I introduced myself as a Christian to the man at the gate to the pumpkin display last week.
“Happy Halloween – if I can say that to you, I mean,” he said as we left.
That troubled me more than I let on at the time. The culture of being incredibly ‘politically correct’ is and always will be a pet peeve of mine, of course. For the most part, though, I am not the one being coddled by conversations that are more akin to walking on eggshells than actual communication. Having someone apologetically wish me a good holiday struck a nerve.
Why would you not be able to say Happy Halloween? Because I’m Christian? Is there a religion out there that is honestly offended at people wishing them a good day, even a specific holiday? I’m certain there is. Does Christianity have a reputation for this kind of thin skin? And of Halloween of all holidays – it’s based on a Christian Holy Day, which is, in turn, based loosely on a pagan holiday which is itself based simply on the solstice. Each borrowed day is barely related to the previous, until many people are a little surprised when they’re reminded of the history.
But offended? What is it about Halloween that would be counter to the Christian faith?
Is it the ghouls and undead, or the demon costumes? Could it be the masks in general? What about the nurses showing too much skin? Even nuns’ habits are suddenly skimpy. The che ap candy is offensive I suppose, but very few Christians can be accused of eating too healthy.
If there is anything about Halloween actually counter to what we learn from the Bible, it applies just as much to anything we do during the current Christmas holiday, and no one apologizes to a Christian for saying “Merry Christmas”.
Admittedly, there are quite a few Christians who proudly announce that they “don’t do Halloween”. They are the hipsters of holidays. “I did Halloween back when it was All Hallow’s Day.” It’s fine to dislike a portion of the custom, or not participate in the culture, or even take the opportunity to remind people of the history of the day (and day after). But that history lesson should include what the pagans did to celebrate the solstice too, for full disclosure. These are usually the same people that think nothing of threatening pinches for anyone not wearing green on St Patrick’s day.
So tonight, enjoy Halloween. Tomorrow, meditate and pray a little for All Hallow’s Day. And between sunset tonight and sunset tomorrow (Oct31-Nov01), enjoy a bonfire and some dancing and nature’s healing at the gaelic Samhain (“sa-win”) which some consider the ending of the year. Enjoy life. Honor those that have passed before us.
And drop the politically correctness for wishing someone a happy day, even if it’s just Thursday to you.