You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 08, 2016, 08:41:34 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Halloween and religion  (Read 765 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Halloween and religion
« on: November 02, 2015, 06:18:55 AM »
I'm wondering about something...

With Halloween coming and going once again, back here we've had one another bout of the public discussion on whether it's okay to celebrate it. As usual, conservative Catholic circles were denouncing Halloween as a being anti-Christian, pagan, satanic and so on. The most radical collection of such accusations were presented by this guy (a councilman of the town of Tomaszˇw Mazowiecki - the video is from the town council's session):



Basically, the guy started his speech with the declaration that, due to Halloween, there's an increase in satanic possession of children. He moved on to say that the enemies of the Church (which include "liberals, atheists, materialists, satanists and similar people") promote "occult and satanic rituals" - and those are present in the "dangerous celebration of Halloween". During Halloween, children dress as witches, ghosts etc. - all of them being symbols of the devil. By dressing as these creatures, children unwillingly open themselves to demonic influence.

I was wondering: are there similar concerns in the States? What is the stance of American churches toward Halloween?

Offline Ebb

Re: Halloween and religion
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2015, 09:01:17 AM »
The US is pretty big, and there's going to be a lot of variation from state to state. But generally speaking, Halloween is seen as pretty benign by most churches, I think. Even if they don't necessarily approve, most won't go to the extent of protesting or trying to shut things down. Many churches, in fact, will have things like "trunk or treat" events, where kids go from car to car in the church's parking lot rather than going out into a neighborhood. But I believe this is ostensibly for reasons of safety and community building rather than religious protest.

Of course there are always exceptions. It's not uncommon to find a house or two on the trick-or-treating route with a sign up explaining that they don't participate in Halloween for religious reasons. If you're particularly unlucky you get a house that's handing out religious pamphlets instead of candy, but word on the street usually passes quickly about those and they're easily avoided.

Squeaky wheels do get the grease, though. At least around here, the typical school Halloween party that used to be customary every fall in the elementary schools (grades 1-5) has been replaced by a "Fall Festival" party. I'm pretty sure the kids have figured out that clever ruse, though, and there's still candy.


Offline Lustful Bride

  • "Logic is for Squares."
  • Lady
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2014
  • Gender: Female
  • This is some personal text. There are many like it, but this one is mine!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Halloween and religion
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2015, 09:30:59 AM »
Eh depends on state to state town to town. I remember when I was younger my pastor only cared that we let our parents check our candy and to always stay close to our parents while out, the usual stranger danger stuff.

Aside from that things like "No pentagrams, don't trust anyone wanting to invite you out to the forest for any rituals" etc etc. Which to be honest really just fits into the stranger danger stuff.

Aside from that we watched The Nightmare Before Christmas  XD I miss my youth. :/  such a magical time.

Offline Capone

  • No rest for the wicked. Even if I am jollier than the average demon.
  • Knight
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Location: Gates of Hell
  • Gender: Male
  • Angels in agony are pretty much my slow jams.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Halloween and religion
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2015, 09:31:49 AM »
As noted above, a lot of it depends on where you are. When I grew up, the alternative was to go to the Church and participate in games there. Actually, I was thinking just the other day of it, and how they used to have "healthy alternatives" as well, such as a bobbing for apples game. I began wondering if anyone does bobbing for apples anymore (it's been over 20 years since I attended one of these events at the Church), or if there are sanitation concerns due to all the shared saliva in the water.

However, my niece's schools still do Halloween parties, so there's not enough of a Religious Right presence to try and remove that from the schools (similarly, my high school's sex education was a lot more informative in regards to the varieties of birth control available, so it could be I was just in a good area for that).

To me personally, people celebrate Halloween the same way they celebrate Christmas: completely ignorant to the original religious purposes and implications (this goes in regards to the Christian meaning and the original Pagan festival that was hijacked). If I recall, the entire purpose of costumes was to also try and frighten away the demons, so the logic of opening oneself to possession is ignorant of the original holiday's traditions.

If anything, Halloween these days has evolved into a holiday of Cosplay and Fandom, candy, sexualization, and Horror Film Appreciation Month.

Offline eBadger

Re: Halloween and religion
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2015, 03:43:35 PM »
There are certainly some types like your Mazowiecki who feel it's a religious thing, generally without any understanding of the actual holiday or reasons for it's being bad.  It's certainly amusing to watch the 30 day metamorphosis between "it's religious, ban it" Halloween to "our religion is under attack, celebrate it" Christmas. 

