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Why do Religious People Freakout on Halloween?
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21 / M / Michigan, USA
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Posted 10/12/13
It really is not that big of a deal anymore. i am Lutheran and it was basically something the older generations had a prob with. newer generations don't give a crap.

The reason the older generations didn't like it was because it was seen as celebrating pagan beliefs/rituals.
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52 / M / In
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Posted 10/12/13
But but but but Candy!!!!!
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18 / F / Arlington, VA
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Posted 10/12/13
I have a big family and we are all christian! We just view it as a time to dress up and get free candy. Since I'm older now I just stay inside playing video games and buy 3 bags of candy for myself >:D
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35 / F / Maryland, USA
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Posted 10/12/13
All of my siblings and I grew up in Methodist (it's Protestant Christian) churches. I live in a predominately rural area with a great deal of Christians, most of whom are Methodist (the older ones tend to be pretty conservative about it. The no cards on Sunday, dancing is for sinners type). And, like you said, some do "freak out". Most of the people like that I knew were Christians around the same age (born in the 50's). They all had this attitude that not so much that Halloween itself was evil, but that it would lead you to evil. Some wouldn't allow their kids to participate because its roots were pagan (this caused a few rifts between my parents and the parents of some of my friends). My father (born in the 30s) feels these people are nuts (told a few, too. Yeah, lost a few friends, but I made out okay). To him, it's his favourite holiday, and he still dresses up, decorates the house, and passes out candy. Even thought for the last 23 years, he's been the only house on his block to do so.
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23 / M
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Posted 10/12/13
In order for you to open the gates of hell you'd need the support of other like-minded individuals, a minimum of one evil genius(a collection would be better) and some pretty serious resources to draw on.

In order for you to have fun on Halloween you might want a costume, some other people, and other stuff.

The mythology doesn't particularly matter, but
you should probably read the wikipedia articles on hell, purgatory, Halloween, all saint's day, and all soul's day.
People have various beliefs when it comes to religion.
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26 / M / Maryland
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Posted 10/12/13
I come from a religious family, and we go all out for Halloween. All the churches around me have pumpkin sales or parade type events, so I feel almost everyone is cool with Halloween. People are called fanatics for a reason.
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33 / F
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Posted 10/12/13
October 31rst was historically known as Samhain (pronounced sow-when) or in some places All Hallows Eve . It was a day when the veil between the living and the dead was thin and the dead were able to come in contact with the living. It was a time to remember those who had passed on in pagan cultures and also the last harvest festival before winter. It is most likely these old pagan connections that cause some people from Judeo-Christian backgrounds to have a dislike for the holiday which is not recognized by most churches.
Halloween as we know it now really didn't start until around the turn of the 20th century when it became fashionable in Victorian society to have masquerade balls and hold spiritualist gatherings on All Hallows Eve. Trick or Treating a mainstay of modern Halloween festivities didn't become widespread until around the 1950's when the suburbs became more common.
Ok history lesson over,
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34 / M
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Posted 10/12/13
I remember when my parents turned and we stopped doing Halloween, it sucked. They even threw away our VHS of The Nightmare Before Christmas :(

I don't see what the big deal is but I prefer doing Dia de los Muertos instead. I'd go visit my uncle if I could and leave him a shot of tequila. RIP Uncle Abel.
Posted 10/12/13 , edited 10/12/13
I went to a Christian high school and church that fervently discouraged celebrating Halloween for similar reasons lol.

Take a look at 1 Corinthians 8 - it's actually dealing with a remarkably similar issue

Some conservative denominations take issue with Halloween because of it's connection to pagan practices and it's supposed glorification of demonic influences. But modern Halloween isn't really about any of that. As you said - it's just about cosplay and candy lol. So long as you're not activily glorifying demonic influences and are just having a good time with cosplay and candy, then there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. To other people, the issue is more serious and weighs more heavily on their conscience. Basically, it's perfectly fine so long as you're not celebrating the paganism (which you clearly aren't) and so long as you don't burden their consciences. Similarly, don't let them burden your conscience either.
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28 / F / Jasmine Dragon
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Posted 10/12/13

shanni83 wrote:

