(posted to Facebook, December 12, 2008)
During research for my paper that's due on Monday (that I'm having a terrible time with), I found the most interesting thing!
"Then, of course, there are those who claim that Christians shouldn’t have anything to do with Halloween at all. Popular Fundamentalist "histories" of Halloween and of jack-o’lanterns and trick-or-treating attribute it all to paganism (or to Catholicism, which in Fundamentalist eyes can amount to the same thing). And of course the neo-pagans are only too happy to try to claim Halloween as their own.
But I’m equally cynical about all of this. I’ve never been able to find any compelling historical evidence that Halloween has ever been anything other than All Hallows Eve, the day before All Saints Day. The trick-or-treating and jack-o’lantern customs come from Catholic Ireland and also Protestant Scotland, and don’t exist outside the British Isles and English-speaking Christendom. (Anyway, even if there were something to the pagan-origins theory, few Christians would be moved by fears of "pagan origins" to avoid wearing a wedding ring, or using the proper names of the days of the week and planets.)"
Read more! at... http://www.decentfilms.com/sections/reviews/nightmarebeforechristmas.html