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Is Halloween Harmless?
Good News Magazine ^ | Fall 2008 | Jerold Aust

Posted on 10/25/2008 7:00:34 AM PDT by DouglasKC

Is Halloween Harmless?

Every year at Halloween, well-meaning parents dress their children in grotesque and ghoulish costumes. Is Halloween really harmless? Who and what's behind this bizarre holiday?

by Jerold Aust

It all looks like so much fun and seems so harmless: jack-o'-lanterns, grotesque grinning masks, long black witch attire with pointed black hats, costumes painted like skeletons, outfits that represent demons and goblins, and children going door to door, soliciting treats from compliant neighbors.

But when Halloween comes around, do you find yourself yearning for the hours to pass until the whole trick-or-treat farce is over? If you don't, you should!

Halloween's not-so-fun side

Since when is it acceptable for little children to threaten to commit vandalism?

What happens if the homeowner doesn't come to the door or doesn't have the treats the kids might expect? Is it permissible for children to then soap his windows, toilet paper his trees, chalk mark his sidewalk or turn over plants as they leave? When is it okay for children to commit vandalism while on another person's property?

Isn't it about time for all well-meaning citizens to just say NO to Halloween?

The clergy, in general, hasn't stood against it. Some churches even have Halloween parties. Some citizens do speak up against it, as the letters to the editor in your newspaper occasionally show.

Is Halloween simply good, clean fun, or is it something else entirely? You need to know!

God is giving a wake-up call to professing Christians. As it was with those the prophet Elijah addressed in his day, so it is with us: "'How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.' But the people answered him not a word" (1 Kings 18:21). What will it take for Christians to accept and stand for God's truth rather than harmful traditions that originated in paganism?

Where did Halloween originate?

Just where did Halloween come from, and why is it so widely celebrated?

The Encyclopedia of Religion explains: "Halloween is the name for the eve of Samhain, a celebration marking the beginning of winter as well as the first day of the New Year within the ancient Celtic culture of the British Isles. The time of Samhain consisted of the eve of the feast and the day itself (31 October and 1 November).

"On this occasion, it was believed that a gathering of supernatural forces occurred as during no other period of the year. The eve and day of Samhain were characterized as a time when the barriers between the human and supernatural worlds were broken. Otherworldly entities, such as the souls of the dead, were able to visit earthly inhabitants, and humans could take the opportunity to penetrate the domains of the gods and supernatural creatures.

"Fiery tributes and sacrifices of animals, crops, and possibly human beings were made to appease supernatural powers who controlled the fertility of the land . . . Samhain acknowledged the entire spectrum of nonhuman forces that roamed the earth during the period" (1987, pp. 176-177, "Halloween").

On this holiday "huge bonfires were set on hilltops to frighten away evil spirits . . . The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature" (The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Micropaedia, Vol. 4, p. 862, "Halloween").

It was, bluntly put, a day devoted to appeasing demonic spirits and the dark side of the spirit world—something no Christian should have any part in (Ephesians 5:11).

So how did this dark celebration continue into modern times? Sadly, Halloween came down to us from the Roman Catholic Church, which assigned a day of each year to each of their saints. When it reached the point that they had more than 365, they then combined them together on Nov. 1 and called it "All Saints Day" or "All Hallows Day"—the night before being "All Hallows Eve" or "Hallow Even" (holy evening), contracted to the name Hallowe'en or Halloween.

Why did they choose this particular day? Again The Encyclopedia of Religion explains: "Samhain remained a popular festival among the Celtic people throughout the christianization of Great Britain . The British church attempted to divert this interest in pagan customs by adding a Christian celebration to the calendar on the same date as Samhain. The Christian festival, the Feast of All Saints, commemorates the known and unknown saints of the Christian religion just as Samhain had acknowledged and paid tribute to the Celtic deities" (p. 177).

Thus a pagan celebration was relabeled as Christian.

The Bible versus Halloween

You cannot find any support for Halloween in your Bible, because God is adamantly opposed to it and the pagan, occult practices it revels in. He warns His people to have nothing to do with these (Leviticus 19:31; Deuteronomy 18:10-12). They blind us from the truth of God.

