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Question: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
Yes - 77 (41%)
No - 78 (41.5%)
Maybe - 13 (6.9%)
Unsure - 13 (6.9%)
Other (Explain) - 7 (3.7%)
Total Voters: 188

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Author Topic: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?  (Read 96303 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #360 on: August 19, 2008, 12:58:24 AM »

At least the History Channel didn't trot out the claim that Samhaim was a Celtic God; the Lord of the Dead - as did one Orthodox source some years ago.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #361 on: August 19, 2008, 12:59:37 AM »

In some circles facts are regarded as rude.
DanM

^Isn't that the truth!!  Grin
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« Reply #362 on: August 19, 2008, 01:09:28 AM »

A quick Google on "Pomona" etc. discloses that DanM's statement is essentially correct-- not that I didn't already basically know it.
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« Reply #363 on: August 19, 2008, 01:40:33 PM »

I don't know what you are getting at with this.

I meant it in that prayer puts God's Will before our own, while witchcraft puts our will before God's. I used it also because I've been told by many practitioners that witchcraft is "a form of prayer". Roll Eyes
I was wondering if that's what Ytter meant:
No, it does not teach that. Rather, it teaches that nothing is satanic by nature: that all things belong to God and are corrupted by the devil and his angels.
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« Reply #364 on: August 19, 2008, 03:32:12 PM »

No, it does not teach that. Rather, it teaches that nothing is satanic by nature: that all things belong to God and are corrupted by the devil and his angels.

So according to you (not the Church) nothing is satanic by nature. But then you say all things are corrupted by the devil. You forget that satanic ritual did not begin as uncorrupt but was instituted as satanic.

So keep making excuses to celebrate Halloween.
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« Reply #365 on: August 19, 2008, 03:40:36 PM »

Speaking as a Copt, I know many Coptic Churches that host Halloween parties at their own churches, encouraging children to dress up as saints, angels, clergy, etc.

I personally don't see the issue with vampires, ghosts, and werewolves.  The intention is acting like something, like....an actor.  I'm sure my Coptic friend knows the low budget Egyptian saint movies that contain protagonists and antagonists, antagonists that include demons, thieves, harlots, murderers, heretics, etc.

Arguing the origins of a practice is irrelevant.  Christmas lights seem to originate from pagan practices.  Doesn't make the use of lights pagan.

Now one could argue that the use of antagonist actors and Christmas lights have been given a symbolic purpose, while the use of Christmas costumes are just vain fun.  I personally wouldn't call "fun" vain.  It would seem just as "vain" as reading a non-religious book, watching the "Dark Knight" or any other non-religious movie, going to the beach, watching the news (nothing can be more vain and "evil" than politics, but it's fun ;-) ), listening to music, playing sports, playing home games like monopoly or backgammon, etc. etc. etc.

Doing things for the sake of "fun" was never thought of as vain, but as long as it brings friends and families together safely and without any wrongs (or if it stimulates the mind in some way), why not "fun" for the sake of "fun?"

Finally, it has come to my attention, if you read the beginning of the thread, many of the things you may have heard from a Coptic priest's sermon on Halloween (or from HG Bishop Sourial) are either false (like the idea that the money used for candy goes out to Wiccans) or partially true and out of context (like the origins of Halloween).

God bless.

You must remember that what brings us together as the only way is Christ. Halloween is a deception.

If we excuse Halloween with its ability to bring us together, I can only imagine what will happen when the Antichrist provides such "goodness" for humanity.
I'm not comparing Halloween to the antichrist, but I am comparing the fact that people are justifying evil because it brings about good.

I realize you are talking about very young children but they will grow up to be young adults. I recall people dressing up as "saints" at a Halloween party when I didn't know any better. Couples were making out, drinking to the point of getting drunk and vomiting. What a nice sight to behold! "Saints" fornicating and drinking into a stupor! How appropriate is it to see "saints" smoking or a girl dressed as a Nun and a guy dressed as a Priest making out?
Obviously not everyone at these parties was dressed up like a "saint" but the same activity (some things I refuse to mention here) occurred.

