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Question: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
Yes - 78 (40.6%)
No - 78 (40.6%)
Maybe - 15 (7.8%)
Unsure - 14 (7.3%)
Other (Explain) - 7 (3.6%)
Total Voters: 192

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Author Topic: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?  (Read 100573 times) Average Rating: 0
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Riddikulus
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« Reply #270 on: August 12, 2008, 08:14:18 PM »

And what will it do to her understanding of God when the man who is supposed to represent Him to her behaves this way?

I agree - it's very sad.
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« Reply #271 on: August 12, 2008, 08:26:19 PM »

I have no idea what you are talking about.

'I' have not claimed to "know" anything much less "what fruit any activity might bring to bear".

Do you know?

Going to the grocery store? You lost me here. Sorry!

I have no activities noted on this thread that 'I' disapprove of.

I suggest you re-read the posts on this thread.

You seem to simply be disagreeing just to disagree.

Which is your perogative of course.

What is your point?

 Huh You're not serious...or are you?  laugh

Quote
The orthodox mind is always at work. We do not take off for mindless spiritless halloween and the like.

Such activities may not be evil. But they lack of sprituality and thus can not bear fruit so they are to be dismissed, and discarded whole.

I suggest you re-read your own posts. Unless, of course, you are claiming that the above indicates that you actually approve of taking part in Halloween, because it appears to be quite the opposite to me.
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« Reply #272 on: August 12, 2008, 10:19:02 PM »

Who needs church "traditions" and "cultures" that do not and or can not edify God?
Not that I am saying these things are sins. I am saying they are of NO value to God and so they are of NO value to His Church or His people.
The point here is NO VALUE TO GOD. NO value to the Church
Fruitlessness is wickedness.
WE are to be Orthdodox in our view point and thinking on all matters. Orthodoxy does not promote mindless, spiritless thinking and pursuits. Quite the opposite.
The orthodox mind is always at work. We do not take off for mindless spiritless halloween and the like.
Such activities may not be evil. But they lack of sprituality and thus can not bear fruit so they are to be dismissed, and discarded whole.

This view strikes me as a crypto-Manichaean view of things.  Such a view makes more sense if we believe that the whole material creation is the work of a demented or evil demiurge. 
Tertullian wanted to drive as sharp an opposition as possible between Christian and pagan:  "Moreover, we must inquire likewise touching schoolmasters; nor only of them, but also all other professors of literature. Nay, on the contrary, we must not doubt that they are in affinity with manifold idolatry."  But like nearly everyone else, he admitted that there was no getting around pagan classics in an education worthy of the title.  St. Augustine, like St. Jerome, experienced serious concerns about the study of pagan literature, but in De Doctrina Christiana he managed to take St. Basil's position (http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/basil_litterature01.htm), though probably without St. Basil's cheerfulness.  I just don't see St. Augustine as cheerful.  Yet go to the review at http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9202/reviews/wilken.html, where we are told that "though the clergy did not approve of the spectacula or festivals such as the Lupercalia, they did not forbid the faithful from participating in them. 'These things,' wrote Augustine, 'are to be tolerated not loved.'"  The relevance of this comment to Halloween is remarkable!
Down through the centuries there have always been voices pleading with the less pure to abandon unspiritual pursuits.
I now suspect that the whole problem is the identification of something called spirituality.  In short, I think that spirituality is itself a kind of delusion.  Either we keep the commandments or we don't.  That's it!  I don't mean to keep the commandments in a legalistic sense; I mean in a deep sense. 
Fr. Schmemann said it best:  "A kind person is kind because he accepts people as they are, covers them with kindness.  Kindness is beautiful, the most beautiful thing on this earth.  Virtuous people are activists, obsessed with the desire to impose their principles and goodness and easily condemning, destronging, hating.  ... In this word there is a lot of virtue, and so little kindness." 
How often does monastic literature peal forth condemnation of Christians in the world, who, it is said, can scarcely be saved .  Is it because its authors are virtuous?  Is it perhaps not an accident that such a central ideal as arete^ (excellence or virtue) has so little representation in the NT, but so much in the monastic literature? 
Cum grano salis, DanM
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« Reply #273 on: August 12, 2008, 10:33:35 PM »

VERY interesting thoughts, Dan! I'm learning so much!
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« Reply #274 on: August 12, 2008, 11:13:04 PM »

But is Orthodoxy to be identified SOLELY with the monastic, ascetic struggle to escape the world, as you would suggest?

We are to be in the world, but not of it. It's not just a monastic thing (although as we all know, monastic asceticism and married asceticism differ in some ways).

