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Old 10-28-2008, 01:46 PM
 
2,955 posts, read 6,651,944 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerZ View Post
I know she's been in her email box because she has (inadvertently) been SPAMming me as usual with forwarded stuff (I'm on her list of like a gajillion people).
Friends don't spam friends. Throw in the nutty fundamentalism and you've got a perfect recipe for disaster.
I'm sorry that you got hurt by this person but it's clearly best to cut your losses and move on. Your computer will thank you for it.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:48 PM
 
Location: NW Arkansas
3,978 posts, read 7,498,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Martha View Post
Well, some of the posts on this thread really irk me. I am so irritated by the Christians who try to impose their beliefs on other Christians let alone non-Christians. Honestly, as a young child I was terrified of Halloween because of some of the horror stories like the one sandgirl posted. The little tracts that some people put in our trick-or-treat sacks showed satanic people cursing candy and putting broken glass and poison in it and at the end of the tract the little kids died from eating the Halloween candy. I was so scared of Halloween as a little kid because of things like that. My parents are strong Christians, but they had none of these beliefs like the belief that all people who participate in trick-or-treating or other Halloween festivities are supporting some satanic holiday. It was wrong and rude of these other "Christians" to push their own sick twisted beliefs on other people's children.

Sorry about that rant but it really ticks me off. I am a Christian and that pumpkin didn't offend me at all! I actually think it's very creative and cute! LOL!!!! I may even use that idea next year. As a Christian and a person who is friends with people who are not Christians (gasp unequally yoked, that was taken out of context) I can tell you that if your friend was offended by that image it is not a typical Christian reaction to ignore someone and not point out what offended you. I personally, if I am ever offended by anyone, religious or otherwise, will let that person know, because usually it is not intentional and I value my friends enough to keep them posted on how they make me feel.

I would try to talk to your friend in person. Chances are it's just a mis-understanding and all will be great again.

Although I understand your rant, I am rather curious about your usage of "irritated by" and "offended by". You say you will "let that person know". And you certainly did! Although I hope there are none on this forum who would stoop as low as the ones you mentioned.

I do not understand those who feel they must put scary things in the children's 'beg bags'. I feel they are almost as bad as those which they are condemning. All a person has to do if they do not 'do' Halloween, is to leave their lights off. I did that when I lived in town, and never had anyone come to my door, or to do any ornery trick because of it.

I am one who does not believe in observing pagan events. But I see no reason to be mean to those who do. Some very dear friends and relatives enjoy Halloween ( and other such events). They are still my dear loved ones. Maybe missguided, but still dear.
My belief is all my own. It is my decision because of what I have read in the scriptures. I cannot, in clear conscience, observe them.

Saying that about Mother's Day, Father's Day,(also Thanksgiving, and the 4th of July, etc.) are showing the lack of knowledge of the speaker.
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:08 PM
 
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As far as I understand things, from eyewitness accounts (such as Julius Caesar), Halloween (Samhain) was never "demonic". It was a day to honor the dead. It was believed that, as the last day of (their) year, the veil between the world was thin enough to allow spirits to pass over just for one night. Unfortunately, they figured not only good but bad spirits could pass over, which seems logical. They never liked "bad" spirits, either. So many of the frightening aspects of today's Halloween, though not really replications of ancient practices, come from the idea of scaring evil away...not inviting it in.

I think that's a point a lot of people miss when they're talking about ancient pagans. They didn't relish, love or enjoy "killing" any more than Abraham was soaking himself in ecstasy in the blood of the animals he sacrificed for his god. That may sound crass, but it sounds crass to pagans, too, to have it intimated that that's what their own ancestors did.

The Irish story of Jack O'Lantern (obviously much later than this) was based on a man so mean that when he died, not only wouldn't God take him but even the devil wouldn't take him, so he was forced to wander the earth with only a candle-lit turnip to light his way. (Pumpkin carving rather than turnips is very recent, about the past century and a half, and is uniquely American.)

Because the belief was that good and bad spirits could get through, the "scariness" factor was, and has always been, to scare evil away. To look, act and seem even scarier than the "demons" themselves so that they would turn tail and run.

Did some here honestly never know this?

I recall all the poisoning scares from when I was a little girl in the 1970s. Sadly, each one was found to have been performed by a family member.

