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Halloween


bird28
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I was thinking about this. My grandma raised me, and as a kid, she would waver on the issue depending on how harshly the church she went to thought about the issue. Sometimes she would let me get candy and dress up, while other years she made me go to church harvest festivals or nowhere at all. Nowadays, she seems to be getting more liberal and doesn't care anymore, but I have no transportation and I can't participate in any parties anyway cause she sees drinking as a sin.

 

She's been weird like this about other issues too, like a video game that the church said was evil and she yelled at me for playing it when I was in college and she found out... stuff like that really irked me about her.

 

When I was in college, I used to be part of CCC. They would have a costume party, but it was controversial and some members protested. I found that interesting.

 

How was Halloween treated in your house when you grew up?

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Not for religious reasons, but as a Type I diabetic since age 2, Halloween was never my favorite.

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As as Catholic raised in the North East US, we certainly celebrated Halloween. My mother really got into making our costumes and my October birthday party usually had a Halloween theme with spooky decorations. She even made gruesome guess-the-body-part games: grapes for eye balls, slimy spaghetti for brains, etc. We never went to any church festivals or the like.

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I was thinking about this. My grandma raised me, and as a kid, she would waver on the issue depending on how harshly the church she went to thought about the issue. Sometimes she would let me get candy and dress up, while other years she made me go to church harvest festivals or nowhere at all. Nowadays, she seems to be getting more liberal and doesn't care anymore, but I have no transportation and I can't participate in any parties anyway cause she sees drinking as a sin.

 

She's been weird like this about other issues too, like a video game that the church said was evil and she yelled at me for playing it when I was in college and she found out... stuff like that really irked me about her.

 

When I was in college, I used to be part of CCC. They would have a costume party, but it was controversial and some members protested. I found that interesting.

 

How was Halloween treated in your house when you grew up?

 

I always went ToTing as a kid, so did my brother. Then again, we weren't raised religious so I guess I'm just supplying statistical white noise. Sorry 'bout that.

 

I am curious, though: what game was it? Xenogears? FF Tactics? Shin Megami Tensei?

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I'm horribly immature for this but it was Pokemon.

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The big thing amonst local churches is a "Holy Ghost Hayride." How lame can they possibly get?

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My parents blocked MTV, but never had a problem with Halloween. Sex is evil, not candy.

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The big thing amonst local churches is a "Holy Ghost Hayride." How lame can they possibly get?

 

I think I vaguely remember going on one of those. Thanks for the memories, Par.

 

In the 60s the churches seemed not to feel so threatened as they do today. Halloween was fun. My fundy folks had no problems dressing us up in costumes - even devil costumes, and letting us run all over the neighborhood unsupervised. Needless to say, times have changed.

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I'm horribly immature for this but it was Pokemon.

 

Nah, not as much as you might think. Pokemon's one of those games that, beneath the heavy kid-appeal, has some really solid gameplay. But yeah, I remember the (really bizarre) religious craze surrounding it, with it being regarded as satanic and corrupting our youth. I mean...what the fucking fuck?

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Guest ephymeris

My parents let us do all the traditional halloween stuff of dressing up and trick or treating. I was a carebear from the ages of 4 to 7 at my own request >_< I think I had a hard time letting it go!

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I was born in 1960 and grew up in Orange County CA. I could hit a house a minute and came home with a pillow case of candy every Halloween. This was before miniature candy bars, so everything was big! I made myself sick. When I got older my brother, friends and I would create a haunted front porch and had a great time too.

 

My twin brother now lives in Texas and no one comes around in their neighborhood, it all too EVIL and SATANTIC you know. Ugh. I live in New Hampshire now and Halloween is still going strong here. Our town is celebrating Halloween as I write this on October 30th. Don’t ask, I don’t know why they do that either. We have a set time for Trick-or-Treating from 5pm to 8pm and so far we have had 150 kids. I am enjoying it. It is my turn to give back.

:woohoo:

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We were allowed to do "minimal" halloween. No scary cosumes, no witches, and more often than not we went to some church thing. I do remember trick or treating a few times as a kid - but not regularly.

 

So it wasn't forbidden, but it wasn't overly encouraged either.

 

Like Shallow however, MTV was a HUMONGOUS no-no! No rock music of any kind. Religion is so ridiculous.

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Coming out of a Evangelical/Full Gospel church family, no Halloween.

 

No dressing up, no parties, no school. Yes, my parents refused to let me go to school on Halloween until I was old enough to decide to go myself.

 

My grandmother would get so mad, and buy me bags of candy. Which rocked. No trick or treating, and I still got a crap load of candy.

 

My church had what they called a Hallelujah party, like many churches, just a different name. I actually really enjoyed them. They had activities (egg toss, bannana relay, etc), Holy Hay Rides as someone else called them, and tons of contests, treats, and food around a bonfire. Honestly, I would still prefer it to a costume party with booze. I like my booze, don't get me wrong, but there usually isn't much other activities, right? They didn't preach, no songs, no worship, no sermons, just good, family friendly fun.

 

They haven't done it in years, the family who used to house it I guess can't anymore.

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I don't think the strong anti-Halloween stance was big in the USA until the 90s, was it? I was raised in a conservative evangelical environment in the 70s and early 80s, and I was allowed to do the trick-or-treat thing. I don't recall ever hearing anything strongly opposing it until the 90s.