Halloween is an excuse to disobey God.
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« Reply #366 on: August 19, 2008, 04:27:28 PM »

So according to you (not the Church) nothing is satanic by nature. But then you say all things are corrupted by the devil. You forget that satanic ritual did not begin as uncorrupt but was instituted as satanic.
And according to you (not the Church) ritual is satanic by nature. You forget that ritual began as service to God and is corrupted when used as service to the devil.

Quote
So keep making excuses to celebrate Halloween.
Actually, I don't celebrate it. I just don't judge those who do.
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« Reply #367 on: August 19, 2008, 06:01:08 PM »

IMHO

Any celebration devoid of Christ as the central focus is not worth celebrating... unceasing prayer...

which begs these two dead horse questions which are still relevant and still current.

Huh what gift was given the most, in the scriptures, for someones birthday???

Huh where, in the scriptures, does it say celebrate Christ's Birth or our birth for that matter???

in Service to Christ
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« Reply #368 on: August 19, 2008, 06:18:09 PM »

You must remember that what brings us together as the only way is Christ. Halloween is a deception.

If we excuse Halloween with its ability to bring us together, I can only imagine what will happen when the Antichrist provides such "goodness" for humanity.
I'm not comparing Halloween to the antichrist, but I am comparing the fact that people are justifying evil because it brings about good.

I realize you are talking about very young children but they will grow up to be young adults. I recall people dressing up as "saints" at a Halloween party when I didn't know any better. Couples were making out, drinking to the point of getting drunk and vomiting. What a nice sight to behold! "Saints" fornicating and drinking into a stupor! How appropriate is it to see "saints" smoking or a girl dressed as a Nun and a guy dressed as a Priest making out?
Obviously not everyone at these parties was dressed up like a "saint" but the same activity (some things I refuse to mention here) occurred.

Halloween is an excuse to disobey God.

What you describe sounds like the same things that happen in Christmas, New Years, and St. Patrick's Day (especially St. Patrick's Day).  Doesn't make those holidays evil either.  It's sad that you saw those things especially in what they dressed, but you can't overgeneralize that the same thing happens everywhere else.

I see people dress up like the team of Captain Planet, or Batman, or a clown, or the pop icon Prince (although it was a fat guy who wore it, which made it even funnier), or a Hillbilly, etc.  I see a costume party of people making fun of our present culture.  It's funny, it's safe.  There might be alcohol and there will be some idiots who will get drunk, but there will be the responsible friends who will take these drunk people home when the need comes.  I attended a bachelor party in Egypt (in Egypt, both sides of the family celebrate together; guys and gals don't separate).  There was dancing and drinking.  One of my cousins got drunk and I had to take care of him.  It was an idiotic move, but overall, one sees that idea behind such parties are not evil.  I see this bachelor party no different than the Halloween parties I've attended in the US, no different than the beaches and sports stadiums that may contain some drunk idiots as well.

God bless.
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« Reply #369 on: August 19, 2008, 10:31:50 PM »

So according to you (not the Church) nothing is satanic by nature. But then you say all things are corrupted by the devil. You forget that satanic ritual did not begin as uncorrupt but was instituted as satanic.


The satanic ritual is an "after-the-fact" phenomenon, in that Satanic practictioners originally devised it as a mockery to the Christian ritual. The Christian ritual came first, and is "the original non-Satanic nature". The Satanic ritual is a corruption of that nature.
IMHO

Any celebration devoid of Christ as the central focus is not worth celebrating... unceasing prayer...

which begs these two dead horse questions which are still relevant and still current.

Huh what gift was given the most, in the scriptures, for someones birthday???

Huh where, in the scriptures, does it say celebrate Christ's Birth or our birth for that matter???

