Wednesday, 31 October 2012

'Made-up' festivals?

Earlier this year, an Australian bishop called Forsyth said:

"Halloween is a made up festival about death, Easter is a real world festival about life."

Hmm.  Really?  What is wrong with this statement?

Well when you think about it almost all of it is questionable.

One might argue that Halloween was made up, but when you think about it, that invention happened a very long time ago.  Halloween is based on the pagan festivals of Samhain and Beltaine if I remember correctly.  It far pre-dates Christianity.  If we are being pedantic, it isn't really about death.  It might be about the dead, but that is different.  One would expect a bishop to be less semantically challenged than that.

On the other hand, the only basis for evidence of the truth of Easter is the mutually contradictory evidence of the books of the bible (and arguably the way that present day Christians just know things to be true by revelation).

In other words, Easter is just a 'made up festival about death' too.  So what is the difference?

Should I go on about how Christianity's festivals are all coincident with earlier pagan festivals?  I could point out that their origins are all questionable.

Maybe I could ask whether the day after Halloween, All Saints Day, is also a made up festival about the dead (and perhaps even their deaths).

To cap it all, certain Polish bishops have been claiming that celebrating Halloween is actually dangerous.  Archbishop Andrzej Dziega warned that Halloween was behind a "culture of death".

"This kind of fun, tempting children like candy, also poses the real possibility of great spiritual damage, even destroying spiritual life," and that "irresponsible and anti-Christian fun" introduced young people to a "world of darkness, including devils, vampires and demons" in the name of "fun".

So . . . its time to make up your minds.  Is it a made-up festival or is it a real-life world of darkness?

It can't be both.

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