The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 53
Church needs to stop tying holiday to evil
By , Features Editor
Published: October 31 2012
Halloween is upon us once again today. Over the past few weeks, weíve all seen the decorations go up, the ads for candy and costumes circulate and the costume parties planned.
Having grown up in the church, Halloween was almost always like that thirteenth floor of the hotel nobody spoke about. It was not uncommon to see churches plan their harvest parties and their Halloween celebratory alternatives.
What would be found at these gatherings? Usually apple-bobbing, candy and games integrating hay in any way they can. Basically, any kind of celebration was legit as long as it wasnít done in the name of the evil H-word.
But then the question arises: is Halloween evil, and why, for so long, has it been considered the ďDevilís holidayĒ by the church?
Itís not a matter of opinion that Halloween has its roots in paganism. While many of the traditions we celebrate today are muddled in several cultures and eras, before the name-change and focus shift, Halloween was originally a Celtic festival called Samhain.
The point of the festival was to honor the dead. It was believed that, around October 31, the shroud that separated the realm of the living and the realm of the dead was at its thinnest. This allowed the souls of the dead to re-enter our world.
Terribly pagan, no? I got another one for you. Long ago there was another festival that celebrated the spring equinox. The festivalís focus was on rebirth, life and fertility, with its two most important symbols being hares and eggs. It was originally called Eostre, after the pagan lunar goddess and was commonly celebrated under a full moon. According to the mythology, it was believed that the goddessís offspring would be born on December 21, the winter solstice.
The holiday was eventually turned around by the church as a way of celebrating Christís resurrection and is now called Easter.
Or take the tradition of Christmas trees. The root of decorating evergreen trees goes back to a pagan celebration of the winter solstice, roughly December 21.
Samhain became Halloween when the church decided to change its focus. Its original name was All Hallowís Eve, or, in laymanís terms, the Eve of All Saints.
So there you have it. Halloween, like Christmas and Easter, has been redeemed and should be celebrated all the same despite its pagan roots and timely happenings in line with nature. Many in the church wouldnít agree with this because of two words: the devil.
Perhaps the biggest case against Christians celebrating Halloween is that it is considered the Devilís Holiday, or, to some, even his birthday.
This argument quickly jumps from it being about the devil himself to about the worship of him. Right away, images and examples of animal mutilation, human sacrifice and orgies pan across the trial against it. Then come the heavy champs of the argument: the eyewitnesses.
In 1973 Michael Warnke published his book The Satan Seller. Warnke claimed to have been introduced to Satanism after being orphaned as a child. According to his book, Warnke took part in summoning spirits and practicing, ritual magic as well as ritual sex before becoming an Evangelical.
Or take Laurel Rose Willson. She wrote Satanís Underground, in which she claimed to have been a baby-breeder in a satanic cult where her children were killed in satanic rituals.Both testimonies are solid evidence that Halloween is the devilís holiday and something Christians should have nothing to do with. But there is only one problem: both highly publicized accounts were lies.
My point is this: holidays are pagan in origin, especially Halloween. Get over it. Pagans (if we must refer to them that way) operate 365 days of the year.
If you are going to do away with Halloween because itís pagan, then you should also put away the Easter eggs and the Christmas tree.
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