Post Reply
Page 1 of 2  •  1 2 Next
Switch to Forum Live View Christians and Halloween (Samhain)
5 years ago  ::  Oct 31, 2008 - 1:53AM #1
Gwyddion9
Posts: 320
Ok, this is a gripe but i'd really like to hear others thoughts on the matter.
I've been on beliefnet for 6 or 7 years and every year around Halloween, it's the same ol' crap of "What Christians think of ..."
I'm really tired of the hearing about how Christians, most who have never researched anything, make judgement calls on something that they have no clue about other than it's against their beliefs. WHO CARES!  :mad: I have yet to see any article about what Pagans think about the other religions holidays.
I realize that most on the board are Christians but if they want to discuss it, let them do it on their own religious boards and not on home page. I find it insulting. If one is going to speak of tolerance and diversity, then by all means, show it.
Most Christians have no idea of how their "devil" came into being, have never spoken with a Rabbi or even someone on the Jewish faith on this board, to learn the difference in understanding and interpretation of the Tanakh (old testament) rather than how they want to spin it to support their beliefs.
Perhaps i'm blowing this out of proportion but it's really frustrating to me. I think it's disrespectful and i have never seen any article presented on Beliefnet which allows such for any other religious holiday. Yes, i'm probably out of line but it wouldn't be the first time.
I'd really appreciate other thoughts on the matter. Perhaps it can help me find a center and let it go but it simply irks me!
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss


Let My Worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. Charge of the Goddess
Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Oct 31, 2008 - 7:03AM #2
gorm_sionnach
Posts: 237
[QUOTE=Gwyddion9;862303]Ok, this is a gripe but i'd really like to hear others thoughts on the matter.
I've been on beliefnet for 6 or 7 years and every year around Halloween, it's the same ol' crap of "What Christians think of ..."
I'm really tired of the hearing about how Christians, most who have never researched anything, make judgement calls on something that they have no clue about other than it's against their beliefs. WHO CARES!  :mad: I have yet to see any article about what Pagans think about the other religions holidays.
I realize that most on the board are Christians but if they want to discuss it, let them do it on their own religious boards and not on home page. I find it insulting. If one is going to speak of tolerance and diversity, then by all means, show it.
Most Christians have no idea of how their "devil" came into being, have never spoken with a Rabbi or even someone on the Jewish faith on this board, to learn the difference in understanding and interpretation of the Tanakh (old testament) rather than how they want to spin it to support their beliefs.
Perhaps i'm blowing this out of proportion but it's really frustrating to me. I think it's disrespectful and i have never seen any article presented on Beliefnet which allows such for any other religious holiday. Yes, i'm probably out of line but it wouldn't be the first time.
I'd really appreciate other thoughts on the matter. Perhaps it can help me find a center and let it go but it simply irks me![/QUOTE]

Well, beyond this issue at Bnet, there are some provisos to keep in mind.

Hallowe'en has by and large been a secular holiday for quite some time. Considering (in the case of the US) how large the percentage of the population is Christian, and yet how popular Hallowe'en remains, speaks to this notion. Those who are opposed to Hallowe'en because of it's 'evil' and Pagan nature, tend to be Evangelicals, or some of the other outspoken, proselytizing denominations, or JW's, who don't celebrate holidays anyway. The outcry seems louder than it is, because the Evangelicals are one of the loudest and most outspoken faith groups out there (again, especially in the US.)

In terms of their (Evangelical) theology and interpretation of other peoples religion, yeah they (for the most part) haven't got a clue, do not care, and refuse to acknowledge any viewpoint on religion except their own. Since Hallowe'en has overt ties to the Pagan past, it has become an easy straw man for them to attack every year, while at the same time, using newspapers as a pulpit to blatantly attack both the Neo-Pagan and Satanist faith groups, through misinformation, decades old history, and what amounts to fear mongering. They still 'remember' the satanic panic of the 1980's (after all they cooked it up), and it is simply something that has stuck. In terms of their theology, it should come as no surprise, Evangelicals have a one view, one truth, their truth and everything else is Satan's lies dressed up mentality, this is not going to change. Could you, would you expect anything less from their perspective?

