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A Christian debate over Halloween: Counter, co-opt, or embrace it?
October 28th, 2011
02:30 PM ET

A Christian debate over Halloween: Counter, co-opt, or embrace it?

Editor's note: Listen to the CNN Radio broadcast about the debate: By Jim Roope, CNN

Los Angeles (CNN) - For many American Christians, Halloween is innocent, harmless and fun, and they trick-or-treat, carve pumpkins and don costumes with gusto.

For others, though – especially for some conservative and fundamentalist Christians - Halloween is a celebration of evil and has no place in the life of a believer.

Halloween fun facts: Spending, eating and carving

“We don’t endorse that or we don’t celebrate that,” said Joe Hernandez, pastor of Worshipwalk Church in Los Angeles, which belongs to the conservative Pentecostal tradition. “People are celebrating the devil’s holiday.”

Halloween’s roots are believed to date back 1,400 years, to the Irish-pagan New Year’s celebration. The Celtic New Year began on November 1. People would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts and evil spirits.

Movies that scare the people who scare us

Some Christians, like Hernandez, believe Halloween’s pagan roots can open the door to evil. That’s why Worshipwalk is hosting a harvest festival in its church parking lot on Monday, with kids’ games and face painting.

Hernandez calls it harvesting hearts for God.

Some conservative churches go a step further, attempting to co-opt the holiday with haunted houses - called “hell houses” - that are designed to give a glimpse of eternal damnation in hopes of strengthening faith.

“There’s Satan’s lies and there’s Jesus’ redemption and there’s a message that will change your life,” said Keenan Roberts, who says he is the inventor of the hell house, which people walk or call through, just as they would a haunted house.

I was a zombie movie extra

“It’s designed to reach the ‘sight and sound’ age,” said Roberts. “The message is sacred but the method is not.”

Hell houses can be graphic. In Roberts’ hell house – which he markets through his Hell House Ministries – live actors depict scenes of abortion, rape, suicide and murder, though the journey through the house culminates in scenes of redemption through Jesus.

Pastor of the fundamentalist New Destiny church near Denver, Colorado, Roberts said that his ministry has received a lot of criticism for what critics say is “going too far.”

But he said today’s kids are so desensitized that he will do whatever it takes to get the message of salvation to take root.

Avoiding sexy costumes for kids

Mainline Protestants tend to take a much softer line on Halloween, with some mainline churches embracing it.

“Halloween for me is a time to have fun,” said Wayne Walters, pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Burbank, California. “I remember growing up - on Halloween I went trick-or-treating. I was in it for the candy.”

“And at Christmas I put out cookies and milk for Santa Claus, who always took time to sit down and enjoy them,” he continued. “None of those I think had a negative influence, destroyed or diminished my faith, he said.”

Walters says that many non-religious traditions associated with Christian holidays, including Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, hardly mean those holidays are non-Christian.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Halloween

soundoff (3,144 Responses)
  1. tallulah13

    The most evil thing about Halloween is when someone give out those Smartees instead of something good, like M&Ms.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • brokenpinata

      Or a popcorn ball. Really? Why not just give me a freaking rice cake?

      October 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Dick

      or pennies or apples, blaaaaaaa...........

      Come to our place (we don't get many kids) and get a full size candy bar!!

      October 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  2. mary

    I believe that God sees what is in your heart; whether you are sitting in church or going trick or treating, if your intentions are honorable and don't consist of trying to "trick" your neighbor or "trick" God into something that you are not. One way or the other, once you have established communication with God, you will be guided as to whether or not that holiday you are celebrating is for good or evil.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  3. Heather

    halloween is only the devils holiday if we recognize it as that, the bible tells us NOT to bring light to the devil, so why do we make him such a big part of this holiday?

    October 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • MM_PDX

      The bible also tells you not to eat shellfish, not to cut your hair, and not to wear garments of mixed fibers.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • groundlerings

      Do you also advocate reinstating slavery? According to the Bible, God supports it.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Heather

      haa what bible are you reading?