October 31rst was historically known as Samhain (pronounced sow-when) or in some places All Hallows Eve . It was a day when the veil between the living and the dead was thin and the dead were able to come in contact with the living. It was a time to remember those who had passed on in pagan cultures and also the last harvest festival before winter. It is most likely these old pagan connections that cause some people from Judeo-Christian backgrounds to have a dislike for the holiday which is not recognized by most churches.
Halloween as we know it now really didn't start until around the turn of the 20th century when it became fashionable in Victorian society to have masquerade balls and hold spiritualist gatherings on All Hallows Eve. Trick or Treating a mainstay of modern Halloween festivities didn't become widespread until around the 1950's when the suburbs became more common.
Ok history lesson over,


Good job with the history lesson!
Samhain was (and in modern pagan religious communities, still is!) a holiday of remembrance and the final harvest festival of the year. There was more to Samhain in some pagan traditions, and these are relevant to the discussion.
In some of the pagan traditions, particularly Celtic ones, the thinning of the veil did not just bring the dead, but also evil spirits. This resulted in a few intriguing practices, some of which were brought forward into the modern US Halloween traditions. I do not, however, know the full history of how they got put into our modern traditions, and how they evolved from ancient ritual into modern fun.
1) Children were put into costumes depicting similar evil spirits in the hopes of ensuring that the evil spirits would believe that the children were of their kind and thus would leave them alone. (This is a clear precursor to modern Trick or Treating)
2) Bells were rung, or other loud noises made by some of the younger adults to drive the evil spirits away from the village/community. (This does not appear to have come forward) They also might carry around candles in gourds carved to look like frightening spirits, to drive out evil spirits. (This has come forward as the modern jack-o-lantern)
3) Sacrificial food was placed at a distance from the village/community, to divert the evil spirits away from the people. (I'm not sure if this got weirdly warped into part of the modern Trick or Treating or if it's been left behind entirely)
4) On the morning after, families would go through their livestock to determine which they thought would make it through the winter. The others would be slaughtered for their meat. In some communities, this was often paired with eating no meat the night before. Likewise, leftovers from the families' dinners were thrown out in the morning, because any such food might have been touched by evil. (This has no bearing on modern Trick or Treating or other Halloween activities outside of Wiccan/pagan/neopagan ritual)

OP: The short answer is that, even if you believed in any of the religions from which Halloween originated, "evil" and non-evil departed spirits would come regardless of what you do. Dressing up is in response to the change, rather than a cause. Modern celebrations really aren't that close to the old ones, however, and are just to have fun, dress up, and eat candy. Have fun! =^.^=
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34 / M
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Posted 10/12/13

seekerperson7 wrote:

I went to a Christian high school and church that fervently discouraged celebrating Halloween for similar reasons lol.

Take a look at 1 Corinthians 8 - it's actually dealing with a remarkably similar issue

Some conservative denominations take issue with Halloween because of it's connection to pagan practices and it's supposed glorification of demonic influences. But modern Halloween isn't really about any of that. As you said - it's just about cosplay and candy lol. So long as you're not activily glorifying demonic influences and are just having a good time with cosplay and candy, then there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. To other people, the issue is more serious and weighs more heavily on their conscience. Basically, it's perfectly fine so long as you're not celebrating the paganism (which you clearly aren't) and so long as you don't burden their consciences. Similarly, don't let them burden your conscience either.


I haven't been in the christian circles for years but do they feel the same about Christmas and Easter?
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44 / M / WA
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Posted 10/12/13
Seems like this thread is doing more "freaking out" than "religious" people; I lost interest in Halloween when I was thirteen? and never looked back since. If you like it, have fun!
Posted 10/12/13 , edited 10/12/13


Actually, some do to some extent. They don't take issue with Christmas and Easter as holidays, but rather they take issue with Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny and discourage parents from making those a big part of the holiday. Again, this is with some of the more conservative protestant denominations, and oftentimes these sentiments were quite unpopular (even among different members of church staff and school administration).

Most looked at Christmas and Easter a little differently, though, because even though they had pagan origins, they were essentially "won over for Christ" in their minds, which was far better to them than something like Halloween which they pretty much viewed as "straight paganism".
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34 / M
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Posted 10/12/13
^ Man I just do not understand their logic (I do but it baffles me). Thanks for answering!
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18 / F / Canada
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Posted 10/12/13
most "religous" people freak or plainly dont celebrate it because theres a lot of evil associated with halloween (like ghosts, demons, witches etc) and we dont really want to get involved in that sorta stuff? but most of the time, we still dress up and get candy and stuff, and do the whole halloween thing!
im christian and i think thats what most of us do.
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