I see Halloween as a direct confrontation with something taboo--death--by making light of it. By laughing in its face, as it were. By running all around the place scaring up low-key mischief (like toilet paper in trees). Death is terrifying to most of us. We use this day to scare away our own demons. It's pretty obvious. It's the same reason we like rollercoasters. It's the same reason we like high-suspense movies. Because we, in a very safe way, have "lived through" our own fears and come out just fine on the other side.

The origins of Halloween definitely had nothing to do with Satan as the Celts didn't have a Satan. Satan was created by Judeo/Christians. They did believe in badness or evil, as all cultures have. And they didn't like it any more than today's people do.

Now the origins of trick-or-treating have literally nothing to do with sacrifice, human or animal (recall that your own Bible has plenty of the latter at least, and plenty of the killing off of people for things we're horrified at today...times were tough two or three thousand years ago, let us remember). Trick-or-treating was an annual "this is my town!" ritual. Citizens would walk all around the perimeter of the town to sort of mark off their own boundaries. They'd set up a torch at each corner. They'd knock on each citizen's door looking for hospitality. Anyone who would dare turn away a "stranger" (which they made themselves into by hiding in costume, though obviously everyone knew who they were) was not a good citizen and would get a mean trick. A cow on the roof or whatnot. Hospitality was shown by the giving of a little cake or a bit of beer. Actually, that sounds like even more fun than the trick-or-treating we do today. Cake and beer? I'm for it!

But I think of trick-or-treating in much the same light. How many times a year do we really go around to our neighbors and say "hello"? Ever? Trick-or-treating specifically (apart from other Halloween passtimes) began as a social activity and I believe it still remains so today.

I'm not saying all this to "convince" anybody. I don't believe everyone to feel this way, and if you do feel it's against your religion, I have no problem with that. Who am I to say? I do take exception to misinformation on paganism and on history, which is why I posted what I just did. But as far as not wanting to celebrate and having beliefs, I'm fine with that.

I just wish everyone were.

Rather, just as you'd be horrified and offended if people said, "Christianity is horrible because all they did was stone people and laugh about it in their bloodthirsty way! AND at church every Sunday they pretend to eat a human being!", pagans are offended when you completely misrepresent their rituals, too. So I'm hoping for mutual understanding. Yes, you can be wrong about what others believe. I can too...you can see that I had to ask this question here because I really didn't know. I didn't just blow it off and make my own assumption that "all Christians are crazy" or "Christians are afraid of snakes" or something. But misrepresenting paganism does just that, in the reverse, and is no more fair, true?

Last edited by JerZ; 10-28-2008 at 02:20 PM..
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:10 PM
 
25,790 posts, read 24,459,737 times
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And thanks so very much for all the words to the wise. I did reach out and now I think I'm going to wait to see what happens. It's so true that if she doesn't come around, then I don't want her anyway. We'd obviously never get along. I guess it just really stung at first.
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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In Julius Caesar's writings of the Druid and Celtic worship of Samhain (Lord of the dead) he writes about their human sacrifices. The druids would build a 30-40 ft wicker man with human cages built into it. These cages were filled with humans which the druids set on fire to honor their Lord of the dead.
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Martha View Post
Well, some of the posts on this thread really irk me. I am so irritated by the Christians who try to impose their beliefs on other Christians let alone non-Christians.

Sorry about that rant but it really ticks me off. I am a Christian and that pumpkin didn't offend me at all! I actually think it's very creative and cute! LOL!!!! I may even use that idea next year.


Remember that when you stand before Jesus on the day of your judgement. Maybe He will find it cute too?
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:22 PM
 
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I find it very hard to believe that the carved pumpkin sitting on her doorstep would be the "final straw" sending her to hell, as it seems you are implying. I consider myself a much more conservative Christian that most Christians I know, but participating in a fun day of the year (despite whose birthday it was, or what its original intent was meant to be, or who has made it evil to suit their religious evil deeds) by carving a funny face in a pumpkin would hardly be someone's undoing in my mind. I think Jesus will be more concerned about the state of her heart and soul, and the work she's done in His name to bring His children home. No offense meant because I know you truly meant well, but comments like those drive people away from Christ. Let us let Him be the judge of whether pumpkin carving is evil and unforgivable, since we can't find it anywhere in His word that it is so.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Oxford, OH
1,461 posts, read 3,228,051 times
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I think I would find some time to talk with your friend. Just tell her what you are telling us. That you got it off of Martha Stewart's sight and that you hope you didn't offend her in any way. I can't imagine getting that upset over something like that. I must admit I'm not a big Halloween fan, my light is usually out on that night. But as a child I only remember the dress up part and back then it was safe to go out trick or treating.
And I do have non-Christian friends. I want to be salt and light in their lives. I guess I want them to feel free to ask me about how I live my life and what I believe. Most of my close friends are believers since it is great to get into deep discussions and have scripture as the base of discussing issues. But I also want to reach out to others.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:53 PM
 
