Monday, October 27, 2008

The Controversies of Halloween

Scott Richert explores the matter and his conclusions are quite interesting. Halloween was originally attacked for being too papist.
The current attacks on Halloween aren't the first. In post-Reformation England, All Saints Day and its vigil were suppressed, and the Celtic peasant customs associated with Halloween were outlawed. Christmas, and the traditions surrounding that feast, were similarly attacked, and the Puritan Parliament banned Christmas outright in 1647. In America, Puritans outlawed the celebration of both Christmas and Halloween, which were revived largely by German Catholic (in the case of Christmas) and Irish Catholic (in the case of Halloween) immigrants in the 19th century....

A new backlash against Halloween by non-Catholic Christians began in the 1980's, in part because of claims that Halloween was the devil's night; in part because of urban legends about poisons and razor blades in Halloween candy; and in part because of an explicit opposition to Catholicism. Jack Chick, a rabidly anti-Catholic fundamentalist who distributes Bible tracts in the form of small comic books, helped lead the charge.

By the late 1990's, many Catholic parents, unaware of the anti-Catholic origins of the attack on Halloween, had begun to question Halloween as well, and alternative celebrations became popular.



Alexandra said...

I knew these origins, but maybe Catholics see the culture of Halloween changing. It does not seem as innocent as it once was - just look at the costumes, movies, and commercialism. It has lost its focus which had been on innocent fun(fairy tale goblins and such) for small children, and taken on a sinister edge. To some extent it's been changed by the New Age and magical arts subculture. It's taken on the culture of death.

The excess bothers me. People spend way too much on costumes these days. When I was a child we threw a sheet over our heads, and called it day.

elena maria vidal said...

That is true, Alexandra. It is sad. But I do not let those New Age weirdos ruin my fun. It is certainly possible to celebrate All Hallows Eve in an innocent and festive manner, and as a prelude to the great solemnity.

Nathan said...

Here is why this Christian doesn't celebrate Halloween. Maybe my reasoning will resonate with you!