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Another Perspective

Christians and Halloween

I heard two women on the local news just before Halloween say that because they are Christians their families would not be participating. “It is a demon holiday,” they concluded. The implication I was left with was, “We are better than those who partake of such unchristian activities.”
While most sincere and earnest, these women appeared to be espousing what they’d been taught at church. I was reminded of Jesus’ teaching in Luke 18:9-12. In brief, Jesus is saying followers of his don’t act as if they are better than others because they have a keen awareness of their own shortcomings.
I felt sorry for the women’s children. The secularization of Halloween has blinded these good Christian women to the historic and psychological roots of the tradition. November 1st is All Saints’ Day in the life of the church. The night before is the eve of the holy day, thus Halloween. Before remembering and honoring the lives of the saints on the 1st, the night before the dark, supposedly “unholy”* side of life is allowed expression. Children, by connecting with the unlived parts of themselves in a safe and limited way (i.e., putting on a costume that depicts an unlived part of themselves) lose their self-righteousness from being “good” and find the new energy that comes from connecting with a neglected part of themselves. Psychologically and spiritually it is a way of experiencing wholeness.
I urge these women and others of a like mind to reconsider their stance on participating in Halloween. It is okay to acknowledge our “dark” sides this way. Besides, Halloween is fun.
* The Nicene Creed states that after his death Jesus descended into hell before rising again. What is being affirmed here is Christ is in all parts of life. God is everywhere, especially where we least expect to find him.
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