Happy Halloween to All Who Aren’t Afraid of Harmless Fun

Oct 27, 2014

By Herb Silverman

A while back I wrote about the War On Christmas manufactured by Fox News, in which saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” was somehow taken as an insult to Christians. Then I wrote about the War on Thanksgiving, again manufactured by Fox News after President Obama gave a three-minute Thanksgiving Day speech without the word “God” in it. So now I’ll complete the hat trick by writing about the War on Halloween.

Christian evangelist Pat Robertson is the most famous opponent of Halloween, which he calls “Satan’s night.” Robertson claimed, without any evidence, that the original practice of trick-or-treating came from the Druids, who went house to house asking for money and threatening to kill one of the owner’s sheep if he didn’t pony up. (Both October 31 and December 25 were initially celebrated by pagans and later adapted by Christians.)

Pat Robertson doesn’t like children dressing up as ghosts or zombies, which he doesn’t believe exist. However, he does believe in the Holy Ghost. And since a zombie is supposed to be a human who died, was raised from the dead, and once more walked among the living, the Gospels seem to imply that Jesus was a zombie. Furthermore, Zombie Jesus offers everyone the ultimate trick or treat: eternal torture or eternal bliss.

To Pat Robertson’s credit (I’ve never used that phrase before), he is merely spreading misinformation and advising Christians not to celebrate Halloween. This is a moderate position compared to some other groups.


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26 comments on “Happy Halloween to All Who Aren’t Afraid of Harmless Fun

  • Christian evangelist Pat Robertson is the most famous opponent of Halloween, which he calls “Satan’s night.”

    Could I suggest he is given a “Golden Pumpkin Award” – with the pumpkin head – completely hollow, showing bright glaring eyes, and wearing a dog-collar of course!



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  • Pat Robertson doesn’t like children dressing up as ghosts or zombies, which he doesn’t believe exist. However, he does believe in the Holy Ghost.

    . . . . . . But he will probably go off to an “All Saints’ Day” service, the following morning, and celebrate all those mythical “eternal spirits”! !!!

    Clearly he only thinks it is stupid to believe in the “wrong sorts of ghosts”!
    (The effects of wonderful faith-blinkers??)



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  • One Christian Ministry claims to represent the mutual religious obligations of Catholics and Protestants. And any Catholic who seeks to object to Halloween celebrations on the grounds of theological pedantry had better honour the Holy Days of Obligation. So if OCM represents Catholic opponents of Halloween japes, those Catholics had better attend Mass every November 1. I don’t know much about the denominational demographics of Halloween’s Christian critics, or what those people do the day after they’ve finished fulminating. But I’ll be amused and unsurprised if at least a few of them don’t cap off that time of year with a well-timed Mass.



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  • Oh FFS! Christians invented Halloween in the first place! The clues in the name – All Hallows Eve. As Herb says Pagans were celebrating the end of the year on the 31 Oct and believed it was time when their ancestors walked among them (rather like the Mexican day of the dead, also a Pagan inspired feast) and it was a very important date, so the Christians moved their saints day to coincide with Samhain “In the 9th century, the Roman Catholic Church shifted the date of All Saints’ Day to 1 November, while 2 November later became All Souls’ Day. Over time, Samhain and All Saints’/All Souls’ merged to create the modern Halloween.”
    The to ensure their cultural dominance they literally demonised the pagans – accusing them of worshiping their devil figure which was part of their own mythology not the Pagan one.
    I doubt many Christians know this.



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  • mr_DNA Oct 28, 2014 at 6:01 am

    “In the 9th century, the Roman Catholic Church shifted the date of All Saints’ Day to 1 November, while 2 November later became All Souls’ Day. Over time, Samhain and All Saints’/All Souls’ merged to create the modern Halloween.”
    The to ensure their cultural dominance they literally demonised the pagans – accusing them of worshiping their devil figure which was part of their own mythology not the Pagan one.

    Anyway, – In the UK Hallow’een is only a passing fad, in the run-up to burning effigies of Catholic conspirators on bonfires! http://www.bonfirenight.net/gunpowder.php



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  • Depends which side of the border you are on. In Scotland its always been a big thing – and it pre-exists the commercialization of the toy and sweets industry.
    I think Halloween is good fun but burning effigies of people is sinister especially when one remembers that once people were watching real people on the bonfires.
    I can’t tell you how many people I have met who were traumatised as a young child by seeing what they thought was a person burning. Two of our six primordial fears are being consumed and being dismembered.



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  • Well, when I was a lad (in the 70’s) – we spent months prior to November – collecting and guarding our bommie-wood. The 5th of November was (despite the fact it was a celebration of murdering catholics) OUR big day before xmas….I loved bonfires and still do – and I also like fireworks and parkin and treacle-toffee……however, with the increase in influence of the USA (due to the media) – eventually the alien tradition of trick-or-treat has come to dominate and Nov 5th has sort of been relegated…..we NEVER did Trick or Treat as kids in the north of England….ever. I think it’s become increasingly popular since the late 1980’s….we’ll be celebrating thanksgiving next if we’re not careful!!!



