Today is the day most people call Halloween or “All Hallows Eve.” It was a fun way to get candy when I was a kid, but now I have problems with the holiday for Christian, commercial and political reasons.
First of all, as a Christian, it doesn’t seem right to return to darkness when God has called us into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). The Devil gets enough attention the rest of the year, without having his own day. And recently in this blog I commented on churches compromising with Halloween when I asked, “What do pumpkin sales have to do with Christianity?” A few years ago, my church in Florida wrote an essay called “Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?” Check it out, if you’re not familiar with the issue already.
Personally, I prefer to call today “Reformation Day,” because it was on October 31, 1517 that Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to his church door and started the whole Protestant movement. If it wasn’t for that, every Christian this side of Constantinople would still be Catholic now.
As for the commercial reason, Halloween is a lot more commercial than it used to be. Back when I was a kid, most of us made our own costumes. We were encouraged to be creative and original with those costumes; it was considered cheating to buy one from the store. But how many kids make their own costumes now? Today when I passed through a Wal-Mart, the busiest section of the store was where they had the costumes and candy.
Moreover, many folks go overboard on the outdoor decorations, as if Halloween is another day like Christmas where the main colors happen to be orange and black. I think I saw Halloween lights for the first time in 1996, not to mention the fake cobwebs, pumpkins and spiders, etc., that people put in their trees. Gosh, it’s confusing enough that a website called CthulhuLives.org offers Christmas carols that promise to make Christmas spookier than Halloween. If it wasn’t for Thanksgiving being in the middle, I’m sure the differences between Halloween and Christmas would be blurred by now. Do you think we’ll soon heard some Druid or Wiccan telling us that we need to get back to the original spirit of Halloween?
Finally, the political reason. Most of our holidays, from Memorial Day to Thanksgiving, observe important events in our history, or uphold what we might call “conservative values.” By contrast, Halloween promotes a liberal value, the “entitlement mentality”; it encourages people to go begging for treats they did not earn. You can see what the Canada Free Press had to say about that here: “Halloween’s Liberal Message.”
Whatever you call today, I hope your end-of-October day is a pleasant one.