Sunday, October 30, 2011

The War on Halloween?

We have all heard about the War on Christmas. As December approaches, there is a subset of Christians who will get their undies in a bunch if perfect strangers do not show deference to their worldview. They take the greeting of "Happy Holidays" as if it were an insult. They flood Facebook with Fox News stories about liberals trying to tear down America through Christmas marginalization. They will strictly adhere to Focus on the Family's list of stores to avoid for not being sufficiently pro-nativity. In their view Christmas (and by extension Christians) is being targeted.

However, for the past few weeks, I have observed my school wrestle with what to do about Halloween. We have various religious families who will not celebrate Halloween. Other parents want the costumes and parades they remember having as a kid. Teachers were all over the map with their opinions. Folks wanted class parties, or felt we couldn't spare any academic time, or believed it was unkind to have all of these poor families feel pressured to buy costumes. When I went to my college class, I got to hear from other teachers about how their buildings were handling the question of what to do about Halloween. Every school seemed to have a different spin.

There are a lot of angles to consider. There are considerations that oppose other considerations, yet each has a valid point.

There are no conspiracies.... there are just a lot of voices to acknowledge.

It is the same with Christmas. I know it was just "easier" for Christians when they were the dominate voice on the block; when everyone in the room had to adjust their schedules around the Christians. Now there are all of these other voices in the room. There now has to be give, where before there was only take.

However, rather than becoming a sore spot for our nation, Christmas presents Christians with a real opportunity to live out their faith. Rather than suiting up for this year's battle over Christmas, they can choose to live the words of their scriptures:

Phillipians 2:3 "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves."


Mae said...

Thanks for this post - love it! It's hard for me to belive now, but I used to be right there with those conservative Christians... these days diversity is becoming more beautiful to me all the time.

Jon said...

I like this. Celebrating Halloween was never part of Australian culture but in recent years we've picked it up from you guys along with its attendant controversy.

What's funny about this is that halloween is actually a Christian festival - All Hallows Eve, the day before All Saints Day, in which prayers are said for the dead and especially those whose souls are in purgatory. Some believe and some deny that it's date was set over the date of the pre-Christian festival celebrating the end of summer and the onset of the cold months.

And to make it funnier, Christmas was also apparently set on the date of the Roman festival of Saturnalia, the festival of Saturn, father of the Olympian gods. I know some Christians who refuse to celebrate Christmas for this reason.

Don said...

We are a funny race of humans!

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