Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pre-Halloween Thoughts

It is October 18, 2006, and as I looked down my street this morning, I would have thought it was closer to Halloween. When I was a little girl, Halloween decorations went up the week of Halloween. Period. And normally two or three houses went to town, and every body else either did nothing or decorated their door only. You know, the cardboard witch with the arms and legs you could pose. Or the skeleton. Pretty plain vanilla, but it seemed fine for me as a child.

Now I look at things, and I have two new graveyards on my own street, with a few resting in peace but more "occupants" peering out to see who is stepping on their graves. I see a number of houses with ghosts in their trees – who do you call, Ghostbusters or the local Orkin man? I am not quite sure.

It was cold (relatively speaking) last week, but a number of giant spiders seem to have moved their residence into the neighborhood. With the warmer air, I just hope to avoid their webs. Oh how I hate spiders.

I can deal with these decorations, but there is a skeleton hanging in a tree – with two people recently deceased (all hangings), and it creeps me out a bit. You see, the positions of the three bodies are eerily similar to what people depict in the Garden of Gethsemane. Creeps me out.

What is even worse is that there is a house sort of catty corner across the street – a house that looks similar to our house – and the people living there each Halloween stand on their property and tell the children trick-or-treating that these kids are celebrating "the Devil's holiday." The reason it is bad – I don't want kids egging my house after Halloween. Sorry – sort of a "it's all about me" type of comment, but that's what I think about. We do decorate a bit, mostly to point the eggers to the proper house.

You know, the Catholic Church, when trying to brainwash (convert) the Celts, they had a celebration called Samhain. The Celts, who lived a long time ago on a rock, the same rock that brought us a prince that looked like Dumbo, and a bunch of people without chins, were celebrating something like how we would celebrate New Year's Eve. Their calendar started on November 1, so their New Year's Eve was that night. Okay, not exactly the same – because they wore animal skins and danced naked. Well, maybe this still happens in New York. But on that night, instead of getting ready for Bowl Games and squeezing breasts, they believed the ghosts of the dead returned to earth – and caused trouble by damaging crops, scaring people, etc. I really think a couple of bad egg Celts drank too much and did donuts in the crops. I could be wrong on this one. My History of Western Civilization class was a blur – 9 am, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

This turned into a Druid celebration (to commemorate the event) where they built huge bonfires (and did not roast weinies). Actually it was a sacred bonfire, where the Druids gathered to make sacrifices (burn crops/animals) to the Celtic deities.

This was a problem to the Priests trying to brainwash/convert the Druids. So the Catholic Church added a holiday, All Soul's Day and placed it on top of the other holiday. Sort of like having the BCS bowl game which makes all the other Bowl Games less important.

What was my point? I don't know. Oh, yeah, don't egg my darned house. It is the Druids fault, not mine.


Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

"I really think a couple of bad egg Celts drank too much and did donuts in the crops"

Wasn't me! I swear! ;)
My sister-in-law wouldn't let my
niece trick-or-treat when she was little because she considered it the "devils holiday" too...used to drive me NUTS.

Thank goodness she's recently come around (before it was too late for little Samantha to participate in the trick-or-treat thing).

I personally think Halloween is what you make it, you know what I mean?

Monica said...

Halloween is a perfectly lovely children's holiday.
I detest the new "harvest festivals" that churches and schools and towns have started having. Don't ruin the fun by dumbing down and homogonizing it (the fun) so it makes some stupid comittee feel better. Gag.

Tony said...

Interesting post.

I agree with PQ. When I was a kid I did the trick-or-treat thing and had a blast. I loved to watch scary movies and immerse myself in the the whole "scary" part of Halloween. I didn't consider it the "Devils Holiday", just a chance to have a good time and get some candy. Now, since I've grown and become a Christian I can see how some individuals will jump on the chance to thump their bibles and spout all sorts of stuff without knowing what their talking about. Kinda' like forming a fact-less opinion.

Thanks Leesa, you've once again kick-started my brain and have given me something to blog about.

Edge said...

I think it's interesting that the Christmas deocration people are starting to get a little upset because the Halloween decoration people are gaining some ground. But, think about it, Christians Holiday vs. Pagan holiday ( rooted in Christianity ). It's a classic good versus evil type scenario.


Rick said...

And we don't celebrate the Devil's Hoiday beca-a-a-use...?

GW Mush said...

Leesa, your house is haunted.