The writers of the American Constitution, as far as I know, never said to celebrate the 4th of July, but we do it because it's a joyful event in history. One of the most joyful events in all of human history was the birth of God in the flesh: Jesus Christ. Why must we use scripture as a basis for everything, such as celebrating each other's birthdays? We're made in the image and likeness of God, so I believe that by celebrating birthdays, we're celebrating what God made-- our human family.

  There might be alcohol and there will be some idiots who will get drunk, but there will be the responsible friends who will take these drunk people home when the need comes.  I attended a bachelor party in Egypt (in Egypt, both sides of the family celebrate together; guys and gals don't separate).  There was dancing and drinking.  One of my cousins got drunk and I had to take care of him.  It was an idiotic move, but overall, one sees that idea behind such parties are not evil.  I see this bachelor party no different than the Halloween parties I've attended in the US, no different than the beaches and sports stadiums that may contain some drunk idiots as well.


Jesus Christ is recorded as having attended a wedding celebration where there was lots of alcohol, and after the alcohol ran out...the Son of God made MORE alcohol! laugh
Alcohol has its time and place, and there will be responsible people that will act as safety nets, like minasolman ( yippy, eh, minasolman? Cheesy). As long as there are measures in place to keep people from getting dangerously crazy or to keep the dangerously crazy from drinking, then it's okay.
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« Reply #370 on: August 19, 2008, 10:50:47 PM »

which begs these two dead horse questions which are still relevant and still current.

Huh what gift was given the most, in the scriptures, for someones birthday???

Huh where, in the scriptures, does it say celebrate Christ's Birth or our birth for that matter???
which begs THESE two dead horse questions which are just as relevant and just as current:

Huh How are your questions relevant?

Huh What's your point, anyway?
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« Reply #371 on: August 19, 2008, 10:50:49 PM »

Alcohol has its time and place, and there will be responsible people that will act as safety nets, like minasolman ( yippy, eh, minasolman? Cheesy).

I've developed quite a reputation among my friends as DD most of the time.   angel  Of course, there was the one time when a friend threw up in my car.  Sad
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« Reply #372 on: August 19, 2008, 11:42:19 PM »

I've developed quite a reputation among my friends as DD most of the time.   angel  Of course, there was the one time when a friend threw up in my car.  Sad

When I was at SIUC, I heard of this one college student who, when his friends were ready to throw up in his car, made them throw up in this big funnel which had a big tube attached to a bucket. Don't know how well that worked, though. Tongue
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« Reply #373 on: August 20, 2008, 11:10:06 AM »


The writers of the American Constitution, as far as I know, never said to celebrate the 4th of July, but we do it because it's a joyful event in history. One of the most joyful events in all of human history was the birth of God in the flesh: Jesus Christ. Why must we use scripture as a basis for everything, such as celebrating each other's birthdays? We're made in the image and likeness of God, so I believe that by celebrating birthdays, we're celebrating what God made-- our human family.


Actually Founding father John Adams actually predicted in his corespondence with his beloved wife Abigail that we would celebrate the fourth of July with fireworks, political speeches and great feasting & celebration. Much like we do here in texas every fourth.

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« Reply #374 on: August 20, 2008, 11:24:37 AM »

The writers of the American Constitution, as far as I know, never said to celebrate the 4th of July, but we do it because it's a joyful event in history. One of the most joyful events in all of human history was the birth of God in the flesh: Jesus Christ. Why must we use scripture as a basis for everything, such as celebrating each other's birthdays? We're made in the image and likeness of God, so I believe that by celebrating birthdays, we're celebrating what God made-- our human family.

Well said!  *clap clap*
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« Reply #375 on: August 21, 2008, 02:11:51 AM »

When I was at SIUC, I heard of this one college student who, when his friends were ready to throw up in his car, made them throw up in this big funnel which had a big tube attached to a bucket. Don't know how well that worked, though. Tongue

hmmm...sounds better than the occasional plastic bag
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« Reply #376 on: August 21, 2008, 11:32:11 AM »

OK, I think I see what your saying
 let me make sure I understand.
The 4th of July celebrates the day we declared War/Our independence and for the  next 8 years the deaths of some 100,000 people that does not seem joyful nor does comparing  Christ's birth to a secular event.

