Some Christians in Bible Belt show their ignorance of Halloween; are upset it falls on Sunday.

In a response to a True Believer by the name of “Revelator” who asked why I seem to hate Christians I pointed out that it wasn’t that I hated Christians at all, but rather I’m annoyed by those Christians who make a pest of themselves by trying to force their superstitions onto everyone else around them. A perfect example of this comes in the form of this news item about some Bible Belt Christians who have their panties all in a bunch over the fact that Halloween falls on a Sunday this year.

“It’s a day for the good Lord, not for the devil,” said Barbara Braswell, who plans to send her 4-year-old granddaughter Maliyah out trick-or-treating in a princess costume on Saturday instead.

“You just don’t do it on Sunday,” said Sandra Hulsey of Greenville, Ga. “That’s Christ’s day. You go to church on Sunday, you don’t go out and celebrate the devil. That’ll confuse a child.”

What’s really sad about this whole thing is that these people are protesting against a holiday that their own religion is largely responsible for having created in the first place. Around SEB we’re pretty used to seeing some Christians demonstrate a stunning ignorance of all manner of subjects ranging from American history to the scientific theory of Evolution, but you’d think that they’d at least have some knowledge of their own religion’s history and the holidays it helped to establish. It turns out they’re just as ignorant about that as they are most other things.

Like most of the major “Christian holidays,” Halloween is an old Pagan holy day that the Christian church attempted to usurp for its own purposes except that this one kind of backfired on them. Originally known as Samhain Eve it was one of the principle festivals on the Celtic calendar and had nothing to do with Devil worship as that is a purely Christian concept. Samhain was a time for contemplation, a celebration of the final harvest of the season, and the one day of the year when the barriers between worlds was lowered allowing the spirits of both the dead and the unborn to walk among the living. When the Christians finally decided that the best way to subvert the popular Pagan festivals would be to modify them to celebrate Christian concepts and religious figures sometime between 400 and 1000 A.D.  the best they could come up with for Samhain was to turn it into All Saints Day a day of celebration of all the saints and martyrs, known or unknown, making it largely a holiday in commemoration of people who died in some horrible fashion for the sake of their faith. It’s interesting to note that Samhain seems to have a much more positive take on the issue of dead people than All Saints Day.

The modern holiday we call Halloween is a weird amalgamation of customs from the original Samhain merged with customs from All Saints Day as well as the rituals of other cultures that had similar day of the dead holidays such as the Roman’s Lemuria. Trick-or-treating, for example, is said to have gotten its start as the European custom called “souling” that was part of All Souls Day which occurred the day after All Saints Day on November 2nd. Christians would walk from village to village begging for “soul cakes” with the beggars promising to pray for deceased family members in return for food. This was encouraged by the church as a way to subvert the practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits on Samhain.

Today the holiday holds little religious significance for most folks who participate with the exceptions of the Neo-Pagans and Wiccans who keep the old traditions alive and the handfuls of Christians (mainly Catholics) who still celebrate All Saints Day. The claims of the Fundamentalists that it’s a Satanic holiday are clearly not borne out by a look at the history of the holiday and they have no one to blame outside of their own religion for it’s continued popularity today. It stands as yet another Christian attempt to impose their beliefs and superstitions on others that came back to bite them in the ass in the long run.

20 thoughts on “Some Christians in Bible Belt show their ignorance of Halloween; are upset it falls on Sunday.

  1. I think it’s simply fucking HILARIOUS that these folks don’t want Hallowe’en – which they believe to be Satan’s own high holy day – to be celebrated on October 31st because this year it falls on “the LORD’S day,” but it’s ok to send the kids out on Saturday.  If they’re so afraid of the “Satanic” nature of Hallowe’en, they shouldn’t be letting their kids celebrate it at ALL, right?

    Sssshhhhh don’t anyone tell them that SATURN, for which the day they’d prefer to send their children out trick-or-treating was named, is linked to SATAN.

    As Stevie Wonder says, “Superstition ain’t the way…”

  2. I honestly didn’t know the origin of Halloween. I found this very entertaining. Looks like all those Christians who are oppossing Halloween on the Sunday just got served. Oh yeah…served.
    Here’s a question though…if your beliefs were so strong that you couldn’t celebrate a “satanic holiday” on a Sunday…why the hell is it alright to celebrate it on a Saturday? That doesn’t make any sense; to me anyway.

  3. Webster’s New World Dictionary (concise edition)

      Holiday 1. a religious festival
          2. a day of freedom from labor; day for
          leisure and recreation
          3. a vacation
          4. a day set aside, as by law, for the      
            suspension of business, in com-                             
            memoration of some event
    It would seem to me that the first definition   should solve the problem.  Holloween (All Saint’s Day)is known by tradition as a holiday.

      Tradition 1. a) the handing down orally of                  
              beliefs, customs, stories, etc.
              from generation to generation
              b)a belief, custom, etc. so handed
            2. any long-established cuistom or
            3. any unwritten religious teachings
              regarded as coming from the founder
              or earliest prophet of a religion
    Both definitions mention religion and belief, yet people still ignore this fact.  They don’t want it celebrated on Sunday but Saturday is all right. 
    Saturday is all right because then they don’t have to deny or fight with the kids over not being able to do what other kids have done for years. 

    “That will confuse the child.”  To celebrate All Saint’s Day on Sunday?  Please spare me—Read the origin of the day and explain it to the child and there should be no confusion!

