In the spirit of the diabolical season, It seems appropriate (and time saving) to put up some musings I began last year regarding the topic.
Here’s the first one:
Thoughts on Hallowe’en
"You ask me why we don't celebrate Halloween, Timmy? Because we're superstitious, reactionary, gullible, and we refuse to check things out for ourselves. Now, let me finish signing this petition so we can stop Madalyn Murray O'Hair from taking "Touched By an Angel" off the air. Why don't you take your mind off the fact that your friends are out having fun by reading one of your Left Behind: The Kids books?"
Funny stuff, that!
But I wouldn't have always appreciated the humor. It wasn't so long ago that I was judgmentally prideful…er, grateful for our congregation's informed Reformation Day party- thankful that my children weren't like those unsuspecting "devil's night" revelers quickly scurrying past my darkened porch- their poofy Wal-Mart fairy princess wands calling out to the nether world like stinky chicken liver to a catfish.
The point being that I understand 'em. With a testimony similar to this, I can feel the strength of the objections. I know that they are sincerely held. I know they grow out of fear, and I've been held by the kind of fear that can make you blind (totally-never-occurred-to-me blind) to how horribly unloving and unneighborly it must appear to darken your home on the one night that our communities take on any appearance of…well, community. The irony of being the only foreboding, unwelcoming and darkened home in a sea of friendly, lighted and self-consciously welcoming front doors- all in the name of being a "beacon of love", was lost on me. Of course there was that other house, but everyone knew he was a mean bastard and you'd better stay out of his yard- even on Halloween, but you see that just makes my point.
In my vitriolic and reactionary "Hallowe'en- God's gift to an uptight, rationalistic, judgmental, gullible, uninformed…and worst of all, modernistic evangelical yahoo" response, I worry about giving my children the impression that there aren't lines to be drawn or that this some how doesn't matter. Of course it does, but not for the reason's usually given. It matters because I suspect that The Spooky is a gift of our God and must be returned in blessing- like all of our fellow creatures who look to our priestly service. It matters because it ought to, not because it ought not.
Anyway, I figure this is as good a place to start as any. I want to embarrass all who know me by thinkin' on the meaning of Spookiness, take a brief digression down the whole "edifying nature of the grotesque" thing, fumble through the "universal needs that even a pagan understood" bag, and finally explain my understanding of the actual historical pedigree of the Christian feast day itself. (Yes, I said Christian Feast day. It's my blog. You need one of your own to worry about.)
That's the plan. We'll see how it goes.
Incidentally, I suspect that there may be a reason that I've never run across this sort of thing before- most people know better. So discretion (of which I have less than the average allotment) compels me to point out that this is half-baked and loosely held. I have no doubt that the epiphany will occur somewhere in the midst of my posting and I'll have to repent. That being said, I do think I'm on to something. Anyway, keep all of this in mind as you read. Read with discretion. Help me think it through.