Friday, October 1, 2010
The Annual Halloween Kerfuffle
Mr. Kim brought home two additions to our Halloween menagerie the other day. A little black cat:
And this fellow:
I am looking forward to getting out the Halloween decorations and festooning the house with silly and spooky stuff. Then I noticed on the calendar that Halloween falls on a Sunday this year. I cringed when I saw that. Because the No Fun-damentalists, who hate Halloween anyway, really flip out when it lands on Sunday.
I have never really understood the objection to Halloween. I know that some aspects of the celebrations have pagan origins, but the day itself is a vigil for All Saint's Day, just as Christmas Eve is a vigil for Christmas day. Many of the celebrations of Christmas are pagan in origin, too, but the fundies don't seem to want to get rid of that. As a matter of fact they bemoan the commercialization of Christmas - reminding us to keep it a 'Holy-Day'. Yet just 2 months before Christmas they insist just the opposite. As Christians, we now all know that our liturgical calendar is full of instances where our celebrations are pasted over former pagan feasts and festivals. If one insists on focusing on the roots of one holiday, logically you have to afford all religious holidays the same scrutiny. Of course, logic isn't always a strong point with some of these folks. I realize that not all Christian denominations celebrate All Saint's Day (Anglicans do and I'm an Episcopalian - RC Lite), but surely in the spirit of ecumenism they could at least acknowledge that it is a legitimate Christian observance.
And since All Saint's Day (or All Hallows) honors all those who died in a state of grace and are in heaven with God, the skeletons and 'death' trappings are, after all, more appropriate to the day than are the Bunny to Easter or stockings to Christmas.
There is a fascinating discussion over on the Table Talk boards at salon.com about this very subject and I found this, by poster Cathy Georges both apt and funny:
"Does fear and loathing of "pre-Christian" holidays strike anyone else as part of a pattern for these folks? They also have "Christian" aerobics classes, "Christian" heavy metal and "Christian" karate out here. Someone should point out that if you want, as a sect, to renounce the world, you can't keep having theme parks and biker rallies. Seems like trying to have your piety and eat it, too."
And by the way, even if one truly believes that Halloween is pagan and
witchy and all that? This fellow:
still doesn't have anything to do with those things. Judeo-Christian tradition claims him. He's ours folks.