It’s that time of year again, when we pay for candy we give to strange children who are disguised so we don’t even know who egged our house. Awesome tradition! Yes, everyone loves Halloween, except for all those foolish, misguided people who don’t. Of course, we’re not saying everyone who doesn’t celebrate Halloween is foolish, but the people who try to tidy it up and make it something it’s not certainly are. But what exactly does that entail, you ask? Well, as it happens, a lot of people have designs on making Halloween less “evil” and more “family fun” which is code generally for Christian. Let’s take a look at some of the best they’ve come up with.
Undoubtedly, no anti-Halloween crusade is quite as lame as JesusWeen, simply because of its terrible name that so clearly sounds like a reference to Jesus penis you at forst think it’s a joke, but apparently it’s not.
JesusWeen is about putting the Jesus back in Halloween. Except there never was Jesus in Halloween, so you may as well try to put P. Diddy in the Jackson 5 while you’re at it. It’s a case of Christians trying to reclaim something that was never theirs, thus making them look foolish in the process. The whole thing makes as much sense as trying to make souvlaki Christian, or Xbox.
The gist of JesusWeen is that you hand out Bibles and other Christian-themed things, let’s be cute and call them treats, while dressing up in white because costumes are apparently evil. The pastor who started the whole thing said the problem with Halloween was that it was an activity that doesn’t have anything to do with Christians, which is a stunningly ignorant and objectionable thing for him to say when you explore the ramifications of what he’s done – there’s a yearly tradition that he feels isn’t Christian so he wants to replace it, as though Christians were owed something at that time. This makes one wonder if Jesus Hannukah or Jesus X Games need to be explored so that Christians don’t feel left out of those, either.
Trunk or Treating
Here’s a quote from a NY Times article about Trunk or Treating – “You go trunk-or-treating when you go to people’s cars to get candy.” Oh man. But I’m getting ahead of myself with the jokes. Let’s get some background.
Trunk or Treating is for either lazy kids or overly protective parents. The idea is you have a poor man’s tailgate party where everyone meets in a parking lot, opens their trunk and it’s full of candy and the kids go car to car getting candy, thus turning Halloween into about a 15 minute long activity and is the fun-time equivalent of getting an Olive Garden gift certificate for Christmas in lieu of actual presents because no one gives a shit about you.
The only time this idea makes sense is in the country if you live about a mile from your nearest neighbor and the idea of sending a kid or trick or treating would end with him dying of dehydration after picking up a handful of Peeps. The rest of the time it seems to be merely feeding off of the unfounded paranoia of poisoned candy and Halloween dangers which are sketchy at best. Is your kid in danger from razorblade-filled candy? No. No one has ever eaten poisoned candy on Halloween except for two kids who were both poisoned by their own families. Is your kid at danger of being injured? Yes, if you put them in a stupid costume that causes them to trip, walk into things or get dinged by a car because no one saw them.
The real treat of trunk or treating is that it teaches your kid the safe way to get candy is out of someone’s car. Don’t follow the example of all those other kids, just take the candy the nice man in the minivan is offering you. It’s the safe way to celebrate.
Nothing is more offensive to a kid on Halloween then presenting them with a harvest festival. This is an old Church standby, for those who don’t approve of Halloween, but honestly, just have a pizza party and be done with it, don’t try to encapsulate the spirit of the season. In case you weren’t aware, kids don’t give a squirt about the harvest. City kids don’t even know what you’re harvesting and if you bust out a gourd they’re just going to think you have a mongoloid pumpkin.
Amusingly, the notion of a harvest festival is just as pagan as any Halloween celebration, minus dressing like a slutty meter maid. After all, our squirrely pagan forefathers used to enjoy a bountiful harvest and thank the benevolent gods of pork and turnips or whomever for all their good fortune. When worshipping pig gods became passé, they just subbed in Jesus, but everything else pretty much stayed the same. Only as a Halloween replacement, it’s infinitely more awful as you’re trying to convince kids that squash is just as satisfying as dressing up like an X-Man and getting a ton of candy. Good luck with that.
Noah’s Ark Party
Going toe to toe with JesusWeen for the crown of “Huh?” is the Noah’s Ark Party. Y’see, this one is fun, because just like Halloween, you get to dress up and get treats OMGYAY! Except you have to dress up like a character from the Bible, Noah or one of his animals, and your treats are things like the shame you feel when you realize what a snow job this is. Also cookies and stuff, Christians aren’t monsters or anything. Sometimes they just go a little overboard is all.
Again, the foundation of this idea is flawed as it presumes you need to have a Christian replacement for Halloween, when of course you don’t. It’s the arrogance and the feeble attempt at a diversion from something “unChristian” that galls rather than the notion you should be able to have fun that falls within your comfort zone as a person of faith. And, of course, it also seems to whitewash the idea of Halloween for kids, rather than giving you an opportunity as a parent to explain why you feel you personally shouldn’t partake in the event, assuming you can come up with a decent reason.
But instead of saying “Kids, it’s Halloween which, like so many of our holidays, is taken from pagan roots and was folded into Christian culture many years after the fact. Its true origin are terribly muddied and, in fact, most of what we now appreciate of the day comes not from actual pagan history, but from Christian recounting of pagan history, literally hundreds of years after the fact, which all but confirms that pagans never felt this day had anything to do with spirits, ghosts or the dead before Christians came along and said it did. But I digress. We’re Christian, so don’t dress like the devil. Here’s an Iron Man costume,” they simply try to climb over the day with something new. Silly, really.