Sunday, October 18, 2020
9:58 am pdt
Halloween and Satanism – They Are Not the Same
Every year as Halloween approaches,
there are those who decry it as a Satanic holiday that should not be celebrated by anybody, much less by Christians.
Certainly, there are those who call themselves "Satanists," and these folks celebrate various holidays throughout
the year. And, according to High Priestess Blanche Barton of the Church of Satan, Halloween is definitely one of those
holidays they celebrate. (Barton) As well, Halloween is one of the eight Pagan Sabbats that Wiccans celebrate as part
of their Wheel of the Year, those holidays that correspond to the planet's orbital position. Halloween – Samhain
– falls halfway between the Autumnal Equinox – Mabon – and the Winter Solstice – Yule. (Wigington)
But just because a Satanist or a Pagan (and there is a difference) celebrates any given
holiday, including Halloween, doesn't mean that holiday is Satanic. A holiday can only be Satanic if it were created
with the purpose of celebrating Satan, or it is a holiday that existed before and now is only celebrated by those
claiming to be Satanists. After all there are Satanists who celebrate Christmas, but that doesn't make Christmas a Satanic
holiday. We just can't call Halloween Satanic because we think it might be, or because some folks who should know better
say that it is... and we believe them. This is not a religious argument. It has nothing to do with faith.
The object is to discover whether historic research will show that Halloween derives from Satanic origins. And it doesn't.
Certainly there are many websites that claim Halloween is
a Satanic holiday. However, the majority of these appear to be written by Christian writers. Trusting a Christian
source for the "truth" about Satanism would be just as foolish as trusting a Satanic source for the "truth"
of Christianity. To determine if Halloween is a Satanic "holiday," we will need to know just what "Satanism"
is, as well as the history of Halloween itself.
Setting aside a day to celebrate "All Christian
martyrs of Faith" – namely the Catholic faith – dates to the Fourth Century of the Common Era. In 615
CE, Pope Boniface IV set aside May 13 as "The Feast of All Martyrs." By 741, the feast had expanded to include
all saints in heaven, not just martyrs. By 840 the Holy Day's title was changed to "Feast of All Saints,"
both those known and unknown. And in 844 the Feast of All Saints (or as it is commonly called, "All Saints' Day")
was moved to November 1, (Miller) where it remains.
It was only after there was an All Saints Day that there could be an All Saints – or All
Hallowed -- evening. "Halloween"
literally means "hallowed evening." (Donovan) When All Saints Day was moved to the first of November in 844, that made October 31 Halloween.
However, the word "Halloween" didn't come into existence until around 1745, and it wasn't until 1785 that the word
became popular with the publication of the Scottish poet Robert Burn's poem "Halloween." (Halloween)
It is suggested that All Saints
Day was moved to November First to coincided with the harvest, so there would be plenty of food to feed those returning from
their pilgrimages before winter set in. (Connelly) More than likely, Halloween was moved as an "alternative"
holiday for the Pagan festival of Samhain, which
was on October 31. (Halloween 2019) Moving Christian holidays to counter already existing Pagan holidays was common.
For instance, Pope Julius I moved Christmas to December 25 to correspond with the various holidays celebrated by just about
everybody else on or around the Winter Solstice. (The Celebration of Christmas)
Samhain (pronounced "sah-win") means "summer's
end" in Gaelic, (Radford) and it pre-dates Christianity by more than a thousand years. (Celts) Though a whole
lot isn't known about the ancient festival, we do know that "it was an annual communal meeting at the end of the harvest
year, a time to gather resources for the winter months and bring animals back from the pastures." (Radford)
Whether or not Samhain had
anything to do with the dead is open for debate. While some researchers claim that the Celts performed many "ritualistic ceremonies..." including wearing costumes
in an attempt "to connect to spirits," (Donovan) others claim that "'there is no hard evidence that
Samhain was specifically devoted to the dead or to ancestor worship.'" (Radford)
In the end, it seems that "Samhain was less about death or evil than about the changing of seasons and preparing
for the dormancy (and rebirth) of nature as summer turned to winter...." (Radford)
And then there's the age difference. The entire idea of "Satanism"
is fairly recent relative to the history of humankind, and especially that of the Christian religion. "The terms 'Satanism' and 'Satanist' can be traced back to the
1560s — not as a religious designation one ascribed to oneself, but as a way of describing someone with a 'satanic disposition.'"