Locally, the Seattle School District has folded beneath the politically correct and bans costumes (although many students wear them anyway without punishment, and it has been pointed out exhaustively that wearing a costume on any other day of the year is perfectly fine).  This year we drove to another district in a more rural/religious area, where the high school hosted a pretty elaborate shindig (lots of 'contests' to win candy, photo booths, bouncy houses, even free pony rides). 

IMO the issue seems to be less about numbers of extremists who have a problem with it as about legalistically paranoid administrators. 

Offline Tairis

Re: Halloween and religion
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2015, 09:17:03 PM »
If you're in the South you're more likely to have an issue. We've got plenty of hyper-churchy types. Literally had a girl at work complain about a little ghost puppet that was hung up over one of the hallways because it was 'evil'.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Halloween and religion
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2015, 09:36:32 PM »
Same here in the north. Scared, ignorant people can be found in any religion, sect or country. I want to say that Halloween is mostly a cultural norm in the US ( and by the way, it's no more "pagan" than Christmas or Easter ) , but I don't have statistics to back that up. Seriously, I really wish people like this would turn to art to express their fears and fantasies rather than to use the minds of the naive and uneducated as their canvas.


Offline DiscoveringEzra

Re: Halloween and religion
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2015, 10:11:55 AM »
If you're in the South you're more likely to have an issue. We've got plenty of hyper-churchy types. Literally had a girl at work complain about a little ghost puppet that was hung up over one of the hallways because it was 'evil'.

I'm southern and I feel your pain. My mom is that way, but not to that extent. I put it off to ignorance. I love my mom but that woman is very ignorant sometimes. *sigh* Funny how they shit on Halloween because it looks 'evil and spooky' and call it pagan, but then they turn around two months later and  celebrate Christmas with no problem.  It's the ignorance I tell you. I'm an agnostic cause I feel I can be spiritual and a good person, and take the 1000 year old desert book that thinks the earth is flat snakes could talk, Obedience is key, and that God is going to smite thee just for being human. No I'm good.

Offline Sethala

Re: Halloween and religion
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2015, 09:56:48 PM »
The church I used to go to (before I decided I was atheist, at least) was more or less against it, but not in any forceful way.  The pastor sent out letters to everyone basically saying "this is pagan, we urge you to not celebrate it", but my family has always thought something along the lines of "this is just fantasy and fun, we're not really worshiping demons or anything like that", despite being fairly strongly religious in other ways.  I think most of the other families felt the same way, so it was never a big deal.

Offline Tairis

Re: Halloween and religion
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2015, 07:43:36 PM »
You'd be surprised. I have at least half a dozen people in my department that take Halloween off work because the company lets people dress up.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Halloween and religion
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2015, 02:39:13 PM »
The Lutheran church where Little Llama used to go to school does Trunk n Treat.  When we went out Halloween, we found one house that had a sign that they did not celebrate Halloween for religious reasons.  So, mixed bag.

It does seem hypocritical that they label Halloween pagan and celebrate Christmas and Easter.  I do not think it really matters anymore.  All of the holidays have been assimilated by commercialism.

Offline Lustful Bride

  • "Logic is for Squares."
  • Lady
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2014
  • Gender: Female
  • This is some personal text. There are many like it, but this one is mine!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Halloween and religion
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2015, 03:24:22 PM »
It does seem hypocritical that they label Halloween pagan and celebrate Christmas and Easter.  I do not think it really matters anymore.  All of the holidays have been assimilated by commercialism.

Ding ding ding! Give that Llama a prize!  XD

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Halloween and religion
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2015, 03:25:21 PM »
Oh goody!  I get a prize!

Claps hooves together.

Offline Lustful Bride

  • "Logic is for Squares."
  • Lady
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2014
  • Gender: Female
  • This is some personal text. There are many like it, but this one is mine!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Halloween and religion
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2015, 03:33:58 PM »
Oh goody!  I get a prize!

Claps hooves together.

*Price is Right music plays as you are presented with a new car!*

Offline HannibalBarca

  • Defiant General of Hopeless Causes * Henry Rollins for President campaigner * Mako-phile * Uncle Iroh in shades * Disciple of Dr. Cornel West *
  • Lord
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Location: At large, am tall. "People keep asking if I'm back. Yeah...I'm thinking I'm back."
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Halloween and religion
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2015, 10:43:10 PM »
I love the Fall in general.  I grew up in the Air Force, and even when my family was stationed in Utah, Halloween was celebrated by the great majority of Mormons and other conservative Christians.  I think the squeaky wheels have been craving the grease, as far as objectors to Halloween go.  As our society in the U.S. becomes more tolerant and liberal, those who refuse to advance become only more paranoid of the changing world around them.  It's understandable, if not acceptable.