Sunday, November 01, 2009

Hallowe'en

Terri at Wheat Among Tares linked to this article about Halloween by Internet Monk, who I have great respect for.

This would be something else I got wrong, then.

10 comments:

Gringo said...

...whom I have great respect for.

terri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
terri said...

ringo you're so bad! ;-)

I'd thought about mentioning the mistake....but I didn't want to look a link horse in the mouth.

Plus, it would have guaranteed that everything I wrote in the next 24 hours would be riddles with errors as some sort of karmic payback.

Boethius said...

I do not think you got it wrong back then, AVI. My adult children have absolutely no regrets that we were a family that did not participate. I certainly did not have the quaint experiences IMonk had when he was young. I know or have known Wiccans and they celebrate the evening with many rituals. I am really happy I did not give in to the cultural pressure.

IMonk goes on this rant every year. I do not agree with him no matter how many years he writes about it.

Donna B. said...

I like his suggestion to read The Screwtape Letters. It's been years since I have, so I think I'll order myself another copy.

But... if I remember the overall message correctly, Warnke and his message that Halloween is satanic worship might just be devil playing with his mind.

For some reason, I'm thinking of People of the Lie also... another book it's been years since I read.

Jonathan said...

the bible study kids have been discussing the issue, as it relates to Emily. General consensus is that the harvest party route is best, but that the trick or treating isn't the end of the world.

Jonathan said...

so why don't you agonize over this for a month or two, and then let me know your thoughts?

karrde said...

I remember Mike Warnke's confession of being a devil-worshipper, and later discovery that some part of the confession was false.

I think I remember Warnke also doing a sequence about conflating the practices of the modern Druid-imitators with modern Satanic worship. I know I remember the casual assumption that Halloween was some sort of demonically-inspired, Satan-worshipping festival. Usually, the expositors of this claim showed how Halloween reached back to Druidic customs, in which the spirits of the dead walked the land of the living one night of the year.

They would also hint at horror stories surrounding the modern imitators of the ancient Druids.

Whether either the ancient Druids or their modern imitators were worshiping Satan is an interesting question, in my mind.

But that is different question from whether the celebration of Hallowe'en is an invitation to Satan-worship.

I have since become convinced that Hallowe'en (originally known as All Hallows Even in the Christian world, and possibly some variety of Day of the Dead in the pre-Christian world) is an amalgam of pagan practice, Christian allowance of and adaptation of pagan practice, and Christian invention to replace pagan belief.

Of course, said amalgam has aged and grown over a millennium and a half, and became a thing of its own. Whether it is good, evil, or merely potentially good or evil to celebrate Hallowe'en is hard to tell.

As an aside, I do have an itch to write a great deal about the various ancient pagan beliefs, the modern neo-pagan beliefs, and what the Christian response to them ought to be...but I don't know if I can do the subject justice.

Gringo said...

Karrde:
I have since become convinced that Hallowe'en .. is an amalgam of pagan practice, Christian allowance of and adaptation of pagan practice, and Christian invention to replace pagan belief.
And there is Mithra's birthday.

If I were a trick or treater these days, I would encourage people to abstain from Halloween for religious reasons. All the more candy for me.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. While there may be Wiccans who celebrate Halloween, for most kids it is just an excuse to try out a costume and get candy: a twofer.

Wyman said...

To be fair to the Bible Study kids, we had a really good harvest party to go to, so it was never really an issue.

In thinking about it, I decided over time I became pro-Halloween, there are some elements to it that are awfully nice: planning a costume for several weeks, carving pumpkins as a family... plus trick-or-treating is possibly the only chance non-carolers get to meet their neighbors in any fashion.

Of course, Jonathan and I were both attending conservative Baptist schools, so if we'd come out in favor of Halloween, we'd probably have been barred from classes, or at the least exorcised.