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My Faith: Reclaiming Halloween's religious roots
A pagan altar constructed for Samhain, which Pagans celebrate around October 31.
October 31st, 2012
11:36 AM ET

My Faith: Reclaiming Halloween's religious roots

Editor's note: Christine Hoff Kraemer is managing editor of the Patheos.com Pagan Channel and an instructor in Theology and Religious History at Cherry Hill Seminary.

By Christine Hoff Kraemer, Special to CNN

(CNN) – As Halloween approaches, Americans rush to malls and shopping centers, credit cards in hand. Children are outfitted as ghosts, Disney characters, princesses and superheroes, while adults dress to impress with “sexy” witch, vampire or pirate garb. Cookies shaped like jack o’lanterns fly off the shelves along with bag after bag of packaged candy.

In American culture, Halloween has mostly become a reason for a good party.

So it may surprise you to learn that the roots of Halloween are religious. In fact, for Americans who practice contemporary Paganism, Halloween is one of the two most important religious holidays of the year. Known as Samhain (pronounced SOW-un), the holiday is modeled after the ancient Celtic festival that marked the beginning of winter.

In Ireland, Scotland and parts of what is now France, ancient people believed that on the night of Samhain, the veil between the living world and that of the dead grew thin. The festival was a time to honor one’s ancestors and to remember deceased family members, as well as to prepare for winter.

In some communities, windows and doors would be left open to invite the dead to visit. Herds would be culled and a feast prepared, with a portion set aside as a gift for the spirits. Those who were grieving spouses, parents, children or friends would hope, on that night, to receive a special communication from their loved ones, some message of love from the other side of the veil.

This ancient festival comes down to Americans through the Christian church. In Mexican Catholicism, it is still celebrated as El Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead, observed on November 2).

The Samhain trend grows globally

On this day, family members build altars with photographs of deceased loved ones, bright marigolds, special food items, candles and images of playful skeletons in bright costumes. Families visit the graves of their loved ones, often holding picnics in the cemeteries so that the spirits of the dead can join the feast.

American Pagans are inspired both by the ancient Celtic Samhain and the Mexican Day of the Dead. In Paganism, death is seen as part of a natural cycle. Every fall, farmers harvest the crops that feed us, and then the plants begin to die. The death of the crops in winter is necessary to help fertilize the land and prepare for another year’s growth. This cycle of growth and death sustains human life.

Human life and death are often seen similarly, as part of a natural cycle. We are born, we make contributions to our families and communities, we raise children and then we pass away so that those children can make the world their own.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Samhain is a time to contemplate mortality. But when Pagans remember their dead, they also affirm that those who have died are not wholly lost. As one Samhain prayer says, “What is remembered, lives.” Through remembering our ancestors and our loved ones, we maintain a connection to the past and to those we loved so dearly.

As a Pagan, I gather with friends and family on or near the night of October 31 to tell stories of our deceased loved ones. My beloved dead continue to teach me through the stories of their lives.

In years when I am grieving, I tell stories of my grandfather, who was orphaned as a teenager and lost his first wife to tuberculosis, but who learned to love again. In years when I am having adventures and taking risks, I remember my great-grandfather, who as a child once escaped from a locked schoolroom closet by tying the coats together and climbing out the window. And when I am nurturing my independence, I remember my grandmother, who lost her husband too early, but found her bliss in a close and loving group of friends.

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Halloween need not be a whirlwind of frantic social obligations and expensive purchases. Nor do you have to be Pagan to remember those who have passed over, or to make peace with your own mortality. This Samhain, I invite you to decorate not just with ghosts or witches, but also with photographs of your beloved dead.

Buy a bouquet of your grandmother’s favorite flowers, and invite friends to cook old family recipes for a Halloween potluck. Tell the family stories that your children or your spouse may have never heard; light candles, dim the lamps and listen to the wind. This year, let Halloween once again be a time for family and friends, and for welcoming the dark.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Christine Hoff Kraemer.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Halloween • My Faith • Opinion • Paganism

soundoff (591 Responses)
  1. Science

    Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/12/where-do-morals-come-from/#comments
    Gravity is not up for debate !

    BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

    Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet..............................E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas.

    Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425142250.htm

    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

    April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

    May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |

    Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418104324.htm

    And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

    the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

    Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

    Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145821.htm

    No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

    Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

    No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

    Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

    Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423134037.htm

    Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/.../page4

    Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

    Good stuff !

    The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

    For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/

    Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

    Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

    Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
    bears his name as the “God particle.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/08/atheist-prof-peter-higgs-stop-calling-higgs-bosen-the-god-particle/

    Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
    Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/28/pope-praises-science-but-insists-god-created-world/

    Science

    Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
    By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/17/heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-hawking-says/

    April 7th, 2012

    08:32 PM ET

    The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/comment-page-137/#comment-2281915

    Make sure to read comments

    April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

    Breaking News

    NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/18/us/planet-discovery/index.html

    NASA: Mars could have supported life

    Star Dust we are

    Holy Hallucinations 35

    The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

    Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

    Human Evolution

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2cHumanevo.shtml

    BBC. Planet of the Apemen. Battle for Earth 1. Ho-mo Erectus

    BACKFILL on E =mc2.....

    Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'

    By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

    Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/category/culture-science/

    May 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |

    Cheech & Chong's History of 420

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/3b1508d1f0/cheech-chong-s-history-of-420?rel=player&playlist=341944

    All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................

    The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

    Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

    Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.

    http://www.aclupa.org/legal/legaldocket/intelligentdesigncase/dovertrialtranscripts.htm

    Education works for children

    Earth From Space

    Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

    Program Description

    "Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/earth-from-space.html

    February 16, 2013 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |

    Peace

    May 4, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
  2. Leif

    Halloween is fun. People who object to it on religious grounds are not fun. They are not fun at parties, and they will bore you to death at any party foolish enough to invite them. That being said, pagans are no better. They relish their separation from main stream religion. They take pride in not being Christian, or Jewish, or any other faith.

    Halloween is fun. Dentists are big fans of it. It keeps them employed.

    November 18, 2012 at 4:38 am |
    • Epidi

      Yeah, I guess I'm kinda happy not to associate myself with religion/s that tried to wipe out mine & the people who practice it. Kinda why I chose it instead of the trying to do the cool thang which you seem to label all of us with. I was looking for peace with my fellow beings & understanding Nature. What a moronic & blanket statement about religion in general. lol

      December 5, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • Epidi

      Oh, and Halloween (Samhain) IS a Pagan holiday- idjit. It is one of our high Sabbats.

      December 5, 2012 at 7:27 am |
  3. Epidi

    Nice to see a Pagan piece for a change. Thank you – tho I didn't see it until after Samhain. Hope you have a similar piece for upcoming Yule.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:33 am |
  4. AthiestVisionary

    How is this religious: "The festival was a time to honor one’s ancestors and to remember deceased family members, as well as to prepare for winter." This is why Atheists are so fed up with all the BS. Just because I choose to remember my deceased family and friends and prepare for winter – it's a religious activity. Pathetic.

    November 10, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • Epidi

      What's pathetic is you, bashing and berating something you know nothing about. The word Pagan is derived from Latin which means "rustic" or "country dweller". In lieu of a monotheistic religion, we Pagans (and there are a plethora of varietys) honor nature and the cycles of it which is what ALL of our ancestors did at one time or another before there were cities, etc. We do not ascribe to the Book Religions yet keep a book of our own which we write ourselves individually of our path's journey – our life & experience. Most of us are rooted in Animism. Open a book or the internet and your mind – you might learn something.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:16 am |
    • Leif

      Militant atheism is just as obnoxious as militant religion. Atheists are, in fact, followers of a religion. They believe that they are right and that everyone else is wrong. They cannot prove their position any more than religious zealots can. Atheists put themselves into a simplistic intellectual box. Let's get rid of boxes. I am not a theist. I am not an atheist. I am not an agnostic. Pick a box, I am not in it.

      November 18, 2012 at 4:19 am |
  5. Julia

    Paganism????
    Finally!
    Thank you to the author for bringing in a splash of color to a blog that is painted all to often in nothing but shades of hopeless gray.

    November 7, 2012 at 7:08 am |
  6. curious

    candy rocks

    November 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  7. Jen Hunter

    That was a beautiful piece, Christine.