      October 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • groundlerings

      What Bible aren't you reading? I'm reading the one voted upon by the Nicene Council to determine which books would be included or not. Don't just read what your preacher selects. Read the whole text. It will horrify you.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Heather

      : ) i prefer Jesus Christ as my author not a council

      October 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • groundlerings

      You're contradicting yourself, Heather. In your initial post you claim the Bible as accurate, and then in your last refute the fact that it exists because of a vote by a council of powerful men. You can't have it both ways. Please educate yourself on your own religion before commenting further. There is much to this world beyond the physical, but it has little to do with the Bible.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • MM_PDX

      @Heather... how convenient that you can cite biblical passages as proof and then dismiss them when you don't like them.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • i wonder

      Heather, Jesus, if such a person actually existed, never wrote a single word. Not one.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • groundlerings

      The Bible came along centuries after Jesus existed. He never said you must adhere to a book. Your beliefs are very limited at this stage, Heather. You don't need to refute Jesus, but you do need to learn what he taught that has nothing to do with a book you simultaneously endorse and refute, based on the passages you like and don't like.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  4. freezebreeze

    Dr. Rev. Cecil Peason Jr – shame on you! You of all people should know that Christman and Easter particularly stem from pagan origins. I'll bet you believe that Jesus is God instead of God's Son (John 3:16) ; the soul which is the body is immortal (Ezekiel 18:4) ANd that our LOVING Almighty God would burn his creation forever for disobedience to him. Have you lost sight of HIs original purpose for humankind to live on the earth in peace, security and perfection? Do you really think that God has changed? The Bible tells us He does not change and that His purpose will be realized. Big surprise that not everyone goes to heaven but as (Psalm 115:16) says "As regards the heavens, to Jehovah the heavens belong, But the earth he has given to the sons of men."

    So since God cannot lie. If Jesus is God, was he praying to himself;, did Jesus resurrect himself? TRy following the Bible and not human doctrines, just a suggestion, mind you.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  5. avgthinker

    Those that wish to follow an ancient religion should be able to do what they feel like. If they choose not to celebrate Halloween that is their choice. If they choose to embrace it, so be it. All I ask is that they keep their beliefs to themselves. As long as they don't try to force their ideology on me or try to make me see that it has to the be their way or no way then I am fine with them doing whatever they want. I, of course, also reserve my right to ridicule them.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  6. Phil

    Haven't they ruined enough stuff?

    October 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  7. BlackYowe

    None of the Christians I spend my life with think there is anything wrong with Halloween. Hallowe'en is a shortening of the Christian event called All Hallows Eve which is the night before All Saints Day. It is a cross between a Christian Holiday and a pagan festival that is basically the Celtic New Year called Samhain,. The idea of the spirits being about on All Hallows Eve comes from the Celtic idea that on this night the veil between the spirit world and the land of the living is at its thinest.At this time one may be able to communicate with the spirit world.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  8. MM_PDX

    God is a fairy tale for those who are afraid of the fact that there's nothing beyond death.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • groundlerings

      That's not true. You should open yourself to researching after-death (or study the research that's been done) before jumping to a conclusion based on your cultural mythology's belief and dogma. No different than the religious.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • MM_PDX

      groundlerings, please cite a single, credible study showing that there is life after death.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Haha

      LMAO @ groundlerings discussing credible after-life research. 20 to 1 odds he/she mentions Beetlejuice as a source.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Heather

      i would think the earth itself is credit enough to show that the lord and all his teachings are good and true.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • MM_PDX

      @Heather. Really? So what proof is there that any god created earth? None. Again, it's nothing but a fairy tale designed to control your behavior.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Heather

      lol and who do YOU think could have created this amazing place we live in?

      October 29, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • i wonder

      Heather,

      Your first error is as.suming that it (the Earth and the universe) was "created".

      October 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • MM_PDX

      @Heather, so because you can't figure out how a god didn't create it, then you believe he must have? Awesome logic.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • groundlerings

      Okay. "Journey of the Soul: Case Studies of Life Between Lives" by Michael Newton, Ph.D. Dogma blinded to evidence of both the atheists and the religious are no different.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Heather

      i do not believe in the Lord because i am told to, i believe because he has worked miracles in my life, and i hope you will one day see the light of Jesus Christ

      October 29, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • MM_PDX

      From the Amazon review: "Readers with a penchant for skepticism will balk at the lack of physical evidence to back up the claims in Journey of Souls..."

