Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Putting Christ back in... Halloween?

In a recent post, I described how Pat Robertson and other evangelicals are stepping up the pressure on Christians to discourage them and their children from participating in Halloween, an event that they see as celebrating Satan.  Some of the devout even believe that demonic curses can be transmitted via Halloween candy.  This has made the candy manufacturers sit back, in the fashion of Jabba the Hutt, and say, "Your fundamentalist mind-tricks will not work on us.  Bo shuda."  And then they take a shot of insulin.

Most of the rest of us just seem to find the whole thing unintentionally hilarious.

All this hoopla has resulted in the evangelicals fighting back, and their response, which I am not making up, is called "JesusWeen."  At first I thought, especially given the, um, awkward-sounding name, that this was some sort of parody site meant to ridicule the fear-mongering, but it seems to be entirely serious.  Meant to encourage Christians to do something more than hiding inside and locking the doors on Halloween, JesusWeen suggests some bold and pro-active steps, to wit:
  • handing out bibles, scripture verses, or Christian teaching CDs instead of candy;
  • putting up signs in your town, encouraging people to give up participating in Halloween;
  • having prayer circles with neighborhood children instead of joining in trick-or-treating;
  • and going door-to-door on Halloween night, evangelizing and trying to get the demonic-candy purveyors to see the error of their ways.
All of which seems like a good way to have people lock their doors when they see you coming.

However medieval their beliefs seem to be, no one can accuse these folks of being in the Dark Ages with respect to electronic networking.  They have a JesusWeen chat, are on Twitter (@JesusWeen), have several videos on YouTube, and have a Facebook page (here).  They seem quite optimistic -- their Facebook message says, "Jesus Ween (Oct 31st) is expected to become the most effective Christian outreach day ever and that's why we also call it 'World Evangelism JesusWeen Venue: In Every Country, Every City, Every Street, Every Home.'"

I dunno.  That seems kind of like wishful thinking to me.  I'm doubting that Christian teaching CDs are ever going to be the draw for kids that candy is.  My guess is that no one who wasn't already a believer is going to have some kind of epiphany because of JesusWeen, and once you get a reputation for inviting trick-or-treating kids into your house for a prayer circle, you probably won't be getting many visitors on Halloween night, except maybe the police.

So, that's the news from the evangelical movement.  Like I said in my previous post, you gotta admire these people for their consistency -- once they decide something, they follow through.  I almost hope that we have some show up at our door on Halloween night, just for the amusement value.  Maybe I'll hand out Richard Dawkins books.


  1. Ha! Now I have heard of everything! You are right..they don't give up,do they!? Just wish they'd put that effort into solving something that matters like homelessness or child abuse! Duh.

  2. Nobody ever gave me a bible or other propaganda when I went trick-or-treating, which is a good thing for them because I _did_ have some tricks in reserve.

  3. I kinda like it that some people take it this seriously. It motivates me to participate. Sometimes all the commercialism gets me down, but something like this always picks me back up. Thank you, Pat.