When I was growing up in the ‘olden days’ of the 1970s and ’80s, Halloween was one of my very favorite holidays. And why not? Donning on a costume of my favorite super hero (or star wars guy) seeing who in the school and neighborhood had the best costume; smelling the plastic of those store-bought costumes and masks; having a school Halloween party; going to your friends’, neighbors and grandparents’ homes getting loot; and let’s not forget–all those wonderful Halloween TV specials. But during the mid ’80s, something changed all that. In fact, it quite ruined it, and unfortunately it was the Christians who did it.
At about that time, the idea sprang about that Halloween was “Satan’s Holiday,” that it was the day that Satanists would do whatever evil they would do, and that by celebrating it, we would be in essence contributing to celebrating Satan, too. As time went on, more was said about Satan’s holiday–that is, the roots of Halloween being a pagan holiday, and if we were to celebrate Halloween, we therefore are somehow acting in worship to Satan the same way the pagans had done so eons ago.
I find that a rather poor excuse to not celebrate Halloween for two reasons:
The first is that in spite of the factuality that Halloween was a pagan holiday, it is still only a pagan holiday if you are pagan and intentionally make it so. In other words, Halloween is what you make it. To the best of my knowledge, I do not know anyone that celebrates Halloween who actually worships the pagan gods and goes about trick or treating for the sake of appeasing the spirits of the deceased or whatever. What I find are people who enjoy a great American tradition–silly as it may be–which, admittedly has carried over ideas from religions past, but has evolved into an innocent American tradition that ranks right along with Mom, apple pie and baseball.
Halloween is Satan’s holiday only if you give it to him. Otherwise, it is simply a bunch of kids dressing up as a superhero or pretty princess going from door to door getting treats.
The second reason why I find it a poor excuse is because no one ever says we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas and Easter even though it also has pagan roots and has carried over pagan traditions the same as Halloween. We still have the Christmas tree, which was pagan, celebrated at the same time of year as the pagans had; and we have Easter with eggs, the Easter bunny, and the celebration being the same time of year as the pagans had. In fact, the name Easter derives from Ishtar, a pagan goddess that can be traced to the Old Testament (although some Christian traditions now call it Resurrection Sunday to replace the name of Easter). But you say Christmas and Easter have been redeemed and Halloween has not.
Halloween is a Catholic name, which was derived from All Hallow’s Eve, or All Hallow’s Even, and was Christianized from a pagan holiday to a Catholic holiday the same as Christmas and Easter. However, in spite of their Christianization, all three holidays have pretty much been secularized in our society today.
Like I said–all three holidays–it’s really what you make of it. Whether Christmas, Easter of Halloween, it’s how and why we celebrate them as the real key, not necessarily the roots of ages (and peoples) past. Children have no intentions of paying homage to some god they’ve never heard of, nor do any adults (unless you actually are a pagan). If it’s Satan’s holiday, it’s only because we have intentionally made it so. Ironically, it is The Church today that has forfeited a family-friendly event and has instead turned it over to Satan for his own holiday.
A small disclaimer: For Halloween and other areas of life, I do believe spooky images and the like should be minimized. I also find that horror, as well as the overall celebration of Halloween should be done via personal discretion (The Holy Spirit), and your decisions should not be imposed onto or from anyone else. I don’t expect a rousing cheer of approval from everyone who reads this–you are free to totally disagree with me.