      October 29, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Grounderlings: I looked it up. You loose a lot of credibility when you cite pseudoscience.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • groundlerings

      I don't think many of you understand social science. This is credible scientific research, and really only the tip of the iceberg. I don't lose (spelled correctly) any credibility. You all, like fundamentalists, want to refute science that doesn't agree with your mythology. Evolve beyond that fear-based reaction.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • MM_PDX

      Since when did past life regression become "science"? It's snake oil.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • MM_PDX

      And I'd really love for you to explain how an observable fact, that dead is dead and there's no proof of anything beyond it, is "mythology".

      October 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • groundlerings

      I see you're deeply entrenched to your belief system. There's much science cannot touch, as Einstein, Bohr, and others attested to in their writings. You're welcome to do research on your own. That was my point – you just hold a belief without inestigating any of it. There's really a great deal of research out there.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • MM_PDX

      What I'm deeply entrenched in is what can be observed and proven. There is no credible research proving that there is anything beyond death. Just saying it doesn't make it so. The one citation you provide is nothing more than quack therapy. And just because someone has a PhD after their name, that doesn't mean that anything they write or say is somehow proven. All it means is that they completed a proscribed program. Nothing more. You might do a little research yourself and find a single, just ONE, study that proves there is life after death. Until then, it's all just a fairy tale.

      October 29, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • groundlerings

      That's your big mistake – you assume all of reality is at our disposal to prove or disprove. You haven't experienced the larger reality yet to know how limited our capacities for observation really are. That's why you hold tight to this mythology of yours. Try reading Quantum Questions for a basis, or explore http://www.near-death.com/evidence.html for starters. You've got a lot of learning to do on this subject. It won't convince you probably, but it is a body of science working toward a broader understanding of our reality.

      October 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • MM_PDX

      Just because you want to believe something doesn't make it real. Again, you haven't shown a shred of scientific proof. What you have provided is references by people who, like you, have a vested interest in your own beliefs and, as you put it, mythology. There's nothing (literally zero) in your citations that is proof. They're simply your beliefs, just like Heather believes in her god without any proof other than what she reads in a book that was put together by folks who, again, had a vested interest in promoting those ideas.

      October 29, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • groundlerings

      So we'll chalk that misguided personal attack up to you not having any evidence. I have no dog in this fight. I could care less. I simply don't draw walls around science. I let it do what it's designed to do and the evidence, as has been presented, speaks for itself based on research. Sorry. You lose this round.

      October 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • MM_PDX

      Personal attack? What? That I compared your beliefs to Heather's? That wasn't an attack... simply an observation. You both believe in things which haven't been proven. You base your beliefs on the beliefs of others, not on any (literally ANY) evidence. And as to evidence, the burden of proof lies with the promoter of the belief. You believe in life after death, but so far have provided no evidence. Until you can do that, I'll stick to the facts.

      October 29, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Tallulah13

      Informing you that your information is not valid is not a personal attack. However, the fact that you think it is shows that you are not willing, or perhaps not able, to engage in a fact-based debate.

      October 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  9. james

    More CNN communist crap. 99.9% of Christians have no problem with Halloween, there is no 'debate'.

    This is an attempt to make Christians look crazy. Some are, just as are some atheists, Jews. CNN stop the hate.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • MM_PDX

      Right. Because believing in a bearded old man watching down from the heavens judging every we move we make is rational and sane. Please.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • groundlerings

      I don't not think the word Communist means what you think it means.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • sybaris

      McCarthy must be laughing from the grave.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • wayh

      Sorry James, athiests are not crazy, just christians and jews!!! Athiests know the Truth about religion!

      October 29, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • thepreacherspeaks

      MM_PDX: How do you know he's got a beard?

      October 29, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • MM_PDX

      Isn't that how Michaelangelo painted him? So it must be true, right?

      October 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Ground Zero

      **** james

      More CNN communist crap. 99.9% of Christians have no problem with Halloween, there is no 'debate'.

      This is an attempt to make Christians look crazy. Some are, just as are some atheists, Jews. CNN stop the hate.
      --------------------------------------------------------
      Most Christians are crazy.
      All they do is sight scripture.
      Shoot, i can spout Thou and thus from an automobile repair book
      and it will sound just as good.