    November 4, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  8. Iqbal Khan

    November 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  9. projectanglion

    Well I enjoyed the article. I have too many bad memories of religion to try and do anything this year.. But maybe the next holiday. I love reading this kind of opinion piece. It's wonderful to hear pagans be thoughtful and curious and wild. I hope you had a lovely samhain.

    November 2, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  10. pygalgics

    Religion is the opiate of the masses.(Mao)

    November 2, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Huebert

      That is Marx not Mao.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Epidi

      lololol! for someone who espouses reason and science – you don't seem very educated.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:19 am |
  11. Reality

    Only for the Pagan crowd:

    Mocking Wicca and Paganism?

    Spells, curses, covens, black magic, witches, voodooing dolls, hoodooing the results, shadow books, maypoles,
    god(s) and goddess(es), Gerald Gardner et al??

    Never!!!! :) :) :) :) :)

    November 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  12. Doomed

    Here is another troll article from CNN to get those ignorant atheists jumping on board again.

    November 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Do you know what an opinion piece is? Or how about that the author is a Pagan and not an atheist?

      November 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Tony

      Paganism is a perfectly valid and more traditional religion than Christianity!

      And Prayer is really just meditation
      .
      I have been having a hard time with my 5 year old, who already has figured out that the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa is made up, from telling other kids that Jesus is made up, as is God. Jesus is made up, so is God, by the folks who wrote about the fables in the Bible. And the Bible is just an older version of tribal stories, along the lines of the Grimm fairy tales.
      It is entirely up to you to think that Jesus is real, but for many, that ranks right up there with thinking that Santa is real, and the Easter Bunny, and we think less of you, not more.
      A decent and credible approach would be to view Jesus as a wise and good man, son of God as all of us are son's and daughters of God, and that other humans have embellished and made up mythical stuff from the time of magic, that for some reason all sorts of folks (who do NOT believe in Santa) still DO believe just like Santa.

      Paganism sure appeals to me as being more honest, and I am a rocket scientist.

      November 1, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Tony,

      I recommend you read C.S. Lewis. Then go back and red the Gospels. There is no way you can reasonably make the argument that Jesus was just a good man based on what he said and how he acted. He either was what he said he was, teh SOn of God. Or, he was a raving lunatic. There is no middle ground.

      November 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Mary Rogers

      Bill, you are assuming that you know what Jesus said. There were many, many gospels around that never made it into the bible. And the gospels in the bible were written decades after Jesus' death. Even those writings are contradictory.

      Also she never said that Jesus was "just" a good man. What she said was that we are all Sons and Daughters of God.

      Point being that the issue is far more complicated than you think.

      November 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Mary Rogers

      Sorry I meant "he" not "she".

      One more point. We inherited our version of Christianity from the apostle Paul, who never even met Jesus.

      November 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • rick

      sort of like your comment, punk?

      November 3, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • akmac65

      Atheists are hardly "ignorant". For pure willful ignorance, you have no need to go any further than the majority of the political "religious right".
      By the way, most if not all "christian" holy days were co-opted from the pagans of the time. Not to mention that the early christians were primarily Jews until Rome took over the christian church and selected and edited the gospels to strengthen the power of Rome, not of any god.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • Leif

      Here is another comment from someone who sits in a box defined by others. Open the box, and escape your self-imposed intellectual shackles.

      November 18, 2012 at 4:33 am |
  13. Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

    FROM ORIGINAL MOHAMMAD A DAR
    Expect nothing better but mayhem among humanity by following of hinduism, denial of truth absolute, Allah, and following of hindu pagan Mithra ism, savior ism, neither commanded, nor allowed in Islam as a religion, but Theen Allah, consti tution of truth absolute. Foundation of American consti tution.
    Shiaism
    hindu Mithra ism, savior ism invented little over 100 years after Sydana Mohammad pbh by tribes of Kujar of north Africa and imposition as Fatmid Khalaphit by force by denial of Hidth and Quran, justified by hindu Judaism, pagan secularism to impose hinduism, racism by hindu, fabricated relationship with Family of Syadana Mohammad pbh to justify existence of hindu criminal Kings, a violation of fundamental commandment, human equality under the LA. truth absolute Allah. Cause of conflict among Muslim's and cause of down fall of Muslim's and Islam in Spain.

