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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 • Opinion • Paganism

soundoff (591 Responses)
  1. Schtackel

    Christians: Knocking the name off other peoples' holidays, and knocking the noses off other peoples' statues.

    You do know that the reason so many great works of art from ancient Greece and Rome are damaged is because Christians valdalized them . . . just like modern Muslims do.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Troy

      Hey dude, you're acting like Pinocchio. I'd stop lying before it grows any longer.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Towelie

      If you are going to go vandalizing works of art, don't forget to bring a towel!

      October 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Schtackel

      Actually, that's quite true. When the Christians became the dominant religion of Rome, they quickly outlawed all other religions, and destroyed their temples, art works, and everrything else. You can deny it all you want, but it is true.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Troy

      I guess we'll just have to let pagan children run with scissors.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  2. WorkingInVA

    It's about time someone stepped in to educate the masses on the true meaning of each holiday:

    New Year's Day – celebrates Football (real Football, American style, not that "futbol" BS played by all the wuss countries)
    Easter – celebrates delicous candy
    Memorial Day – celebrates delicious barbeque
    Fourth of July – celebrates our independence from high prices
    Labor Day – celebrates delicious barbeque again (so nice, we have to celebrate it twice)
    Halloween – celebrates delicious candy again (see "so nice...twice" above)
    Thanksgiving – catch-all to celebrate all the remaining delicious foods (why don't we do this one twice?)
    Christmas – celebrates presents from Santa and the joy of credit cards

    You're welcome.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Meatwad

      The only thing better than candy is cupcakes ya'll. I would eat cupcakes every day if I had any damn money.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  3. James

    Nobody cares about your pseudo religion. Get over it.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • David Stoppard

      I care. I care very, very much indeed.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      what if a dude could fist your doo doo chute so hard it blew out your hole to the point he could pull your lower intestines out and you would look like you were dragging bloody poopie sausage casings from your backside, would you do it. Great costume idea bro.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • David Stoppard

      @dong docker

      I am unsure to whom you are replying, but I can assure you that these unpleasant activities would be hotly contested.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Dave

      Their religion is just as relevant as any other.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  4. ArdDruid

    Blessed Be all my brothers and sisters

    October 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      You can be my butt brother. We can dick our flaccid wangs together with man nut so they stick head to head. How's that sound? Rad, I know.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  5. dock your dong with dudes

    Did anyone see the bid of the guy who lives up a mason jar with Crisco and sits on it till his butt hole engulfs it, then it shatters inside of his colon!? Sooo much intestine blood! Happy Halloween.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Meatwad

      That's not even scary ya'll. What's that thing that's the opposite of of scary...tacos?

      October 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      What about the one with the dude who ties a fishing line to his balls and the other end to a truck hitch, the watches his nuts sliced/ripped off before his own eyes!!! Gnar gnar! Nut bloood!

      October 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Meatwad

      What about the one where the fella eats the Brood Witch sandwich and goes to another dimension where a protozoa with an axe and one eye tries to hack him in two? Hell yeah boy.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      Good episode!

      October 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  6. AlongTheWay

    We don't even understand why we do what we do anymore. And the loudest of religious groups... well, they're still out Trick-O-Treating. Tried to explain to a family member that Christ's BD is not Dec 25th, that it started out as a raucaus, lawless day of feasting and a whole bunch of other unmentionable things. Didn't go over well. Folks simply do not want to believe it. It's not pretty. Or that brides didn't always wear white. Or that married couples didn't always sleep in one bedroom, birthdays were not always celebrated, or Valentine's Day...and a whole bunch of other odd things we now do and don't give much thought to. 🙂 Next - Christmas without gifts? It'll never happen. No matter how holy it's supposed to be ...

    October 31, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Meatwad

      Christmas without gifts? That don't sound right. I am going to ask Santa for hair and a hair dryer.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Troy

      Christ was conceived on December 25th. You can read it in scriptures when his cousin John the Baptist, born 6 months prior to Jesus, leaped in Mary's womb.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • christie d.

      Leapt into her? This is why I am never having kids. I don't want anything leaping in or out of me at any point. So when is your zombie jesus going to leap back into our world?

      October 31, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Mary Rogers

      December 25th was the birthday of the sun-god Mithra. Fortunately he doesn't mind that we stole it from him.