God does not take Halloween lightly. As He says, "Learn not the way of the heathen" (Jeremiah 10:2, King James Version). And, "Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise'" (Deuteronomy 12:30).

God will not always remain tirelessly patient with those who insist on celebrating harmful and superstitious customs such as Halloween. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance . . . What kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God" (2 Peter 3:9-12, New International Version).

The author of Halloween

The author of sin and death, Satan the devil, is also the behind-the-scenes author of pagan customs like Halloween. Jesus said that Satan is a liar and the father of all lies (John 8:44). God is the God of the living, not the dead (Matthew 22:31-32). He is the God of not only true Christians alive today but, because of the certainty of the coming resurrection of the dead (1 Corinthians 15), of those who will yet live when raised from death. So certain is this resurrection that to God it is looked on as an accomplished fact (see Romans 4:17).

Conversely, Satan is the "lord of the dead." Hebrews 2:14 says of Jesus Christ that "only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death" (New Living Translation).

Satan is the lord of the dead in that he leads people by his lies and influence into the way of death and, as the next verse shows, puts them in bondage to the fear of death.

He has foisted Halloween on ignorant people and even well-meaning Christians in a subtle and deceitful way, perpetuating it through the Catholic Church with a "Christian" mask that hides its demonic origins.

Can people make Halloween harmless?

When it comes to Halloween—or any other holiday for that matter—you should ask yourself, "Did God make man in His image, or did God intend man to remake God in man's image?" Now that's a sobering thought.

The religious excuse for perpetuating Halloween might be that, as we've seen, church leaders long ago called it a "holy evening" for all the Catholic saints who had no day assigned to them. But face it: People who celebrate this evening today couldn't care less about such religious notions. All they think about is instant gratification, to follow the pack with everyone else and to have some fun.

The Encyclopedia of Religion goes on to say: "Modern Halloween activities have centered on mischief making and masquerading in costumes, often resembling otherworldly characters. Folk customs, now treated as games [such as bobbing for apples], have continued from the various divination practices of the ancient celebrants of this occasion. Supernatural figures [such as the ghost, the witch, the vampire, the devil] play a key role in supplying an aura of the mysterious to the evening, whether or not they originally had an association with the festival.

"Children are particularly susceptible to the imagery of Halloween, as can be seen in their fascination with the demonic likeness of a carved and illuminated pumpkin, known as the jack-o'-lantern. In recent times, children have taken up the practice of dressing in Halloween costumes and visiting homes in search of edible and monetary treats, lightly threatening to play a trick on the owner if a treat is not produced" (p. 177).

Halloween is one of many human traditions that cloud biblical teachings and keep people in the dark from God's truth that can set us free (John 8:32). It is not a harmless holiday for you or for your children. God warns us to avoid it and to follow His ways, because He hates for us to dabble in the spirit world of Satan and his demons! Instead, as God tells us in Isaiah 66:2, "On this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word." GN


Related Resources

Holidays or Holy Days: Does it Matter Which Days We Celebrate?
It's ironic that so many of today's popular holidays—including major religious celebrations like Christmas and Easter—originated in ancient pagan festivals and customs, while God's Holy Days revealed in the Bible are almost universally ignored. Which should you celebrate and why?

God's Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind
Is it possible to know what the future holds for us? The Creator of mankind does have a plan for us, and He reveals it to us through an annual cycle of festivals described in the Scriptures. It is an astounding plan offering an incredible future to every man, woman, and child who has ever lived.

Halloween's Dark Roots
In recent years eye-opening materials have been published about the questionable background of Halloween

Ghouls, Ghosts and Goblins
It seems like such harmless fun—children dressed as witches, skeletons or Darth Vader ringing the doorbell, enthusiastically announcing, "Trick or treat!" But is this preoccupation with the dead, witches and demons really harmless? And do you realize that Halloween was originally an important religious holiday—and still is in many parts of the world?

Can Halloween Be Christianized?
What should you do in deciding how you will approach this hotly debated issue?


