The religious right has long railed against Halloween, condemning its pagan roots and claiming it promotes witchcraft and the occult. This year some groups are embracing the day as a time to reach kids with a pro-life and Christian message, while others use the day to burn “wicked” books and CDs. And one writer for Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network warns parents that witches curse Halloween candy.
“[M]ost of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches,” wrote CBN’s Kimberly Daniels. “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.”
Daniels continued, “Halloween is much more than a holiday filled with fun and tricks or treats. It is a time for the gathering of evil that masquerades behind the fictitious characters of Dracula, werewolves, mummies and witches on brooms. The truth is that these demons that have been presented as scary cartoons actually exist. I have prayed for witches who are addicted to drinking blood and howling at the moon.”
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State took the opportunity to have a little fun at Robertson’s expense.
“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,” said the Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United. “Pat Robertson has always peddled some scary stuff, but this is over the top.”
He added, “I hate to see all of that candy go to waste. I wish Robertson would send it to me, because I’m throwing a Halloween party and could use it.”
A church in North Carolina has found a more proactive approach and is marking Halloween with a book burning. Called “Burning Perversions of God’s Word,” Amazing Grace Baptist Church will be torching books and CDs it deems evil. “We will also be burning Satan’s music such as country, rap, rock, pop, heavy metal, western, soft and easy, southern gospel, contemporary Christian, jazz, soul, oldies but goldies, etc.,” the church website says. “We will also be burning Satan’s popular books written by heretics. We will be serving fried chicken, and all the sides.”
But some groups are embracing Halloween as a way to reach children with the gospel. One anti-abortion group tells its members to make pro-life jack-o-lanterns with images of fetuses.
There are many opportunities to be a voice for the voiceless, and most of those opportunities require us to go to a public place. But, on the eve of All Saints Day, the public comes to us!
So, make a pro-life jack-o-lantern and send your photos to us. Be sure to include your name, age and address in the e-mail, and we’ll post the best ones on our home page!
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It could be as intricate as the design here or as simple as the word “Pro-Life.” Whatever your skill level, be creative and tell the world about the personhood of preborn babies.
For those who aren’t that crafty, the American Life League has pro-life pumpkin stencils.
One small business specializes in Christian pumpkins. For a broader religious right message on jack-o-lanterns, there’s Divine Carvings, a “Christian based watermelon and pumpkin carving kit that gives Christians a way to promote God in the work place, schools and on Halloween without actually saying any thing.”
Other religious right groups celebrate Halloween through educational offerings. Local religious right outfit the Minnesota Family Council is marking the day with a Family Conference dedicated to warning of the downfall of traditional marriage.
“Out of wedlock births, cohabitation, homosexual marriage and declining marriage and birth rates all point to marriage as an institution in crisis” will be the topic of the Halloween conference hosted by MFC at Bethel University.