Having said that, I really do not find the small articles asking "Should Christians Celebrate Hallowe'en?" all that insulting, it is after all a small body of text in a wider Hallowe'en feature. Bnet is not promoting intolerance of Pagan belief, because they are referring to the secular Hallowe'en, and not Samhain.I'll admit the article with the aforementioned title does use that misinformation (albeit at least it seems to just be ignorance on part of the author, as opposed to outright false claims featured in about 50% of many local paper's coverage of Hallowe'en) I had mentioned earlier, its tone is a lot more controlled and tolerant than most Evangelical's on the subject. In fact this is actually the single best article, written from the Evangelical perspective i have read this year (have a look over at Wren's Nest at Witchvox to see the hostile stories I keep on mentioning. http://www.witchvox.com/xwrensnest.html

Certainly people should be able to express concern over what they celebrate and why. This is one of the first articles written from an Evangelical perspective which acknowledges the Pagan trappings of other Christian holidays. I mean yes, neo-Paganism is one of the faster growing bodies of belief, and we certainly are outspoken, but we remain numerically a fraction of most populations. Again our outspokenness and relatively high web presence add to the illusion that we are much larger than we actually are. Which, unfortunately for the Pagan community means that much more intolerance and hostility. However, this article is certainly not indicative of that.

Some other threads which may be of interest:

http://community.beliefnet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30470

http://community.beliefnet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29169
Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Nov 01, 2008 - 11:53AM #3
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
Gorm provided an excellent response and covered off many of the points that I would have raised. Thank you also to Nature’s Daughter for the valuable insights she shared. Let me add whatever else I can, which hopefully will be useful.

(Momentarily putting my Host Hat on...) The Beliefnet staff can only post from what is submitted to them for consideration. Very few articles are received from Pagans of any definition so the staff tends to have little to choose from. There were certainly articles posted (and that were often rotated through the front page) over the past years within the old forum. They didn’t stay long on the front page but neither did articles from other faiths. There have been some articles that have already been carried over from the old site to the new here. Now that the new site is settling down, the editors (including the Paganism editor) will be getting back to looking for new content.

A Pagan usually can only write from first-hand experience while referencing the second- and third-hand experiences of others. So when writing a ‘Pagan’ article, authors tend to expand and at the same time play down the first-hand validation by using more universally applicable language. Regardless of whatever the Pagan decided was important enough to go to the effort of sharing/writing/submitting, it seems those touches of universalism and/or any unique self-definitions are what other Pagans focus on. Rather than the similarities it is the differences that are attacked, dissed and dismissed by other Pagans. In several past cases, the member who had an article/articles accepted was subject afterwards to accusations of trying to ‘preach’ to other Pagans or represent all of Paganism. This track record regretfully doesn’t encourage more Pagans to submit articles for consideration. (removing Host Hat.and back to being just a member)

As for why don’t Pagans diss other religions within those articles, sometimes they do, especially if they are carrying baggage about that other religion. Articles about Pagan celebrations may indeed contain references to other religions, as it is a little hard to delve into the history of Paganism otherwise. But these references tend not to be there in order to simply demonise or attack other religions.

It may perhaps be that shared experiences in written form, when not strictly first-hand, will be viewed as trying to impose someone else’s validation on others within Paganism. Being experiential and therefore validated by first-hand experience(s) is one of the few universal commonalties I have observed for Paganism. Obviously there have been and are Pagan groups, shared religions and faiths out there but these coalesce and function by willing consensus of agreement. So anytime a Pagan steps out of the crowd, whether it is to set up a website or publish an article on a website, publish a book or give an interview, he or she runs the risk of being criticised for doing so by other Pagans. Ever heard the derogatory term BNP or Big-Name-Pagan? That is what commercially popularauthors like SRW and Starhawk to name only two often get labelled as within the Paganism 'community'.

Being aggressively vocal also tends to get one a bad rep. For example, the radical, lesbian, politically oriented type of Dianic who gets the majority of the press coverage and makes everyone think this is what all Dianics are like. I’ve been dealing with that fallout for decades. Though I must admit to being rather amused once at the online lecture I received from a well-meaning Pagan about not getting involved in Di-anetics.

As for the Christians, certain groups or types have been asking the question, ‘should Christians celebrate Halloween?’ since Victorian days when Halloween came into being (thanks to romantic revivalism combined with commercialism). They asked the same question about Christmas as well because these celebrations are seen in opposition to some people’s interpretation of Christianity. As pointed out, this is all part of the language of some Christians and as for being insulted by this, well that is your choice of course. But consider the following. I have two women in my life both who are accustomed to describing herself or any woman in a bad mood as “I am such a witch today’ or ‘God, isn’t she a witch?’. One is nominally Christian in background and doesn't know I'm a Witch, the other is a Pagan, not a Witch but knows that I am. Am I ever insulted? No. Is either being disrespectful? No. Why? Because it isn’t about me. It is about each of them and what they are experiencing at the time and where each of them comes from. Also a valid definition of that word, witch, I might add. So perhaps the next time you decide you are insulted, try taking yourself out of the equation. That might help you to figure out what is really being said and why.

