Oy. Here comes Halloween again and tons of controversies seem to be surrounding the event this year.
First off, I should mention I don’t celebrate Halloween for the most part. On the evening of October 31st, my wife and I make sure all the doors are locked, we close all of the window shutters, and turn out most of the lights. When the doorbell rings, we ignore it.
Not sure what the Missus does (probably reads), but I do allow myself to watch the original 1984 film Ghostbusters just because it’s so much fun.
We aren’t paranoid about Halloween. We don’t think it’s evil, or sinful, or horrible. We just aren’t into it.
But there are a lot of people out there who are going bonkers about Halloween.
First off, there are the Halloween costume cultural appropriation people. So if some seven-year-old white girl wants to go trick or treating in a Moana costume, suddenly she’s a racist and so are her parents for letting her dress up that way.
Baloney. Kids that little aren’t thinking in such a direction. This hypothetical little girl is dressing up like a Disney character, not a South Sea Islander. It would be like saying a kid who dresses up like Tigger is appropriating cartoon tiger culture.
Oh, and dressing up as Queen Elsa from the 2013 film Frozen is a no-no because it promotes white beauty according to this blog (specific source found here…and after reading the article, I strongly believe the author Sachi Feris is way overthinking the issue).
Then there are some elementary schools in the more liberal communities of our nation who have cancelled Halloween celebrations on their campuses because it’s not inclusive enough. What? Now it’s the school administration’s right to do so, but the reasoning seems a little nutsy.
Apparently, not enough students at these schools celebrate Halloween, so rather than making them feel left out, the school-based event is cancelled. Hasn’t it ever occurred to these adults that maybe kids from other cultures might think it was fun to play “dress up?” After all, Purim celebrations in Israel involve putting on costumes, giving out candy, and playing practical jokes. I don’t doubt a few non-Jewish kids (and adults) would like to get in on that action.
Speaking of which, I’m sure there have been plenty of American Jewish kids over the years who haven’t felt “included” in Christmas celebrations, but Christmas wasn’t cancelled. Of course we now call it a “Winter” celebration, so that makes it okay.
Excuse me, but you won’t find a single holiday event that means the same thing to all elementary school students. If school was in session over the summer, I’m sure some genius would cancel anything related to Independence Day because some kids and their families are anti-American (even though they live and work in this country).
Interestingly enough, I even found a YouTube channel called Red Pill Black run by a young African-American woman who apparently is conservative and calls out these crazy ideas and practices.
The craziest, the absolute craziest through, has to go to Pastor John Ramirez who was a practicing Satanist for 25 years before becoming a Christian. He has an article and YouTube video (running time slightly under 14 minutes) on CBN News (a highly conservative Christian news organization) called Former Satanist Warns Christians about Celebrating Halloween.
I must admit I have little difficulty imagining Ramirez as a Satan worshiper since the photo of him at CBN News makes him look a kind of creepy (photo posted below), but of course, his appearance doesn’t necessarily reflect his character.
Some of the points he makes are:
- Putting a pumpkin in front of your front door invites demons into your home and curses your family for four to five generations.
- Putting on a costume changes your identity and you are no longer in Christ.
- There’s a spike of human sacrifices and grave robbing/vandalism on Halloween.
- Murders and kidnappings spike on Halloween.
- Both the Aurora Colorado theatre and Sandy Hook shooters celebrated Halloween and were demon possessed.
- Without Easter there’s no Christianity and without Halloween there’s no Satan.
- All Saints Day (November 1st) is pagan ancestor worship.
- He says according to the Bible, the only Harvest Festival Christians should celebrate is the “harvest of souls” (Matthew 9:31; Luke 10:2).
- The Pastor says he went to Hell (he’s not sure for how long) and as a result of the experience, he turned and became a Christian.
I tried to verify some of his claims via Google. It seems the information about whether violent crimes spike on Halloween is controversial, with some sources saying “yes” and others “no”.
After a Google search, I didn’t find any sort of information regarding how putting a pumpkin by your door invites demons in. I couldn’t hear clearly on the video, but it sounded like it might be more of a Mexican tradition or belief, but I can’t be sure. Ramirez appears to be basing most or all of his claims on his experiences as a Satanist as opposed to what it says in the Bible.