TOPICS: General Discusssion; History; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: biblethumpers; christ; festivals; halloween; helloween; holy; nonsense; thisisgay; zealots
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What should you believe if you're a professing Christian?
1 posted on 10/25/2008 7:00:35 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

Kill joy!


2 posted on 10/25/2008 7:01:41 AM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Obama and ITS thugs are made paranoid by Sarahnoia. (stole from molly_jack2007))
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To: DouglasKC
What should you believe if you're a professing Christian?

Please tell us, DouglasKC! Otherwise we'll never know!

3 posted on 10/25/2008 7:03:12 AM PDT by Tax-chick (After 5:00 p.m., slip brains through slot in door.)
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran
Kill joy!

Not me, I'm just posting some information. :-)

4 posted on 10/25/2008 7:03:57 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: whipitgood

I remembered this time... :-)


5 posted on 10/25/2008 7:04:35 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC
Is Halloween Harmless?

Yes.
6 posted on 10/25/2008 7:05:47 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Paying taxes for bank bailouts is apparently the patriotic thing to do. [/sarc])
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To: DouglasKC
What should you believe if you're a professing Christian?

My pastor said it very simply, If it doesn't glorify God, who does it glorify?

7 posted on 10/25/2008 7:05:59 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (In VP's, McCain picked the future, Obama chose the past.)
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To: DouglasKC

Sorry, don’t buy it! Also, since my son doesn’t like chocolate, this is the biggest freebie I get all year!


8 posted on 10/25/2008 7:06:49 AM PDT by LRoggy (Peter's Son's Business)
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To: cripplecreek

Tell that to a coven of witches.


9 posted on 10/25/2008 7:06:54 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (In VP's, McCain picked the future, Obama chose the past.)
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To: DJ MacWoW
What should you believe if you're a professing Christian? My pastor said it very simply, If it doesn't glorify God, who does it glorify?

Your pastor sounds like a wise man.

10 posted on 10/25/2008 7:07:13 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC
When you post something, the replies go to the thread,
not to the person posting it unless he wrote it.:)
11 posted on 10/25/2008 7:07:44 AM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Obama and ITS thugs are made paranoid by Sarahnoia. (stole from molly_jack2007))
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To: Tax-chick
Please tell us, DouglasKC! Otherwise we'll never know!

Hint: The Bib_e. Fill in the blank. :-)

12 posted on 10/25/2008 7:07:50 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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::eye roll::


13 posted on 10/25/2008 7:08:18 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: DJ MacWoW
My pastor said it very simply, If it doesn't glorify God, who does it glorify?

Does that mean I have to stop watching reruns of 'Everyone Loves Raymond'? That simple argument is a little too simple to be useful, if you ask me.
14 posted on 10/25/2008 7:08:44 AM PDT by itsPatAmerican
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To: DouglasKC

We’re lucky to have him. He’s a “button pusher”. :-)


15 posted on 10/25/2008 7:08:57 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (In VP's, McCain picked the future, Obama chose the past.)
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To: DouglasKC
Remember the time when we could get masks of Nixon and Kennedy to wear on Halloween night. Last year some kids wore Bush masks. Ya know if anybody wore an obammma mask they would be called racist, a slave lover, anti black etc. Their parents home might even get stoned( while the ones throwing the stones were probably stoned)
16 posted on 10/25/2008 7:09:01 AM PDT by shadeaud
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To: DouglasKC

So what do we need Jerold Aust for, then?


17 posted on 10/25/2008 7:09:04 AM PDT by Tax-chick (After 5:00 p.m., slip brains through slot in door.)
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To: All

Yep...


18 posted on 10/25/2008 7:09:59 AM PDT by KevinDavis (McCain/Palin 08 Palin/Jindal 12)
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To: DouglasKC
Golly, when I was dressing up for Halloween as a kid I didn't know I was really worshipping THE EVIL ONE!!

My soul is DOOMED!!!

19 posted on 10/25/2008 7:10:38 AM PDT by LiveFree99
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To: DJ MacWoW
...If it doesn't glorify God, who does it glorify? ...