(Dickinson) As such, "Satanism existed primarily as an accusation by various Christian groups toward perceived
ideological opponents, rather than a self-identity..." with no true evidence that the majority of those accused of practicing
Satanism were guilty of anything other than not being liked by those in power. (Satanism)
Indeed, it is stated that "The concept of Satanism is an invention of Christianity, for it relies upon the figure
of Satan, a character deriving from Christian mythology." (Satanism)
Satanism, as a practiced religion, did not exist before 1966,
when the Church of Satan was established by Anton LeVey in San Francisco. (Dickinson) That's not to say there
haven't been those throughout history that did purposefully worship the idea of Satan. Throughout the majority of European
history, for instance, the concept of separating church from state was unheard of. So for the oppressed lower classes,
"Satanism was the ultimate anti-establishment
party." Those from the ruling class, on occasion, also sought out Satan as an alternative to the strict morals
of the time. (Dickinson)
Therefore, the Celts did not create the original holiday of Samhain to celebrate Satan,
because they "...did
not worship anything resembling the Christian devil and had no concept of it." As well, by the time the Catholic
Church started persecuting those they deemed "satanic," the Celts were no longer celebrating anything. They
were long gone. (Radford) And what Samhain eventually became – Halloween –
was not created as a Satanic holiday, either. Far from it. It grew out of a Christian holiday. If anything,
Halloween is Christian, not Satanic.
In the end, Halloween is only Satanic if you want it
to be. But then, that's probably true of everything. Granted, if you hold out your goody bag and say, "All Hail, Satan!" instead of
"Trick or Treat," you're probably going to get far less treats.
Barton, High Priestess Blanche.
"Halloween XXXIV." Church of Satan. Church of Satan (2019): n. pag. Web.
22 July 2019 https://www.churchofsatan.com/halloween-xxxiv/
"Celts." History. A &
E Television Networks, LLC (30 Nov. 2017): n. pag. Web. 22 July 2019 https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/celts
"The Celebration of Christmas." Mother
Bedford. Mother Bedford (2006): n. pag. Web. 29 July 2019 http://www.motherbedford.com/Christmas.htm
Connelly, Stephen. "The Real Meaning of Pilgrimage
for Catholics." Catholic Faith Store. Catholic Faith Store: n. pag. Web. 22 July
Dickinson, Kevin. "The Origins of Satanism: A Humanist History?" Big
Think. Big Think (27 June 2019): n. pag. Web. 22 July 2019 https://bigthink.com/culture-religion/satanism
Donovan, Blair, and Marissa Gold. "Here's the Real History of Halloween and Why We Celebrate
It on October 31." Country Living. Hearst (24 June 2019): n. pag. Web. 22 July 2019
Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation, Inc. (13 July 2019): n. pag. Web. 22 July 2019 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween
History. A & E Television Networks, LLC. (18 Nov. 2018): n. pag. Web. 22 July 2019
"History of All Hallows Eve." Catholic Culture. CatholicCulture.org (2003): n. pag.
Web. 22 July 2019 https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/months/10_2.cfm
"History of Halloween." Live Science. Purch (18 Sept. 2017): n. pag. Web.
22 July 2019 https://www.livescience.com/40596-history-of-halloween.html
"Satanism." Wikipedia. Wikipedia
Foundation, Inc. (25 June 2019): n. pag. Web. 22 July 2019 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanism Wigington, Patti. "The
8 Pagan Sabbats." Learn Religions. Dash (25 May 2019): n. pag. Web. 29 July 2019
Monday, October 5, 2020
8:35 am pdt
In a country where we carved a monument to four of our presidents on a mountain in the middle of what many
Native Americans consider their most sacred ground, it really shouldn’t surprise anybody that we still celebrate Columbus
We all know the story of Columbus. After all, he discovered America!