      November 1, 2012 at 5:10 am |
  7. aertzc

    Halloween and Samhain are two different holidays. They're similar and Halloween is based on Samhain, but using them as synonyms is just incorrect. Also, the way most neopagans celebrate Samhain is more similar to modern Halloween than archaic Samhain, so you're really just splitting hairs.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      I would love to cut my own butt hole with a broken shard of glass just so I could fart butt blood on your face. Feces tainted butt blood right in your eyes and mouth.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  8. Mike

    I hate to say it, but I kind of like the "decadent" undertone that Halloween has these days. Not violent. Just decadent, in a kind of Bacchanalian sense. Americans need more of these days where we shed our Puritanical nonsense.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      Yea like costume parties where everyone fvcks each other but no one knows who's banging them? Rad idea mike, that twisted. Just sloppy, wet, hot naked parties where everyone gets covered in hot goo. Right on mike.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Burbank

      Christmas used to have decadent overtones a long time ago. Interesting how holidays change. A lot of our Christian holidays were hijacked from the Pagans in order to compete with them for membership.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  9. therealpeace2all

    **Earliest Trace**

    Peter Tokofsky, an assistant professor in the department of folklore and mythology in UCLA states, ***"The earliest trace*** (of Halloween) is the ***Celtic festival, Samhain***, which was the Celtic New Year. It was the day of the dead, and they believed the souls of the deceased would be available" (Navarro).
    Samhain

    Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in) means "summer's end" by the Celts. In old Germanic and Celtic societies, what we call equinoxes and solstices marked the middles of the season, not the beginnings." (Chamberlain) Therefore if there exist an autumnal equinox, winter solstice, spring equinox and a summer solstice, there are also the beginning of autumn, winter, spring and summer. All of these eight dates were important. Summer's end which meant the beginning of winter was an important time for people who survived on plants grown in the field and animals that were kept in pastures. (Chamberlain) "This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death" (The History Channel Exhibits- History of Halloween) It is most likely this reason that the Druids (Celtic pagans) believed that the spirits of those who died the preceding year roamed the earth the night of Samhain (MSN Learning & Research- Halloween)
    Descriptions

    The Druids celebrated this holiday "with a great fire festival to encourage the dimming Sun not to vanish" and people "danced round bonfires to keep evil sprits away, but left their doors open in hopes that the kind spirits of loved ones might join them around their hearths". On this night, "divination was thought to be more effective than any other time, so methods were derived to ascertain who might marry, what great person might be born, who might rise to prominence, or who might die" (Chamberlain). Also during the celebration, the Celts "wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes". Crops were burned and animals were sacrificed (The History Channel Exhibits- The History of Halloween). The spirits were believed to be either "entertained by the living", or to "find a body to possess for the incoming year". This all gives reasons as to why "dressing up like witches, ghosts and goblins, villagers could avoid being possessed." (Navarro )

    **Roman Influence**

    By 43 AD, "Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory." For the 400 years they occupied Celtic lands, two Roman festivals: Feralia (the commemoration of the passing of the dead) and a day to honor Pomona (the Roman goddess of fruits and trees). The apple served as a symbol for Pomona and which might have been incorporated into Samhain by the practice of "bobbing for apples" (The History of Halloween).

    **Christian Influence**

    When "local people converted to Christianity during the early Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church often incorporated modified versions of older religious traditions in order to win converts." Pope Gregory IV wanted to subst-itute Samhain with All Saints' Day in 835, but All Souls' Day (Nov. 2nd) which is closer in resemblance to Samhain and Halloween today, was "first inst-ituted at a French monastery in 998 and quickly spread throughout Europe" (MSN Learning & Research- Halloween). In the 16th century, "Christian village children celebrated the vigil of All Saints' by doing the Danse Macabre.

    **Modern Halloween**

    Halloween came to the United States when European immigrants "brought their varied Halloween customs with them". In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants including the Irish fleeing from the potato famine in Ireland in 1846. By combining Irish and English traditions, Americans began the "trick-or-treat" tradition. In the later 1800's the holiday became more centered on community and in the 1920's and 1930's, Halloween became "a secular, but community-centered holiday". In the 1950's leaders changed Halloween as a holiday aimed at the young to limit vandalism. This all led to what Halloween actually is like today. (The History Channel Exhibits: The History of Halloween)

    --------------------------------------------------------

    The festival of celebration that came around this time, without question has its *roots* or *beginnings* with the Celts and the Druids with Samhain. The Christians began to co-opt this festival or celebration, per usual, like other holidays, i.e... Saturnalia/Festival of Yule(Christmas), Eostre/Festival of renewal and fertility(Easter), etc...

    Peace...