I am aware of the dangers of fundamentalism (my mother went through this phase once and cut out a lot of "fantasy" things and it really bugged me as a kid) and think we need to be moderate but I don't see how celebrating Halloween can be good for Orthodox.  Despite her sometimes extreme positions, in relation to Halloween, Mom explained why it was wrong to participate in it and always arranged alternative entertainment.  I didn't miss it.  Also interestingly my wife, who was not raised religious and not raised in her early years in the US, was disturbed by Halloween and couldn't figure out why Christian people were interested in participating in it. When we were Catholics, we would take her little brother to the parish for an All Souls' Day celebration and he enjoyed it a lot.
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« Reply #275 on: August 13, 2008, 12:29:33 AM »

We are to be in the world, but not of it. It's not just a monastic thing (although as we all know, monastic asceticism and married asceticism differ in some ways).

I am aware of the dangers of fundamentalism (my mother went through this phase once and cut out a lot of "fantasy" things and it really bugged me as a kid) and think we need to be moderate but I don't see how celebrating Halloween can be good for Orthodox.  Despite her sometimes extreme positions, in relation to Halloween, Mom explained why it was wrong to participate in it and always arranged alternative entertainment.  I didn't miss it.  Also interestingly my wife, who was not raised religious and not raised in her early years in the US, was disturbed by Halloween and couldn't figure out why Christian people were interested in participating in it. When we were Catholics, we would take her little brother to the parish for an All Souls' Day celebration and he enjoyed it a lot.

That's fair enough, Father, but would you mind explaining your decision and why your Mum thought it was wrong to participate in Halloween? It's a thoroughly foreign concept to me, having never experienced the practice. I respect the Christian tradition behind it, even if it is a Western Feast. But all I see is a bunch of children dressed up as ghosties, witches and monsters and it all seems completely nonreligious and just a bit of fun. I can understand how people might be senstive to all those allusions to death and such, but they are just that, allusions. However, that a person is sensitive to something, doesn't necessary make their decisions correct for everyone. For instance, St Paul seemed to have no problems eating meat offered on idols, but others would have been horrified. And vegetarian saints, for example, don't insist that everyone follow their path and not eat meat at all, yet clearly they were very sensitive to the killing of animals. Perhaps, the "eating" or "not eating" (so to speak) is not sinful, so much as the insistance that everyone should feel the same as one does. (Not that I'm suggesting that you are doing that, I hasten to add!)

There doesn't seem to be much difference (these days) between Halloween and the English tradition of Guy Fawkes Night, and though I don't like the long-forgotten anti-Catholic origins of the celebration, my children (along with just about everyone else) were completely ignorant of that fact, so I would never see the need to deny their involvement in a what amounts to an innocent bit of fun with their friends and family. No one would accuse anyone today of actually celebrating the executions of long dead Catholic insurgents and the hope of death to the pope which was seen in earlier celebrations in the burning of a Papal effigy. And if the tone of the celebration hadn't changed and had been clearly anti-Catholic and political, as it was in its early days, we wouldn't have partaken. Although, I do take rather a dim view of anyone trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament.  Wink

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« Reply #276 on: August 13, 2008, 01:35:10 AM »

Huh You're not serious...or are you?  laugh

I suggest you re-read your own posts. Unless, of course, you are claiming that the above indicates that you actually approve of taking part in Halloween, because it appears to be quite the opposite to me.


No you should read re-read them.

I have been stating "orthodox mindset" and the like.

That does not have anything to do with what I think. It is the teachings of the church that are at the root of orthodox mind set. Thus I am saying the faith we have and the nature thereof is what rejects this celebration.
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« Reply #277 on: August 13, 2008, 01:37:51 AM »

We are to be in the world, but not of it. It's not just a monastic thing (although as we all know, monastic asceticism and married asceticism differ in some ways).

I am aware of the dangers of fundamentalism (my mother went through this phase once and cut out a lot of "fantasy" things and it really bugged me as a kid) and think we need to be moderate but I don't see how celebrating Halloween can be good for Orthodox.  Despite her sometimes extreme positions, in relation to Halloween, Mom explained why it was wrong to participate in it and always arranged alternative entertainment.  I didn't miss it.  Also interestingly my wife, who was not raised religious and not raised in her early years in the US, was disturbed by Halloween and couldn't figure out why Christian people were interested in participating in it. When we were Catholics, we would take her little brother to the parish for an All Souls' Day celebration and he enjoyed it a lot.

Thanks Father.

Please pray for me.
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« Reply #278 on: August 13, 2008, 01:46:18 AM »

No you should read re-read them.

I have been stating "orthodox mindset" and the like.

That does not have anything to do with what I think. It is the teachings of the church that are at the root of orthodox mind set. Thus I am saying the faith we have and the nature thereof is what rejects this celebration.

You have been stating your viewpoint of what an "orthodox mindset" is. Others, who are Orthodox, seem to disagree. But perhaps you could answer my original question to you.

