01 November, 2006

Something Positive on Hell Houses

I don't think this webcomic is too appropriate to post here (considering I'm getting linked to from Myst Blogs which AFAIK tends to aim towards being family friendly) so you may wish to skip this post. However I found the storyline starting on this page and continuing for 8 pages to deal with a touchy topic in a very thought provoking manner (although it's got the requisite tasteless jokes so be warned ;)).

What it deals with is a phenomenon called a Hell House where (typically evangelical) Christians create a haunted house showing the horrors of sinning with the hopes of convincing people to convert. I'd like to think that such attractions can be done tastefully and in an enjoyable manner, but if they are the Something Positive storyline doesn't feature one of those. Instead it shows how people who have the best of intentions (and the strip does show them as having good intentions. It would have been easier to villify the people running the hell house) can be misguided.

I felt that the strip showed why it's important to have compassion and patience with people who have differing beliefs (even if those beliefs would force you to convert if they were made law ;)). What I liked best though was one of the "victims" of the hell house was a Christian themself. But although he was Christian he disagreed with pretty much every single belief held by those running the hell house. I also felt the last strip was very good. It shows that not all Christians have the same beliefs, and they'll go about their beliefs in completely different ways.

Although one point I didn't necessarily agree with was in the final strip someone comments on how Christians don't typically admit to being a Christian unless they're also saying how much better they are then non-believers. As a non-Christian I haven't found that to be the case, although it is a common portrayal of Christians in recent times. However even with that page having that point, I'd say the final panel made that page the most enjoyable for me. I don't think the character in the final panel is praying in the hopes that all Christians would stop behaving in such a manner. But instead praying that the minority of Christians that do, will "see the light" and instead go towards a closer version of Christianity that the character believes in. Or at the very least that the misconception that Christians are typically people that always go around saying how much better they are then others will be replaced with something that's closer to the truth. And given the comment by the creator of Something Positive's on the main page, I'd say that interpretation is correct (although I don't agree with the tone of the comment he made. It's fairly standard fare for Something Positive ;)).