Since you also asked "why Should" let me Should.... I believe we should use scripture for celebrating every event we are Orthodox after all.
I believe if your Celebrating what God Made  yourself... it is impossible to celebrate it without the Knowledge contained in your lesson book The Bible which is about God and His relation to us, that plus your personal experience is a beautiful and wonderful celebration.

"All Hallowed even" {halloween} with the exception of maybe Jack's story about the tricking the devil himself and becoming the  Jack o' Lantern
Is just another day of Secular Corporately money grabbing and contributed to the unhealthy eating habbits we already have in Fall/winter.

Peace be upon your Family
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The writers of the American Constitution, as far as I know, never said to celebrate the 4th of July, but we do it because it's a joyful event in history. One of the most joyful events in all of human history was the birth of God in the flesh: Jesus Christ. Why must we use scripture as a basis for everything, such as celebrating each other's birthdays? We're made in the image and likeness of God, so I believe that by celebrating birthdays, we're celebrating what God made-- our human family.
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« Reply #377 on: August 21, 2008, 12:02:45 PM »

Thanks for welcoming me to the forum in such Orthodox Style...
I feel like Peter circa 1810 San Francisco or maybe more like I was back in boot camp getting Instructed by my Drill Sergeant!

I compared my question to the original about halloween  as "just as relevant" so I never really said they were relevant however, How my questions might be relevant is the fact you read them and were moved enough to comment, but you comment on most things so maybe it was wishful thinking on my part...

so I will in as non polemic a way as I can muster\, to digress further, If you knew the answer to the birthday question you would understand and after reading many of your  posts on this forum I am shocked you don't know and would reply to me that way...
Quote from: PeterTheAleut link=topic=8372.msg110775#msg1don't know and 10775 date=1141970734
In one sense--and I don't think this is the sense you mean--the love of self is actually a great evil, the sin of pride.  Is not our modern psychology of self-esteem really built on the foundation of this overweening arrogance and pride?
How might a celebration devoid of Christ begets evil might have been a better way to phrase my question and in light a recent post of yours...would you suffer me that one question and answer it from yours in an Orthodox perspective?
What have we to fear, though, from genuine, discerning investigation of our Tradition?  What have we to lose from asking questions?  If what we Orthodox proclaim is Truth, don't you think it should be able to stand up to intellectual scrutiny? ...the Church...developed a theological language for articulating what she had always believed and practiced....

My Point is simple  Celebrate everything Scripturaly 

Warmest Regards
In Service to Christ

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Huh How are your questions relevant?
Huh What's your point, anyway?
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« Reply #378 on: August 21, 2008, 05:20:16 PM »

The 4th of July celebrates the day we declared War/Our independence and for the  next 8 years the deaths of some 100,000 people that does not seem joyful nor does comparing  Christ's birth to a secular event.

Sounds like a reason to celebrate.  After all, in celebrating the commemoration of St. Constantine, we remember how he was victorious in war killing others with the blessing of the Cross on his soldiers' breastplates.
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« Reply #379 on: August 22, 2008, 04:26:11 AM »

OK, I think I see what your saying
 let me make sure I understand.
The 4th of July celebrates the day we declared War/Our independence and for the  next 8 years the deaths of some 100,000 people that does not seem joyful nor does comparing  Christ's birth to a secular event.

Yes, people died, but on this flawed earth, freedom does not come free. It is a terrible thing that so many people died to give our country its freedom from an English brat on a throne, but look also at the terrible price that was paid for humanity so that we could not only enter Heaven, but enter a more full relationship with God through Jesus Christ. What are 100,000 dead compared to the torture and death of God in the flesh? But both had a purpose, and we should still celebrate both based on the precious thing they gave us. Smiley
Both events sought to give us freedom, and that is worth dying for, whether it's the death of our people or the death of the Son of God. Smiley
Okay...(gets off her mighty speech box) Grin
"All Hallowed even" {halloween} with the exception of maybe Jack's story about the tricking the devil himself and becoming the  Jack o' Lantern
Is just another day of Secular Corporately money grabbing and contributed to the unhealthy eating habbits we already have in Fall/winter.

