Thursday, November 1, 2007

When Christians Attack Episode 1: Halloween

I grew up outside of Detroit, Michigan. My family lived in a middle class neighborhood and went to the Baptist church that my father had been going to his entire life. Every year, on October 31, we celebrated Halloween the way that everyone else did. We dressed up as vampires, bums, cowboys, sometimes donned a hockey mask, and went trick-or-treating to as many houses as our legs could carry us in the time allowed. We always participated in Halloween, and I never even heard mention of such a thing as "harvest night" or any other "Christianternative."

We did not participate in Devil's Night however. You see, where I grew up, October 30 is Devil's Night. If you were able to escape from the parental figures, you went abroad and caused as much havoc as possible. This would usually include toilet papering the trees, egging houses and cars, busting windows, and any other means possible of making a complete mess of the neighborhood. That was Devil's Night in a Detroit suburb. If you lived in Detroit proper, they didn't egg your house on Devil's Night, they set it on fire.

Little did I know that this was a phenomenon peculiar to Detroit. We've been in South Florida now for 7 years and we've had to adjust to the differences in culture. Luckily, South Florida has never even heard of Devil's Night - that's a good thing. Unfortunately, there is some confusion down here about Halloween.
There are some Christians here who were raised in the island cultures where Santeria and other forms of voodoo are practiced. To these cultures, especially in Miami-Dade County, Halloween is a reality which brings about numerous animal sacrifices and, subsequently, their dead carcasses littered about as proof of the way in which some choose to "celebrate" this holiday.

On the other hand, there are plenty of Christians here who have been transplanted from the Bible Belt (Texas, Georgia, etc.). These Christians are generally uptight about everything and Halloween just happens to be the tip of the iceberg.

With that in mind, Halloween is the time of year that my wife and I generally like to avoid Christians altogether. We throw a party each year in honor of our Midwestern heritage (remember the Halloween episodes of Roseanne and Home Improvement?), and we invite all of our friends, even knowing that many of our Christian friends won't bother.

For us, Halloween isn't confusing or difficult. We find that usually, it is the Christians that can be confusing and difficult. No sweat. We'll keep doing our thing, while they do theirs.
Here's some pics from our party this week:

Template Designed by Douglas Bowman - Updated to Beta by: Blogger Team
Modified for 3-Column Layout by Hoctro