Halloween Haters

HalloweenHappy Halloween! As you may know, it is my favorite holiday. Unfortunately, I am sick this year and haven’t even left the house, much less did any preparations for it. But that doesn’t reduce my enthusiasm for it. Really, what is not to like? It is an entirely nighttime event, it involves candy, and people express their creativity. What’s more, the iconography of Halloween is superb. It’s lovely and fun.

I understand that there are people who don’t like the holiday: religious people who apparently have decided that it is satanic. This is shocking, because there is nothing satanic about Halloween. But the same people who have a problem with little girls dressing up as fairies have problems with the Harry Potter books. They are freaks who ought to be shunned.

What I find most interesting is that the people who want to push Christmas on everyone — those who get upset when a company decides to use “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” — are the very ones who want to push the idea of Christmas as being a religious holiday. So their complaints about putting Christmas on the same level as other holidays is all about their attempts to exclude society from non-Christians. It’s sad and wrong.

When it comes to Halloween, they are doing the same thing, but from the other side. They are again trying to thrust their religion into the holiday. No one today looks back on Halloween’s Celtic origins. It is just a silly holiday with an autumn color scheme. But if the Christians who have a problem with the holiday knew a little history, they might think differently. Although Halloween started as a pagan celebration, after the Christians came to Ireland, they quickly co-opted it for their own purposes. It is, after all, known as “All Saints’ Eve.” Those with a linguistic bent know that “hallow” is a saint or other holy person.

Suzanne Carlson at the Hartford Courant brought my attention to the situation in Connecticut, Religious Roots, Secular Festivities: Halloween Takes A Hit In Schools. Many schools there are getting rid of the holiday because of complaints. And it is the usual suspects:

Many evangelical and fundamentalist Christians see Halloween as an occult celebration, while Jewish law prohibiting celebration of “Gentile” holidays has led some Orthodox members of the faith to shun it as well. Jehovah’s Witnesses also forbid members from celebrating Halloween, but many faiths, such as Mormonism, Hinduism (which has its own fall holiday, Diwali), and Buddhism leave it up to individual members to decide whether they want to celebrate Halloween.

You know that your religion has jumped the shark when the Mormons are more liberal than you are. I have little doubt that the Scientologists are okay with Halloween too. I know that the Halloween Haters are miserable — hiding in their houses, afraid to do anything that might displease their father figure in the sky. I dare say they are even more miserable than I am with my cold, flu, or whatever the hell I have. But I hope you are all having a wonderful Halloween!

Here is a nice video with lots of clips from “B” (and some from “A”) horror films, created to go along with Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s classic, “Monster Mash”:


H/T: Digby

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