Never mind the millions of people who were already living throughout North and South America and the Caribbean.
Never mind that the Vikings had been here on numerous occasions and even had established outposts in the New World.
(Columbus Day in the United States) And never mind that there is fairly conclusive evidence that
the North and South American continents had been reached by both Chinese explorers (Kolesnikov-Jessop) and quite possibly
even Polynesian explorers. (Jones) It’s Columbus whom we give the credit to! And
why not? After all, it is his “Discovery” that led to the European conquest of the New World.
actuality, Columbus “discovered” very little of the New World. Instead of being seen as an
intrepid explorer, he should probably be seen more as a “hapless navigator [who] misjudged the circumference of the
Earth and landed instead on the Bahamas. He later sailed on to Cuba and to Hispaniola (now Haiti), which he mistakenly believed
to be the East Indies,” (Columbus Day: Celebration and Controversy)
but he never got as far as mainland America. (Columbus Day in the United States)
places that Columbus actually made it to, as well as those he left for others to “discover,” were not barren lands
devoid of human life. It is estimated that there were between 90-112 million people living in the Americas
prior to Columbus’ arrival. That’s more than the entire European population at the time. (Dangl)
But not for long.
Columbus almost immediately forced the natives
into slavery, and he reportedly “imposed barbaric forms of punishment, including torture” on those who resisted.
(Columbus Day) Indeed, on his very first day in the New World it is reported that Columbus used “violent force to enslave
six natives.” And, “While ruling as Governor and Viceroy of the Caribbean, Columbus killed
[and then] paraded dead natives through the streets to deter unrest by the natives. Columbus also used force to make native
peoples search for gold and to convert them to Christianity.” (Columbus Day: Celebration
And this is consistent with Columbus. Before he became an explorer, he
was in the business of transporting people from “West Africa to Portugal to be sold as slaves.” Indeed,
Columbus has the distinction of being the first person to bring slaves to the New World. (Transform Columbus
Day 2011) As well, Columbus was the first to bring slaves from the New World back to Europe, shipping off
“thousands of peaceful Taino 'Indians' from the island of Hispaniola to be sold into Spanish slavery.” (Columbus
Day: Celebration and Controversy)
But then, in all fairness, Columbus didn’t
come to the Americas to celebrate diversity. “Gold and conquest were the driving reasons behind the
historic voyage.” (Columbus Day: Celebration and Controversy) That the native
population was dying off in droves seemed to matter little to the Europeans.
By far the biggest killer
was the diseases that the Europeans brought, such as smallpox and influenza, “which ‘would likely have traveled
much faster than the European settlers themselves.’” (Than) For instance,
it is estimated that 90% of those native people living in coastal New England died from Hepatitis A within three years, and,
overall, “Within [the] first years of European contact, 95% of native populations died.” (Dangl)
That’s between 85 million and 106 million people who died as a direct result of European contact – as a
direct result of Columbus.
And this is consistent with studies published
by the National Geographic Society. Research based on genetic studies shows that within just a
few years of Columbus’ arrival in the New World the indigenous population reached an all-time low, which was caused
by “a wave of disease, warfare, and enslavement in the New World that had devastating effects for indigenous populations
across the Americas.” (Than)
If we give Columbus credit for discovering America, then perhaps we should give him credit
for the genocide of upwards to 100 million people. If so, he is probably the biggest mass murderer of all
time... hands down. What a guy! In all fairness, Columbus is an historical figure that
represents perhaps the worst in all of us. But why do we celebrate such a figure? For
that, we give credit to the Italian-American community.