    Sunisim, invented by Turk's by corruption of Quran and hidth to justify existence of hindu King's as Khalipha, after death of Ruler Mohammad, but later renamed, Mehmmat, wisdom of spirit of truth by siblings from his Armenian wife, follower of hindu pagan Mithra ism, savior ism in 13th century.

    Christianity, invented by hinduism,. corruption of truth absolute by hindu Pharisees, pagan self centered, follower of hindu filthy pig ism by corrupted Torah, known as Greek Torah, translated and commented by Ben Asheer in 250 AD in Yiddish, secularist, self centered language, also known as Old Testament, part of book of Mithra ism labeled as Bible. A way to justify hindu criminal Kings and self proclaimed Prophets, fortune tellers as god's to rule over humanity.

    JUDAISM, Self center ism, pig ism, or Atheism, invented by hindu's pagan's of Egypt by corruption of truth absolute in Torah to Justify hindu pagan Pharaoh's and their hindu pagan Santans, goons as god's to rule over humanity with impunity.

    HAVE hINDUISM, CORRUPTION OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE, RELIGIONS AND LIVE WITH MAYHEM, AS HAS BEEN THE CASE FROM hIND, DARK AGES TILL TODAY. FOLLOW THEEN ALLAH, CONSTI TUTION OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE, ALLAH , GOD AND THE LORD, FOUNDATION OF CONSTI TUTION OF AMERICA TO HAVE PEACE AMONG HUMANITY. To learn more please visit truthisthelimit.com
    word hindu is based on Latin word hindered, negative, Hun, great, Han, to be in greatness, hin, to be negative to both of them, hindu, a noun in negativity, hinduism, way of negativity.
    Visit limitisthetruth.com to learn about hinduism, criminality of hindu's, criminals to impose hinduism, racism on humanity by hinduism, corruption of truth absolute by force.

    November 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Reality

      A rebuttal from an agnostic:

      From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi----–

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
      be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      November 1, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Reality

      In Urdu, the official language of Pakistan:

      agnostic سے تردید:

      آرمسٹرانگ، رشدی، Hirsi علی، رچرڈسن اور بیھقی -– کے مطالعہ سے

      پانچ اسلامی افسانوں کا 1400 سال Deprogram اقدامات:

      (کے قدم کمال صرف ختم، دو منٹ میں دو منٹ سے بھی کم ایک ارب سے زیادہ کھو روح انمول میں امن اور سمجھداری لانے لے!!)

      کیا آپ تیار ہیں؟

      کا استعمال کرتے ہوئے ایمان "اسلامی کی 77 شاخیں" ایمان "ایک نقطہ اغاز کے طور پر امام بیھقی کی طرف سے مرتب مجموعہ اس میں، وہ ضروری فضائل یہ سچ کی عکاسی کی وضاحت کرتا ہے" "متعلقہ قرانی آیات اور نبوی اقوال کے ذریعے (ایمان)." یعنی قرآن پاک اور اسلامی عقائد کا ایک اچھا خلاصہ.

      77 شاخوں کے پہلے پانچ:

      "اللہ میں 1 ایمان."

      خدا، Yahweh، Zeus، یہووا، ماں فطرت، قدرت، وغیرہ کے طور پر ارف آپکے نیوران خود صفائی میں شامل کی جائے.

      "2 کہ سب کے علاوہ اللہ غیر موجود تھا یقین کرنے کے لئے. اس کے بعد، سب سے زیادہ ہائی اللہ نے ان چیزوں کو پیدا کیا اور اس کے بعد وہ وجود میں آیا."

      ارتقاء اور بگ بینگ یا "GI B-G-نیب" (جب کائنات کو ری سائیکل شروع ہوتا ہے) ممکنہ ہیں اور اللہ کے لئے "akas" اگر آپ کو ایک "crea tionist" شامل کیا جانا چاہئے.

      "3. فرشتوں کے وجود میں یقین کرنے کے."