      I love asking a Christian, who created God ?
      They always respond, he is just always there.
      God was created by man.
      If god is so powerfull, how come everything he creates........DIES !!!

      October 29, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  10. Athena12

    This is the first I've heard about Celtic roots for Halloween. It makes sense. Growing up Catholic, we always celebrated All Saints' Day and had to dress as our patron saint. We solemnly processed as St. Gabriel, St. Cecilia, St. Anne, the Virgin Mary, etc. It was a blast 🙂

    October 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Even as an atheist, I can see the fun in that. After seeing a few paintings of him in art history, my favorite saint is Sebastian. How fun to dress up with a bunch of fake arrows sticking out of you, dripping fake blood!

      October 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  11. JE Merrill

    Christianity has already successfully carried out cultural genocide against the peoples of north Europe (and most of the rest of the world, as well) – why not just destroy the holy days they stole over a thousand years ago in the name of co-opting the people they had burned out of their groves and homes in the name of Christ? Halloween has nothing to do with Samhain, except that All Saints Day and All Hallows Eve were created to kill the old holy days. If it ceases to be, it is no true loss, except to the people who received joy from a night of celebration.

    It does not amaze me that a religion based on self-hate would wish to destroy a celebration that is in no way religious out of fear of people having fun. I'll stick to the old ways, where we actually celebrate our lives.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • james

      Yes, those 'European Christians' who created the most law-abiding, wealthy and generous countries on earth sure are evil!

      Merrill, you need to take some reality pills.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • JE Merrill

      James, I'm a little embarrassed to share a name with you. Most law abiding nations? That is... Well, frankly, not even true. Crime rates in Europe are far-and-away higher than crime rates in, say, Singapore (except for chewing gum... It's a real problem). Wealth is a sign of good? Your Christ sure would be surprised, wouldn't he? I thought the rich had more trouble going to heaven than a camel passing through the eye of a needle. Guess it turns out wealth IS all you need! Generosity? An un-demonstrable claim with little referent. Charity rates are higher in Saudi Arabia than in most of Europe, because of religious commandments to give wealth to charity. It seems to me that you don't know much about the reality you claim to represent, sir.

      But let me be clear – Christianity is evil, but not because it preaches love of others or universal fellowship. Christianity is evil because it preaches hate of the self, and can't see its way to letting others enjoy their lives without harassment, violence, and cultural genocide.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Les

      @Merril

      Samhain (or Halloween) has everything to do with religion. For millions of pagans throughout the world it signifies the time when the the Lord of the Hunt begins His reign. For some it is the turning of the whell of life when we enter the quarter of the year that we wait in joyful anticipation of the coming birth of the Sun. Or it a time when the descent of Persephone in to the realm of the dead when Her absence means the world sleeps. For others it is a time to reflect on and honor our ancestors.

      It has everything to do with religion. It is a major fire festival, a harvest celebration and preparation for the winter to come. Research a little more and you will quickly see that although the Xtians have shunted it under a rug, there are a great many for whom Samhain is a sacred and blessed celebration. A holy and joyous time of the year that has been celebrated for millennium to honor ancestors and gods alike. A time to ask for successful hunting in the coming months so the community will not suffer starvation and hunger in the cold times ahead.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Ya know, Les, I always thought that paganism made a lot more sense than christianity. It also sounds a lot more fun.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  12. jumpinjezebel

    Oh Me, Oh My those persecuted "Sunday Fundies". Why can't they keep their whining to themselves.? Oh right they get to go on their Faux Noise TeeVee front to wail on and on about every occasion they think they are being assailed.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  13. a4mrtheist

    “hell houses” – that are designed to give a glimpse of eternal damnation in hopes of strengthening faith. God is loving...do it my way or go to hell.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • emtech

      Could you imagine a mother saying, "worship me or I'll kill you?" I don't think anybody could call that love. People need a crutch, so it's fine, but they should not misinterpret their personal crutch for some universal truth.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  14. blahblahblah

    I am a Christian but I love Halloween. I say leave it alone.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • sybaris

      You must not be a "true" christian

      October 29, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • blahblahblah

      I am a true Christian! I can remember years ago waiting to get dressed up and get candy. That's what Halloween was, not the day of the dead as people like to say now. We had class parties and carved pumpkins. It was about having fun and getting candy. People are way to sensitive these days. If it doesn't fit with what you want or what you believe then everyone else is wrong. Life just isn't that black and white.