You said: Such activities (referring to Halloween) may not be evil. But they lack of sprituality and thus can not bear fruit so they are to be dismissed, and discarded whole.

I asked: How do you know what fruit any activity might bring to bear? (skip the bit about the grocery store, if it's confusing) Do you truly believe that God is restricted by the limitations of your own intuition and discretion, and that he is prevented from acting in activities that you disapprove of?

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« Reply #279 on: August 13, 2008, 01:48:58 AM »

Such a view makes more sense if we believe that the whole material creation is the work of a demented or evil demiurge. 


Exactly!

The whole world is corrupted because of this very fact you state.

We are therefore to reject the whole world and everything in it.

We are only here on earth to edify God with all of our life. All the time. Till we die.

Reject halloween in whole.

Save yourself and your kids from this useless and sinister activity disguised as a cute day of innocent fun.

If not me Listen to Fr. Anastasios.

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« Reply #280 on: August 13, 2008, 01:55:40 AM »

You have been stating your viewpoint of what an "orthodox mindset" is. Others, who are Orthodox, seem to disagree. But perhaps you could answer my original question to you.

You said: Such activities (referring to Halloween) may not be evil. But they lack of sprituality and thus can not bear fruit so they are to be dismissed, and discarded whole.

I asked: How do you know what fruit any activity might bring to bear? (skip the bit about the grocery store, if it's confusing) Do you truly believe that God is restricted by the limitations of your own intuition and discretion, and that he is prevented from acting in activities that you disapprove of?



I can not answer this question for you. I am sorry.

You must see the truth as our fathers teach us. There is only one way to view this. And that is with orthodoxy.

You are not sure what you want to believe it seems.

I have alot of support on this thread. They are just not posting.

Fr. Anastasios agrees with what I have said.

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« Reply #281 on: August 13, 2008, 01:58:03 AM »

I can not answer this question for you. I am sorry.

You must see the truth as our fathers teach us. There is only one way to view this. And that is with orthodoxy.

You are not sure what you want to believe it seems.

I have alot of support on this thread. They are just not posting.

Fr. Anastasios agrees with what I have said.

 Huh How did my question to you become about me? Nice dodge, but no prize.  Wink
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« Reply #282 on: August 13, 2008, 02:05:52 AM »

No you should read re-read them.

I think what Riddikulus may see, and what I certainly see, is how you often appear to contradict yourself and equivocate.

But is Orthodoxy to be identified SOLELY with the monastic, ascetic struggle to escape the world, as you would suggest?

Good question!

Yes!

Yet, a few posts later, you say the exact opposite.

I do not have a "strict ascetic view of the faith".


I don't need to quote any posts to show how consistently you have railed against Halloween and implored us to not celebrate it, yet you give us the following, which can be read as saying you don't disapprove of any activity spoken of on this thread--to include Halloween, I imagine.

I have no activities noted on this thread that 'I' disapprove of.

Just a question:  In placing the I in quotes in the above, do you intend to say that it is someone else--I assume you mean God--who disapproves of Halloween?  In the light of this discussion, how can you actually be so dogmatic as to claim to speak with God's voice?  Did God reveal to you something He didn't reveal to any of us?  Maybe you disapprove of Halloween, but please don't claim that this is anything more than your own personal disapproval.  Even Fr. Anastasios, whose post you cite in support of your pleading, had enough tact to claim his position as merely his own experienced opinion.  He didn't claim to be speaking any special dogmatic revelation as you appear to be speaking.
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« Reply #283 on: August 13, 2008, 02:13:12 AM »

I think what Riddikulus may see, and what I certainly see, is how you often appear to contradict yourself and equivocate.

Definitely! It's like trying to dialogue with a will-o-the-wisp!

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« Reply #284 on: August 13, 2008, 02:15:18 AM »

You must see the truth as our fathers teach us. There is only one way to view this. And that is with orthodoxy.
And yet, I'm not aware that the Church has spoken authoritatively on this issue.  It is you who are speaking with dogmatic authority and claiming it to be the definitive word of the Fathers.

Quote
I have alot of support on this thread. They are just not posting.
If they're not posting, then how do you know?

Quote
Fr. Anastasios agrees with what I have said.
But again, he doesn't appear to be trying to claim his position as Orthodox dogma, as you have been trying to do.  Sharing his advice from personal experience?  Absolutely!  Should we at least hear his counsel?  Certainly!  But he still didn't say explicitly or implicitly that his advice is the only way Orthodox can see this and still be Orthodox.  All he did say was, "I can't see how Orthodox can celebrate Halloween."  Can you see how this personal ownership of his opinion comes across in a way that shows much greater respect for our own Orthodox sensitivities?
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« Reply #285 on: August 13, 2008, 02:21:39 AM »

Exactly!