 

After I was exposed to the anti-Halloween arguments in the 90s, I wondered for a while whether or not christians should participate. I came to the conclusion that, even though "evil things" supposedly went on in conjunction with Halloween, what the kids were doing by dressing up and getting candy was harmless. I thought that it was probably wise for christians to not let their children dress up as witches (though not necessarily "sin"), but dressing up like Batman or a kitten or whatever was perfectly fine.

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For many years I worked in a Baptist Hospital that really took the religious thing seriously. I may have some stories to post regarding the Christian Family Practice Residency program there.

 

Anyway, the decorations put up around Halloween were all of the secular type that have no religious implications. Nothing relating to Ghosts, Witches, demons, etc. There were some pumpkins, spiders, and bats - stuff like that.

 

It would appear that they didn't wish to either alter the holiday or dismiss it, but they sure didn't like the use of even comical images relating to spirits or witches.

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I wasn't raised Christian, so that was a non-issue. I got slaved at age 15.

 

My church somewhat but didn't fully discourage Halloween, and they always had this big "Harvest Festival" on Halloween night with games for kids and demonstrations by extreme BMX bikers that happened to be Christians (California thing, I guess). I'm sure many families let their kids dress up and go trick-or-treating, though they didn't advertise. That said, the local Vineyard was closely associated with my church, and they were a little more bat-shit about it... all this shit about occultic activity and as a result demonic activity being at its annual high point.

 

During the height of my demon paranoia I would lock myself in the house during Halloween and refuse to go out. Later on I gave less and less of a shit, and thought the whole controversy was silly, although any kids of mine would have been discouraged from dressing up like devils or witches because I thought that shit was very real. In hindsight, I feel like a dupe. Halloween was my favorite holiday as a kid, and to this day still is, because there's much less opportunity for hijinks and debauchery for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's too damn bad we don't get four days off for Halloween like we do for Thanksgiving.

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Ran the gamut of dressing up and enjoying the holiday, to becoming a fearful fundy that was just sure the devil worshipers were doing sacrifices and cursing believers on this HELLiday, and spent the night fasting and praying against them. Now that I know what witches really believe and what Halloween means to them, I look back in amazement at my ignorance and gullibility.

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My parents never had any problems with us celebrating Halloween. My parents' church even does a trunk or treat and the members have no problems dressing up like witches or devils. I remember once as a kid I dressed up like the devil with a little pitchfork and everything. Christmas was a different bizarre case with my parents. I was a member of the COC and while they were ok with Halloween, celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday was a sin for some weird reason. They had no problem with the secular side of Christmas and they even had one of the members dress up as Santa Claus for the Inner City Christmas party every year and still continue it now but any celebration of Christmas as Jesus' birthday was a huge no-no. You had to absolutely understand Christmas had nothing to do with Jesus' birth. No nativity scenes were allowed, we couldn't have an angel on top of the tree (although having an angel on the limbs was ok for some reason), and trees and Christmas pageants at church were considered blasphemy. One year the youth group had a Christmas party at church but they weren't allowed to have a tree because that was a sin for some reason. Only this past year I noticed they finally started putting up Christmas reefs on the doors outside but any other decorations are still a no-no.

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I don't think the strong anti-Halloween stance was big in the USA until the 90s, was it?

 

I wonder? You're probably right. I asked my husband his Halloween practices having been raised Catholic. Apparently they did the full-fledged Halloween thing, scary evil imagery and all! In Catholic school!

 

All I could say was, wow. I wonder if that's the same for all Catholic schools? I don't remember Christian school, because I wasn't allowed to go to school. So sadly, I can't compare the two from experience.

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Now that I know what witches really believe and what Halloween means to them, I look back in amazement at my ignorance and gullibility.

 

I haven't even bothered looking into what "witches" really believe, I just know that it has to be different from christians' preconceptions. Hell, "satanists" are mostly just atheists making a mockery of religion, so for all I know "witches" are comparable.

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I had a pagan roommate not long ago and she let me borrow "Paganism for Dummies" very enlightening, all it is is a group of nature religions. She was a decent person.

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Being raised Roman Catholic, I got to celebrate it, but afterwards when I converted to fundism, I stopped.

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My family never had any problem with us celebrating Halloween, even after my mom found Jeebus. When I was a kid we totally got into it. We had a tradition until I was about 12 or 13 of getting together with a pair of siblings that we'd grown up next door to. We'd decorate the house and have a blast and get sick on candy. When I got older I had some very successful Halloween parties. Later, as a pagan, I celebrated a few Samhains with my pagan friends.

 

I didn't get any guilt trips or disapproval about celebrating Halloween except when I worked for the daycare of the Pentecostal church I attended back in the day. Some of the women working with me there were tightassed judgmental biznatches who made little effort to conceal their disapproval of pretty much anything fun or secular. The church itself wasn't so crappy about it, but they opposed Halloween and instead held a harvest-themed costume party in the church gym every year.

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My parents loved Halloween and helping us with our costumes. We usually couldn't spend a lot of money on ours because we had tough financial times growing up, but we always had some of the best because we could make them look so real and believable instead of some bland, plastic, manufactured crap like Dracula and Zombie costumes. I used to gross people out with the fake blood. I never understood why christians got so upset because it's based on pagan roots. They accept Christmas rituals that are based on paganism, and Easter is named right after a germanic goddess.

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Some of the women working with me there were tightassed judgmental biznatches who made little effort to conceal their disapproval of pretty much anything fun or secular.

"Morals are the nagging fear that somebody somewhere may be having a good time."

 

~H. L. Mencken

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