      نیوران کی صفائی کے لئے ایک اہم چیز ہے. فرشتوں / ڈی vils قدیم تہذیبوں کے پورانیک مخلوق، مثال کے طور پر ہیں Hitt آئٹیئایس / قدرتی واقعات کی وضاحت کرنے کی وضاحت کے لئے، ان کے دیوتاوں، بڑے پرندوں، اچانک ہواؤں، سیاہ راتوں کے دوران محافظ، وغیرہ نہیں "کافی / UG LY wingy thingies" کے ساتھ رابطے بھی پہلے کا دورہ کیا یا محمد، حضرت عیسی علیہ السلام، مریم سے بات کی یا جوزف یا جو سمتھ. آج ہم F airies اور "ٹن KER-lls" کے طور پر فرشتوں کی درجہ بندی کریں گے. جدید ڈی vils ڈی mented کے ڈی mons کے طور پر کی درجہ بندی کر رہے ہیں.

      "4 کا خیال ہے کہ تمام آسمانی کتابیں ہیں جو مختلف پیغمبروں کو بھیجا گیا سچ ہیں. تاہم، کے علاوہ قرآن پاک سے دیگر تمام کتابیں صحیح ہیں نہیں."

      ایک اور اہم چیز کو خارج. آسمان کی روح ریاست کے وزٹرز کا ریکارڈ رکھا جائے گا (اگر وہاں ایک ہے) کوئی کتابیں ہیں بالکل اسی طرح جیسے کوئی / شائع لکھنے / انہیں تقسیم فرشتے ہیں. قرآن پاک، OT، NT وغیرہ صرف انسانوں کے لئے انسانوں کی طرف سے تحریری کتابیں ہیں.

      انبیاء قدیم scribes کی طرف سے ایجاد عام طور پر لائن میں اقوام متحدہ کے تعلیم یافتہ عوام کے رکھنے کے لئے کیا گیا تھا. آج ہم ان tellers کے لئے دھن کہتے ہیں.

      پیشن گوئی بھی مفت کیا جائے گا اور مستقبل کی قدرتی / خدا / اللہ تحائف کی طرف سے invali ء.

      "5 یقین ہے کہ تمام انبیاء سچ ہیں، تاہم، ہم نبی محمد صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم (امن اور مجزوب کی پیروی کا حکم ہے.
      اللہ علیہ وسلم) اکیلے. "

      محمد خرچ تیس دن "روزہ" اللہ ارف خدا وغیرہ کے ساتھ ان کی ایک "کافی wingy thingy" کے ذریعے پہلے رابطہ کے سامنے ایک گرم غار میں (رمضان علامات). کامن احساس # 5 کے نیوران کی تنسیخ کا مطالبہ. # 5 اسلامی VI olence یعنی رہی ہے محمد کے تیز، بھوک سے چلنے والی "کافروں کے لئے خوفناک حقیقت میں hallu کی cinations اہم ذریعہ بھی ہے.

      ان پانچ قدم پر چلتے ہیں اور ہم آپ کے اسلامی طریقوں میں سے ایک مکمل بحالی اس بات کی ضمانت!

      بدقسمتی سے، بہت سے مسلمان اس بلاگ پر مبصرین / قارئین نہیں ہیں تو "دو منٹ کی" علاج وہ لوگ جو اس کی ضرورت نہیں مل رہا ہے. اگر آپ ایک مسلمان دوست ہے، اس کی ایک نقل بھیجیں گے اور دنیا کو بچانے میں مدد کریں.

      مطابق اقدامات عیسائیت، یہودیت، بدھ مت، ہندو مت اور Paganism کی خرافات کا ترک کرنا deprogramming کے لئے آپ کی درخواست پر دستیاب ہیں ..

      November 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Mary Rogers

      Take your meds buddy.

      November 1, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  14. Ann

    Well, I tried to take some of the suggestions from the article last night.

    I took a long walk with my dogs, and told them stories about the two other dogs we had before them (who were lost in the woods on Halloween 4 years ago). I also talked to my two lost dogs, and told them I'd love for them to visit in a dream, just in case the "veil" really is a bit thinner that night.

    Of course, I also asked my late husband to come visit – but told them all that, if they couldn't make it to my side of the veil, at least maybe they could all get together on their side. It was nice to think of him visiting with our two pups.