      October 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  15. Hiro

    I think that Christians should actually focus on being "good Christians" and not being so hypocritical and self-serving. They claim to believe in Jesus Christ, but I see far too much hypocrisy among them. I've already met too many Christians who are extremely materialistic, judgmental, racist, anti-poor and against anyone who doesn't think and believe as they do. Yet, all the while, they go to church, claim to be Christian and read the Bible. I used to go to Christian church, until I grew up and learned that many Christians talk to talk, but don't walk the walk.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Patrick Williams

      Sad, but true, unfortunately.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • jumpinjezebel

      You'll also find that the "Sunday Fundies" are voracious listeners to the hate radio stations and the vile talk that eminates from them. Ditto-Heads let's pray!!

      October 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • PF7379

      Like no other religion or group of people ever act like that

      October 29, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  16. Light In The Black

    If we all came from Adam & Eve
    We are all from incest.
    Love the part about the talking snake and the apple.
    Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead / Jesus ressurected
    Water into wine / walk on water (witchcraft)
    And they attack Harry Potter and Helloween.
    Just freaking amazing.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  17. ode

    Here's an original idea. How about celebrate if you want to... if you think you'll go to hell... don't... Stop trying to make everyone believe in the same thing. Pagans actually use the day as think of their loved ones who have passed one, and starting to look inward in order to see how they can be better people. Who cares what people did hundreds of years ago... let's put it into perspective... people hundreds of years ago thought a tomato was evil... In ALL religions in whatever you chose to believe STOP trying to pushing it onto others.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Ms Doyle

      You took the words right out of my mouth. Sensible.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  18. Bill

    Re: Patrick Williams "The only thing we can take with us from this life is the Love, compassion and kindness"

    As a Christian the only "compassion and kindness" you show is towards other Christians – the rest of creation be damned.

    Why would another Heaven be created for you after you laid waste to this one??

    October 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Patrick Williams

      Good Question Bill but I don't think you are looking for an answer – I assume it was more rhetorical (which is OK). I agree with you that Christianity in America (maybe the world) to messed up. Most people in America who profess Christianity are just as greedy, materialistic, and self-centered as the next person. To say that was not true would be incorrect. I cannot answer for them nor do I condemn them because I have enough faults of my own. All I can do is try and grow myself and become the loving individual I (we all) should be. I wish I could answer your question better but I see the same things you do so I have quit trying to change the world and am trying to change myself (which is a tough job in itself! 🙂

      October 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  19. JohnRJohnson

    This guy, Avser Bastian, belongs in jail before he hurts somebody.

    October 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  20. BoldGeorge

    I believe that you can't worship, celebrate, believe in and identify with two opposing belief systems. A true Christian will not celebrate Halloween, no matter how harmless and fun it may seem. And if you're playing with both, you're really playing with fire. Halloween stands for everything pagan and devilish...just take a look at what it is that it's being represented by...ghouls, witches, Satan, demons, lustful sensuality, etc. But I'm sure this is a non-issue for unbelievers.

    There's a lot of foolish comments here, mainly from people who oppose Christianity or who couldn't care less about it. It's one thing to choose not to believe in God, Christ or anything related, but it is a very foolish thing to play with, mock or insult His name just because you don't believe in Him or the Bible. Yes, it's true that we Christians preach Christ, we preach repentance from sin and promote His commandments to the point where we become redundant, but as a Christian, would never mock or insult anyone's belief system in anyway. You can either just say, yes thank you or no thank you respectfully. My next door neighbor is probably by far the most respectful non-believer I have ever known. I've preached to him in several occasions and he respectfully listens and at times asks questions but never disrespects or mocks Christ. It almost seems that he fears to do so. That's what I call respect and being educated...something very lacking in this forum, unfortunately.

