Amity-ville Horror: Is Halloween A Cry For Help?

Every year, Halloween gets scarier and scarier. I am not talking about the costumes but religious writers and activists who denounce the holiday as a pagan attack on God and faith. The creepies started early this year. Bloomberg columnist Amity Shlaes has written to denounce “the pull of the pagan” and ask people to think about how Halloween fills the vacuum left from the absence of faith.

First, I am a notorious Halloween fanatic. I have a blow up witch pumpkin on the roof and a blow up cat (with moving head and glowing eyes) coming out of the bushes. Skeletons hang from the trees, a cemetery graces the lawn, Frankenstein is reaching out from a bush near the door, webs cover the greenery, and floating ghosts hang above the door (and well as other finishing touches). If Halloween fills a void of faith, I am the black hole of faithless angst.

The premise of this column is that this is all something of a cry for help to fill such a void.

Halloween isn’t secular. It is pagan. There’s nothing else to call a set of ceremonies in which people utter magical phrases, flirt with the night and evoke the dead. . . .

There’s a reason for the pull of the pagan. In the U.S., we’ve been vigorously scrubbing our schools and other public spaces of traces of monotheistic religion for many decades now. Such scrubbing leaves a vacuum. The great self-deception of modern life is that nothing will be pulled into that vacuum.

While the well-written column cites sources like psychologist Carl Jung for the “modern myth,” there is another possibility: it is fun and you get to eat huge amounts of candy. There is that possibility that these children are not performing an annual ritual of the struggle mortality and the modern myth.

It is now a secular holiday regardless of any pagan origins. The column says:

Fans of the orange holiday may want to pause for a moment to look at the empty spaces between its rituals, as with the pumpkin’s smile. Some of us forego it to dedicate ourselves to one faith or another. But you don’t have to reject Halloween to ask what it may be replacing.

True, but what if I ask and find that it is replacing a year of dieting and boredom? Humans love to fantasize and this holiday allows kids to transform themselves into something unrecognizable. It allows them to scare or humor others. Such role playing is a healthy form of expression. It is not due to the angst of faithlessness and fears of mortality but the joy of invention and imagination.

Now, does anyone knew where I can get a ten foot spider with glowing eyes?

Source: Bloomberg

59 thoughts on “Amity-ville Horror: Is Halloween A Cry For Help?”

  1. The War on Christmas

    Mr Collier,

    After acknowledging you aren’t allowed to use the word “Christmas”, you have repeatedly done so. I’m going to have to ask you to step into the re-education pod, really it’s for your own good.

  2. Really Annoying,

    “Those who can do, those who can’t teach and those who cannot do either write.”

    Correction: Those who can do, those who can’t teach–and those who cannot do either work for FOX TV.

  3. Amity Shlaes

    AKA Amity Ruth Shlaes

    Born: 1960

    Gender: Female
    Religion: Jewish
    Race or Ethnicity: White
    Sexual orientation: Straight
    Occupation: Columnist

    Nationality: United States

    Father: Jared B. Shlaes
    Mother: Nancy S. DeGrazia
    Husband: Seth Lipsky (m. 1988)

    Those who can do, those who can’t teach and those who cannot do either write.

    Her Mom may not be Jewish is it possible that she converted?

  4. @ Roger Lambert:

    “Here we have a rich, white, tax-hating conservative Christian fascist complaining about how her privileged worldview must be shoved down the throat of everybody else, lest Lord Jesus escape our consciousness for a single evening.”

    I’ve seen some really leftwing, secular humanist, atheist BS comments before but you’re really out there.

    Talking about something being shoved down our throat, it’s secular humanism. You can’t even say Merry Christmas without some idiot somewhere getting offended. So your kind misuse the legal system and pass laws that are upside down, distorting our freedoms so you won’t be offended.

