I know I should have probably shared a post about Thanksgiving but then I found this one a bit intriguing. Here’s an excerpt for you to bite your teeth on and then follow the link for the full story
“Halloween is all about darkness and ugliness.” But Christians who say this confuse aesthetics with morality.
It’s an annual must-read. The CliffsNotes version is that Halloween is not some vestige of ancient paganism or even a Christian subversion of demonic shenanigans (as a lot of Christian writers have claimed over the years). The truth is actually pretty boring. Halloween as we know it is little more than a 20th century invention designed to sell stuff.
After I posted Wedgeworth’s piece, some friends of mine raised the somewhat different objection that no matter what the origin of Halloween, it’s still “dark,” which violates 1 Corinthians 6:14-18.
“Witches, ghosts, demons, and death–” remarked one friend–“why would I want anything to do with it?”
It’s a common question, so let me take a stab at answering it.
First, “darkness” in such criticisms is ill-defined. What does it mean, exactly? I’m inclined to think from the context that my friends and many others who use the word this way mean something like “menacing,” “fearful,” or “sinister.” Perhaps their intended meaning is just “ugly.” Halloween can be ugly, certainly. I don’t know anyone who would be flattered if you told them they had a smile like a jack-o’-lantern, or a zombie-like complexion. But what’s wrong with ugliness, if used in the right way?
I know people who don’t watch or read The Lord of the Rings because it has too much “darkness” and “ugliness” in it. They don’t like the look of orcs and Nazgul, and think these baddies must have something to do with Satan. Well, they do. That’s the point! Tolkien’s story is rooted in a mytho-poetic battle between good and evil—one that makes it clear we each have varying amounts of both in us. And by placing appearances over storytelling, critics who balk at “darkness” or “ugliness” miss out on the best Christian fantasy of the 20th century, among many other wholesome, worldview-shaping works of art.
Christians who object to Halloween often confuse aesthetics with morality.
This is why I think that Christians who object to Halloween often confuse aesthetics with morality. It looks evil, therefore it actually be evil. There’s no way to redeem the spooky or the dark. Contra Frodo, they think that if it looks foul, it must really be foul, and if it looks fair, it must really be fair.
Click here to read the rest of the post.