I drive by a lot of churches when I’m out and about in my city. They always have these cute little signs to serve as “teasers” to incite people to come on over on Sunday and listen to “the word of God” coming out of the mouth of some guy.
The one time a year where these cute little messages of love, tolerance and hope (that they don’t practice), become nasty attacks almost in the form of political negative ads is during the “festivities of Halloween”.
Before I go on, let me set a couple of things straight. First, I couldn’t care less for Halloween and pretty much any other “holiday”. Second, I think ALL organized religion is a measure of control and no particular religion is exempt from my comments here.
So why does the church get all frazzled about the Halloween thing? Easy. THE CHURCH DOESN’T LIKE COMPETITION.
The saying: “It takes one to know one” applies perfectly here. You see, Halloween and the practices associated with it resemble (almost exactly) the practices of organized religion. As ridiculous as that sounds, I will do my best to explain.
I’m using the definition of Religion found on Wikipedia. Fragments of the definition will be in bold and italics.
[A religion is a system of human thought which usually includes a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices that give meaning to the practitioner’s experiences of life through reference to a higher power, deity or deities, or ultimate truth.]
Narratives: Scary stories, tales of witches, werewolves, vampires, living dead, etc.
Symbols: Witches, bats, carved pumpkins, the orange and black, etc.
Beliefs and Practices: Humans dress up as scary things to “repel” scary things. (Did you know that’s the significance of dressing up during this date?)
Higher Power, Deities: Ghosts, demons, witches, etc.
Experience of Life: Some people actually think that Halloween’s purpose is to get kids to not be scared.
[It may focus on specific supernatural, metaphysical, and moral claims about reality (the cosmos and human nature) which may yield a set of religious laws, ethics, and a particular lifestyle. Religion also encompasses ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, and mythology.]
When it comes to the subject matter, Halloween is right up to the church’s alley. Think about it, stories about vampires involve the drinking of blood, just like the Christian tradition of “drinking the blood” of Christ.
Stories about zombies involve beings that are being brought back from the dead just like Jesus and the people he performed ‘miracles’ for. Did you know that the church removed the word “undead” from the Bible when it referred to individuals that Jesus ‘Brought back from death’ such as Lazarus?
I can certainly go on for a long time pointing out the ‘supernatural and moral claims about reality’ present in the Halloween tradition (and in all churches) but the point here is to show the motive organized religion has to be so anti-Halloween. Just in case you were wondering.
Most churches change their little sign to warn the parents as to the evils of letting kids participate in the pagan rituals of Halloween, others become more proactive and pass pamphlets around and devote their Saturday and Sunday sermons to scare the parents. I think all of that is fine, after all, they feel threatened and want to hold on to their base. Some others take it way too far.
The idiots from a Baptist Church in North Carolina will ‘celebrate’ Halloween by holding a “Bible Burning Party” where Bibles from other denominations (as well as any other EVIL book) will be tossed into the fire.
My conclusion is that Halloween is a stupid tradition, a waste of time and money, a collection of ridiculous mythology and stories that goes against any reasoning or science and that, once a year, probably does more harm than good…just like every other Religion does EVERY DAY!
Now excuse me while I take my kid around the neighborhood so he can get candy from strangers, be exposed to 138 types of Flu and then eat candy until he pukes. Who says religion is not dangerous?