    October 31, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Marie Connor

      I agree, we as Christians, need to celebrate our holidays. However, that also means that those who are not followers of Jesus need to stop celebrating our holidays. If you do not follow Jesus, do not celebrate Christmas. Leave Santa Claus out if it. Don't bring bunnies and eggs into my Resurrection Day celebration. If we all stuck to our own religious holidays, none of our holidays would become secularized and no one would be frustrated. I already stopped celebrating Halloween because I am not a pagan.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @threalpeace2all,

      the wikipedia page has some different dates and reference Gregory III rather than Gregory IV. But the essence is the same.

      The Latin church co-opted Samhain. Interestingly the Byzantine tradition celebrates All Saints Day in the spring, much the way the Latins did before Gregory III moved it.

      Happy Samhain!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Saints%27_Day
      -----------------------
      The feast of All Saints, on its current date, is traced to the foundation by Pope Gregory III (731–741) of an oratory in St. Peter's for the relics "of the holy apostles and of all saints, martyrs and confessors, of all the just made perfect who are at rest throughout the world", with the day moved to 1 November and the 13 May feast suppressed.

      This fell on the Celtic holiday of Samhain, which had a theme similar to the Roman festival of Lemuria, but which was also a harvest festival. The Irish, having celebrated Samhain in the past, did not celebrate All Hallows Day on this 1 November date, as extant historical docvments attest that the celebration in Ireland took place in the spring: "...the Felire of Oengus and the Martyrology of Tallaght prove that the early medieval churches [in Ireland] celebrated the feast of All Saints on April 20."
      -----------------------

      October 31, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @GOPer

      Thanks for the double-check on my citations.

      Also, "Happy Samhain" to you as well ! 😀

      Peace...

      October 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Knowledge

      @Marie Connor:
      There are no major Christian holidays that are do not have their roots in pagan holidays.
      Christians did this as a co-opt marketing campaign that let the pagans celebrate their holidays under a different god.
      That way they could continue to have their traditions . True fact

      October 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • PJ

      @not gop....people often forget that the ancient people marked days from sundown to sundown...so tonight when the sun goes down to tomorrow when the sun goes down is Samhain. This is why there is the confusion of the Oct.31/Nov.1 date.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Mary Rogers

      Marie, It was the CHURCH who brought easter eggs and bunnies into the Easter celebration. And the myth of Santa Claus is based on a real person, a Christian named St. Nicolas who started the gift giving tradition. The person to blame for the pagan symbols present in Christian holidays was Constantine. Rather than banning pagan festivals he co-opted them into the Christian tradition.

      .

      November 1, 2012 at 5:29 am |
  10. Billy 2 67

    Let's get Pagan Baby!

    October 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • john

      marie connor, i think you need to get laid. badly, but first take the stick out. slowly, tho. splinters and all ...

      October 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Troy

      John, have you seen a professional for your pent up anger?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  11. dock your dong with dudes

    Its all about finding that special drunk piece that will let you spread her roast beef curtains with your fist until your elbow deep in secretions from satans mouth. The you take the infected hand an smear it on the upper lips of all who will let you.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • hey dock

      after reading all your posts...i think i fell in love with you

      October 31, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      Thanx dude or chuck. Just spreading the awesome that is Halloweens disgusting shame and glory holes.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • ladies luv d'log

      OK, couple things: it's you are elbow deep, not your. Condemned Mexican restaurant???? Really??? Does it matter??? They all are tough on yur tummy IF you eat the wrong thing. Finally, who is Yolo???

      October 31, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  12. Dan Gonzalez

    Hmmm. In it's origin, Halloween is a Roman Catholic Holiday. It is the Eve of All Hallows' Day (All Saint's Day)—Hallows' Eve or Halloween. The way the article relays the origin of Halloween is perplexing.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Kris

      That's actually incorrect. Halloween very much has it's origins in Pagan roots, the same way Christmas (Yule) is Pagan influenced and Easter (celebration of Ishtar, goddess of fertility) is Pagan influenced. The Church absorbed those holidays as a way of convincing pagans to convert to their religion.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • visitor

      That is where the NAME comes from but not the holiday.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Mike

      If your point is that the name suggests a Catholic origin then you are mistaken. It was "named" such in the 16th century but the celebration was going on long before that. Perhaps the point we should take from this is that Halloween should be renamed to something more appropriate to the actual derivation of the event. Something like Samhain's Day or Harvest'een. Personally I like the Halloween name but I'd be happy to let go of it if it would shut those folks up who mistakenly keep trying to take credit for it.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • joe

      Actually the catholic church kept a lot of pagan holidays to appease the masses. Christmas is a Pagan holiday for the days getting longer, not jesus' birthday.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • CBA