  5. I think some may be playing a game of payback. Every year, Christmas gets attacked by secular nutjobs, atheist nutjobs, etc… It has gotten so ridiculous that you can’t have Christmas trees, you can’t call it Christmas, and good grief, don’t say “Merry Christmas” because you might offend some dolt somewhere. Christmas is a legal federal holiday and yet schools are even afraid to put CHRISTMAS on their calendar or have anything to do with Christmas. It’s a shame.

    Probably what is happening is from cause and effect. The more pressure from leftwing nutjobs and atheist BS, there will be more pressure on Halloween. They have painted themselves into a corner, not knowing that their stupid harassment of Christmas celebration is having an effect on Halloween.

  6. Actually, Christmas and Easter are no more Christian than Holloween.
    Christmas is actually a day chosen by the first “Christian”Emperor of Rome to ease the transition from from paganism to Christianity. It was the Roman Holiday called Saturnalia. Change the name,leave some of the old pagan customs and Voila’ Christian Holiday.
    “And the Saturnalia did continue to be celebrated as Brumalia (from bruma, “the shortest day,” winter solstice) down to the Christian era, when, by the middle of the fourth century AD, its festivities had become absorbed in the celebration of Christmas.” Wikopedia-

    “The celebrations included a school holiday, the making and giving of small presents (saturnalia et sigillaricia),and a special market (sigillaria). Gambling was allowed for all, even slaves.” Wikopedia-

    Easter is celebrated for the same reason and is consistent with ancient Fertility and Spring Rites. Though a direct connection is harder to makehe customs are similar enough to make the connection hard to deny. Painted eggs,rabbits,rebirth after death are all aspects of both the Easter and Pagan festivals as well as the timing being approximately the same. When you consider the common practice of ancient religions meshing the new gods with the old to make a new god more pallatable and the same practice being carried through to the early church (as with Christmas)
    it isn’t hard to see the truth of the matter.

    So if you celebrate Christmas and Easter and all of the Pagan customs associated with them, why not Holloween


  7. SM:

    “Amity Slaes is not a fundamentalist christian. She is a conservative jewish intellectual.”

    My bad, then. I apologize. Please amend my statement to:

    Here we have a rich, white, tax-hating conservative Jewish fascist complaining about how her privileged worldview must be shoved down the throat of everybody else, lest her definition of approved religiosity escape our consciousness for a single evening.

    Thanks for the correction. 🙂

  8. Her writings are economically and politically conservative. Don’t know about faith.

  9. How do you know that Amity Shales (sic Slaes) is a conservative jewish intellectual?

    I will grant you that most good Jews are intellectual, but not all Jews are conservative.

    Will you please define, if you are speaking about conservative as a branch of the faith or conservative as in not a tax and spend liberal?

  10. It’s funny how everybody projects onto Halloween some real meaning from their psyches. My mother wouldn’t let us dress up and go trick-or-treating because she said: “My kids don’t go around begging for candy; my kids have homes and parents and if they’re hungry they can stay home and ask their PARENTS for food!” Total weird take! Not religious, not anything else, just weird. I loved it becaudse I’m a garbage artists so I loved to make costumes, but that was the only reason I loved it. My kid loved it becausde he enjoys funny stuff, candy and celebrations in general. I’ve met people whom I quite like and respect who insist that Halloween should be forbidden because child-abusing satanists conduct organized abusde rituals on that day, victimizing children, and I think that some people imagining themselves to be Satan-worshippers must surely do that on October 31 of each year on the calendar, as they do on other days when they feel that such conduct is called for; surely if there are people who do such things on other days for other reasons (which undeniably there are), there are those who do it on that day for that “reason.” But that doesn’t really mean much about the day; it means much abut the particular “celebrants.” In other words, it’s not in our stars, but in us.

  11. “I have a blow up witch”

    Hey! Me too!

    Anyway, google Krugman Schlaes for more on this dimwit.

  12. True Story — Outside a KISS concert on Halloween, local church members DRESSED LIKE CLOWNS were handing out tracts. Guess it was their twofer — a blow against Halloween and that demonic Rock music.

    Guess they didn’t know that some folks are afraid of clowns and the rest just hate them.

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