It's true that the Fat Pig Corporations like to stick their fingers into our wallets on the secular and religious holidays, but that doesn't mean a holiday itself is evil or useless. Look at the healthier spin that many conservative communities and modest Christians take on Halloween, with Pumpkin Fests, Harvest celebrations, prayer and mass vigils, etc. As for the unhealthy eating habits, I highly disagree. I think Halloween is teaching us that eating sweets and candy should be largely reserved for special occasions like Halloween, instead of the enormous access we now have to such things. I also think Halloween teaches us to be generous with such good things as sweets, by buying them with your own money and giving them away for free to little children. Also, it's not just treats that people give children, but school supplies, money, bible tracts, baby clothes (like socks), books, gift certificates, etc. I absolutely love Halloween, except when the little kids dress as movie serial killers or smut costumes. As Christians, we can give a good Christian tone to the holiday. Now Christmas...THAT needs improvement! I personally think we've turned that holiday into a "buy, buy, buy" event. Sad
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« Reply #380 on: August 22, 2008, 09:01:36 AM »

Yes, people died, but on this flawed earth, freedom does not come free. It is a terrible thing that so many people died to give our country its freedom from an English brat on a throne,
Actually George III was a German brat, of the house of Hanover. In fact, his father and grandfather could not even speak English, and he barely could.
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« Reply #381 on: August 22, 2008, 09:58:14 AM »

Actually George III was a German brat, of the house of Hanover. In fact, his father and grandfather could not even speak English, and he barely could.

Looks like you'll not only be educating kids this new semester, but adults on the internet as well, Ytter! Aint you glad you picked education as a career choice?? Grin
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« Reply #382 on: August 22, 2008, 11:43:02 AM »

Looks like you'll not only be educating kids this new semester, but adults on the internet as well, Ytter! Aint you glad you picked education as a career choice?? Grin
I educate anyone who will listen, and anyone who is forced to listen.
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« Reply #383 on: August 22, 2008, 12:03:50 PM »

I educate anyone who will listen, and anyone who is forced to listen.

Amen to that!  (LOL... there is no end to a teacher's teaching.  There was one morning I woke up at 5:30 am to a lesson on the road systems in Canada.)
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« Reply #384 on: August 22, 2008, 12:08:04 PM »

^ I don't remember this. Wink
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« Reply #385 on: August 22, 2008, 12:28:39 PM »

^Probably not.  It was 5:30 am.   laugh
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« Reply #386 on: August 23, 2008, 02:10:38 AM »

Since you also asked "why Should" let me Should.... I believe we should use scripture for celebrating every event we are Orthodox after all.
Yes, we are Orthodox, which explains why we don't follow after your Protestant idea of sola scriptura.
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« Reply #387 on: August 24, 2008, 12:23:32 AM »

I educate anyone who will listen, and anyone who is forced to listen.

Wow. Ytter the Jedi.... Wink
I swear that was so Qui-Gon Jinn! Cheesy
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« Reply #388 on: August 29, 2008, 09:34:28 PM »

Good Point,

However I am not a "scriptures only" OR a "protestant."
I don't consider myself a protestant because I am unwilling to protest someone in a made up position especially since the first one denied Christ three times. I cannot imagine how that would be infallible so in my opinion and thought(not scripture)  he was never involved in Orthodoxy in the first place. 
But thank you for commenting I really have enjoyed your posts...


Yes, we are Orthodox, which explains why we don't follow after your Protestant idea of sola scriptura.
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« Reply #389 on: August 29, 2008, 10:51:37 PM »

Good Point,

However I am not a "scriptures only" OR a "protestant."
I don't consider myself a protestant because I am unwilling to protest someone in a made up position especially since the first one denied Christ three times. I cannot imagine how that would be infallible so in my opinion and thought(not scripture)  he was never involved in Orthodoxy in the first place. 
But thank you for commenting I really have enjoyed your posts...

