Seriously? I asked myself as I read yet another Christian blogger who was trying to make a long argument that Halloween was a pagan celebration of all things evil and a form of satanic worship. It seems that every year the same old lines get trotted out for the same old song and dance. It seems that some Christians have done nothing but fear-mongering on the one night of year that’s all about being scarier than anything that’s worth being afraid of.
But I’m also thinking of one of my favorite movies – the Labyrinth. Sarah’s triumph is in realizing that the Goblin King has no power over her. I think too many Christians dress up Satan as the Goblin King – some enigmatic all-powerful evil force that’s out to snatch kids and raise them up in all things evil. Their plan to be the hero of the story is not to navigate the maze, but to flee as far from it as they can get. They know that God has and is defeating him – but on this one night of the year he’s more powerful than God because all the children are participating in some bizarre costumed candy-collection ritual that mysteriously fuels Satan with more than enough power to set his throne above the Most High – until midnight and God’s full power is restored. So long as people imagine that Satan has power over them, he becomes this scapegoat for any and every reason that something happens.
Some of the craziest feats of illogical ramblings usually accompany the litany of reasons why Halloween is evil. But the truth is that Halloween is fun. The kid in all of us gets to play dress up, team up with their friends and visit their neighbors, say the magic words and get free stuff. Some of the parties that go on are quite epic, even the simple ones are just as fun as the elaborate ones. In a year of being boring and serious, Halloween celebrates being fun and silly.
If there was something vaguely Satanist about it, one would expect Churches of Satan to arise of out of each neighborhood with a fresh batch of converts each Halloween. For kids to talk about the theology of Satan, to sing songs about Satan’s power, and preach the message of Satan out in public every day of the year. But that has never really been the case as long as Halloween has been celebrated. This imagined threat is nothing but smoke and mirrors; but because of it, too many parents forbid their children from having any fun at all and sentence them to various alternatives just to keep their kids out of Satan’s hands.
Halloween is quickly becoming one of my favorite holidays. I’ve watched children chatter on excitedly about their costumes, their eyes light up as they get to decide which treats ought to be given out, it’s a night of the year where kids who don’t have much don’t have to spend a lot to have some fun and they get some extra meals that the might not have otherwise. Even the parents are in on it, their inner kids aren’t much different than the little ones.
If everything truly comes from God, then Halloween must be God’s gift to us to remind us to have fun.