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Cody Weems – Pro-Halloween
Halloween is a time of ghosts, goblins and what many believe to be harmless fun. It has become a part of American culture and a tradition that many look forward to. However, the celebration of demonic creatures has rightfully brought some controversy to the holiday regarding its relationship to the Christian church.
One debate is whether or not Christian-affiliated universities should observe the occasion. Halloween originated as a Celtic tradition. The original purpose of it was to serve as a day of remembrance for the dead.
While some may argue that Christians should not engage in such behavior, it’s important to see the entire context of the celebration. Yes, it’s true that Christians normally wouldn’t want to associate themselves with a holiday that condones demons and devils, but the way in which most Christians observe Halloween is seen as harmless fun.
Most view the day as an opportunity to experience a good scare while indulging in unhealthy amounts of candy. The problem would come if Christians were to start participating in the holiday in a religious nature.
If Halloween were to interfere with Christian ideologies, that’s when it would become a problem. The way to prevent this is for parents to reiterate the purpose of Halloween to their children from a young age.
Those who wish to allow their children to participate in the festivities should teach them the purpose of the day is just for fun and that there should be a separation of Halloween and Christian faith.
If this is done, then the observance on a Christian campus shouldn’t be an issue. The one argument against the holiday is the possible religious connotations. But if students view the day as a recreational activity instead of a religious ritual, then it should be held to the same standard as any football game or other events intended to provide entertainment on campus.
Even though Halloween originated with religious connotations that don’t match up with Christian views, students should realize that the holiday as currently observed in the United States does not have the same intentions that it once did. It has evolved into a social tradition rather than a religious one. So, to say that Halloween conflicts with Christian views is inaccurate since most don’t associate any religious connotations to the holiday.
In order for the holiday to be celebrated without controversy, students and Christian universities need to avoid falling into any religious controversies associated with the day and take Halloween for what it has become—a chance to eat candy, have a scare and enjoy a fun, safe time.
Seth Stephens – Anti-Halloween
Trick or treat? Take a chance and go with trick. Halloween is a holiday that has become so firmly etched in American culture that it would be hard to imagine Oct. 31 passing without costumes, candy and that famous query.
However, most people do not know the origin of the costume holiday. It began as a Celtic tradition to ward off ghosts.
As Christianity spread throughout Europe and into Germanic tribes, the church blended the pagan event with its own All Saints’ Day. At that time, the day before All Saints’ Day was known as All Hallows’ Eve until it eventually became Halloween.
So what? Now it is just a harmless excuse for children and adults to dress up in ridiculous outfits. Why does it matter where Halloween came from? The question that should be asked is this: Why do Christian churches and an evangelical university celebrate this day?
The answer is the same answer as to why the church incorporated the pagan traditions all those years ago. Because compromise and tolerance are things that people generally feel compelled to move toward, mixing paganism with Christianity is a choice that many choose.
If it is fun and harmless, what’s wrong with celebrating a holiday that began as a heathen ritual? It is wrong because Christians should be celebrating something else on that specific day.
On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 theses that refuted the sale of indulgences and essentially began what came to be known as the Reformation. Protestantism was born out of it.
The effect of the Reformation was universal and not simply confined to religion. The pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony left England because they wanted to practice their religion free of oppression.
The notion of the separation of church and state began with the thoughts of the reformers.
Yet Christians on campus would prefer to dress up and go to Halloween parties, rather than celebrate and thank God for the religious freedom they now have and claim to practice.
When I tell students that I’ve never been trick-or-treating, incredulous looks and pitying replies are sure to follow. Failure to participate in a seemingly essential part of growing up led to no deprivation in my childhood.
Celebration of Reformation Day is not only more educational, it is also more Christian, and something that the university should promote as opposed to a silly day of glorified dress-up.
Trick or treat? Don’t knock on my door unless you are prepared for a lesson on the history of Reformation Day. The trick is on you.