31 October 2012

happy halloween!

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i know this will probably give you all a headache, but i couldn't help myself after taking two pictures from the same spot and learning how to make animated .gif files.

happy halloween from a black cat, halloween edition of psy gangnam sytle, michael horn (internet sensation, cross-fitter and co-author of disrupting class), jason hwang (heath care celebrity in asia, biggest michigan fan and co-author of innovator's prescription), and marilyn monroe.

I LOVE HALLOWEEN (yes, i just used caps).

6 comments :

  1. Whew that was really fun for the first 15 seconds! Love that you love Halloween!

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  2. Hi Charity -

    I asked this question on Shawni's blog as well and haven't received a response yet (I'm sure she'll get to it). I'm not asking in a mean way, just way curious.

    I know you are really religious and that your relationship with God means a lot to you. Do you think that celebrating a pagan holiday such as Halloween jeopardizes that in any way?

    I know the answers - "it's fun" "it's just a tradition", "I'm not using it to worship pagan gods", "I'm not dressed as a devil or a witch", etc.

    But in my mind I just can't reconcile taking part in a holiday that has pagan roots, something that offends God. The Bible says to stay far away from the occult, witchcraft, etc. If I celebrate Halloween, no matter how fun it is for me, am I not disregarding this command?

    How do you, as a member of LDS, justify this in your mind?

    Thanks!

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  3. Charity-

    this is AWESOME! :)

    love ya chi chi,
    elle

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  4. Charity-

    I found your blogs and your sisters' blogs many years ago through a mutual friend, and I notice that not a few people are commenting about Halloween (and it seems this happens every year). I am actually infinitely more confused by their comments than by why you, as a Mormon, celebrate Halloween. I was raised and am Christian, and my family is Christian, and I've read all sorts of scripture, and I still can't find or figure out where it says in the Bible (or in my heart) that anything and everything remotely pagan offends God. Even in Jude, it talks much more about their morality than their paganism. In fact, Christians were and are considered blasphemously pagan by other religions because of their belief in the divinity of Jesus. So why is there this war of terminology happening here in these comments? Are kids who dress up for Halloween practicing witchcraft? Should we do as it says in Exodus and not "suffer a witch to live"? I think these readers who are commenting are getting confused between culture, traditions, and historical practices and the true and real meaning of faith, devotion and worship. If they are JWs, then I can more easily understand their avoidance of holidays as a rule of their religion and something that has been ingrained in them since birth (and I can especially imagine their confusion at the defense of traditions like these, having none of their own), but I still don't think the comment section of someone's personal blog is a good place to try to start a religious argument every time you read something that differs from your belief. If these comment makers are not JWs, but merely are trying to enter into some sort of logical argument, then I just want to make a few points directed towards the comment makers here and on 71toes:

    1. Halloween as it is practiced today has MANY roots, some pagan, some seasonal, some nationalistic, some nature based, some early Christian, but MOST are merely commercial and American or European. Yes, there was most likely a pagan ritualistic holiday in the fall that got people thinking about evil spirits. This was a way for all of OUR non-Christian ancestors to make sense of the world that they didn't understand. (I always try to imaging my ancestors as the perpetrators so that I can view the past with more compassion and depth). And frankly, I think the modern gore of Halloween is partly because people still need to make sense of the decay and mystery of our physical bodies after death. By parading around in witch, skeleton, ghost, zombie costumes, and the like, we deal with, make light of, and take the fear and mystery out of things that are unnecessarily scary. It takes those symbols, creatures, and the magical unknown out of their potentially powerful realm and puts them in a box where they are plundered of their influence and forced into the realm of silliness and falsity. It is a cultural teaching tool of the non-reality of roaming ghosts, witches, sorcerers and little devils, and that is why the holiday has pervaded across centuries and nations. It takes symbols that are scary and even potentially alluring and makes them into something comical, cartoonish, and commercial. If you are anti-witch, wizard, sorcerer, and ghoul, the best thing you could do is give it a holiday like Halloween.