C.H.
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2008 - 1:00AM #4
Gwyddion9
Posts: 320
thanks for the kind words.
yeh, after a few days, i realized that this discussion was pointless other than some way for me to bitch at something. sorry to all.
I am so stress out that i don't have or want to have patience for anything.
thanks for the rational comments and gentle words!
Ron
gwyddion9
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss


Let My Worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. Charge of the Goddess
Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2008 - 8:18AM #5
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
Sometimes you have to bitch about stuff especially when you are mega stressed. No big.

C.H.
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2008 - 12:05AM #6
Gwyddion9
Posts: 320

Thank you !!!   :)
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss


Let My Worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. Charge of the Goddess
Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2008 - 12:47PM #7
Bugscuttle
Posts: 16
And I'm stressed...and really disappointed that I had to spend the whole of my FIRST Samhain in the hospital!!!  Oh well, I can return to my observation of the Wheel with Yule.  Still....
Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Nov 08, 2008 - 12:17AM #8
Gwyddion9
Posts: 320

Bugscuttle wrote:

And I'm stressed...and really disappointed that I had to spend the whole of my FIRST Samhain in the hospital!!!  Oh well, I can return to my observation of the Wheel with Yule.  Still....



Sorry to hear that Bugscuttle.  :(
I hope you're up, going and enjoying life soone (if not already).
Samhain is my favorite , followed by Yule.
Wishing you the very best!
Blessings
Ron

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss


Let My Worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. Charge of the Goddess
Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2008 - 3:23AM #9
KeaErisdottir
Posts: 222
[QUOTE=Gwyddion9;862303]I'm really tired of the hearing about how Christians, most who have never researched anything, make judgement calls on something that they have no clue about other than it's against their beliefs. WHO CARES!  :mad: I have yet to see any article about what Pagans think about the other religions holidays.



And the relevance of such and article would be at least as low as discussions of what Christians think.  Doesn't matter what they know or don't know about the way we do it, the way the world does it, or the origins of their egregores--the relevance is insignificant when put against the importance of practicing our own religion to the best of our ability and being productive people as a result.

A truly spiritual and religious person is comfortable with who and what they are, to the point that others, regardless of creed, notice it and are gravitated toward them.  Halloween?  Not my holiday.  The last time I participated in the secular holiday with the kids was 2001, and that night I was armed, with both weapon and magic.  The rest of the time, I work for the Dead and prepare myself for the Dark of the Year.

What a Christian thinks of it?  No clue.  Doesn't matter. Certainly won't lose any sleep over it. 

Perhaps i'm blowing this out of proportion but it's really frustrating to me. I think it's disrespectful and i have never seen any article presented on Beliefnet which allows such for any other religious holiday. Yes, i'm probably out of line but it wouldn't be the first time.
I'd really appreciate other thoughts on the matter. Perhaps it can help me find a center and let it go but it simply irks me![/QUOTE]

You are making too much of it.  The reason why we see those articles is because there are BNet members who are willing to write them.  Or, they can find a personality to write something in absence of other content. 

Either way, is it more important to do an expose on your perceptions of someone else's faith, or showcase your own?  I'm going to go with the latter -every- time.  I've almost written for BNet a few times, but have always stopped myself because of the copyright issues.

Barring that, a hot, active forum with lots of traffic is the next best thing.

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Jul 21, 2009 - 7:13PM #10
Raven.beliefnet.com
Posts: 50

Do not feel bad or feel angry about this subject.  I am a Dannon, and I seek peace.  In my religion, Samhein is the month of October.  The religion I practice is Nodhalinn (New Age) and for the sake of the Gods I should give you a piece of advice.  When confronting the Christians, keep in mind that they have thoughts about you being in the loving prescence of Jesus Christ.  The Evangelical Christians are only barking up about Halloween because they know that when the chips are down, we resort to the outsiders of our faith.  If that would be the case, then speak to a Christian about it.  Put away your prejudices and be punctual.  If you are still angry, find an outlet for your anger.  It must be neutral and non-aggressive.  Talk to a friend about it.  Tell the world who you are.  It is not fair to practice a religion without anyone knowing.  Of course, Nodhalinn has its own Sabbats, although it does not have the solstices and equinox.  (You do!)  They are Candlemas, Beltaine, Lammas and Halloween.  Feel free to be yourself.

Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 1 of 2  •  1 2 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook