across the country run "hell houses"
on Halloween. These attractions show how "sinful" activities
can ruin young lives
. Some churches are trying to be more positive
in their messaging. For those who are interested, you can now buy your own "hell house" outreach kit
. [more inside]
Using factors like the number of strip clubs per capita, violent crime per 1,000 residents, and the percentage of disposable income given to charity, the Movoto Real Estate Blog came up with its list
of the ten most sinful cities in the United States. The winners (?) are: (1) St. Louis, MO; (2) Orlando, FL; (3) Minneapolis, MN; (4) Pittsburgh, PA; (5) Milwaukee, WI; (6) Cincinnati, OH; (7) Miami, FL; (8) Buffalo, NY; (9) Detroit, MI; and, (10) Las Vegas, NV.
A new report, the National Intelligence Estimate
, released by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence
"represents the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community, describes a wide range of sectors that have been the focus of [China-based] hacking over the past five years, including energy, finance, information technology, aerospace and automotive."
One face of Chinese state-sponsored hackers profiled by Bloomberg Business Week is Zhang Changhe
, an instructor at the People's Liberation Army Information Engineering University
in Zhengzhou. [more inside]
"I think my father is a hateful person first. The religious beliefs gave him a forum and permission to be cruel to the world."
, son of Fred Phelps, answers questions about growing up in the Westboro Baptist Church, and his life after leaving it.
(Warning: descriptions of domestic violence.) [more inside]
Church forgives abortion during Pope's visit to Spain
Special powers have been given to all priests in Madrid to absolve women who confess to abortion in the sacrament of penance during Pope Benedict's four-day visit to the church's World Youth Day event. [more inside]
"In a letter last May, Pope Benedict XVI urged priests to help people see the face of Christ on the Web, through blogs, Web sites and videos; priests could give the Web a 'soul,'
he said, by preaching theology through new technology
." Well ... it was only a matter of time. Are you a sinner? There's an app for that
. "Confession: A Roman Catholic App"
isn't supposed to replace the actual confessional booth, but instead offers "a personal examination of conscience." Sounds great, but the Vatican would like to remind you that you'll still need to drop by an actual church to make it count
Did the Vatican
just equate ordaining women with molesting children? Sure sounds like it
to a handful of women priests. The church is backpedaling
a bit today, but not very hard
A Visitor's Guide to Hell
- A translation of the Chinese version of what happens to the human soul after death [with some illustrations]. [more inside]
"Yeah we said it….Nobody talks about it, but most people have done it or are still doing it. It's seems to be a rite of passage for both girls and guys into the world of sex. Some say masturbation is not a sin, some say that it is. But is it really okay in the eyes of God?"
"... we are sweeping everything under the carpet, but the oddness is cropping up all over the place. And then, the carpet starts to move…".
, "le manipulateur" who introduced his latest film, Caché
, at Cannes with a half-amused “I wish you a disturbing evening
”, is the proponent of a "cinema of disturbance
". A cinema of loving self-mutilation
, where time is non-linear
and everything happens in long take shots
; in Haneke's world, guilt destroys lives decades after the original sin
. All his male characters are "Georges" and his female characters are either "Evas" or "Annas", "because I lack fantasy
". Unsurprisingly, he is a Bresson and Tarkovsky fan
. He'll direct "Don Giovanni" at the Paris Opera in early 2006
: "In 20 years of working in the theater, I only staged one comedy, and that was my single failure".
The Hell House Outreach Kit
Behold : "in-your-face, high-flyin', no denyin', death-defyin', Satan-be-cryin', keep-ya-from-fryin', theatrical stylin', no holds barred, cutting-edge” evangelism tool of the new millennium!....Outreaches average a 33% salvation and rededication decision rate!...Churches are using this resource as a dynamic evangelism tool!.....Churches use realistic depictions of sin's consequences to send message of hope to the nation's youth"....Domestic Abuse, Rave Scene (" hell's demons rejoice "), Teen Suicide, "Mother's Womb Abortion", Drunk Driving, Gay Wedding ( "Satan wouldn't have it any other way" ), and "Hell — The eternal fury and fire of hell is portrayed as the hell-dwellers, gate keeper and Satan declare that every person there is destined to burn forever in constant pain and agony."
Bonus - 2.5mb flash cartoon : Elisha the Cruel
's curse brings she-bears to eat the 42 little children ! (2Kings:24) Disturbed ? Behold Saint Clinton
: "His timeless sympathetic words, "I feel your pain", echo in his reassuring expression!"
I thought this
was an interesting review of this series
from the New York Public Library. And here is some background information.
Backsliding - What does it mean and where does it begin? The one common cause of backsliding is sin allowed in one's life. The remedy is repentance and return to God. God offers hope of restoration for the backslider.
Who's been backsliding recently?
Hell Houses Run by Baptists!!!!!
Does this happen in your neck of the woods? I had never heard of it, but on the radio this morning I heard that September 11th has become a popular motif for these haunted houses. I think this might be the scariest thing about Halloween.