9,727 posts, read 3,461,549 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daisiesnfreckles View Post
I find it very hard to believe that the carved pumpkin sitting on her doorstep would be the "final straw" sending her to hell, as it seems you are implying. I consider myself a much more conservative Christian that most Christians I know, but participating in a fun day of the year (despite whose birthday it was, or what its original intent was meant to be, or who has made it evil to suit their religious evil deeds) by carving a funny face in a pumpkin would hardly be someone's undoing in my mind. I think Jesus will be more concerned about the state of her heart and soul, and the work she's done in His name to bring His children home. No offense meant because I know you truly meant well, but comments like those drive people away from Christ. Let us let Him be the judge of whether pumpkin carving is evil and unforgivable, since we can't find it anywhere in His word that it is so.


Many will say to Me in that day, Lord Lord have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! MATTHEW 7:22-23

Remember: This was Jesus speaking.
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:01 PM
 
25,790 posts, read 24,459,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandgirl View Post
In Julius Caesar's writings of the Druid and Celtic worship of Samhain (Lord of the dead) he writes about their human sacrifices. The druids would build a 30-40 ft wicker man with human cages built into it. These cages were filled with humans which the druids set on fire to honor their Lord of the dead.
Exactly. Not to honor Satan. Pagan gods and goddesses of the underworld don't burn people in fire, consume/eat them, stab them with pitchforks, etc., etc. They just watch over them. Sometimes, in the isolated case here or there, you'll hear of punishments after death. These are always directly related to extreme wrongdoings by the now-dead person while he or she was alive. (There's no "No matter what, if you truly believe in your heart that Cernnunos died for your sins, you'll have a glorious afterlife." Quite the opposite. The Celts and many other pagan sects had/have an EXTREMELY definitive sense of justice.) Death, to pagans, isn't necessarily a world full of horrors. So just to say a "lord of the dead" is certainly not to say Satan! (Nor did Caesar himself have a Satan, since he too was obviously a pagan.) There are some very scary things in pagan mythology, usually monsters more so than gods, though the gods sometimes have falabilities.

But there's no one big guy trying to ruin the entire world consistently out of sheer hatred and who comes to possess people, tries to steal souls, and tortures them for eternity, etc. And if there were...GUARANTEED these ancient cultures wouldn't be "honoring" or loving anything like it! They might often have been afraid of it, and might have sacrificed in order to appease it, though this is probably going much farther back in history than the Celts we're talking about here. (I'm excluding Greek and Roman mythology as that's not my gig so I don't know as much about it.) In more modern times, we don't engage in barbaric practices in order to keep bad things from happening to us, though. Just as in modern times, you don't slit animals' throats and burn them and talk about how much God loves the smell. So let's cut each other some slack on barbarism and the gross-out factor, shall we?

(Psst: As for the number of people "at a time" and the frequency...let's not forget Caesar was making a case as to why his campaign to take over Britain was justified--once they got to the (then) wilderness of England, with reports of "wild men" running around (much like when Europeans entered the New World) rather than in strict Roman formation with nicely cut hair and shaved faces, they were NOT impressed. We don't typically treat the enemy very well when we talk about him or her, and exaggerations abound now. They did then too. But I do believe there may have been some form of human sacrifice; we have physical evidence for it. And I do believe the first outside-looking-in writers wrote as they generally saw things. I do think they're good eyewitnesses. I just don't think as outsiders, and unwelcome ones, they could have had a clear reasoning as to the motives behind what they were seeing. What motive would someone who had never heard of Christianity assume when, at mass, he or she was offered a piece of Jesus's body to eat and a few tablespoons of his blood to drink?)

Last edited by JerZ; 10-28-2008 at 09:30 PM..
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