Mike Renzulli

More About: Religion: Non-Believers - Atheists

Who's Afraid of Halloween?

Halloween is an outgrowth of the Celtic pagan holiday Samhain in which the ancient Celts commemorated the end of the summer harvest by holding huge feasts to celebrate the season's end.
 
Roman Catholic Popes Gregory III & IV adopted this tradition by replacing Samhain with All Saints Day. The holiday would also come to be known as All Hallows Eve.
 
Even though Christians adopted many holidays of ancient pagan religions, one thing that did not change about them was that they were all commemorated (in one way or another) with festive events celebrating the abundance people in each culture had accumulated thanks to their hard work.
 
Now there are some Christians, and even members of Jewish sects, who highlight their anti-capitalist sentiments by demeaning the nature of Halloween just like they ridicule the decorations and commercialism seen during Christmas time.
 
The fact that people go out and buy food (usually candy) and give it out voluntarily to children who come to people's doorstep asking for it, one would think is something Halloween critics would ultimately endorse since it is another form of charitable giving.
 
After the exchange, Trick-or-Treaters express their thanks for your generosity and go their merry way knowing they will enjoy yet another sweet treat when they get home.
 
In addition to giving candy to Trick-or-Treaters, I regularly buy bags of candy and give it to the people at my job. I get satisfaction knowing that I spread good will by doing this.
 
Sure there is the mischief that happens during Halloween with the egg throwing, pranks kids play and the vandalism committed on people and property. These activities are usually directed to those who don't give candy or just out of plain facetiousness. The violent and property damaging pranks played on others during this holiday are the exception and not the rule.
 
Halloween is one more reminder of the wealth and abundance we enjoy and the gifts we give to people for the satisfaction of doing so while decorating our homes, work cubicles, and sometimes dressing up in costumes are done in good fun and in a non-sacrificial way.
 
But since Halloween involves giving treats, participating in other forms of entertainment, such as visiting haunted houses or even viewing horror flicks, and not sacrifice religionists hypocritically degrade it. While I am no fan of horror stories, some religionists continue their hypocritical nonsense by scaring their flock into not celebrating Halloween alleging it is a covenant with death and hell.
 
Yet many symbolically eat the body and drink the blood of their savior during Sunday mass and hallow or laud the sacrifice of Jesus by reading aloud accounts of his horrific torture and death during church services. Christians also commemorate Jesus's life and work with many paintings and art forms of his bloodied, pain-stricken body nailed to a cross in their temples of worship.
 
Lets not forget the many tales of clergy, saints and missionaries who were tortured, persecuted or killed for their beliefs or for the act of prostelyzing where they openly begged people in public to repent and convert to their religion. I find it highly hypocritical that a religious hero's sacrificial lives, who often end violently, are held as a high moral standard for people to follow. But when it comes to having fun on holidays, like Halloween, many religionists frown upon it.

Don't get me wrong, parents can raise their kids the way they want and if people choose not to participate in holidays, like Halloween, for religious or personal reasons that is up to them. But I think to declare Halloween as being evil or satanic because of it's, admittedly, pagan origins or for kids dressing up as things like ghosts, gouls, witches or even for the act of watching horror films is silly.
 
And to deny kids the ability to go out Trick-or-Treating or ostracize people for celebrating Halloween based on the notion that it goes against religious faith or their diety's word is irrational and wrong.
 
Halloween is a great and harmless manner to kick off the holiday season. I could not think of a better way for people to enjoy it than with candy, costumes, friends, family and having fun.

4 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

It is an extremely wonderful thing that we have the Bible record. When you research, in depth, the Bible with regard to the odds of such a book being able to come into being as it has, you find that the odds against it coming into being are almost as great as the odds against evolution having happened. Yet, here we have it, by the millions of copies, in at least dozens of languages, while there is nothing factually definite about evolution available.

Saint Paul, the apostle of the bible New Testament, says about Jesus Christ (in Colossians chapter1, NIV translation), the One on Whom the whole christian religion is based:

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
 
 
So, right from the start, Christianity preceded all other religions. In fact, in the points where science differs from Christianity, science has become the religion, while Christianity is the reality.

Comment by Venancio Tan
Entered on:

We are all Pagans with only one religion -- Paganism. Paganism precedes all kinds of present religions. Only when we became discriminatory religionists in later years – identified with different kinds of religion – did we laugh at each other for being foolishly different!

Atheists and religionists also deride and laugh at each other … calling each other God-crazed loonies and Godless-freaks! But strip them of their hostile discriminating badge, and they are all the same Pagans of the Paleolithic Age.

There was once a monkey dressed like humans, who looked at the other monkeys as just creatures of the jungle more inferior to him. He laughed at the tails of those substandard monkeys because with tails, these other monkeys look exactly like monkeys.

Of course this monkey who thinks he was superior to the rest, forgot that he too has a tail.

Atheist author Mike Renzulli should realize that he has a tail -- and perhaps even longer than that of the rest of the monkeys!

 
Comment by John Green
Entered on:

 Mike, your post seems hypocritical.

You are the objectivist atheist right?

Even if everything you write is true, Halloween and its origins is no less religionist than the very religionist Christian positions you rail against.

So which is it are you pro-objectivist and pro-atheist?  Or just anti-Christian.

Based on your article above are you going to post regarding the merits of celebrating Santa Claus and giving gifts?

The tradition of Santa Claus and trees and lights around Christmas is no less pagan than the origins of Halloween.

I think this post, coming from you, is bizarre, frankly.  It does zero to support your objectivist, libertarian positions.  It's simply an ideologically (coming from you) inconsistant anti-Christian hitpiece.

To be consistent, you would support Santa no less than you support Halloween.  But you wont do that will you?

 

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

All kinds of people have all kinds of agendas, including church people and church leaders and pagan worshipers and atheists. However, to Christians who have the best good will in mind for all people, the agenda against Halloween is one of promoting recognition and worship of God.

Church leaders who have adopted pagan holidays without any reason other than to fill the pews in their churches, are doing it for the wrong reason. But church leaders who have adopted pagan holidays, and placed a correct Christian meaning on those holidays while gently removing the useless pagan ones, have done so with the idea of gently bringing salvation to the pagans - easing the pagans into Christianity and salvation without offending their consciences in a harmful way.

While such changing and adopting of pagan holidays is not always the best idea, the way that it has been done has brought many pagans into eternal life - many who would otherwise have been lost.


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