The following by the Christian evangelist, J.John, virtually says it all …
“Let me explain why I am negative about Halloween.
First, Halloween deceives us about evil. It creates a cartoon vision of evil as trivial, harmless fun that no one could possibly see as a threat. Yet all evil is serious and any messing with supernatural evil particularly so. To fool around with evil is a fool’s game.
Second, Halloween distracts us about evil. It presents evil in terms of the obvious and the spectacular; things that proclaim their identity with fangs and claws, cackles and cloaks. Yet evil is at its most seductive when it is silent and subtle. The most dangerous evils are not clumsy figures in skeleton outfits knocking on your door; they are infinitely better disguised. In the real world the most deadly evil doesn’t turn up with nocturnal cries of ‘Trick or treat!’ Instead it tiptoes around unannounced in broad daylight. It is there in the sudden opportunity to cheat in an exam, the gentle request to submit an inflated expense claim, the boss’s quiet invitation to vote in favour of something illegal. The problem with the road to hell is that it never states its destination. By focusing on the recognisable and the grotesque, Halloween obscures the fact that most evil wears a charming face.
Finally, Halloween denies the defeat of evil. In Halloween, supernatural evil is presented as unchallenged and victorious. Yet as a Christian I believe that that’s only half of the story and the darkest half too. The reality is that evil has been defeated at the cross and that one day the crucified King will return and abolish even the memory of it forever. That, not Halloween, is the story that I want to celebrate.”
Please don’t get me wrong – I am not a party pooper and even keep some treats by to give out if children come knocking at our door trick or treating. I realise it may be too much to expect other traditional days of celebration to get much coverage at this time e.g. All Souls or All Saints or even Reformation day, but what about what us kids used to celebrate on November 5th – Fireworks night? Sadly, as I went out and about yesterday, everywhere I went, whether my local leisure centre, supermarket or shop or even passing neighbours houses, the tell-tale signs were there. Without wanting to appear sanctimonious, I wish Halloween was seen for what it is, with something more wholesome taking its place.
It is a gut feeling I know but I sense that Halloween, especially the creepy crawly, monster witchy bits are being pushed, much to the delight of those who make commercial capital from doing so, more than ever. If we need evidence that Halloween obsession is on the increase, I learned today of a number of associates attending Halloween theme parties, saw more front gardens lavishly adorned with Halloween paraphernalia and when we took some children out for a KFC treat all the staff were dressed in Halloween costume, something we had not seen before, but so not to appear churlish or holier than thou we brought some sweets in anticipation of children later on knocking at our doors trick and treating.
I quite understand that behind the “celebrations” associated with Halloween there is a fun element and it is meant to brighten children’s lives. Most parents are likely not much interested in the evil connotations, but I will be steering clear and other than write this blog will not make a fuss. I do regret though that we are at point in national life that most think nothing of it. I would much rather we as a nation return to the Bible adage of “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” Philipians 4:8.