1. There is a better than 85% chance your denomination is a signatory to the World Council of Churches Calling to Common Witness which means you have relinquished your right within your “moderate” denomination to object to the gruesome little production and that is what you should be opposing first.

    2. A variation of the auto-de-fe has been practiced formally or informally by every variant of Christianity from Anglicans to Quakers.

    At what point does the ignorance of practice and history of your own system of belief fail to recognize 1500 years of integral policy?

    Upon discovery of a heretic, show the subject the instruments of his torture give the subject an opportunity by act and profession to conform prior to execution. If the subject dies without act and profession the subject is condemned to hell.

    What? You thought “West Side Story” was off the cuff?

    It may star teenagers, music by Bernstein and lyrics by Sondheim, but it is still the ancient play,and if you are a professed christian it is your ancient play.

    “Clearly the scenario given was terrible, but to vehemently attack all Christians because of it is ignorant and barbaric.”

    When you crap in my yard and I put your crap on your own doorstep I am being neither ignorant nor barbaric. I am just telling you to take responsibility for your own shit.

    “Really kinda of scary that people think this way–this is the same type of reasoning that leads to thinking all Muslims are terrorists.”

    What even is scarier is that every Abrahamic religion has put on this show with real blood using ropes, rocks, torches and blunt instruments every time they have been given political license to do so.

    Once again speaking for myself, only myself and not as an anything but a me….quit flapping your arms, pretending to be persecuted, bawwwing over the slippery slope and take personal responsibility for your own shit.

  38. #38 D4M10N
    November 16, 2010

    http://www.archive.org/download/OklahomaAtheistsGodcast/

    Okay, since there has been some argument about the content of the presentation itself, I feel compelled to mention that we did a podcast about it in which we described the goings-on in significantly more detail. Laughed quite a bit, but I assure you we aren’t making this shjt up.

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