I also believe that crop circles are the revenge of dead Celtic druids that are angry that christianity rules the western world.

Lessa, your house is haunted.

Prata said...

Christmas is not a christian holiday by the by. It's a pagan holiday. Most of the catholic/christian holidays are not original, they are mostly help convert people over to christianity.

Tony said...

prata, I found your comment very intesting and went and looked for myself (I wasn't doubting you by the bye, I was merely curious). This site had some info regarding Christams and other religions.

Thanks for making me think.

Bruce said...

Funny, you don't look Druish....

kathi said...

We just leave our lights off, because yeah, we don't do halloween. But it's a personal choice, not something we try to pound into others.

Hey, thanks for your words this morning. Everyone appreciates a little back-up now and then, and I appreciate yours very much.

Leesa said...

stacy: I know what you mean. Personally, I think the tax code comes from the devil - makes more sense actually.

monica: harvest festivals and "spring festivals" (instead of Easter)

tony: thanks for the comment and glad that I could help.

jef: not "Pagan holiday ( rooted in Christianity )" but "secular holiday with Pagan roots". Oh, you meant Christmas, didn't you?

rick: good point. Some do celebrate it.

gw: how did you know my house was haunted?

prata: you said, "Most of the catholic/christian holidays are not original, they are mostly pagan". Actually, they are Christian and have been placed there to supplant pagan holidays.

bruce: I married Druish.

kathi: your husband is a butt, sweetie. And I would always back you, as long as you weren't Druid.

Edtime Stories said...

When Christianity failed at converting the Jews after the death of Jesus they went after the so-called Pagans. Bringing their traditions into the folds of Christianity. Easter, Christmas, All Souls Day, all find their roots in existing holidays that were part of various earth religions.

The early Christians were good marketers, later when Rome took it as a state religion and they created a way of pleasing the masses by not forcing them to give up all of their religious ideas.

I think that Halloween is one of those holidays that troubles all kinds of people.

Edtime Stories said...

When Christianity failed at converting the Jews after the death of Jesus they went after the so-called Pagans. Bringing their traditions into the folds of Christianity. Easter, Christmas, All Souls Day, all find their roots in existing holidays that were part of various earth religions.

The early Christians were good marketers, later when Rome took it as a state religion and they created a way of pleasing the masses by not forcing them to give up all of their religious ideas.

I think that Halloween is one of those holidays that troubles all kinds of people.

GW Mush said...

If your house really is haunted, You should do a little post on it, I would be interested in hearing about it.

Prata said...

No, they are not christian. They were assimilated in order to aid in the conversion of pagans to christianity. That does not make them christian. Take Saturnalia for instance. That is wholly not christian, but christianity seems to have folded christmas right into it, so is Christmas really christian? No. It wasn't their original idea or custom.

Taking this further, what you are saying is similar to the following. Followers of the Prata cult celebrate Prata Day. Every day, once a year my followers sacrifice goats to me. Christians come along and want to convert them. However, they like the ideaology but will not convert because there is no Prata Day. So the christians then create a holiday on the same day or within the same time frame that Prata Day is with the same or christianized version of the traditions on the original holiday. That is called embrace and extend. That is theft for the sake of gaining numbers. It does not make the new holiday christian. It's not any more christian than Easter is Christian.

Fact of the matter is, there are documents in the Vatican that state with great detail the idea of embrace and extend within the christian community. With specificity, pagan holidays being christianized in order to gain converts. That does not in any way shape or form make the holiday chrisitan...unless you consider the christianization of what is considered be suddenly okay because the elements of worship have changed. The roots are still the same.

Dwardisimo Rex said...

You know what really creeps me out? That other scary holiday: Easter. Just the thought of a dead, tortured, Jewish dude rising from his grave gives me the willies — in a George Romero sort of way. Crazy X-ians.

Prata said...

I know..but despite the odd nature of that populace..we sorrowfully can't attribute Easter to christians. It was a pagan holiday first. We can rest assured..that the dead man on a stick that rose from the dead, was in fact a zombie..I'm just sayin'.

Okay....I can't prove that..but it's getting close to Halloween and I'm pretty certain that somewhere there is a zombie stirring in his grave...and that individual died on a stick and wants to eat brains.

Or you know...not.

Dwardisimo Rex said...

This is what I'm sayin'.

