Halloween in the United States -
Is It Worth It?
by Jim Josephsen
A recent Gallup Poll reported that a little more than three-quarters
of Americans identify themselves as Christian. In total,
82% of Americans say they have some form of religious association.
The remaining 18% claim no religious affiliation.
following breakdown reveals the various religious affiliations with
which Americans declare themselves associated. Twenty-three
point six percent declare themselves Catholic; whereas 52.5% have
declared themselves as Protestant or other non-Catholic. Continuing
with those outside the traditional Christian circle, 1.9% of
Americans have declared themselves as Mormon; 1.6% as Jewish; 0.5%
Muslim; 2.4% in the category of other non-Christian; 15% of no
religion/atheist/agnostic and 2.5% gave no response.
In 1990, Christians within the United States made up 86% of the
population. Today, some 22 years later, as the recent Gallup Poll
only 76.1% of Americans claim themselves to be Christian. The
reality of these statistics points out the fact that the United
States is not as Christian a nation as it once was.
Reading the Christian Bible, comparing the holidays of pagan
societies to the Holy Days of God; and further looking at the
celebrations God declares as honorable in His sight, contrasting
them with the holiday celebrations observed in the United States,
the reader should be convinced that the United States is not very
Christian or God-fearing at all. Looking at the history of the
United States and its holiday celebrations (Christmas,
Easter, Halloween, etc.), one may venture to ask: Has the
United States ever been a completely Christian nation, faithful to
the Words of God?
In American, over the past century,
developed into a unique fall holiday that is not just for kids any
more. Halloween has become the party holiday of adults and parents;
with some parties too weird and perverted to give mention. When you
think of Halloween, you conjure up thoughts of candy and treats,
bobbing for apples, kids dressed up in costumes, adults dressed up
in risqué and provocative outfits, ghosts, things that go bump in
the night, jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating, haunted houses and
devilish stuff. Americans love Halloween,
approximately $8 billion annually on this holiday alone.
Early in the first week of October, it is easy for you to see in
neighborhoods across America, trees on which a body-figure hangs on
a noose; or orange orbs, pumpkins and cats hanging from branches.
Even more, you can easily see makeshift cemeteries on front lawns,
and windows of homes and apartments alike, decorated with witches,
vampires, zombies, werewolves, ghosts, pumpkins and devil heads.
Just as Christmas with its annual pageantry has its decorations
plastered across America in December, so too has Halloween in
The history and
origin of Halloween should come as no surprise. From bookstores
to the internet, one can learn all about this day; from its Celtic
origins to all the themes and trappings associated with it.
The origins of Halloween go back to the ancient Celtic tribes who
lived in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany. For these peoples,
November 1st marked the beginning of a new year. On the night
before, October 31st, these people celebrated in worship of Samhain,
the Lord of the Dead. When the Romans conquered the Celts, they
added some of their homegrown celebrations to the Samhain
celebration. The Romans bobbed for apples while drinking cider in
worship of Pomona, the goddess of the orchards.
Additionally, the touches of Catholicism gave this pagan holiday a
more honorable meaning, when in 835; Pope Gregory IV moved the
Catholic celebration for all martyrs which occurred on May 13th to
November 1st, the day called All Saints Day. The night before,
October 31st, was called All Hallow’s Evening or Holy Evening,
eventually called Halloween. The purpose for the change was to
incorporate the pagan practices of these Celts into celebrations of
Catholicism, thereby creating a win-win situation. Jesus would be
served and so would be the gods of the pagans. Both the Celtic dead
and the Catholic dead would be honored and celebrated. Much like El
Dia de los Muertos, the dead are celebrated. Where in the Bible do
we read that God requires the dead to be worshipped?
By the mid-1800s, many Irish immigrants, settling in the United
States, brought with them their Catholic sponsored Halloween
practices, which were easily inculcated into the American way of
life. By the early 1900s, the Halloween celebration starting taking
on a more communal and commercial flare. Like Easter and Christmas,
Halloween, in these United States of America, has taken on a
strongly commercial and marketing flavor, as the religious elements
have regressed. But then again we ask, what is religious, and more
so, what is Biblical about Halloween?
Halloween is deeply ingrained in the culture of the United States,
especially with the influences of TV and cinema over the past 60
years. The ever-increasing acceptance of Halloween is yet one more
example of a fundamental problem that is plaguing this so-called
Christian nation. It is more evident than ever that the attitude of
Americans with regard to Halloween is they really do not care if
Halloween is pagan, or Catholic, or Christian. Halloween is a day of
fun for the kids and adults alike. As the polls reflect, especially
in the 18 to 30 year old range, more individuals are rejecting their
Christian ties, seeing the hypocrisy of their parent’s religions,
gravitating to a more open, hedonistic, and self-satisfying life
style, with no fear of or obedience toward God.