The Aurora and Sandy Hook shooters probably did celebrate Halloween as children, but how do you claim let alone prove they were possessed by demons (as opposed to being just plain crazy)?
From a strictly Biblical point of view, if you were to completely do away with the celebration of Halloween world wide, would Satan, the Devil, or whatever you want to call him simply go away?
There are any number of cultures that observe some sort of ancestor worship, but not as gods or deities. Then again, Ramirez says that Satan uses cultural observances to lead people into evil. Click the link I put in the bulleted list above to see what Wikipedia has to say about “All Saints Day.”
As far as harvest festivals go, the good Pastor seems to have missed both Shavuout (Festival of Weeks) and Sukkot (Festival of Booths), the early and late harvest festivals which God commanded the Israelites to observe (and which modern religious Jews still commemorate).
Ramirez’s subjective experience of going to Hell is totally unverifiable, so there’s no addressing it.
Look, I don’t disdain Ramirez becoming a Christian and then a Pastor but he really sounds “out there”. I tried to find what church he is Pastor of, but only located his website which promotes his books, events, and where you can contact him so he can speak at your church.
So what do I think? I don’t know what to think. Like I said, I don’t celebrate Halloween anymore and perhaps would only do so in any fashion because of my grandchildren. My grandson is going trick or treating this year as The Invisible Man (based on the 1958 British television series) so that might be fun.
I agree that if Christians believe Halloween is associated with evil or Satan, they shouldn’t celebrate it nor should their churches substitute a “Harvest festival” so the church kids don’t feel left out on all the costumes and candy. That’s just the way it is if you hold a religious conviction regarding a holiday or event. Many religious Jews don’t participate in Halloween, not because they think it’s evil, but to avoid commemorating non-Jewish/secular holidays.
Ultimately, if you have issues with the holiday, don’t involve yourself in it. Just don’t shove your beliefs onto people who have nothing to do with you.
One last thing. Am I going to get serious “blowback” regarding this essay? Depends on who reads it I guess.
11 thoughts on “Your Pumpkin is an Invitation for Demons”
About those pumpkins: My memory of how they originated is that they were intended to scare away demons and the like, much like the purpose of medieval gargoyles on church buildings. One may criticize the practice as idolatrous; and in some neighborhoods they may be an invitation to vandals to smash them and scatter the mess most inconveniently. There are, I suppose, even worse abuses for which these innocent vegetables might be employed, but I hesitate to speculate.
That’s still a far cry from casting those carved or uncarved gourds as doorways of evil, PL.
Even if they’re being cast *at* doorways (evil or not)?
Wouldn’t trick-or-treating as an invisible man be akin to not participating at all? [:)]
Well, apart from the gauze and dark glasses.
Oh, OK, not so invisible, then.
@James — Are you posting this also on “Morning Meditations”? It seems a bit off-topic for a blog about robots and science fiction; though certainly it touches onto the realm of fantasy.
I sometimes post commentaries on cultural issues here, but that’s a good idea.
Quite scary when “conservatives” say they took the red pill. I’ve yet to see that go well. The lady at said included link above mostly just seems grumpy… eh, rude too. I wouldn’t say the messianic congregations I’ve participated in were liberal (well, except they allowed women to speak). Halloween was NOT part of what we did; plus, it was discouraged if anyone asked.
The parts you seem to have quoted from her, though, James, about cultural appropriation [I didn’t check to see if they were quotes or approximations of your own words] I think I pretty much agree with — but I’d go with Purim. I think the school is being thoughtful to leave Halloween out of the curriculum. Families that like it will surely do their thing.
This link may serve as a reminder that there is a day early each may for which liberal teachers encourage children to dress up based on books (including characters that may be in movies but have a book form). So, this is a more truly secular outlet.
“… but to avoid commemorating non-Jewish/secular holidays.”
To be clear, while I’m sure this is the rationale for some people, my Messianic-Jewish congregations did indeed celebrate the Fourth of July. And we would have no problem with this fun school day (for those of our kids who were in public schools, which would be maybe half).
Further clarification: Independence Day was not celebrated within a service. We had a picnic.
Some of us and them (adults and children) were in fact geniuses.