Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween, Witchcraft, and Child Sacrifice

In the spirit of Halloween, I can think of nothing more bone-chilling than this video. I first viewed it a few years ago, but it still makes me shiver.

My parents never took me trick-or-treating, because Halloween glorified Satan and we served the Lord, Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who loved us so much he offered his beloved and only son Jesus as a sacrifice on our behalf. Dad picked me up early from first grade on Halloween, so I wouldn't have to participate in the costumed parade down the sidewalk with the rest of the class. The next week I saw photos of my smiling friends, and my teacher, Mrs. Welch, dressed up as a bottle of grape juice and wondered what danger I had been protected from.

A year or two later, Mom hosted a neighborhood Thanksgiving-themed party as an alternative to Halloween Everyone dressed either as Pilgrims or Native Americans and Mom constructed a paper teepee in the living room. We even bobbed for apples. That was probably the year after we handed out Christian coloring books to trick-or-treaters. Every year afterward we turned out our porch light and stayed away from the front windows.

Not that we didn't have our own ghost stories. Just owning a Cabbage Patch doll, for example, could give demons access to your soul. Owl decor could prevent childbirth from progressing. Wearing a Buddha on a chain or playing with a Ouija board could open a person to demonic influence. God commanded his people to kill witches, which was why I had to exchange the copy of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe that I won as a Sunday School prize. The Witch of Blackbird Pond was permissible reading material, because the woman who was accused of witchcraft was really just a misunderstood Quaker.

My friends devoured Frank Peretti's novels of prayer warriors fighting demonic armies, though the books were too spooky for my mom to allow me to read them. I was an adult when Harry Potter arrived on the scene, but the stories of spells and magic were deemed inappropriate for Christians in most of my circles. Sorcery was nothing to make light of. The Bible likened the sin of rebellion to witchcraft, and if our legal system truly followed the Law of God, parents could have disobedient kids executed. As it was, we had to make do with spanking.

Today, stories like Isaac's make me shudder. They make me want to hug my children close and assure them that I will always fight for them--against gods, if need be. That it is my responsibility to protect and care for them and no one, not even a god, could convince me otherwise*.

*Any parent who does hear such a voice in their head needs to seek help, quickly, for their children's sake.


  1. "Owl decor could prevent childbirth from progressing."

    Just when I thought I had heard the end of Bill Gothard's nuttiness.....

    Sorry you had to grow up into that, I wasn't in any group that extreme, but my fundie mother did have an extreme phobia of Halloween. The irony that Christmas and Easter have similar European pagan origins seems to escape most people like that.

  2. Gothard definitely taught against Cabbage Patch Kids, but I think the "owls" story was from a so-called midwife's book: Born in Zion, by Carol Balizet. Carol's granddaughter, incidentally, has a most interesting story of her own.

    1. I wonder if Carol Balizet was the inspiration for Cathy Bates' Helen 'Mama' Boucher, in Water Boy?

      "Owls are the devil!", I now presume my own grandmother was influenced by Carol Balizet.

      Purpose Driven Douche Nozzle
      by AngieAntiTheist

  3. Oh dear, this post brings back some sad memories! I particularly hated the Isaac story growing up, but Job isn't much better (it's OK all his kids died, he just had some more later) and I had vehement disagreements with my father over what "really" happened with Lot and his daughters. Given that God is supposed to love humans as his children, the treatment of biblical children by their "righteous" fathers doesn't really set up high expectations does it?

    1. You're right, the Job story was pretty awful. Looking back at the Lot story this year, I can't believe any of us fell for that version. But, of course, I'd never tried raping a drunk man, so how would I have known?