The first official celebration of Columbus
Day in the United States was in 1792, “when New York's Columbian Order–better known as Tammany Hall–held
an event to commemorate the historic landing's 300th anniversary.” (Columbus Day) One hundred years
later, In 1892, “President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th
anniversary of Columbus' voyage....” (Columbus Day) It was in 1937 that Columbus
Day was declared a national holiday by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, (Columbus Day in the United States)
“largely as a result of intense lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, an influential Catholic fraternal benefits organization.”
(Columbus Day) Not content with just a national holiday, in 1971 President Nixon declared Columbus Day
to be a Federal Holiday, meaning that federal employees, among others, now get the day off. (Columbus Day: Celebration
and Controversy) It was also in 1971 that Columbus Day moved from being observed on the traditional day
of October 12 to the second Monday in October. (Columbus Day in the United States) Columbus
Day continues to be celebrated across the United States through various events, such as parades and even special church services.
Although, “Most celebrations are concentrated around the Italian-American community,” especially in San
Francisco and New York. (Columbus Day in the United States)
Day is, understandably, not without opposition, which “...dates back to the 19th century, when anti-immigrant groups
in the United States rejected the holiday because of its association with Catholicism.” More
recently, Columbus Day has been opposed by Native Americans, who see it as “...an event that indirectly resulted in
the colonization of the Americas and the death of millions. (Columbus Day) The result of this opposition
is that many communities across the United States, and even entire states, have stopped celebrating Columbus Day.
For instance, Columbus Day is no longer “a public holiday in California, Nevada and Hawaii.” (Columbus
Day in the United States) In Hawai‘i it has become Discoverer's Day, “which commemorates
the arrival of Polynesian settlers,” (Columbus Day) in South Dakota, Columbus Day is now known as Native Americans’
Day, and in Berkeley, California, it is known as Indigenous People’s Day. As well, Columbus Day is
known as Dìa de la Raza (Day of the Race) in many Latino communities, both in the United States and throughout Latin
America, and since 2002 it has become Dìa de la Resistencia Indìgena (Day of Indigenous Resistance) in Venezuela.
(Columbus Day in the United States)
Columbus Day, regardless of what you call it, will be observed in 2020 on Monday, October
12th, which means that for this year, the Federal Holiday and the actual "holiday" are on the same day,
and that means you can only celebrate it once.
“Columbus Day.” 2012. History.com.
02 Oct. 2012. http://www.history.com/topics/columbus-day
Day: Celebration and Controversy.” 12. Oct. 2009. Education
Insider. 02 Oct. 2012. http://education-portal.com/articles/Columbus_Day_Celebration_and_Controversy.html
Day in the United States.” 2012. timeandate. com. 02
Oct. 2012. http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/columbus-day
Benjamin. “1491: The Truth About the Americas Before Columbus.”
10 June 2006. Upside Down World. 02 Oct. 2012. http://upsidedownworld.org/main/international-archives-60/320-1491-the-truth-about-the-americas-before-columbus
Terry. “Abstract: Polynesian Contacts with the New World.” 2012.
Archeological Institute of America. 02 Oct. 2012. http://www.archaeological.org/lectures/abstracts/5824
Sonia. “Did Chinese Beat Out Columbus?” 25 June 2005. The
New York Times. 02 Oct. 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/24/arts/24iht-chinam.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Ker. “Massive Population Drop Found for Native Americans, DNA Shows: Genetic
data supports accounts of decline following European contact.” 05 Dec. 2011. National
Geographic. 02 Oct. 2012. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/12/111205-native-americans-europeans-population-dna-genetics-science/
Columbus Day 2011.” 2011. Transform Columbus Day Alliance.
02 Oct. 2012. http://www.transformcolumbusday.org/
Thursday, October 1, 2020
8:47 am pdt
Do good headhunters go to heaven
If they've lived a good headhunter's life?
If they've said their headhunter
and been good headhunter husbands and wives?
never hunted heads out of season,
and always did their headhunting-est best,
do good headhunters go to heaven
when good headhunters are laid to rest?
And at night do they sit and
instead of going to their headhunter beds,
if good white people go to heaven
if they've never hunted