What about posting on Free Republic? What about going to work? What about going to see a Batman movie?

20 posted on 10/25/2008 7:11:31 AM PDT by FReepaholic (Palin's hot and she has a birth certificate.)
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To: LiveFree99

you worshiped obama as a yout?
(/s)


21 posted on 10/25/2008 7:11:36 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: itsPatAmerican

Nope. Halloween is a pagan holiday that is celebrated by covens. I was in a coven years ago. Most have no idea what Halloween is. Our pastor gave it’s history and then asked that simple question. For witches, Halloween is a powerful day.


22 posted on 10/25/2008 7:11:59 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (In VP's, McCain picked the future, Obama chose the past.)
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To: Tax-chick
So what do we need Jerold Aust for, then?

I think Jerold Aust is taking this seriously:

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
2Ti 4:4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables

23 posted on 10/25/2008 7:12:42 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: Tax-chick

I had three Darth Vaders one Halloween since the cape was very cool.

Little did I know.....

May the Farce be with you!


24 posted on 10/25/2008 7:13:08 AM PDT by OpusatFR (Neither Republican or Democrat. Monarchist with allegience to The Only One.)
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To: FReepaholic

Do you celebrate any of those things with a holiday?


25 posted on 10/25/2008 7:13:15 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (In VP's, McCain picked the future, Obama chose the past.)
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To: DouglasKC

Non-responsive, but thanks for playing.


26 posted on 10/25/2008 7:14:02 AM PDT by Tax-chick (After 5:00 p.m., slip brains through slot in door.)
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To: LiveFree99
Golly, when I was dressing up for Halloween as a kid I didn't know I was really worshipping THE EVIL ONE!!

Paul was in a similar situation. This was his response:

Act 17:29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising.
Act 17:30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,
Act 17:31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."
Act 17:32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, "We will hear you again on this matter."

27 posted on 10/25/2008 7:15:32 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: OpusatFR

My 6-year-old wanted to be “Super Why,” the PBS reading-show character, this year, but we’ve decided just to celebrate our Tom’s 12th birthday. I can only deal with the candy every few years, and this isn’t one of them, not with the election-stress.


28 posted on 10/25/2008 7:15:38 AM PDT by Tax-chick (After 5:00 p.m., slip brains through slot in door.)
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To: DJ MacWoW
For witches, Halloween is a powerful day.

Fortunately I quit believing in witches when I was about 8 years old.
29 posted on 10/25/2008 7:16:38 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Paying taxes for bank bailouts is apparently the patriotic thing to do. [/sarc])
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To: DJ MacWoW

or the boogie man?


30 posted on 10/25/2008 7:16:46 AM PDT by papertyger (Chauvinists yell "racist" when they're embarr"ist")
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To: DJ MacWoW

I find it hard to believe that covens are drawing power from me handing our Mike and Ikes to a kid dressed like Hanna Montanna—just like I don’t get any strength from some atheists spraying their windows with fake snow. You just need to chill out a little bit.


31 posted on 10/25/2008 7:17:02 AM PDT by itsPatAmerican
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To: Tax-chick
Non-responsive, but thanks for playing.

I can put it into words. Christians have an obligation to, as Paul said, "preach the word", because he foresaw that man would reject the word of God and turn to fables. Such as Halloween.

32 posted on 10/25/2008 7:17:50 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: cripplecreek
Fortunately I quit believing in witches when I was about 8 years old.

Plenty of covens would smile at that. So does their master.

33 posted on 10/25/2008 7:17:55 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (In VP's, McCain picked the future, Obama chose the past.)
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To: DouglasKC

No. I didn’t raise my kid to believe in Santa Clause, either.


34 posted on 10/25/2008 7:19:01 AM PDT by LiberConservative ("Typical" white guy voting for Palin.)
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To: itsPatAmerican

The coven I was in loved people like you.


35 posted on 10/25/2008 7:19:56 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (In VP's, McCain picked the future, Obama chose the past.)
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To: LiberConservative

I feel sorry for your kids.