The whole world is corrupted because of this very fact you state.

We are therefore to reject the whole world and everything in it.
Do you realize how Gnostic this makes you look now?
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« Reply #286 on: August 13, 2008, 02:36:07 AM »

We are to be in the world, but not of it. It's not just a monastic thing (although as we all know, monastic asceticism and married asceticism differ in some ways).
With this biblical admonition I wholeheartedly agree!  I just don't think it necessarily wise to restrict our understanding of Christian life SOLELY to this particular teaching, such that we see the Gospel as merely a call to escape the world and leave it to its own fallen devices.  We are not to be of the world, but we certainly find ourselves in it.  So what can we do to make sure that God's will is done on earth as it is in heaven?  What can we do as the Body of Christ, without holding onto any "pie in the sky" chiliastic dreams, to redeem the fallen world and turn it back over to its Creator?  Is this not part of what Christ meant in his commission to make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?
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« Reply #287 on: August 13, 2008, 08:29:04 AM »

Exactly!

The whole world is corrupted because of this very fact you state.





Spirit good, matter evil?  Is that your point?
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« Reply #288 on: August 13, 2008, 09:14:57 AM »

I took a survey while  preparing for my article and the following are how some Orthodox Christians in Texas and other areas responded to my question as to how did they observe or not observe halloween:

At the very start of this topic, on page one, I listed ways in which Orthodox Christians celebrated or did not celebrate Halloween. My favorite response was the family who placed an icon of all saints with a candle on it and gave a lolipop with an explaination of Halloween as a celebration tied to the Saints who intercede for us and an invitation to visit their parish. What a great missionary tool!  They actually had some people come a visit their Greek Orthodox Church as a result.As Halloween is not an eastern Orthodox tradition,there is no unified Orthodoxapproach to this issue, perhaps the best solution is to pray and let the Holy Spirit guide you to the path you are to take.

Thomas
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« Reply #289 on: August 13, 2008, 01:30:53 PM »

Do you realize how Gnostic this makes you look now?

I am an Orthodox Christian in the Holy Universal Apostolic Church of God.

I have no idea what "Gnostic" is nor do I care to know.

You seem to have the greater understanding on these people considering that you have found some idea of what 'they' may believe from reading my point which is strictly orthodox.
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« Reply #290 on: August 13, 2008, 02:25:38 PM »

I am an Orthodox Christian in the Holy Universal Apostolic Church of God.

I have no idea what "Gnostic" is nor do I care to know.

You seem to have the greater understanding on these people considering that you have found some idea of what 'they' may believe from reading my point which is strictly orthodox.
They believe this:

The whole world is corrupted because of this very fact you state.

We are therefore to reject the whole world and everything in it.
Sometimes it is helpful to understand why some are heretics so that we do not fall into the same lies they did.
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« Reply #291 on: August 13, 2008, 09:54:26 PM »

That's fair enough, Father, but would you mind explaining your decision and why your Mum thought it was wrong to participate in Halloween? It's a thoroughly foreign concept to me, having never experienced the practice. I respect the Christian tradition behind it, even if it is a Western Feast. But all I see is a bunch of children dressed up as ghosties, witches and monsters and it all seems completely nonreligious and just a bit of fun. I can understand how people might be senstive to all those allusions to death and such, but they are just that, allusions. However, that a person is sensitive to something, doesn't necessary make their decisions correct for everyone. For instance, St Paul seemed to have no problems eating meat offered on idols, but others would have been horrified. And vegetarian saints, for example, don't insist that everyone follow their path and not eat meat at all, yet clearly they were very sensitive to the killing of animals. Perhaps, the "eating" or "not eating" (so to speak) is not sinful, so much as the insistance that everyone should feel the same as one does. (Not that I'm suggesting that you are doing that, I hasten to add!)

Mother's reasoning, which I agree with, is that to put on costumes of ghosts, witches, and monsters is to associate oneself with demons and the occult.  Especially in this era, when occultism and neopaganism is on the rise (I know, I used to be into the former many years before baptism) such revelry desensitizes people to the fact that there are ghosts (which are demons), there are witches (they do not ride brooms but they deny the Lord Jesus Christ), and monsters are an allusion to various demonic forces. I don't think it is an allusion to death or any other non-incarnate thing, but to real beings that are around us at all times.  Demons are real, and we should not do anything that suggests that they are just a bit of fun via Casper the Friendly Ghost or anything like that, even if the intent is innocent.  Now, you could make the argument that one could select his costume to be more appropriate, but one still is participating in the revelry with children dressed as devils, ghosts, and now unfortunately, often in sensual costumes even for little children.