      Ummmm....no...the origins are ancient Celtic, as the article states. I won't get into the history of it here – you can look at many on line, but here is a short and simple one: http://www.history.com/topics/halloween

      October 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  13. Meatwad

    Halloween is that special time of year when the Brood Witch comes to share sandwiches with children.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  14. Lamb of dog

    Atheist hunter. You are ridiculous. All you do is threaten people with eternal burning in hell. It seems like your pretty scared of your loving god. So if being afraid is what you need to stay in line so be it. But remembered that most of us aren't sitting behind our keyboards shaking in our boots like you. Lots of people here think your scared of a silly fairytale not unlike the boogie man. So rant and rave and try to get people to be scared with you. But remembered you are the one who is worried. Not the people who think your a nut job.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  15. Linda

    What a lovely way to celebrate Halloween.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      By letting a random scag from the bus terminal bang the hell out of your backdoor with no rubber on until its so blown out you have to clinch your butt cheeks when you walk so tired don't slide out your bum.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  16. H Mann

    Nicely written. It does not scare or accuse but inform and invite.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yes, as it would be.

      Unlike the 'believe or burn' Christian posters here.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      like invite some guys you meet at a truck stop to a party you were not invited to, and then get high on pcp and all take turns dropping huge turds in the same toilet but never flushing so it's gross and backed up forever. Then rubbing hot man milk all over each others hairy chests. And hugging random guest smearing man nut on random people. Halloween.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • USDude

      Dock – looks like you have the TRUE halloween spirit. I'm praying for you right now that you find Jesus as your Lord and Savior – start time for prayer is 2:22pm eastern time – end time – as long as it takes....

      October 31, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      I pray you choke on a pair of hairy balls an your lord looks the other way while your life in snuffed out in a gross se.x act.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • USDude

      Dock – still praying for you – just a quick break to type this – now I'm going to pray every day for you to find Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      I hope you find Jesus while your face is buried in the poop chute of a dude who hasn't wiped his butt hole after eating from a condemned Mexican restaurant, and it burns your throat as much as it burns his butt on the way out.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  17. roadkilled

    Holidays, in general, are just the human desire for "magic" days! Roughly speaking, the solstices and equinox were used as convenient markers, given to us by the "sky worshipers". Holidays, with roots in astrological observations, have meaning in an agrarian society. As quaint and antiquated, as these celebrations are, we should keep them in perspective, and take any "meaning" with a grain of salt!

    October 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Yolo bolo

      They are all just an excuse to PARTY!!!!!!

      Only the dingbats actually take them seriously.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      An excuse to experiment with other males and get inside each other and feel the real you, in men. That's what Yolo does tonight. Right docking bro, get all weird?

      October 31, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  18. ajk68

    Halloween = "All Halos Eve" – the night before "All Saints Day," a feast of the Catholic Church

    Halloween is a Christian celebration. Samhain is not. To say "Halloween is pagan" is incorrect. Samhain is pagan.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • sbp

      Uh, sure, and December 25th is Jesus' birthday, and not some pagan holiday co-opted by Christianity. Please.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Seraphim01

      You are actually quite incorrect, so much so it is astonishing. The Christian 'holiday/celebration' had roots and was virtually usurped the original, pagan origins. Much like Christmas. And Easter. Do you think it coincidence that all these christian holidays are falling on days that Pagans celebrated LONG before the advent of christianity?

      October 31, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Edna Pimples Save The Day!

      So just pop a new word on it, and it is yours.

      Right.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      and yet none of the current trappings of halloween originate from the original christian idea of all hallows eve, its closer to its pagan roots in that regard.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "All Halos Eve" ... smirk.

      Is that we we all get together with our X-Box Connect and follow the commands of the Master Chief?

      October 31, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  19. Mike

    Maybe you should try and reclaim Christmas as a pagan holiday first. The Christian holiday of Christmas is worthy of ridicule. Most people know that it began as a pagan holiday and was co-opted by Christans long ago to undermine paganism. That's the one you should be going after.
    http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Christmas_TheRealStory.htm

    October 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Edna Pimples Save The Day!

      All the "Christian Nation" people seem to forget that the Puritans and Dissenters refused to celebrate Christmas, considering it a non-Biblical recent fabrication. This continued until the late 1800s.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  20. Dawkins is my homeboy

    Do not lets the lies of Jesus penetrate your turd pusher! For the forearm of satan can and will wreck the insides of Christ with furious butt fisting! Hail Satan!

    October 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Dawkins is my homeboy.............devil come out in Jesus name!

      October 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Dawkins is my homeboy

      Devil will come in your butt hole.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:04 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.