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Rosa Celeste: Dante and Beatrice gaze upon the...

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        Every year, my uncle takes our Youth Group to this thing called Judgment House. A church in the area puts it on between Halloween and Thanksgiving. There’s not really a decent way to describe it; I can only liken it to a Christian Haunted House.

    At Judgment House, you walk from room to room with a “Tour Guide” and see a part of a story acted out in front of you. Usually the story has something to do with one of the “actors” accepting Christ as their Savior and the other actor not doing so.  This way you get to see the benefits of Heaven and the eternal suffering of Hell. 

    To be honest, the Hell portion of Judgment House really creeps me out, but mostly because of the voice changers, strobe lights, and plastic devil masks from Party City. It kind of reminds me of the NY rave scene in the 80’s which was hellish for some people. Sorry, I shouldn’t be so facetious when discussing damnation.

    What really gets me though is the Heaven portion. If Heaven is anything like what this church seems to think it is, I’m a little concerned. In my head Heaven has a library with every single book ever written in it and the Holy Spirit gives daily lectures on things like iambic pentameter. Really, Heaven will probably be like a really big concert where Jesus is the lead singer/ guitarist, the Holy Spirit’s on bass, and God plays the drums.

    Is that blasphemous?

    Anyway, their idea of Heaven is lots of white linen, gold foil overlay, and gentle harp music. (Seriously, why are harps always in Heaven? I really hope I get to see the Holy Spirit throw down on the bass one day. Or pull out a cello and start playing “Thriller”.) The person at the doorway to Heaven puts a white shawl over you before you enter and then a well-tanned, highlighted haired Jesus comes and gives you a side hug. Every year I shy away from their Jesus, but he always manages to find me and give me an awkward hug.

    The reason I bring this up is because something truly hysterical happened to me this year at Judgment House.

    When you first get to Judgment House, you’re given a card to fill out with your name and which church you attend. They use these later when you go to the Lamb’s Book of Life portion of the story. The angel holding the book calls out your name, you step forward, and then you get to enter Heaven. Do you see where I’m heading with this?

    Angel: When I call out your name will you please step forward? (pause) Amy Smith!

    Amy Smith steps forward.

    Angel: Val Teufel!

    Val Teufel steps forward.

    Angel: Geeyahsay Byung!

    Me: That’s not my name!

     Thankfully, I did not say this loud enough for Mr. Angel Man to hear me, because I’m sure he would have sent me to Hell for that.

    However, then I wouldn’t have been side hugged by highlighted Jesus.