36 posted on 10/25/2008 7:22:20 AM PDT by Travis T. OJustice (Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.)
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To: DouglasKC

I think Halloween is an objectively good thing. It must be good when an anti-holiday devoted to the forces of darkness is turned to joy, fun, camaraderie, neighborliness, capitalism, and the other aspects of the Light.

The Devil hates happiness, and here we have brought happiness to millions through this celebration. The Devil also hates to be laughed at, and in Halloween we laugh at him and all of his dark devices.

There is a vein of Calvinism that runs through many Protestant churches. I do not embrace it. While always remaining mindful that Satan is real and Satan’s demons can attack, I prefer to celebrate and take joy with the children.


37 posted on 10/25/2008 7:22:38 AM PDT by ottbmare
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To: DJ MacWoW
The coven I was in loved people like you.

A bunch of bored suburbanites trying to act shocking doesn't equal evil. Your 'coven' had no more power than a bunch of 6 year olds playing Barbie--it's all make believe.
38 posted on 10/25/2008 7:23:21 AM PDT by itsPatAmerican
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To: DouglasKC

I guess your detractors would call the apostle Paul a kill joy too since he said we couldn’t sit at the table of God and at the same time the table of demons at 1 Cor. 10:2.

Certainly Halloween has no place in the life of a Christian.


39 posted on 10/25/2008 7:23:51 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: DouglasKC

hardly


40 posted on 10/25/2008 7:23:52 AM PDT by papertyger (Chauvinists yell "racist" when they're embarr"ist")
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To: DJ MacWoW
Fortunately I quit believing in witches when I was about 8 years old. Plenty of covens would smile at that. So does their master.

To most secular people it sounds strange to refer to Satan as a real, active being. As you point out, he has succeeded in convincing people that he's not real. That at worst he's some cartoonish person with a red costume and pitchfork. So if you don't believe in the reality of Satan, there's not much reason to turn to Christ for protection.

41 posted on 10/25/2008 7:24:29 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

“What should you believe if you’re a professing Christian? “

That it is just harmless fun. Our youth group is trick-or-treating for canned food for the Interfaith Food Pantry


42 posted on 10/25/2008 7:25:15 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: DouglasKC

“be turned aside to fables “

Fables about the dangers of Halloween?


43 posted on 10/25/2008 7:26:26 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: DouglasKC

It’s not so much a rejection of the word of God as it is a rejection of religious amway dealers.


44 posted on 10/25/2008 7:28:31 AM PDT by papertyger (Chauvinists yell "racist" when they're embarr"ist")
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To: DouglasKC

Imagine how the covens and Satan feel when we ridicule their power by sending kids out in funny costumes to get candy.

How would Satan feel if you used Halloween to invite kids to church? What if you handed out invitations with the candy? Would he be pleased?

Or Satan be more pleased if you hid in your house and hoped it would go away?


45 posted on 10/25/2008 7:29:31 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: DouglasKC

Ebeneezer Scrooge....not just for Christmas anymore.


46 posted on 10/25/2008 7:30:02 AM PDT by big'ol_freeper (Gen. George S. Patton to Michael Moore... American Carol: "I really like slapping you.")
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To: DouglasKC
Photobucket
47 posted on 10/25/2008 7:31:14 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Nemo me impune lacessit (Never mess with an old man. he will just kill you.))
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To: itsPatAmerican

My only regret as a werewolf is that Halloween doesn’t take place under a full moon this year. I was really hankering for a snack.


48 posted on 10/25/2008 7:31:25 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Paying taxes for bank bailouts is apparently the patriotic thing to do. [/sarc])
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To: DJ MacWoW

Maybe they’re in on the joke too?


49 posted on 10/25/2008 7:32:12 AM PDT by papertyger (Chauvinists yell "racist" when they're embarr"ist")
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To: DJ MacWoW; All

I think you should my your own business..


50 posted on 10/25/2008 7:35:33 AM PDT by KevinDavis (McCain/Palin 08 Palin/Jindal 12)
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