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  5. 2. If you are really going to shun everything pagan in the name of your faith, then you would immediately need to give up most of the English language, all the names of the days and months, almost all of your favorite books and movies, and even the American government. In fact, most of the Christian world needs to give up the majority of their religious traditions if they want to be purists about it. Since you brought it up, the LDS Church arguably has claim to being the least "pagan" of all the Christian religions, especially since it was founded on the premise that the other Christian religions at the time had been diluted by paganism. It seems that the Mormons and Christians and non-Christians I know celebrate these Anglo-holidays as occasions for a celebration of life and our shared culture, not as something that is a part of their religion. Sorry, but if you really feel that any participation in anything that is remotely pagan is evil, I can't figure out why you are even on the internet or reading these blogs. Why are you even wearing pants right now? What's the model name of your car? Heaven forbid you live in a town with a Native name!

    3. I really believe that a true Christian focuses their attention on charity, purity of thoughts and deeds, worship, and sharing the Word, not on the nitpicking of others' observances, even if you could show me where it says that cultural or national traditions are forbidden. Even Jesus called out those of his own religion for their hypocritically strict following of the law. He said that his disciples should go and teach the Gentiles (pagans) the Gospel, not the law. Will we stand before our Maker and be condemned for watching reality shows, giving ourselves online personas that refer to cartoon characters, or celebrating our Grandma's birthday? Or will we be asked if we fed the hungry and clothed the naked? Did we invite our neighbors' over for some Halloween candy and compliment them on their costumes and establish a loving friendship with their family with no ulterior motive, or did we yell to them as they passed by that they are worshiping the devil? Do I believe we have commandments that need to be followed? Absolutely. But even so, I still don't see a "shun all of your culture and don't you dare do anything that might even hint of any fantastical inventions of any of your ignorant ancestors who may not have have any access to the Truth but still should have known better, or maybe they did know and still let their kids wear dress up clothes and eat candy" as a commandment. I do see "love thy neighbor" though, and I don't think the heavens are frowning on a tradition that gets us out of our caves and spending actual time with one another.

    (Now, I could counter myself here and point out all the people who dress in inappropriate, immodest costumes and use this tradition as an excuse for leudness, but then I'd just have to counter myself again and suggest we outlaw Friday and Saturday nights altogether, my point being that the holiday isn't the issue, the lack of morality and values is the issue.)

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  6. 4. Truly there is only one Holy Day, and that is the Sabbath. All these other events are merely holidays. They give us chance to share traditions and experiences with our families, and even with those around us of all different faiths and creeds and upbringings. They remind us that we are very much the same and all still children. They remind us of things in our past that we may have forgotten. They engender a sense of family and community. They give us chance to share in the mortal experiences of life. They commemorate the passing of seasons, of years, of lives. Holidays are not the sole days in our lives reserved worship or for making religious allegiances. Instead, every single day of our lives should be a day of worship, and every Sunday should be our crescendo and our recommitment. Holidays are just the punctuation marks in our years so they don't pass too quickly and without reflection and commemoration.


    5. I totally respect that you, the comment makers, don't want to take part in what you consider to be an offensive holiday and I admire your religious dedication, but I'm confused why you would ask people who clearly have no qualms with Halloween (like Charity and their sisters) why they are being misguided. They definitely don't believe the same as you do, which you surely know if you've read their blogs at all. Why are you blog stalking them if you think they are so wrong? I think you either mistakenly think that they are SO misguided that it's up to you to change their minds (not going to happen) and draw attention to their misdoings, OR you are actually attracted to their light and energy and can't come to terms with the fact that they might be living a life of truth and clarity and hope and charity that you didn't think was possible, thus your comments are your way of fighting back at the hard questions you have had to ask yourself.



    Finally,
    Kudos to Charity for her life of worship and rejoicing and passion for all truth and beauty. You love mortality and the grit and grime of humanity with an unmatchable fervor. If there was a festival about licking the walls and shaving your eyebrows, I'm sure you find a way to give it all you've got. You lead those around you towards a more enlightened communion with things Holy through your earnestness and vitality and faith. Thank you.


    And I'm sorry my comment is so long. I've been thinking about it since I read it, and I had to get up this morning and write it down.

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