    Then, I made one of my mom and grandmother's famous recipes for dinner, and thought about them, too.

    Alas, no visits. That's okay. The whole thing may sound like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, but at the very least, I had a pleasant evening of memories. Oh, and some great chicken paprikash!

    November 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • just sayin

      It certainly does, when you try it and see it is BS, you become an athiest.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Doomed

      No it's when we turned stupid that we become atheist.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Doomed. Actually you're not making a great case. Explain why you feel that to be an atheist one needs to be stupid. If you've read most of the posts you'll see that atheists generally make valid logical arguments. You bible thumpers generally only respond with circular arguments, primarily god did it – the bible says so.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Tony

      Prayer is really just meditation, and you have no basis for your statement that atheism is unhealthy for kids except for you existing faith.
      I have been having a hard time with my 5 year old, who already has figured out that the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa is made up, from telling other kids that Jesus is made up, as is God. Jesus is made up, so is God, by the folks who wrote about the fables in the Bible. And the Bible is just an older version of tribal stories, along the lines of the Grimm fairy tales.
      It is entirely up to you to think that Jesus is real, but for many, that ranks right up there with thinking that Santa is real, and the Easter Bunny, and we think less of you, not more.
      A decent and credible approach would be to view Jesus as a wise and good man, son of God as all of us are son's and daughters of God, and that other humans have embellished and made up mythical stuff from the time of magic, that for some reason all sorts of folks (who do NOT believe in Santa) still DO believe just like Santa.

      November 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
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      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.`

      November 2, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs._

      November 2, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • akmac65

      Prayer changes nothing outside of the person who is praying. If there is an all-powerful being, he/she/it is not a waiter at some spiritual restaurant, catering to the whims of selfish humans. Humans made gods in the human image, god(s) did not make humans in theirs.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:31 am |
    • Leif

      What does it change?

      November 18, 2012 at 4:13 am |
  16. yellowrex

    Thank you for this, Ms. Kraemer. It's good to be reminded of the actual religious and spiritual roots of our holidays.

    November 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Roots? You're stuck in the mud. Ol' mudder earth can be confusing especially at her time of the month, drama queen.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:35 am |
  17. Hypatia

    Let the witchier than thou types reclaim Halloween. We had a great evening of adorable trick or treaters and good friends. No pretentious nonsense.

    November 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • yellowrex

      What is pretentious or nonsense about this? Did you even read the whole article?

      "This Samhain, I invite you to decorate not just with ghosts or witches, but also with photographs of your beloved dead.

      Buy a bouquet of your grandmother’s favorite flowers, and invite friends to cook old family recipes for a Halloween potluck. Tell the family stories that your children or your spouse may have never heard; light candles, dim the lamps and listen to the wind. This year, let Halloween once again be a time for family and friends, and for welcoming the dark."

      November 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Epidi

      Funny you choose Hypatia as a moniker. She was Pagan. ;-)

      November 16, 2012 at 4:27 am |
  18. pygalgics

    Why do religious zealots have such hate for people of other faiths? Can't you be satisfied that in the hereafter those who oppose your views are excluded? Think of Heaven as a club. Only your kind will be in the club. Happy Now?

    November 1, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Why do gubmint god zeal louts create such Beasts that want to be in charge of EVERYTHING?

      November 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      So this guy dies and goes to heaven. St. Peter greets him at the gates and says, "Mr. Jones, I see you are a Methodist. Please come with me and I will show you to the correct Afterlife." So they head down the cloud.
      When they come to one are, they hear a whole bunch of beautiful plainsong chant, and Mr. Jones asks what that is. St. Peter replies, "That's Roman Catholic Heaven. It's always a solemn high mass in there."
      They go a little further and hear loud singing and jubilation, and Jones asks what that is. St. Peter replies, "That's the AME Zion Heaven. Always a celebration there."
      A litter further down, St. Peter puts his finger to his lips and motions Mr. Jones to tip toe past the next area. A few minutes later, a relaxed St. Peter says, "We always have to be quiet when passing Baptist heaven. They think they're the only ones here."

      November 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • akmac65

      If individuals had true faith, they would be at peace with themselves and the world and not have to tear down others to feel more secure in their own beliefs.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:36 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.