I understand that there were Christian antecedents in All Souls' Day but that is not what people in the US are celebrating.

Quote
There doesn't seem to be much difference (these days) between Halloween and the English tradition of Guy Fawkes Night, and though I don't like the long-forgotten anti-Catholic origins of the celebration, my children (along with just about everyone else) were completely ignorant of that fact, so I would never see the need to deny their involvement in a what amounts to an innocent bit of fun with their friends and family. No one would accuse anyone today of actually celebrating the executions of long dead Catholic insurgents and the hope of death to the pope which was seen in earlier celebrations in the burning of a Papal effigy. And if the tone of the celebration hadn't changed and had been clearly anti-Catholic and political, as it was in its early days, we wouldn't have partaken. Although, I do take rather a dim view of anyone trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament.  Wink

To me it's quite sad that people have forgotten why they do things; it is a symbol of our culture being lost into a sea of postmodern relativity IMO.  My grandmother, a Protestant, wears orange on St Patrick's Day...it may seem stupid nowadays but she is making a point. I don't agree with her, but she knows what she is doing and why. If I were Catholic I would certainly not be interested in celebrating Guy Fawkes Night  Wink  I understand your point perfectly, but actually to me it proves my point; Guy Fawkes is now unknown to most, but ghosts, witches, and such things are very clear.

I don't really think it's a question of eating meat or not (a la St Paul) which is a question of praxis, although I am not going to explode on people who let their kids play dressup.  I would just simply encourage them not to, since any association with the spirit world whether serious or not, can damage one's spiritual life and is a question of faith.
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« Reply #292 on: August 13, 2008, 09:58:16 PM »

With this biblical admonition I wholeheartedly agree!  I just don't think it necessarily wise to restrict our understanding of Christian life SOLELY to this particular teaching, such that we see the Gospel as merely a call to escape the world and leave it to its own fallen devices.  We are not to be of the world, but we certainly find ourselves in it.  So what can we do to make sure that God's will is done on earth as it is in heaven?  What can we do as the Body of Christ, without holding onto any "pie in the sky" chiliastic dreams, to redeem the fallen world and turn it back over to its Creator?  Is this not part of what Christ meant in his commission to make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?

Well we can start with prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and works of charity and mercy Smiley

Some things can be baptized, such as Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, etc--other things should be avoided, such as Halloween.  We should get the kids together on that evening for a party at Church or some such thing.

My point is there is no set rule. We have to take it as it comes, one issue at a time; no pre-set answer.
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« Reply #293 on: August 13, 2008, 10:15:36 PM »

Mother's reasoning, which I agree with, is that to put on costumes of ghosts, witches, and monsters is to associate oneself with demons and the occult.  Especially in this era, when occultism and neopaganism is on the rise (I know, I used to be into the former many years before baptism) such revelry desensitizes people to the fact that there are ghosts (which are demons), there are witches (they do not ride brooms but they deny the Lord Jesus Christ), and monsters are an allusion to various demonic forces. I don't think it is an allusion to death or any other non-incarnate thing, but to real beings that are around us at all times.  Demons are real, and we should not do anything that suggests that they are just a bit of fun via Casper the Friendly Ghost or anything like that, even if the intent is innocent.  Now, you could make the argument that one could select his costume to be more appropriate, but one still is participating in the revelry with children dressed as devils, ghosts, and now unfortunately, often in sensual costumes even for little children. 

As an addendum - the Halloween culture not only desensitizes people to the actual demonic influence, it also paradoxically sensitizes them in the sense that they believe more in the witches, ghosts, and whatnot than they do demons, and because of that they turn to superstition (i.e. garlic, salt, etc.) and the occult-sponsored methods of combatting such apparitions (i.e. special incantations, ouiji boards, consulting with occult specialists).  I had 7th grade kids the other day asking me if I knew about Kallikantzaroi, "Bloody Mary," and haunted houses, and they were telling me the things they had been told to do if they thought these things were happening... and none of them mentioned prayer once.  I clearly taught them about demonic influence (in a toned-down way), and how first and foremost one should turn to prayer in any time of distress - whether it seems supernatural or not.  It's much easier than trying to remember a recipe-book of "how to chase away ghouls," anyway.
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« Reply #294 on: August 13, 2008, 11:31:02 PM »

Mother's reasoning, which I agree with, is that to put on costumes of ghosts, witches, and monsters is to associate oneself with demons and the occult.  Especially in this era, when occultism and neopaganism is on the rise (I know, I used to be into the former many years before baptism) such revelry desensitizes people to the fact that there are ghosts (which are demons), there are witches (they do not ride brooms but they deny the Lord Jesus Christ), and monsters are an allusion to various demonic forces. I don't think it is an allusion to death or any other non-incarnate thing, but to real beings that are around us at all times.  Demons are real, and we should not do anything that suggests that they are just a bit of fun via Casper the Friendly Ghost or anything like that, even if the intent is innocent.  Now, you could make the argument that one could select his costume to be more appropriate, but one still is participating in the revelry with children dressed as devils, ghosts, and now unfortunately, often in sensual costumes even for
little children.

Thanks for your reply, Father. Whilst I respect you and your Mum's right to your decision, I simply don't see how putting on costumes that involve a parody world can possibly be associating onself with demons and the occult. To be associated with such things surely comes from a conscious decision, not guilt by some fantastic association that has no correlation to the real thing. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your use of "association". Certainly, occultism and neopaganism is on the rise, but teaching children to fear fantasy characterisations is hardly preparing them for a real-life battle against such issues. Make-believe monsters aren't demons; they are make-believe. Make-believe witches aren't witches, they are make-believe. The real danger, IMO, is that in teaching children to fear the make-believe one never really teaches them how to recognise the real threats. These occasions give us a wonderful opportunity to talk to our children about the real thing and what the real thing looks like so they recognise it later in life.

Quote
I understand that there were Christian antecedents in All Souls' Day but that is not what people in the US are celebrating.

What exactly are they celebrating?

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« Reply #295 on: August 13, 2008, 11:42:39 PM »

As an addendum - the Halloween culture not only desensitizes people to the actual demonic influence, it also paradoxically sensitizes them in the sense that they believe more in the witches, ghosts, and whatnot than they do demons


But this doesn't need to be the case if the opportunity is taken to educate our children. The anual fantasy event could serve to prompt us to remember not to allow our children to remain ignorant of the real-life dangers. What fundamentalists do, in spreading lies about the origins about Halloween, overlooks reality and dwells on make-believe. Our children quickly learn not to trust such admonitions, but they could benefit from a lesson or two on what witchcraft, demons, etc.

Quote
and because of that they turn to superstition (i.e. garlic, salt, etc.)

But wasn't throwing salt over the left shoulder - and therefore in satan's face - to ward of evil, a Christian practice? Give me time and I'll think of others!  Smiley We might think that modern Christianity is beyond all that sort of thing, but until recently Christianity seems to have been rife with superstition and, in some countries, is to this very day. It would seem that one can be both superstitious and Christian. The problem is that Christianity has lost its hold on people and while we are complaining about superstition as if it has never touched us, we really seem to be complaining that people are going for the pagan variety. 
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« Reply #296 on: August 13, 2008, 11:46:20 PM »

In Greece, during the Week after Meatfare Sunday, people attend Masquerade Parties and ham it up until Clean Monday, the beginning of Great Lent.  Nothing demonic about those celebrations.
Link to Athens Carnival Blog
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« Reply #297 on: August 14, 2008, 12:10:13 AM »


Sometimes it is helpful to understand why some are heretics so that we do not fall into the same lies they did.

This is not for me. Thanks.

Maintaining orthodoxy will serves just fine. Orthodoxy is truth un-adulterated, straight, unchanged.

The people you are talking about are liars. What is there to understand?...Nothing!

I have no connection which this type nor do I care to undersatnd them. they are required to understand US.

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« Reply #298 on: August 14, 2008, 12:13:15 AM »

Thanks for your reply, Father. Whilst I respect you and your Mum's right to your decision, I simply don't see how putting on costumes that involve a parody world can possibly be associating onself with demons and the occult. To be associated with such things surely comes from a conscious decision, not guilt by some fantastic association that has no correlation to the real thing. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your use of "association". Certainly, occultism and neopaganism is on the rise, but teaching children to fear fantasy characterisations is hardly preparing them for a real-life battle against such issues. Make-believe monsters aren't demons; they are make-believe. Make-believe witches aren't witches, they are make-believe. The real danger, IMO, is that in teaching children to fear the make-believe one never really teaches them how to recognise the real threats. These occasions give us a wonderful opportunity to talk to our children about the real thing and what the real thing looks like so they recognise it later in life.

What exactly are they celebrating?



Well said. I couldn't agree more. Children, at some point, should be made aware of the real thing, not a parodied make-believe version of it. Are fairy tales involving "witches" harmful as well? What about Tolkien's fantasy world? Where is the line drawn, exactly?
I also agree with Fr. Anastasios that these things should be evaluated on a case by case basis. It just so happens that in the case of the Americanized Halloween, I fall on the permissive side.
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« Reply #299 on: August 14, 2008, 12:16:35 AM »

This is not for me. Thanks.

Maintaining orthodoxy will serves just fine. Orthodoxy is truth un-adulterated, straight, unchanged.

The people you are talking about are liars. What is there to understand?...Nothing!

I have no connection which this type nor do I care to undersatnd them. they are required to understand US.



The point is that you have expressed Gnostic, UN-Orthodox opinions while claiming to espouse unadulterated Orthodoxy. You wrote "The whole world is corrupted because of this very fact you state. We are therefore to reject the whole world and everything in it." Without a qualifying statement of some kind, this is not Christianity. Perhaps you mean "worldliness"?  Or, as I asked earlier, do you place the spiritual in the realm of goodness, and all created matter as evil?
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« Reply #300 on: August 14, 2008, 12:26:22 AM »

Well said. I couldn't agree more. Children, at some point, should be made aware of the real thing, not a parodied make-believe version of it. Are fairy tales involving "witches" harmful as well? What about Tolkien's fantasy world? Where is the line drawn, exactly?  

Drawing the line is a hard thing, I know, we have 5 children.  And based on the patience and fortitude of myself and my wife that line can change daily! Smiley But there is a difference between participating in something,i.e Halloween, and reading about something, i.e. Tolkien or Harry Potter.  We've always had a problem with Halloween, but acquiesced for years using a lot of the excuses listed above, i.e. it's innocent fun, don't confuse make believe with the real thing, etc. even though we knew better.  It's hard to turn down invitations from friends.  But eventually we woke up and decided no more Halloween.  When little girls start dressing up and parading around like little Bratz doll sluts or Paris Hilton and Britney Spears look-a-likes, the line was drawn for us.  It's not just about make believe demons, witches and monsters, it's about a spirit of decadence. And we figured if we weren't creative enough to give them a fun alternative, then we must be pretty lame.
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« Reply #301 on: August 14, 2008, 12:30:19 AM »

But wasn't throwing salt over the left shoulder - and therefore in satan's face - to ward of evil, a Christian practice? Give me time and I'll think of others!  Smiley We might think that modern Christianity is beyond all that sort of thing, but until recently Christianity seems to have been rife with superstition and, in some countries, is to this very day. It would seem that one can be both superstitious and Christian. The problem is that Christianity has lost its hold on people and while we are complaining about superstition as if it has never touched us, we really seem to be complaining that people are going for the pagan variety.   

Superstition may be rife with Christians, but not with Christianity (or true Christianity).  When people confront us with Superstitions, we counter with prayer (hence, why we even have a prayer for those who believe in the "evil eye").
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« Reply #302 on: August 14, 2008, 12:33:56 AM »

This is not for me. Thanks.

Maintaining orthodoxy will serves just fine. Orthodoxy is truth un-adulterated, straight, unchanged.

The people you are talking about are liars. What is there to understand?...Nothing!

I have no connection which this type nor do I care to undersatnd them. they are required to understand US.

But when you state very clearly your view that the whole world is corrupted because the whole material creation is the work of a demented or evil demiurge, then you state a doctrine that comes straight out of the Gnosticism that St. Irenaeus wrote many treatises to combat, a heretical doctrine that has nothing to do with orthodox Christianity.  Don't you see now how doing this undermines your credibility when you claim to teach nothing but unadulterated Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #303 on: August 14, 2008, 12:42:32 AM »

When little girls start dressing up and parading around like little Bratz doll sluts or Paris Hilton and Britney Spears look-a-likes, the line was drawn for us.  It's not just about make believe demons, witches and monsters, it's about a spirit of decadence. And we figured if we weren't creative enough to give them a fun alternative, then we must be pretty lame.

I think the concerns you express are far more dangerous than dressing up as make-believe goblins and ghosties. I would think that acting upon sexuality that has been awoken too early is a far easier step to take than finding our way from make-believe witchcraft to the real thing. I see a lot of that very thing you mention while out shopping on the other 364 days of the year and I wonder how parents can be so casual with the modesty of their little girls.
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« Reply #304 on: August 14, 2008, 12:55:47 AM »

I think the concerns you express are far more dangerous than dressing up as make-believe goblins and ghosties. I would think that acting upon sexuality that has been awoken too early is a far easier step to take than finding our way from make-believe witchcraft to the real thing. I see a lot of that very thing you mention while out shopping on the other 364 days of the year and I wonder how parents can be so casual with the modesty of their little girls.

   Agreed! As the parent of an eight year old girl , we stick to innocuous themes ...butterflys,Simpsons, and ...Hippies!



                      edited to included the word "girl"
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« Reply #305 on: August 14, 2008, 01:08:55 AM »

I see a lot of that very thing you mention while out shopping on the other 364 days of the year and I wonder how parents can be so casual with the modesty of their little girls.

