For all who enjoy dressing in costumes and eating candy, and who think Halloween is a jolly good time: good for you! Have fun! God knows we all need more fun. Halloween’s not my favorite, but by the same token there’s a lot of things I like that would make others cringe (Lent, for example). Far be it from me to dampen anyone’s harmless pleasure.
The usual, tired “Christian” (note the quotation marks) criticism of Halloween is that it is a pagan holiday. That was not the point of my Halloween rant; my point was: if it’s to have meaning beyond simple fun (and it’s okay if it doesn’t), would that it WERE a pagan holiday; would that it DID, somehow, express our connection to the forces of life and death; as a reader writes, would that it WERE a night:
[of] remembrance of the dead –those who have gone before us, out of this earthly life…; [and a time to recall] the importance death plays in life here on Earth.
The balance that religion can provide our culture is not the balance that comes from My Religion’s Right And Yours Is Wrong: Follow My Way Or Else, but rather the balance that comes from a spiritually grounded insistence upon certain truths about human nature and the span of our time alive. For a culture perilously disconnected from mud, life, and death, pagans and Christians share a common interest in reminding us that we are not exempt from re-joining the Earth.