- Andrey Armyagov / Shutterstock.com
- Listen up, Kirk Cameron: It's a JACK O'Lantern, not a JESUS O'Lantern.
One of the favorite tricks of evangelical organizations trying to force religious influence onto American society is to loudly yell, “Christians are persecuted! There's a war on Christmas!”—even as their movement tries to twist secular institutions to their own moronic ends, hiding behind Jesus's flowy gowns as they enact culture war on groups they dislike. For example, former-child-star-turned-evangelical-spokesmoron Kirk Cameron recently announced that he thinks Halloween is a perfect opportunity for Christians to evangelize to children.
"You should have the biggest party on your block, and you should have the reason for everyone to come to your house and before anyone else’s house because yours is the most fun,” Cameron instructed evangelicals. “Halloween gives you a great opportunity to show how Christians celebrate the day that death was defeated, and you can give them Gospel tracts and tell the story of how every ghost, goblin, witch, and demon was trounced the day Jesus rose from the grave," Cameron said, adding imaginary scenes to the Bible in order to suit his point. Cameron flatly ignored that Christians already have a holiday immediately after Halloween that nobody cares about. "Clearly no Christians ought to be glorifying death, because death was defeated, and that was the point of All Hallows Eve," he concluded, twisting the one unashamedly fun American holiday into yet another tortured morality tale explaining why you should feel bad about your private parts all the time.
All the Halloween observances under attack are clearly protected by the First Amendment and by the fact that it's nice to have one goddamned day where Jesus doesn't get crammed down our fucking throats by nosy enemies of fun.
That doesn’t matter to the anti-Halloween warriors. They bully occultists, harvest festivals, and public schools into censoring traditional Halloween expressions even when the law allows those expressions.
I know firsthand. As a reviewer, I once watched Hell House, a documentary about twisted "haunted houses" that evangelical Christians created to turn innocent children into screeching whiners like them.
They even publish and distribute Hell House Outreach Manuals for Christian groups that would like to put on Hell Houses in their own neighborhoods. Hell Houses frequently tell apocryphal stories about the Columbine massacre, 9/11, and other events in modern American history, in addition to creating fictional scenarios involving homophobia, misogyny, and flat-out lies.
Thankfully, no Hell House has ever transformed a nonbeliever into an evangelical boor. They're mostly only attended by true believers or atheists and teenagers looking for a good laugh.
But this is not a rare case. Pro-faith bigots use every Halloween season to wage their war of religious speech, counting on people to be silenced due to their continual blather about how much they love a white bearded guy who is really concerned about butt sex.
Here are just some examples of this war:
• Christians distribute badly illustrated Bible tracts to children, rather than giving out delicious candy.
• They wear terrible costumes to propagate their pro-Christian agenda.
• They make children feel bad about their costume choices.
• They sell "Jesus Harvest Seeds" in a desperate attempt to trick kids into thinking Jesus's seed tastes delicious.
These are flagrant abuses of religious liberties. And that’s the very real story of the very real War on Halloween. At its heart, it’s a War of Religious Ubiquity—a war none of us should allow to succeed.
Paul Constant, Esq., is sick to death of assholes like Kelly Shackelford, Esq., President and CEO of Liberty Institute, the nation’s largest legal organization dedicated solely to shoving religion in America's face. As long as Shackelford publishes pieces like of reactionary drivel like this, she deserves all the mockery she gets.