Tis the secular trinity of holidays and the first one up on the block for “Yay or Nay” blog postings/Facebook statuses is the grand holiday of Halloween. Out of the 3 major holidays, I think Halloween might be the least controversial holiday when compared to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
During the Thanksgiving holidays, we get unwanted self-righteous tirades about how we fat pig Americans celebrate the genesis of white-man’s dominance of the Native Citizens. Some overly self-involved people bemoan the fact that the hierarchs of their families force them to eat a gluttonous feast on the backs of the indigenous. This is of course, absurd, seeing as how it was the later generations of the white man that decimated the population of native peoples. It’s similar to how the Greatest Generation in America produced the Worst Generation.
When Christmas comes around, the atheists become inspired by the secular spirit of the season and erect numerous counter displays juxtaposed to religious decorations. Oddly enough, mainstream atheists have not evolved the courage to demonstrate during Ramadan. These types figured they could appear brave by speaking “truth to power” to a bunch of people clothed in tacky sweaters.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have the counter-culture Jesus types who have had just enough of the oppressiveness of the Family Bookstore leaders ruining Christianity. They beat their chests and announce to the masses that they themselves know the TRUE meaning of Christmas. You know the types; Christians who have a neurotic desire to advertise that they have completed their first semester of seminary and that the 25th of December was co-opted in order to ease the transition from paganism to Christianity. It never occurs to these types that they could have saved thousands in tuition dollars, logged onto Wikipedia and absorbed this information for free. They decry the fact that the Christmas tree is a pagan idle which is the complete opposite of what I thought was the meaning of the Christmas Tree: a flimsy excuse to impale an androgynous angel on top of a tree so he/she can guard the physical representations of our pointless consumer driven lives.
Having gone off on those two tangents, Halloween appears to be a debate between Christians because its roots are deeply held in Celtic culture. So the major rift between we believers is whether or not to participate in any kind of celebration that hovers around October 31st.
Personally, I like creativity and as long as it is done in a tasteful way, I don’t see the problem with “dressing up” for Halloween. I think it is a perfect opportunity to harness some of that dwindling imagination and come up with ideas like these…
Costumes Do’s and Don’ts:
In defense of dressing up, I think one explanation is that I [Along with millions of others] am a nerd/geek and nerds/geeks have to fight the urge to dress up the other 364 days of the year. I will admit freely that I secretly yearn to own a Jedi Knight robe but I am in a quandary as to whether or not to own a brown or a black one. I wish I had in my possession Gandalf the Grey’s staff (Not Gandalf the White staff! That one was a girl’s staff). I wish I had Aragon’s sword. You see where this is going. October 31st is the one day where nerds/geeks can use the excuse to dress up like morons and be a kid again. If we did this any other day, or outside of Comic Con Conventions, you would have us committed.
However, I also have a clear understanding that some costumes tread a fine line in being either demonic or risqué. When I was a young lad, I remember my mom being hesitant when I wanted to be the Devil for Halloween and rightly so. But the costume I was wearing would have opened me up for demonic attack only because the costume was an affront to all demons. I looked more like the acceptable version of the Valentine Devil than anything else. Having said that, it is one thing to dress up like the stereotypical witch (Pointy hat, big nose, and missing teeth) and another to have on an outfit that Satan worshippers would give you a fist bump for wearing.
There are some outfits that bring out the inner harlot/gigolo in some people. I have seen some costumes that would compel Howard Stern to say, “Hey put some clothes on.” Contrary to what you may have heard, but being a prostitute is not an occupation of high status or morality so if your costume leads people inquire how much your company is for an hour or to grope you in areas that would be covered during the daylight hours, then I think you are going down an unwise path. It’s one thing to be provocative (lower case ‘p’rovocative] it’s quite another to be obscene.
Rituals, Sacrifices and Séances Oh My!!!!
Growing up, my family would engage in a profound and powerful ritual before going Trick-or-Treating. It would involve frying ground up cattle and combining it with the beans of a kidney, tomato based spices and sauces… we would eat chili and rice before going out to collect candy and other goodness.
Engaging in the supernatural outside of Christ is not a good idea during the year so October 31st is no exception. If you sacrifice raw eggs to your annoying neighbor’s house, though funny, then you are not only morally in the wrong but you will probably attract the forces of the police. If you mess around with Ouija boards or play Bloody Mary, not only are you morally in the wrong, but you might attract something far more destructive than a misdemeanor or lawsuit. Dressing up like Casper is one thing but trying to contact him, even as a festivus activity, is opening yourself up to forces you cannot control.
I don’t think this is a sin that is unique only to Halloween. While I have already gorged myself on candy corn and pumpkins this month, there is no difference between me eating my weight in Deviled Eggs on Thanksgiving or eating an entire cream cheese pie during Christmas. I’d say let your kids eat a good amount of candy the first night and locked up the rest so that you can bribe your kids to do their homework or chores throughout the year. Don’t you realize how much money you have just saved on positive reinforcement?!
Cute Kids in Doggie Costumes
I was just out wogging (jogging meets walking] when I saw a child in a stroller and with his parents. They stopped in front of a house and helped their child out of the stroller. It was then that I could get a better glimpse of what their child was wearing. He was dressed in a little brown doggie costume with long ears. His costume covered the top part of his face so I couldn’t see him clearly which would explain why his Dad had to help him walk through the yard to get some candy. Now unless these parents were using their costumed child to summon Damien, the Demonic Lycanthrope, I think I can safely say that the only forces that might descend upon this child are sugar induced rampages and an upset stomach. How could anyone not look at this kid and gush?
Can Halloween cause trouble? Well, yes and no. Like most things it can be used for good or for evil. So, in the name of Christ, redeem this holiday called Halloween and relax for a second.