In 2007 there were 11.7 million Cosmetic procedures done in the US including almost 400,000 Breast augmentations and close to 2.5 million Botox procedures.  Vanity tends to be casual about modesty, and as society glorifies the appearance of youthful sexuality in adults, it stands to reason society will slowly and surely value modesty at all ages less and less.  Which of course makes the demons happy, especially on Halloween when the children get a chance to purchase the Bratz outfits and really look like their parents!  Wink
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« Reply #306 on: August 14, 2008, 01:13:48 AM »

Superstition may be rife with Christians, but not with Christianity (or true Christianity).  When people confront us with Superstitions, we counter with prayer (hence, why we even have a prayer for those who believe in the "evil eye").

But what you are combating in that instance is ignorance, and what you are saying seems to agree with me. It is ignorance that is the danger, not anything untoward in the celebrating of a fantasy event. IMO, such an event is of itself innocuous and yet it gives us the opportunity to irradicate the ignorance our children might have concerning real witchcraft and demons; just as reading the fantasy of Tolkien might do the same thing. Tell them that they are associating with real demons and real witches in reading Tolkien or dressing up and that might be leading them terribly astray. It is the real thing that is the danger, not the fantasy. Without being explicitly Christian, fantasy can be a moral guide and help our children learn about the battle against good and evil. 
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« Reply #307 on: August 14, 2008, 01:21:00 AM »

In 2007 there were 11.7 million Cosmetic procedures done in the US including almost 400,000 Breast augmentations and close to 2.5 million Botox procedures.  Vanity tends to be casual about modesty, and as society glorifies the appearance of youthful sexuality in adults, it stands to reason society will slowly and surely value modesty at all ages less and less.  Which of course makes the demons happy, especially on Halloween when the children get a chance to purchase the Bratz outfits and really look like their parents!  Wink

Inappropriate behaviour at an event doesn't make the event itself evil, but I can certainly see that you would have good reason to stay away. As an aside, I really can't see anything attractive about those Bratz dolls!!!! laugh
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« Reply #308 on: August 14, 2008, 02:46:36 AM »

Quote
Without being explicitly Christian, fantasy can be a moral guide and help our children learn about the battle against good and evil.

Not just children, but adults, too. This last Halloween, I dressed up as the Grim Reaper in pink bedroom slippers. I like to think I was teaching the kids on my college campus that death is no longer to be feared...or something, I dunno. Tongue Grin
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« Reply #309 on: August 14, 2008, 03:52:10 AM »

Not just children, but adults, too. This last Halloween, I dressed up as the Grim Reaper in pink bedroom slippers. I like to think I was teaching the kids on my college campus that death is no longer to be feared...or something, I dunno. Tongue Grin

LOL - I'm sure the lesson went down a treat. Making fun of the boogie man helps to defuse our fear of him. 
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« Reply #310 on: August 14, 2008, 04:25:53 AM »

Man, it was hard on my feet walking around the cement sidewalks in those slippers... the things I do for the spiritual progression of other people... Wink Tongue
Next time, I oughta put a giant pink bow on top, in case people miss the slippers... Cheesy
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« Reply #311 on: August 14, 2008, 10:11:34 AM »

In Greece, during the Week after Meatfare Sunday, people attend Masquerade Parties and ham it up until Clean Monday, the beginning of Great Lent.  Nothing demonic about those celebrations.
Link to Athens Carnival Blog

In order for Greece to do to its carnival what we did to Halloween, she must allow her mass media to locate and magnify all the points of the carnival which lend themselves to horror movies to be released at carnival time. 

Not germane to the above is the recollection of reading that only 2% of the American public celebrated H-ween in the 19th century; the introduction of a calendar instructing us in how proper English gentlemen behave during a time of Anglophilia tipped that figure to 48%, since the calendar told people what proper English gentlemen do on each day of the year. 
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« Reply #312 on: August 14, 2008, 12:32:34 PM »

In order for Greece to do to its carnival what we did to Halloween, she must allow her mass media to locate and magnify all the points of the carnival which lend themselves to horror movies to be released at carnival time.

Huh?  Greece hasn't been totally secularized to the point where the above statement is remotely true.

Not germane to the above is the recollection of reading that only 2% of the American public celebrated H-ween in the 19th century; the introduction of a calendar instructing us in how proper English gentlemen behave during a time of Anglophilia tipped that figure to 48%, since the calendar told people what proper English gentlemen do on each day of the year.

Is there a source for above statement?
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« Reply #313 on: August 14, 2008, 01:11:51 PM »

Huh?  Greece hasn't been totally secularized to the point where the above statement is remotely true.

Is there a source for above statement?

Not only did I not mean to imply that Greece has been secularized to such an extent, I do not want it to be.
I lost the source years ago after I quite teaching world history in HS.
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« Reply #314 on: August 14, 2008, 01:17:20 PM »

The discussion on monasticism and ascetism has been moved here.

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