  4. Actually, All Saints Day will be on *Monday*.  Sunday will be All Souls Day (or the Eve of All Saints Day, or All Hallows Evening, hence Halloween).

    What’s actually positive in the AP story is that the communities actually identified (after you get past the initial vague lead paragraphs) are *not* rescheduling Halloween this time around (unlike 1999, the last time this happened).

  5. Thanks for picking up on this, Les—I was going to submit it as a guest post, but somehow between the poopy diapers and the spitup I never got around to it.  grin

    Many Jews are equally uncomfortable with the idea of Hallowe’en; I know some who refer to it as “Pumpkin Day” so as to avoid even mentioning something disreputable.

  6. The same rationale that causes Christians to celebrate Halloween on a Saturday instead of on a Sunday is the same rationale that allows them to think that it is ok to get really drunk on a Saturday instead of Sunday.  I never really understood that one and continue to be hurt by it as I cannot purchase alcohol on Sunday in my small, Southern town. <———-(weeping) lol.

  7. Evidently this is not just a Deep South sort of thing.  How disappointing.

    On a related note to Eowyn’s comment—my wife still speaks with amazement about the Catholic couple she knew in college who were having unprotected sex with each other … because birth control was a sin.


    (I live in a state with Blue Laws, too, and don’t find that having the liquor stores closed on Sunday cuts down on my drinking.  It does make it slightly less convenient, though.)

  8. And lets not forget Christmas – the FIRST holy day the Jesus-groupies usurped.  Don’t even think about it, creationists… Jesus was born in March, and no amount of fire-and-brimstone polemic will fix that.
    Before Christianity was made Rome’s state religion, this day was called Saturnalia.  Saturn (Old Father Time) was a patron of agriculture – and this day marked the winter solstice (or shortest day).  But it’s thought to go all the way back to Nordic occupation.

  9. Prove to me that God isn’t real because I know He is. Why are you alive? By accident?! Can all you say is cuss words because you don’t have enough self control to love others with true love- selfseeking, patient… (I Corinthians 13)
    Do you really think you’re enjoying this life? Sin may seem good…but only for a while. Christ’s love and life with HIM is eternal. Trust me because I know.

  10. Here we go again…

    Prove to me that God isn’t real because I know He is.

    You’re the one claiming to know God exists so the burden of proof is on you.

    Why are you alive? By accident?!

    No accident here, though I’m not entirely sure I was a planned pregnancy either. I’m alive because my parents had sex. No big mystery.

    Can all you say is cuss words because you don’t have enough self control to love others with true love- selfseeking, patient… (I Corinthians 13)

    Remember what they say about making ASSumptions? I swear because I feel the words are the right ones to use at the time. I put a lot of thought behind telling someone to fuck off.

    Do you really think you’re enjoying this life? Sin may seem good…but only for a while.

    Well I’m not enjoying this bit here where I’ve been unemployed for some time now, but overall I’d have to say that, yes, I’ve enjoyed my life quite a bit and I’m looking forward to better times in the not too distant future.

    Christ’s love and life with HIM is eternal. Trust me because I know.

    I tend to distrust any stranger who is so eager to demand that I trust them about topics that are essentially unknowable with any certainty by their very definition. But I’m game to hear your proof that what you claim is true. Go ahead. Impress me.

  11. Bah!  This is an example of Pharasee, not a real Christian.  Real Christians aren’t so stupid to not know that someday Halloween will fall upon Sunday.  And you guys might as well back off of Christians, people have been attacking Christian (don’t think that the times of Christiandom are any different) for 2000 years so give us a break!  If you want an example of people attacking Christianity in America, look no further than this site!  People continually attack the saying of Merry Christmas!  Good greif!  Get your hands off of trying to beat up Christians!

  12. Gunny is funny. Sad, but funny.

    Funny Gunny. LOL

    Though his brains are runny
    Which really isn’t funny

    He has a need for his mummy
    She left a hole in his heart
    He could let his soul just … fart
    Then he would become sunny
    and focus on the breath
    an say Oommm with a hummy.

    This is too taxing … I’m sounding silly.

    G’day Gunny. How’re they hangin’ mate?
    Shit happens. Shit doesn’t happen. Shit happens. Shit doesn’t happen. Shit happens … to everyoneall the time. 
    It’s called the ripples of life mate, and it’s cool as long as you focus on the here and now and always remember that ‘this too shall pass’. LOL
    Into what you may ask?
    Who knows or cares.
    Try working on your passive unconditional tolerance understanding and love … something like ‘your JC’ would … if he existed.
    The rest is an easy ride. smile

  13. Gunny,
    Don’t give me that Christian persecution, B.S.  You should know as a Christian that your religion ia all about persicuting the “non-belivers” 
    Some examples?  Spanish inquistion, Jewish persicution in Europe, Hitler was a Chatholic and said that he was doing what the Chatholic chuch had done for 900 years, he was just more organized.  What about all the women who died after botched back ally abortions.  Rewanda, could have been stopped by the Chatholic church.  I could go on and on, so don’t give me the feel sorry for the christian B.S. 
    You know i do feel sorry for you guys though…..

  14. I do beieve in the existence of christ and in doing so try to follow his example,not the examples of self-confessing christians who can not. I see nothing wrong in a person celebrating a cultural holiday providing they are observing it as it was originaly intended, Samhain incuded. I’m proud of my heritage and for me I’d like that time to reflect on family members and ancestors who have passed on. It’s an insult to me and others who feel the same as I do, when unfounded acusations are made about Samhain(haloween).

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