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Halloween - Light One Candle

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October 31st, 2006


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04:15 pm - Halloween
My family never celebrated this day, mostly because as Christians we actually believe that there is a spiritual realm, and so much of the modern Halloween celebration seems to be giving far too much credence to the wrong side of it.

For myself, I think it's quite wise to have a day in which we can recognize fear and evil (in whatever form, whether we believe they're actually real or not) and thumb our noses at them.

[And the whole costume thing is awesome, of course.]

If we here in the USA actually treated Halloween like that, as a dare rather than as a celebration (in a sense) of fear and of evil things, maybe I'd be more inclined to celebrate it myself.

Nothing wrong with candy or costumes or ghost stories (and here's a link to a lovely Halloween Op-Ed piece written by Neil Gaiman), certainly. And may you all, however you view it, have a happy and safe evening.

(10 lit candles | Light a candle)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:rose_in_shadow
Date:November 1st, 2006 12:48 am (UTC)
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For myself, I think it's quite wise to have a day in which we can recognize fear and evil (in whatever form, whether we believe they're actually real or not) and thumb our noses at them.

Word.

I grew up in a Christian household, but never remember being "warned" about Halloween. For me, it was just a fun night to get lots of candy. Sure, there were big kids with scary masks, but they were stupid because they thought being scary was fun. :D

You might be interested in an article that one of my old professors wrote called Hallowing Halloween.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 1st, 2006 01:11 am (UTC)
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That article is *awesome*. :-)

I grew up around a lot of very fundamentalist people who would have banned Christmas, probably, if they could, because of its so-called pagan roots. *facepalm* And we did have people in our church who had been saved out of occult practice, so there was some of that caution as well--like not serving alcohol during Communion out of deference to alcoholics in our community.

But ever since I read Screwtape Letters, I've been very big on mocking our spiritual enemy. :-)
[User Picture]
From:rose_in_shadow
Date:November 2nd, 2006 12:02 am (UTC)
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He's has some other articles of the same vein (Christians vs. fantasy). Another good one is "Satan: Still Armed and Dangerous, but He's Lying about that Bazooka".

That was one of his favorite topics to get on in class; how Christians didn't need to be afraid of fantasy and Halloween.
[User Picture]
From:feliciakw
Date:November 1st, 2006 01:20 am (UTC)
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I LOVE that article. Ever since I read it in Christianity Today. I had no idea it was written by someone in Ohio. You had him as a prof? Very cool.

Halloween was one of my very favorite holidays when I was a kid. I'm sure my thespian tendencies have something to do with it. :-) And I've always been interested in the origins of traditions. So I was studying the origins of Halloween customs when I was in elementary school. It's lost some of its sparkle in recent years, but I still love the costuming and make-believe and the safe scariness of it (as my fam observes it).
[User Picture]
From:rose_in_shadow
Date:November 2nd, 2006 12:07 am (UTC)
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had him as a prof? Very cool.

*grin* Yep. He was a bit absentminded and always seemed to have untied shoelaces, but his love for the fantastic (and Charles Dickens) is unbounded. He has quite a few articles on the website I gave you.
[User Picture]
From:feliciakw
Date:November 1st, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
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Oh my word. That last example of a haunting . . . how many times have I gone looking for a web page, only to find that . . .

. . . it's not there . . .
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 1st, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, that and the cell phone messages, those were truly creepy. No wonder we're seeing films about haunted computers and stuff: our fears have to take over our new technology, now. :-)
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:November 1st, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)
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Heh, my parents tried to have us celebrate All Saints Day instead, but dressing up as saints is just not as appealing to grade-schoolers as is dressing up as fairies, super heroes and tractors (my mom made my brother a kick-ass tractor costume one year...it was awesome). I like this:

I think it's quite wise to have a day in which we can recognize fear and evil (in whatever form, whether we believe they're actually real or not) and thumb our noses at them.

Exactly.
[User Picture]
From:jhall1
Date:November 1st, 2006 07:36 pm (UTC)
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My family never celebrated this day, mostly because as Christians we actually believe that there is a spiritual realm, and so much of the modern Halloween celebration seems to be giving far too much credence to the wrong side of it.

Couldn't your family have applied exactly the same argument to Christmas? :) I guess that it's lucky for you that they didn't.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 1st, 2006 07:41 pm (UTC)
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Well, if they'd really wanted to strech the argument, they could have. Santa Claus isn't exactly a demonic presence, though. :-) I would argue that there's a pretty big difference between a holiday that still is, for anyone who is actually a practicing Christian, a celebration of the time when God became incarnate and lived as a human being like us--rather than something that doesn't have a real clear meaning (modern Halloween), but does have dubious connections to "occult" practices, which are forbidden in Christianity.

As I pointed out, I can see a good use for a day to confront and mock our fears. But not enough people treat the holiday that way for it to really be of much use. We'll see; if and when I have kids, we may very well celebrate Halloween, though you won't catch me letting them dress up like corpses (eewww) when there are plenty of other costumes to choose from. :-)

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