    October 29, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • JohnRJohnson

      There is no holiday on this planet that hasn't changed over the centuries and Halloween is no exception. What began as a religiously inspired celebration has morphed into a harmless children's event which millions of Christian adults once happily participated in when they were young. Trying to turn it into some kind of insidious evil plot of the Devil is just plain idiotic. One could do that with almost any holiday, including Christmas and, especially, Easter Sunday. Thanksgiving could be viewed as a celebration of victory over native Americans in New England, rather than a family holiday that was largely created by FDR. The paranoia and fear-mongering of some Christians is hysterically funny and, at the same, a little scary.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Fun is anti.thetical to the personal leanings of Bold George. I feel sorry for him.

      I feel sorry for the children of these christians as well. What a waste of a perfectly good childhood.

      And George, respect is earned. When I first started posting here, I tried to be respectful, but after being called names and damned to hell a few times, I got tired of it and started to reply in kind.

      Respect is also a two-way street. Do you sit silent and listen while your neighbor explains evolution and science? You say he almost fears to mock or disrespect Christ. Has he said so, or are you deciding his motives for him. That is not respectful.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Crz

      I agree that people should respect each other's faith or lack of faith. You say that Christians would never disrespect other people's faiths, yet I've read of many instances where Christians wanted to block Muslims from building mosques. I've seen lots of disrespect from Christians when they talk about Pagans; they say Pagans are wrong and they will go to hell. Hopefully this Halloween season can be a time for people to reflect on the orgins of religion and the respect due to each human being, regardless of their religious opinions.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Daniel

      There is nothing foolish or otherwise about mocking or insulting something that doesn't exist or isn't true. You have the right to believe in things, I have a right to comment on those beliefs as I see fit.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Commenter

      BoldGeorge - "I've preached to him in several occasions and he respectfully listens"

      Oh, that poor neighbor man. He has my sympathy. I wouldn't be surprised if he thinks that you are just a little (a lot) "tetched" and is just humoring you by listening. Please stop doing that to him - or to anyone who hasn't asked for your thoughts on the matter.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • groundlerings

      When you evolve to understand that all spiritual traditions are different paths to the same end, you will stop believing what you do.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      Scary for who?

      I'll tell you what's very scary. My child doesn't celebrate Halloween (obviously). So at school, when they asked the kids to bring in anything that represented the fall harvest, he brought in pictures of family gatherings for Thanksgiving, many Fall themed fruits and some orange/dark brown leaves. When he didn't want to participate in the cutting of pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns and dressing up in costumes, they escorted him from his main classroom to another room where there were a couple of other non-Halloween celebrators. And last year, when kids were asked to write about things representing Christmas, everyone wrote 'nice' things like how good it is to get presents, about Santa Claus, and about family get-togethers, which is all nice by the way. But when he wrote about the Nativity scene, the teacher wrote us a letter telling us to avoid this subject because it might 'offend' others that don't believe in that aspect of CHRISTmas.

      Talk about scary.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • tallulah13

      George, I actually agree with you that your child should have been able to write about a nativity scene, as long as it was done in a manner that didn't tell everyone they were evil because they didn't think the same way. However, I feel very sad for your child. Dressing up for Halloween is fun and simply another way use your imagination. It's sad that you think that fun and imagination are evil.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      To tallulah13: "What a waste of a perfectly good childhood."
      What do you consider a 'good' childhood? To let them do what everyone else's children are doing? To let your kids wander aimlessly and be associated with every doctrinal wind that passes by is not giving them a 'good' childhood by any means. I mean, what are parents for anyway? Just to tell them, "Do your homework and try not to cut class again tomorrow"??? I think we were made to be a little more influential than that.

      You wrote: "...but after being called names and damned to hell a few times, I got tired of it and started to reply in kind."
      Did I call you any names? Have I damned you to Hell? You can't judge all because of one. Harold Camping wrongly predicted Judgment Day this past Friday. He calls himself a "christian". I however, do NOT want to be associated with him or his meaning of Christianity.

      YOU WROTE: "Has he said so, or are you deciding his motives for him."
      These are his exact words, "I'm scared to talk against any religion because at the end of the day, one of them might be true." I don't bash him over the head and tell him that the true one is mine, but this just shows me he does have some reverence in him. And of course, I can respect him for that.

      October 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.