First of all, you seem to be working on the assumption that the Papal claim of infallibility works on a personal level, when it applies only when the Pope is speaking ex Cathedra. And are you claiming that because St Peter denied the Lord, he was never involved in Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #390 on: October 11, 2008, 07:47:57 PM »

About time for this subject to come up again...

Quote
Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?

Yes.

And now on to a more important matter:

Quote
I've always been a sucker for a good horror movie (note the operative word: good). 

I've always been the opposite: I love "bad" (cheesy, campy) horror movies. Redneck Zombies is probably my favorite.
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« Reply #391 on: October 11, 2008, 08:38:43 PM »

About time for this subject to come up again...

Quote
Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?

Yes.

This thread is resembling the ones on homosexuality and deserves to be locked....   Roll Eyes

Edited for clarity.
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« Reply #392 on: October 11, 2008, 10:38:21 PM »

So what's everyone doing for Halloween this year? Wanna do something? Smiley
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« Reply #393 on: October 12, 2008, 12:12:46 AM »

So what's everyone doing for Halloween this year? Wanna do something? Smiley

May I propose that we reduce the similitude of Halloween discussion to paint-ball battles by adhering to a strict format of numbered theses and documentation.
Theses without documentation would not even be allowed to be posted by the moderator.
It would be nice if people used the terms of Toulmin's Argument Model to comment on their theses (Claim, Grounds, Warrant, Backing, Qualifier, Rebuttal), but that may be asking too much.

Example:
Thesis1.  The date of Halloween was fixed as a universal feast in the West by Pope Gregory III on November 1 in order to commemorate the dedication a chapel in St. Peter's to All Saints.
Thesis1.Documentation:  "All Saints' Day," in the Catholic Encyclopedia (http://newadvent.org/cathen/01315a.htm).

Now that Thesis1 has been stated, it is up to partisans to supply grounds, warrant, backing, qualifiers and of course rebuttals.  However, any rebuttal must also enjoy documentation or else receive the Omnia obstat of the moderator.  This approach would make it possible for us to give all arguments the cold, piercing eye of the hard-boiled egg.  It would prevent us from making silly claims fueled more by passion than by fact.  Unanswered theses would count as victories by default.  I expect that I would learn a lot from people I disagree with, than which very little more could be desired from an argument.
DanM
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« Reply #394 on: October 12, 2008, 01:19:23 AM »

DanM, what did your response have to do with my invitiation towards to whole Board to celebrate this Halloween together? Huh
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« Reply #395 on: October 12, 2008, 01:43:54 AM »

Quote
It would be nice if people used the terms of Toulmin's Argument Model to comment on their theses (Claim, Grounds, Warrant, Backing, Qualifier, Rebuttal), but that may be asking too much.

I tried reading The Uses of Argument by Toulmin... ZZZzzz.  angel Maybe I'll give it another shot.
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« Reply #396 on: October 12, 2008, 11:01:38 AM »

DanM, what did your response have to do with my invitiation towards to whole Board to celebrate this Halloween together? Huh

Myrhh23,
I simply mistook you.
Where exactly would the Halloween party be celebrated?
DanM
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« Reply #397 on: October 12, 2008, 04:10:30 PM »

DanM, what did your response have to do with my invitiation towards to whole Board to celebrate this Halloween together? Huh

Myrhh23,
I simply mistook you.
Where exactly would the Halloween party be celebrated?
DanM

Nah, s'cool! Grin
I don't know where the party would be celebrated; I just want to do something. People could bring their kids, everyone could dress up and meet each other.... Maybe all of us could make plans to do something together for Halloween? Yay or nay?
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« Reply #398 on: October 17, 2008, 07:35:52 PM »

Here's what I get to put up with everynight until November!  My neighbor has turned his front yard into a cemetery.  One more reason I can't stand this satanic 'celebration'...
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« Reply #399 on: October 17, 2008, 07:53:20 PM »

Maybe I'm just desensitized or something, but that doesn't seem that bad Smiley
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« Reply #400 on: October 17, 2008, 08:53:33 PM »

Here's what I get to put up with everynight until November!  My neighbor has turned his front yard into a cemetery.  One more reason I can't stand this satanic 'celebration'...

