With Halloween coming up at the end of the month, it’s about time for me to make my typical rant about how absurd it is when hardcore Christians act like it’s some kind of Satanic celebration. This is especially ridiculous when a good many of the costumes you see kids wearing these days aren’t even supposed to be scary. You have children dressing up as licensed characters and only really caring about the candy.
And everyone says CHRISTMAS has gotten too commercial! Above all, the way Halloween has developed, it’s supposed to be a fun holiday. And in a way, I think that’s what the fundamentalists are really concerned about. The belief that having fun is antithetical to devotion to God continues lumbering around like a zombie. It’s more difficult to defend that idea these days, however, so the people who support it have to disguise it as something else. Maybe I’m wrong, though. Maybe some people really DO think putting on a mask and asking for candy is a gateway to Hell, but if that’s so, I have to ask how that would be. Are costumes a sin now? I don’t remember that being one of the Ten Commandments. I’ve heard of churches trying to replace Halloween with events called things like “Fall Festival.” Yeah, because THAT doesn’t sound pagan at all. :P Even if the ancient Druids really DID practice human sacrifice for Samhain (and I’m not sure there’s any real evidence that they did), is that really relevant?
Do the same people criticize Christmas because it used to be a time for the peasants to act rowdy? I guess the Jehovah’s Witnesses hate all holidays, but most denominations pick and choose. From what I’ve seen, the early church was reluctant to get rid of any holidays, so they’d usually just work Jesus into an already existing celebration. If it weren’t for this, the last day of October wouldn’t be called “All Hallows’ Eve” in the first place. Yes, Halloween definitely has pagan origins, as do Christmas and Easter. In fact, in the latter case, they didn’t even bother to give it a Christian name.
One of the most visible Halloween haters is, of course, our old pal Jack Chick.
He’s put out a lot of anti-Halloween tracts, ranging from stupid to funny, and often both at the same time. Chick seems to have mixed feelings about Halloween, presenting it as evil and Satanic, yet also promoting it as a good opportunity to sneak tracts into kids’ candy collections. The Halloween tract Chick is featuring this year is a rather silly one (and at least partially intentionally so, I’m sure) called “Stinky.” The third in command of Hell (would that make him Leviathan?) sends his underling Stinky to Earth to get a birthday present for Satan. (This isn’t the first time Chick has referred to Halloween as Satan’s birthday, and I’m not sure where he got this idea.) Stinky screws up comically, and ends up bringing Chick Tracts into Hell, which makes the big guy really pissed off. Now THERE’S some shameless self-promotion! We also learn from this that angels guard the house of true believers to stop demons from entering. You’d think they’d have more important things to do, but there you go. This one is actually quite mild as far as the Halloween tracts go, lacking the typical child murders and anti-Druid propaganda. Could our favorite evangelist be getting softer on Halloween in his old age?