Leesa said...

ed: Early Christians were Jews - they did not see themselves as Christians. Just Jews who followed Christ.

gw: not sure how to do this.

prata: you are just wrong. Christians used a pagan holiday and made it their own. How about this - the Arthurian legends. Is White's version of the tales just a copy of the first person who wrote the tale? Christians made it their own. Before the Celts, perhaps another group did the same thing.

d rex: into a trap you wandered.

Tony said...

I thought embrace and extend was a legal term. I haven't been able to find anything regarding embrace and extend in regards to Christian faith, the Vatican or holidays.

I also understand that Christians didn't allow pagans to keep their holidays. That wouldn't make sense. Instead they offered an alternative, often times, rival celebration.

Prata said...

No, I'm not. But you can believe that if you like. No hard feelings.

We've been 'round about this before with Saturnalia. Easter is another. Halloween is yet another. Most of your christian feast holidays are pagan related as well.

This isn't unlike plagiarism. To which you are very much opposed. If you steal something in order to gain attention...just because you change a few things to "make it yours" doesn't make it any more yours. It makes it stolen. If you suddenly do not believe this, then well plagiarism is okay for you...right? Mmmmm...a moral quandary.

And I'm certainly not "just wrong" about those vatican papers either. I suggest you request those papers and read them and become more familiar with the history of your religion. It is your religion and saving grace after all. ^_^ If you do not know how to do that, you may go to your local church and make such a request. Further, you can write a letter to the Vatican to prove me wrong. Also, being that you're an avid reader, I suggest reading up a hair on the history of your holidays within the christian construct as it relates to world history.

Oh, and I hope you don't think we're fighting...cuzz we're not. But when I'm correct..I'm correct. Tradition does not make something true.

Dwardisimo Rex said...

Oh for the love of Pete, you are all wrong.

When originally established, Easter was simply a neighborhood barbeque block party. A ceremony where Jews would dig a hole in the ground and put some goat meat -- usually the whole animal -- in it with a pot underneath (to catch the drippings that would later be used to make broths or gravies), cover it all up with maguey leaves and hickory chunks then cover with coal and set on fire.

The meat would cook slowly for hours, allowing the delicious scent of barbeque to waft across the land. This practice was thought to "awaken the hunger-bellies of the lord" so he could walk the earth again -- as a zombie.

Prata said...

Leesa, you said the followgin: "Christians used a pagan holiday and made it their own."

How is this different from what I said before?

Christians created a holiday on or in the same time frame of the original holiday, then christianized it. Meaning, they "made it their own". The roots of the holiday are not christian, if that were true, why does the history of these holidays start after the conversion of the pagan group to which the holiday is attributed?

The definition of "Embrace and Extend" is actually a software concept. And is defined as such: A predatory practice in which a predominant vendor creates an implementation of a standard with extensions that are incompatible with other systems practicing the standard.....the user is forced to switch to the dominant vendor's implementation in order to be compatible with the majority of users."

Now, remove the software ideaology and you still have the same thing. Christians (although not necessarily the majority in any given case..and not necessary for embrace and extend to function) created an implementation of a standard (the standard pagan holiday) and then added extensions (christian concepts) that were incompatible with other systems (the pagan holiday/s) and users of the standard were then forced to switch in order to be compatible (celebrate the same things as those around them who already converted)as christianity became more popular.

Are you saying that this never happened? Because by your statement, it did. Just maybe not in the exact why I've described here, but it did happen, with frequency apparently, given that there is more than one holiday that is not originally christian but is now claimed by christianity. I think perhaps you are disagreeing with a difference in our explanations, not the fact that it did happen. All other things aside, we are at least on the common ground that it did happen. And my belief is that when you steal something, no matter how long you keep it, it's not yours.

GW Mush said...

Leesa is right. The very first christians called themselves " The Followers of the Way". This can be found in the Acts of the Apostles.

I am the Way, truth, and light.

GW Mush said...

if this debate can be settled by me killing the Easter bunny and eating all the colored eggs, just say the word people!

Dwardisimo Rex said...

Mmm, goat meat.

Dwardisimo Rex said...

Pluswhich, what most people don't realize is that those earliest followers of JC were just fellow members of the carpenters union, local 125.

Tony said...

I still don't see how embrace and extend fits in this context. 1. Early Christians were definatly not predetory. 2. They definately were not the majority as you pointed out, and 3. I have yet to hear of someone being "forced to switch in order to be compatible" Either you accept or you don't.

