Secularist Educators On The March Against Traditional Holidays
Sometimes, the best way to gain insight into a thing, person, or an issue is to consider it through the lens of its seemingly opposite.
For example, in terms of celebrations on the calendar, on their surface few would be more opposite than Halloween and Christmas.
Halloween, on the one hand, is a reflection that all things in this life come to an end in death and that death is the result of evil having come into the world and how all mortals have at least a passing degree of interest in that particular existential state.
Christmas, on the other hand, is a celebration of the birth of the One who came into the world so that we might have life and life more abundantly held at the time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere when nature begins to remind that the preponderance of darkness is itself a temporary thing.
By examining how each of these are viewed and approached in the mind of the secular statist, one gains more of a comprehensive understanding of the irrationality of many of the critics of these otherwise beloved occasions.
A number of these lame excuses were examined in a Desert News article titled “For Religious Reasons Christmas/Halloween Take A Hit In Schools.”
For example, at Inglewood Elementary in the suburbs of Philadelphia, party poopers there canceled the school's student Halloween parade on the grounds that the activity was religious in nature.
Reflection upon both Halloween and Christmas parties reveals that neither celebration will likely manipulate those attending these functions to abandon their mostly deeply cherished beliefs in favor of a whole new set of spiritual paradigms.
For example, the most professedly spiritual aspect of Christmas is the commemoration of the birth of the Christ Child destined to be slain from the foundation of the world in payment for the sins of every person to have walked the face of the earth willing to accept Christ as Lord and Savior.
However, at most Christmas parties, seldom does this truth upon which all of cosmic history orbits get all that much in the way of good eats and the gift giving frenzy.
But if Christmas has to be abolished because its true meaning might unsettle those that practice other creeds or who claim to practice no creed at all not so much out of a profound conviction that outright nihilism profess is really the correct way to ultimate truth but more out of a deep-seated hatred of Jesus, then Halloween should be banished from the halls of polite academia as well. But with violence and sexuality rampant throughout many of the nation's schools, can they really be considered all that polite anymore?
Halloween traces its origin back primarily to traditions surrounding the Celtic new year known as Samhain that were introduced to America by Irish immigrants. In pagan times, it was believed that during that particular time of year that the boundaries between the realms of the spirit and corporeal flesh were at their thinnest with beings able to cross over.
As a result, assorted customs developed where the living thought the agitated spirits could be mollified with treats. Eventually, the enterprising realized that they too could get a piece of the pie and whatever other goodies were being passed out that night if they decided to disguise themselves in costumes.
Over time, Samhain evolved into the festival that we have today. To kill a number of birds with one stone, the Roman Catholic Church adopted the days around the first of November as All Saints and All Souls Day since the minds of the natives were already focused upon the departed that time of the year. And a festival similar to the one already in place provided the reluctant with one less excuse as to why they did not want to convert to Christianity.
In its assorted prohibitions and condemnations, Scripture is quite explicit about the believer not having much to do with witchcraft, necromancy, and related things that go bump in the night. Coupled with a suspicion of Catholicism and the rise of alternative spiritualities such as the New Age movement in general or Wicca in particular, a perspective rose to prominence within the more conservative wings of Evangelicalism that the true Christian did not participate in this celebrations that look to as mascots the darkest archetypes such as witches, vampires, and the disembodied spirits of the departed that continue to walk the earth.
However, as Lutheran apologist Gretchen Passintino has amusingly summarized, participating in traditions such as Trick-Or-Treat no more makes you a pagan than opening a Christmas present makes you a Christian.
Probably nearly 99% of children participating in the traditions of Halloween such as parades are not doing so with the expressed purposes of rendering glory and homage unto Satan. Most are merely excited to be prancing about as their favorite imaginary character or as something they would like to be when they grow up and at the prospect of sugary or salty snacks once they have completed their celebratory perambulation.
Your child will be more likely to veer off into the Devil's clutches if they are denied things as Halloween parades if for no other reason than to slap such ultracontrolling parents across the face. It is often the human tendency to conclude that if something is to be banned to the extent with nothing to replace it other than to sit around and mope (and that includes Bible study when everyone else is running the street gathering candy) it must be better than one can possibly imagine.
