Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dear Kirk Cameron, Let's Talk About Halloween

This is not how we celebrate Samhain.
But Pagans have a sense of humor, and this is funny.
Dear Kirk Cameron,

First of all, I'd like to say that I have a deep respect for the Christian faith. I'm truly blessed to know so many who practice with a sense of humility, and a great deal of education, not only about what they believe, but about what others believe as well.

And they're smart enough to ask questions instead of representing a faith they know nothing about, like you have.

Clearly, I take issue with some things you've said. I'd like to say that I take issue with some things you've said  recently, but that wouldn't be true in the slightest.

I've not spoken out against some of what I consider to be your homophobic rhetoric, mostly because other people have done it so much better than I could ever hope to.

This time, though, you're touching on my faith, and I'd like to clear a few things up for you. Especially since Pagans already face a great deal of misinformation and stereotyping in this country. You think you're persecuted for being a Christian? Try being a Pagan in the Bible Belt. Seriously, you have no idea.

But I digress. You stated in this interview with the Christian Post:
"Early on, Christians would dress up in costumes as the devil, ghosts, goblins and witches precisely to make the point that those things were defeated and overthrown by the resurrected Jesus Christ,"..."The costumes poke fun at the fact that the devil and other evils were publicly humiliated by Christ at His resurrection. That's what the Scriptures say, that He publicly humiliated the devil when He triumphed over power and principality and put them under his feet. Over time you get some pagans who want to go this is our day, high holy day of Satanic church, that this is all about death, but Christians have always known since the first century that death was defeated, that the grave was overwhelmed, that ghosts, goblins, devils are foolish has-beens who used to be in power but not anymore. That's the perspective Christians should have."
So, let's get started, shall we?

Samhain (pronounced like sow-in or sow-een depending on the region) is the ancient Celtic holiday that many modern Pagans celebrate at Haloween. It is our New Year, and our final harvest festival. Traditionally it's thought to be the day when the veil between this world and the next was thinnest. People would have feasts to honor their dead loved ones, and would leave sacrifices to aid them on their journeys in the afterlife.

Some of us still do.

When Christians began converting the Celts, they looked for ways to incorporate their ancient festivals into more Christian ones.

And, to be honest, that doesn't bother me. Why wouldn't they? If they thought that the Celts were worshiping the wrong Gods, why wouldn't they just change the focus to the God they though was correct?

That some of the Christians told lies in order to covert people, does bother me. As does the vilification of the old faith to the point where people had to hide it for centuries, for fear of death. Even good Christians were murdered in the quest to rid the world of Paganism.

So really, way to go, right?

Now, to be fair, (because I can be, and because I can read, and have studied history) the idea of honoring the dead didn't begin and end in Britain. Every culture has some ritual or festival that does so, and the early church did too. It's just that when they were looking for ways to incorporate some of the Pagan traditions into the Church, they borrowed certain themes from Samhain, and created All Saints Day.

Seriously, Kirk, you don't really think that all your Christian holidays developed in a vacuum, completely devoid of any input from the cultures that it touched as it was spreading across the continents, did you?

That's just ignorant on your part.

But, hey,  if you want to wear costumes that poke fun of what you believe to be evil, and to show your faith that your God has triumphed over those things, more power to you. I take no issue with it whatsoever.

But when you start speaking for my faith, you sound like an uneducated blowhard.

There is no "High Holy Day of the Satanic Church" for Pagans. We don't believe in Satan, not like you do.

We see the Satan you fear, as a perversion of our Horned God. The God of the forests, and of the hunt. He brought fertility, and even sang the dead to the Summerlands.

We see how the Church twisted our God of the Wilderness into something scary, to be feared, so that people would turn away from their Ancient traditions, and follow Christianity.

And, just so you know, Pagans and Satanists are two totally different things.

Let me explain something to you. For us, Samhain isn't "all about death". We see life as a Sacred Spiral of life, death, and rebirth. For us you can't have one without the other.

Our celebration isn't morose, it's hopeful.

We're happy to honor those who have gone before us. We're grateful for the seeds that will come back to life when winter turns to spring. We're grateful for our harvest that will feed us through the winter, and for the earth's rest. Because truly, all living things need a rest.

We acknowledge and respect the dark part of the cycle, as it will bring us back to the light.

Mr. Cameron, I will respect your right to speak about your faith, about what you believe, and about how you feel your faith should understand it's holidays.

But I'd like you to do me the favor of not speaking for my faith, or attempting to represent what we believe (especially when it's clear that you have no idea what you're talking about).

Oh, and lastly, this Witch hasn't been defeated or overthrown by anyone. But feel free to look me up if you'd like to have a try.

Happy Halloween, or Samhain Blessings to you.  If you like my blog, please click the link below which registers a vote for me, would you? Thanks. You're the best!
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