The facts of Halloween are obvious, readily available; as anything
from simple children’s stories about the Celts, and jack-o-lantern
to academic theses examining the origins of all the elements that
make up Halloween, can be read. Our modern technology allows us to
read massive amounts of materials simply in the palm of our hands.
The information is available; but do people care to know?
It seems evident that Halloween celebrants enjoy getting scared,
getting drunk, letting loose, reveling, engaging in parties,
celebrating, going trick or treating, in many cases engaging in
debauchery and satisfying the self more than understanding why they
do what they do and if it really edifies society. Why does this, as
so-called, Christian nation, celebrate Halloween, when all the
constituent parts point back to pagan origins and questionable
Does it matter what Americans do? Being more specific, does it
matter what those who claim Christ (you
know, Christians), do as it pertains to Halloween?
Jesus Christ made a statement centuries ago, which is no less
profound and condemning today, as it was back then, when spoken by
His lips. Christ, the one who Christians admire stated, “Well hath
Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people
honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in
vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of
men” (Mark 7:6-7 KJV). The Living Bible translation puts it this
way, “.”Their worship is a farce, for they replace God’s commands
with their own man-made teachings.”
How ironic it is, of the United States in particular, and of those
individuals who call themselves Christian. The evidence is
convincing, overwhelming. The origins of Halloween are steeped in
pagan worship and superstition and Catholic doctrine, none of which
can be found in the Word of God, the Bible.
Halloween is yet one more example of a teaching, of a cultural
behavior that cannot be supported by the Bible. Halloween would
never be and has never been sanctioned or approved by God; it is not
one of His Holy Days, which He commands His people to observe.
Halloween is a command, a doctrine, a teaching, a celebration
man-made, Satan inspired and destructive to the celebrants and to
the nation that observes it.
It is ironic, that the United States of America, a so-called
Christian country, a nation claiming to be God’s people, as the
banner is raised, “one nation under God,” would celebrate Halloween.
God has something to say of His people. “My people are destroyed for
lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge I will reject
you as my priests: because you have ignored the laws of your God, I
will also ignore your children (Hosea 4:6).
By lacking the knowledge of God and His truth; by lacking knowledge
as it pertains to the common so-called Christian holidays and what
they really are; by ignoring God’s laws, which He provides for our
good and our prosperity; God has something to say. Will you listen?
One comment that is very often vocalized in defense of celebrating
it’s only for the children; let them have fun. After all, don’t
they look so cute in their little costumes?
Children learn from and will do what their parents teach them. Each
generation is a product of the last. God said, because you have
ignored the laws of your God, I will ignore your children.
Can we afford to have God ignore the children? God is their only
hope. He is your only hope.
Think about it. In such a corrupt, violent, immoral and irreligious
country that the United States is today; a country where hundreds of
kids disappear, are kidnapped, murdered; a country in which perverts
prey on children, do you want God to ignore the children? How about
You may think Halloween is a nice activity for the kids, innocent
and harmless. But are the consequences worth it?
Breaking News Stories
here for the latest news stories on this subject.
–news stories added 30 October 2012
Did God Create a Devil?
Hallowe'en Is Pagan
How Seasonal Holy Days Reveal God's Plan
Halloween - Paganism to Acceptance
–by Jim Josephsen
Witchcraft, Sorcery, and "Harry Potter" –by Garner Ted
21st Century Watch
Hallowe'en--What's It Really All About? [Volume
1, Number 8]
Quote by Garner Ted Armstrong:
|"No true Christian with common sense, and
a desire to OBEY God, would ever be involved in a hideous
"celebration" of Satan, demons, witches, and death. Of
course, if there is no God, it doesn't make any
difference. But God does exist, and God clearly labels
indulging in such demonic, evil, Satanic practices as a
heinous sin." -Source
How Hallowe'en Works
Sound bite by Garner Ted Armstrong:
Harry Potter and Witchcraft
Sermon by Garner Ted Armstrong:
Sorcery and Harry Potter
EA Feature Page:
Halloween Is Pagan
EA Feature Page:
"Tis The Season to be Jolly" (or is it?)
EA Feature Page:
Passover or Easter?
Left: Jack-o'-lanterns on front porch
Center: Mock cemetery in front yard
Right: Children in Halloween costumes