Saturday, October 31, 2009

Obligatory Halloween Post

From second grade on, I attended a Christian school. One of the numerous things that were different there was Halloween. The teachers and parents (outside of a single principal, one secretary, one bookkeeper and a seven-person board selected from parents of the students, there was no "school administration") ranged from ambiguous to opposed to the whole Halloween thing as traditionally celebrated here in the US. So instead we had some sort of harvest festival that was indistinguishable from a Halloween party at any other school apart from the range of costumes considered appropriate. And we would spend a bit of class time looking at the whole history around Halloween. So for 11 years in a row, I was taught, in greater depth each year, all about Halloween, meaning I probably know more about All Hallows' Even and All Hallows' than the average person. But if you are going to post an article on the internet, even on a known, fact-free place like Pat Robertson's CBN site I would think you would at least take five minutes to do a bit of research, even if only to skim the Wikipedia articles I linked to. It's not like they are hard to find or understand, and they would stop you from publishing drivel like this to the entire world in the name of evangelicalism:
The root word of Halloween is "hallow," which means "holy, consecrated and set apart for service." If this holiday is hallowed, whose service is it set apart for? The answer to that question is very easy—Lucifer's!

Yea. The answer is only easy for you, Ms. Daniels, because you don't concern yourself with reality. Something that becomes very apparent further down the article where you invent a factoid that I am certain we will see repeated uncritically by evangelicals all over the country:
...most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches.

So there you have it; those bastards at M&M Mars are a bunch of devil worshipers that are trying to bring about the demon possession of all the children through candy.

To someone's credit, the article was pulled after more-pointed mocking than I have time for (like this and this). But one fact about the internet always seems to elude the religiously inclined: Once something is on the internet, it never goes away, thanks to the Google Wayback Machine. The time to think about the implications of what you are saying, not just to your target audience, but to all of the other 100's of millions of internet users, is before you publish. If evangelicalism plans to still exist in a century, then its members need to be at least as critical of Robertson et al., as they are of atheists. Remember, Jesus ate meals with sinners, prostitutes and tax collectors, while heaping scorn and verbal abuse on the first-century Pat Robertsons.

So, Happy Halloween! Now I'm off to eat all the leftover candy. Which, as we all know, is the real reason adults invented the thing.

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