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  • for me the idea of halloween was always a time kids liked to give themselves the willies a bit. even before we imported americanisms surrounding it, watching scary shows on TV, reading ghost stories at school, it was all good innocent fun (unlike being dragged round to a neighbours garden to watch them burn a catholic a week later).

    I for one am glad that Pat Robertson has returned to the true meaning of the festival by getting his pale ghostly skull-like cranium on TV and scaring children with tales of zombies and magic but does he have to do it all year round?



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  • 11
    Bob Springsteen says:

    Con-man Pat Robertson is another multi-millionaire Evangelical Christian who has discovered how to pass a camel through the eye of a needle.



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  • You can’t expect dogmatists to have knowledge and or perspective, they require thought.

    I think the fundamental purpose of dogma is to render it unnecessary to think.

    If everyone started thinking for themselves and stopped simply accepting what they’re told, religion would self destruct.



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  • Our (u.s.) fascination with jack-o-lanterns can trace its roots to the great Irish immigration of yesteryear. Candles, or other sources of light, placed in hollowed cut gourds, scare away “evil spirits” ~ Sway, gently sway, so as nature’s thurible of light does not fail, against darkest of nights, (but take heed!) thou knowest not where the ghouls may lurk.

    This is Hallowe’en.



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  • Pat Robertson on Monday advised his viewers to seek biblical investments like oil and gas because birth control (condoms and the pill) doesn’t flow through pipelines.

    I have no idea why oil or gas is biblical unless it was put there by satan to screw up pure biblical truths about the real age of the earth being only a few thousand years.

    I understand he founded a university in 1978?

    How do the village idiots get to be so powerful?



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  • According to Wiki he had a good start in life i.e. was born into a powerful family, is probably better than average smarts, is willing and expects to get away with telling some serious lies e.g. details about his time in the military, and he’s ambitious.

    This is exactly the sort to lead us.



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  • The Zombie run sounds fun. I have trouble gaining sufficient motivation to run. Perhaps if I was being chased by brain eating zombies I’d have a higher level of motivation. If you must run solo then perhaps a phone app in which the GPS on could be used to keep you running at a certain pace by increasing the sound of zombies chasing you until you pick up the pace. With google glasses (no I’m not geeky, or rich enough to own a pair) you could actually add CGI zombies or perhaps just tag pedestrians as zombie or non-zombie.



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  • Halloween is a fairly recent addition to our calendar of festivals. I strongly resisted any form of participation BK (before kids), though later changed my stance when I discovered that it can be a lot of fun. I’m all for fun.
    Imagine the scene in the Southern Hemisphere. Daylight Saving is in full swing so it doesn’t get dark until 7.30 or so. Most parents are reluctant to let their children roam the streets by themselves so they usher them from house to house in full light of day. There’s something not-quite-right about the whole procedure.
    Still, my kids loved dressing up and amassed enough sweets to keep them going for a while. There was never any thought of nasty tricks to be visited on the non-participants in the community.
    There remains a great deal of reluctance as it’s seen as an American tradition. We’ve given way in so many areas; Santa has replaced the Father Christmas of my generation. We’re yet to celebrate Thanksgiving!
    Almost forgot: we no longer have bonfires or cracker night for safety reasons, but when we did it was held in winter or late autumn as I recall. We tended not to put a ‘guy’ on the fire, but we knew what the effigy was about.



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  • Regrettably, I live on the northern edge of the Bible Belt. Many local churches, many fundamentalist, have adopted the Trunk or Treat program. I think this involves children dressing in Halloween costumes and going to the parking lots of these churches where people dispense candy from their cars. This is crazy on so many levels! First, these are the same people that eschew Halloween as a satanic ritual but they are promoting it. Second, they are promoting the ingestion of huge amounts of sugar and junk food. And what about the admonition “don’t accept candy from strangers.” This is such a weird phenomenon I hope someone can explain it to me in a way that makes rational sense.



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  • In the UK this “celebration” has unfortunately more or less descended into an opportunity for children to scrounge money; but since its most recent provenance was organized religion that’s probably par for the course.

    When we went carol singing at least we sang for our supper.

    One of our regulars used to let us finish, then open the door, comment on our performance, and conduct us in a second rendering with a view to improvement.

    A happy daze!



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  • 25
    Cairsley says:

    Halloween brings out the curmudgeon in me. I strongly disapprove of children being basically taught to beg from strangers, even if it is only for sweets. The custom of Halloween for children works well, I imagine, in neighborhoods where everyone knows everyone, as may be the case in small-town America. It would have worked well in the neighborhood I grew up in, in a small, provincial New Zealand city back in the 1950s, before we had television (not to mention the Internet and smartphones), when one’s community included everyone living in the vicinity of one’s home, but we had no Halloween custom then. We (including us Catholics) did do Guy Fawke’s Night in a big way though — one of the best nights in the year. But this Halloween trick-or-treat custom is simply not right for children, if it has them approaching strangers, as is all too often the case in modern neighborhoods, for no real reason but to beg.



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