October 31, 2011

Happy Scare a Christian Day!

JesusweenWhile some Christians agonize over what to do each year when Halloween rolls around, I have found that many atheists consider it one of their favorite holidays. I am happy to count myself among them. Halloween is one of the few holidays I still enjoy. In fact, it might be the only one. And yes, I suppose that part of the enjoyment might come from seeing how terrified some Christians are of Halloween.

A few years ago, you could walk around my neighborhood this time of year and never realize that Halloween was off limits to many of the neighborhood children. Houses were proudly decorated in such a manner that I questioned whether my neighbors had temporarily set their absurd religious beliefs aside.

My, how times have changed! I have seen almost no decorations this year. While economic hardship probably has something to do with that, I suspect that increasing numbers of my neighbors drive their children to church for "harvest festivals" and the like. I know several people who do this and most of them are what I would consider fairly progressive Christians. For some, it is a matter of convenience. I suspect that others are worried about the social stigma they might experience from disappointing their pastors and others in the "Halloween is evil" crowd. How embarrassing it must be for them to bring their children to a neighbor's door for candy and be told sternly that the neighbor does not celebrate Halloween because it is demonic!

There is quite a bit of social pressure around here to ignore Halloween. Our local paper gives it quite a bit of negative coverage and is quick to publish letters from area pastors decrying the evils associated with it. And as you might imagine, there are also many attempts to co-opt Halloween and replace it with something more "Jesusy" (i.e., JesusWeen).

I hope you have a fun Halloween and that you are able to set aside at least a few minutes to remind yourself that every day is Halloween for many Christians.

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