I like your insight on this subject, prata. I can't totally agree with your perception simply because I don't have the knowledge I should have as a Christian. It's given me much food for thought and will require me to do some research. I appreciate your dialog.

rex: get your facts straight. I believe it was union local 316.

Prata said...

Dwardisimo Rex: *cracks up*

Tony: Well...predatory was a bad word to use..I was simply trying to illustrate the point. You'd be correct in saying that they were not predatory. Truth be told...embrace and extend is considered predatory from the perspective of.."attempting to gain something" not from the..."we want to harm you". So my apologies for coloring that in a bad way. Again...poor wording on my part.."forced" is a bad way to put it. However, people that did not convert were ostracized by those who did. If that is the majority of your people..or even just a sizable portion of your people in those days created a dichotomy within the tribe (as most cultures were eitehr tribe like or very tight knit familial structures) or society and created tension. Those feeling the pressure of saving their soul for the good of all others in the family woudl convert because they were "forced". Sure, you could not accept it and move away..but in those times, relocating was a very very big deal. Very unlike today, where a couple thousand dollars will take you pretty far from your home with relative ease. And there is a LOT I do not know man..I'm only semi-well versed in biblical tradition because I was raised in a catholic home. I am not however, a catholic. I'm just trying to see the rationale is all. Much to Leesa's chagrin I'm sure.

gw!!!! lol You can not use the book of the conversionists to justify their's told from their own perspective. From the perspective of native americans the "white man" was decimating them with evil things...from the perspective of the "white man" they were bringing civilization to the "savages" you dig? Also, these same people also carried out the inquisition. I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader to explain to me how that was actually a good honorable and holy thing to do.

Prata said...

Oh oh..and I also pointed out that in order to embrace and extend you need not be in the majority. Any social group can absorb another with the right atmosphere and good marketing. It happens all the time. And once you've pulled a small number within a community, others will following. Knowing that, you can then see how on the whole christians not being the majority (as they were not in the beginning) became the majority in small social circles and then performed the same action of embracing and extending further. If you embrace and extend enough, you _will_ become the social or political or whatever majority over time.

Again, my apologies for painting this as a bad thing. That wasn't my intent. My intent is to show that the method of conversion did involve my previously made point. It's not to say that "Oh they are bad because they did this." I ask politely that if I seem to be doing so, feel free to point that out so I may correct it. ^_^

Dwardisimo Rex said...

My bad, Anthony. 316 it is. You so down wit droppin' da factoids, and shit.

Prata: Damn, son. Can you make diamonds with that ass of yours?

QUASAR9 said...

(convert) the Celts, they had a celebration called Samhain. The Celts, who lived a long time ago on a rock,

Did I forget to mention I'm a Celt
Did I forget to mention that the only thing about catholicism that holds above others is the concept of soul-partners
Not till death do us apart
But for this life (world) & the next. Can you handle it???

Prata said...

Well..I'm a programmer and what probably! Heeey..maybe I could go into business making diamonds and I could pay for all of us to just sit and blog about..the color of the moon and if it's swiss chees or not for months at a time! Hrm! ^_^

Tony said...

Prata: I understand where you're coming from. In "forced" I percieved the desciples going out and trying to force people to convert to Christianity. I didn't take into account the inner turmoil within the tribe/family. Good point.

I guess us Christians will just need to continue to embrace and extend (reach out and touch)until we become the majority. :)

Again, thanks for making me think.

rex: no one likes shitty diamonds

Tony said...

Leesa, thanks for letting us take over your blog for our discussion. I don't know about you, but it was good for me. Thanks.

Prata said...

Yah. Thanks Leesa. We'll leave you alone now. Well...okay..._I'll_ leave you alone now. ^_^

We all had fun though I think!

Leesa said...

tony: You said, "I also understand that Christians didn't allow pagans to keep their holidays. That wouldn't make sense. Instead they offered an alternative, often times, rival celebration." Christians just said, if you believe what we believe, you can't celebrate this way (worshiping other ways; perhaps worshiping idols).

quasar: sorry for that, Celt!

prata: I have been testy lately.

tony: you are quite welcome.

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Leesa, what you sorry about?

People misunderstand words:
Celtic Druidsm

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is meaning.
What is meant by the speaker writer is often not what is understood by the reader, listener

PS - Did I see you on tv?