Concocting the excuse that both Halloween and Christmas must be banned since these celebrations might ignite the religious curiosities and inclinations of impressionable urchins apparently wasn't enough. The bureaucrats controlling the public school system had to reveal additional cards as to just how incompetent and devoid of common sense they really are.
Dr. Fredrick Withum released the following statement to the press as to why assorted holiday activities had to be canceled in the Cumberland Valley District where he is superintendent. He said, “Twenty years ago, nobody would have ever thought that a principal would have to consider, as a part of their training, what they would do in the event of a shooting in their building or in the midst of an aggravated custody issue within their building in which a national amber alert is issued The best way to make schools safer is to continue to help them be joyful places, but we are going to have to find new ways and new procedures to ensure this is the case."
The first part of this statement is invoked in order to paint those that disagree with what is to follow look like like such critics agree with mass murderers, kidnappers, and all around child predators. The opening statement has very little to do with why Halloween or Christmas festivities need to be canceled.
If students are passing through metal detectors and wanded before entering the building, shouldn't that level of vigilance be able to ferret out any potential ne'erdowell attempting to sneak in an actual weapon as part a Halloween costume?
It is not that students are in any increased danger as a result of Christmas or Halloween parades.
The thing is, like many of the parents that seemingly don't have any energy to take care of their offspring but are seemingly energetic enough to engage in the procreative calisthenics necessary to conceive another or to go on the hunt for another mate, most of the teachers backing this shift in policy are most likely just plain lazy and dislike children to such an extent that they simply don't want to be bothered with supervising physically assertive activities such as traditional holiday parties.
Aside from serving as entertaining highlights of a given year, Christmas and Halloween parties also acculturate the youth with the narratives and traditions of the broader society across the span of time.
Thus, another prime motivator is not only bringing an end to Christmas and Halloween but also Western civilization in which these celebrations are practiced and expressed.
This is highlighted in Dr. Withum's statement when he says, “The best way to make schools safer is to continue to help them be joyful places, but we are going to have to find new ways and new procedures to ensure this is the case.”
Throughout his campaigns and early days of his presidency, Barack Obama talked repeatedly about the need to fundamentally transform America.
There is only so much that the federal executive branch can do at that level. And even if sweeping changed are implemented from above they are often characterized as opposed rather than being transformative in nature.
In order to be the most successful, revolutionary transformation must be inflicted upon those possessing the least experience with things being a way any other than the alterations being proposed. Their acceptance is often the result of being exposed to them over the course of an extended amount of time as resistance is eventually worn down.
It is during the earliest years of education that this sweeping social manipulation is most likely to be the most effective. Hence the emphasis upon finding new ways of having joy.
As one concerned grandmother whose grandchildren attend school in the impacted district pointed out, in many instances that the observance of these holidays in the public school setting are being abolished with the excuse that these celebrations take away from instructional time. Of this, she astutely observed, “That's a bunch of baloney. You're going to tell me that 20 minutes out of the whole school year will do that...?”
She is absolutely correct. It is doubtful that these students are being constantly drilled in the sciences and technologies that will be need to take on and defeat the Red Chinese in the looming Lunar War.
But then again, there might not be enough time left over in the school day for Christmas, Halloween, or even Valentines Day. After all, the students of tomorrow are busy learning why they need to submit to Islamic peculiarities such as Ramadan while being led in classroom chants how there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet while they select their Muslim names or how to put a condom on a cucumber while being told that Heather has two mommies.
In their war to take over America, no front is too trivial to the proponents of totalitarianism. Many have come to realize this in the struggle to redesign the nation's health care system.
However, seizing this essential aspect of our lives and sizable percentage of the U.S. Economy will not satisfy for very long. For even now those having embraced this despotic mindset conspire to proscribe for the citizen which rituals and commemorations bringing to mind ultimate concerns may be expressed in those venues now administered in the name of the state.
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.