This post is by Jesse Galef
Thanksgiving and Independence Day are real secular holidays; everyone can participate. I celebrate Christmas as the celebration of the spirit of giving and I celebrate Chanukah as an excuse to eat my Dad’s latkes, but I can understand why other atheists don’t want to celebrate days so closely associated with religious themes.
Halloween is an interesting case though – it seems to be the other way around. Many religious people seem to take issue with this holiday, while I don’t hear complaints from atheists. Americans United for Separation of Church and State put out a press release calling attention to a particular article at Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network:
Put aside your fears of swine flu. TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Web site has just issued a bulletin warning Americans of the real threat we face this season: Demons may be lurking in our Halloween candy.
In a column on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s Web site, writer Kimberly Daniels asserts that “demons” sneak into bags of Halloween candy at grocery stores.
“[M]ost of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches,” Daniels wrote. “I do not buy candy during the Halloween season. Curses are sent through the tricks and treats of the innocent whether they get it by going door to door or by purchasing it from the local grocery store. The demons cannot tell the difference.”
The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, urged Robertson and Daniels to lighten up.
“I’ve heard of the devil being in the details, but to think he’s lurking inside a Snickers bar is a little too much,” Lynn quipped. “Pat Robertson has always peddled some scary stuff, but this is over the top.”
You notice there’s a link in their press release. If you click on it, you’ll notice that the page no longer exists. I did a cursory search, but couldn’t find an explanation. However, I did find Google’s cached version of the page and saved it so that I could show you more juicy bits. You’re welcome.
You may ask, “Doesn’t God have more power than the devil?” Yes, but He has given that power to us. If we do not walk in it, we will become the devil’s prey. Witchcraft works through dirty hearts and wrong spirits.
During this period demons are assigned against those who participate in the rituals and festivities. These demons are automatically drawn to the fetishes that open doors for them to come into the lives of human beings. For example, most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches.
While the lukewarm and ignorant think of these customs as “just harmless fun,” the vortexes of hell are releasing new assignments against souls. Witches take pride in laughing at the ignorance of natural men (those who ignore the spirit realm).
If you’re interested in hearing more, Barry Lynn is reportedly going to be on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” tonight on MSNBC to talk about this issue.
On a serious note, Halloween can be harmless fun – I’ve certainly enjoyed it as such. As a child, it was an excuse to be a knight or ring wraith and get candy. As I got older, it was an excuse to drink with my friends. But it can be more. Christmas can make us reflect on the capacity for generosity – and greed – in human nature. Halloween can make us reflect on other aspects of human nature: our penchant for mischief, our fear in the face of the unknown, and our fascination with the forbidden. And yes, our love of candy.