Looks like another day at the office. Grin
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« Reply #401 on: October 17, 2008, 09:26:27 PM »

Gabriel, that is so cool!! Shocked
Man, if I were younger, I'd so trick-or-treat at that house! You're so lucky to live there......I'm jealous. Sad
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« Reply #402 on: October 18, 2008, 06:43:13 AM »

I know I voted "no" in this poll a long time ago, but made no explanation via a post (I think - too lazy to read 9 pages of posts at 45 each).
We've a QA/QC saying at work on the production line, "When in doubt, throw it out". Applying a version of that to the question here..."When in doubt, leave it out".
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« Reply #403 on: October 18, 2008, 09:10:21 AM »

My parents never allowed us children to participate in any way with Halloween. It was hard on me as a child to feel  left out of the dressing up and trick-or-treating antics, but now as an adult, I am totally oblivious to this holiday. It's a total non-event and irrelevant to me. I'm hardly aware of its existence. The whole thing seems bizarre.
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« Reply #404 on: October 18, 2008, 11:21:52 AM »

Halloween has always been a hard thing in my house, because my birthday is on the 28th (yes, OXI day).  I was almost a halloween baby, so I've always celebrated my birthday as everyone was gearing up for halloween.  I think my parents did a good job of balancing things out-- she let me have parties with pumpkin plates and napkins, stuff like that.  And my sister and I did go trick-or-treating, because my parents didn't want us to feel left out.  But we were never allowed to have scary costumes.  We were things like princesses and pumpkins, and, my personal favorite, a bag of M&M's.  Smiley

I just have to relay a little story that happened at halloween two years ago... my husband and I and a dear friend of ours were in a party store just before halloween.  We were just wandering around waiting for the restaurant next door to seat us (there was a 45 minute wait to be seated that night).  We wandered through the costume section just as a woman and her two kids walked up to the giant wall where the costumes were hanging.  There were pictures of each costume on a model, and the costumes themselves came in packages.  The little boy was probably five and the little girl about seven.  The girl picked out a snow white costume and the boy a costume of a soldier in fatigues (no gun).  The mother OBJECTED to their picks.  She gave the little boy a costume of the devil.  Now this wasn't just any costume.  It was probably the scariest one I've ever seen.  It was truly demonic--- wrinkled, scary mask with the curled horns, etc.  And she gave the girl a PROSTITUTE costume!  Fishnet stockings, hot pink "leather" mini skirt, tube top, etc.  I was appalled.  I was even more appalled because the kids obviously didn't want them.  They both immediately threw temper tantrums.  But she yelled at them both and forced them to take them, saying that if they didn't wear those, they wouldn't wear costumes at all!  My husband and Dimitri and I were standing open-mouthed watching the whole thing, our eyes as big as dinner plates.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  Personally, I was horrified that the store would even sell those costumes in little kid sizes, but then this display was awful!!!  I wanted to say something so badly, and I wanted to hug those little kids, and I wanted to slap the mother (God forgive me).  The whole thing made quite an impression on me, which is why I remember it to this day.  It was the perfect example of "what are we teaching our children!!??!!"

I don't have any problem, personally, with a halloween alternative for kids, such as a fall festival at Church.  This way the kids aren't left out of the festivities (you have to admit that it IS fun to play dress up!), but the emphasis is on good fun, fellowship, community, love, Christ.  No scary costumes, no ghost stories... At retreats I've done, we tell saint stories instead.  Their much more captivating for the kids, I find, because they're true!  And what better way to emphasize Christ and His love than telling stories of miraculous saints!?!
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