Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Holy, Hellish, Hodgepodge History of Halloween

Gimme some sugar, baby

It’s the time of year when leaves die and trees turn to skeletons. The garden stops providing. An evening stroll changes from bright sun and chirping birds to dark night and the howling wind. As Halloween approaches, the fact that we begin to consider death and ghost stories is not inherently pagan. It’s human. It’s what we do with those thoughts that matters.

A recent thread on our Mars Hill Members’ Site raised the perennial issue of Halloween and whether Christians should observe this holiday. More to the point, most Christians do observe it, but differ in the level of participation or acceptance of it. Evangelist Jack Chick, for instance, the man famous for “Chick Tracts” depicts Halloween as a night when ancient Celtic Druids raped and sacrificed virgins, leaving carved pumpkins on the doorsteps of households that gave up their daughters (never mind the fact that pumpkins were a New World plant exported and only grown in Europe recently). Other Christians offer the opposite but equally naïve defense of “it’s no big deal”, sending their kids out to eat candy and legitimize American obesity statistics.

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