Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Why we don’t do Halloween

First, let me explain-we used to do Halloween in a mild way (no scary costumes, just visiting a few houses) and we have friends who do it and our church kind of does it. We aren’t on any campaign to get people to not do it. I think that for the most part, parents of young children have fun memories of dressing up, using fun glow-in-the-dark sticks, staying up late getting tons of candy. There was always an elderly lady on our trick-or-treat route who’d give out popcorn balls and then there was the house you avoided because they gave out raisins you had to con your brother into trading his starbursts for them.

There are several versions of the origins of Halloween. Here’s one from a Neo-pagan who makes Christians look pretty stupid.

This is not my reason for not celebrating (this is from the link above):

Every year in October, some folks begin shouting that Neopagans must be “stopped” from celebrating Halloween, which they describe as a “Satanic” holiday. Many Christian Fundamentalists say loudly and publicly that we Druids, Witches and other Neo-pagans kidnap children, sacrifice babies, poison or booby trap Halloween treats, drink blood, and hold orgies at Halloween. As W. J. Bethancourt puts it, “These opinions are backed up with some rather unusual and very frightening fantasies masquerading as historical facts.”

My original views that led our family to stop celebrating a few years ago were more from this line of thinking (although now I read this as a little extreme-in the rest of his essay, he tends to put a lot of emphasis on the day of Halloween instead of on the warped behaviors of those in the occult-who are practicing every day of the year, not just on Oct. 31.

Here’s where I am right now (quote from the link immediately above):

It does not have even one single redeeming virtue. It is custom born out of pagan superstition. It is a demon-inspired, devil-glorifying, occult festival. It is an evening holy unto evil, death, and divination. The Scriptures tells us to "Abstain from all appearance of evil." [1Thess. 5:22]

In our current culture obsessed with death (and indeed, with abortion and euthanasia, and the general devaluing of human life, we act on that obsession), I don’t want to participate in a holiday dedicated to at best making light of death and at most glorifying it. I see our culture has made witchcraft into a mild Saturday morning cartoon theme and I'm rebelling against that. Witches and spells and the like are listed as things God hates in His own Word, and I see allowing our kids to "play" with those issues is only flirting with fire.

All other holidays we (our family) seriously celebrate we celebrate for positive reasons. Obviously Easter and Christmas focus on our Savior. Although many people think Thanksgiving is just about cranberries and pumpkin pie and football, our family takes it seriously-as a day to focus on the many blessings God has given us. Even the 4th of July is meaningful to me-I am deeply moved by the sacrifices, both past and present of those who risk—and sometimes give—their lives for our freedom.

So, why would I want to celebrate Halloween? I struggle enough with my weight—I don’t need 4 children’s full plastic jack-o-lanterns taunting me to sneak just one more tootsie roll. I frankly am not a bit interested in the dramatics (I have girls, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is dramatic) of choosing and making/buying four costumes. And I will not expose my young children to images that will give them nightmares just for the sake of making childhood memories. There’s nothing left of the day to point to the Lord, so why even bother?

The bottom line for our family is that we feel Halloween glorifies evil. We aren’t into glorifying evil, so we skip Halloween. We do something else instead-I’ll post about that tomorrow!

Does this stir you up? Am I taking too strong a stand? Not enough of one? I'd love to hear comments on either side of the issue-just be nice :)


Erin said...

How glad I am to here someone put something I've been thinking into words. In Australia we've only just started to do Halloween, it's been 'around' but no one really paid attention to it.

But more and more now schools make Halloween things and the shops sell halloween things and you see more kids out trick or treating. I think it's to do with our society becoming more American (not that I have anything against America -well, except halloween - but, you know, we live in Australia and Australia has it's own cool traditions without borrowing ones from other places).

Looking through the blogosphere I was a bit concerned about the amount of Christian families that seem to do Halloween.
I agree, it glorifies evil and the occult in all forms and as such should be avoided.

Wendy said...

Thanks Erin ;) I'm sorry our not-so-good traditions are floating over the sea to you.

Halloween is a huge money maker here and once it really catches on in Australia, it will probably be one there too :(

Thanks for stopping by!