Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Gods Are Bored" Halloween Poll: You Decide

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," coming to you live and livid on Halloween!

Just carved four pumpkins in 90 minutes (no record, I'm sure). "Gnome Henge" (circle of lawn gnomes) firmly established in front yard, with the pumpkins facing the Four Quarters.

It's just barely warm enough to put Decibel the Parrot on the front porch to greet the Trick or Treaters. On his cage is a sign featuring Captain Jack Sparrow and saying, "Don't Touch Me Parrot, Mate."

Last year the sign said, "Fingers. The Other White Meat."

The year before that it said, "Got Fingers?"

Two decades ago I wouldn't have dreamed of having a tropical parrot on the porch at Halloween. It was too cold. But Decibel likes to laugh when he isn't screaming loud enough to be heard two blocks away, so he enjoys the Trick or Treaters.

Do not construe this as a defense of global warming.

Okay. I have to explain my "Gods Are Bored" poll. You the reader will decide what I should do!

This afternoon I arrived at the Middle School in my economy car to find my daughter The Spare and seven of her friends awaiting a ride across town to our home. You do the math. One of them asked to go in the trunk, for the love of fruit flies! Thankfully, the Fighting Wombat Mascot costume is in the trunk, and you know economy cars. There ain't room for much else if you've got a Wombat costume in the trunk.

I stuffed five kids in the car. The other two volunteered to walk, which was pretty doggone knightly of them.

So I'm driving with a tall 8th grade boy next to me in the front passenger seat. I've never met him, but he's nerdy enough. He gets a cell call from his mom. She reminds him that he has to be at All Souls' Mass at 7:00 p.m.


Maybe I've been under a rock too long. I didn't know that Roman Catholics actually have a SPECIAL MASS on Halloween.

I've got no truck with "Mr. Applegate," my infrequent guest-blogger (and whiner extraordinaire), but oh please! A Christian Mass on Halloween?

So I'm in the kitchen, carving pumpkins, and thinking about the Roman Catholic church. There's a pretty gray brick one standing one block from my house.

I picture all the most raccoon-ravaged Catholics converging on the sanctuary at 7:00 to participate in a ceremony that has NOTHING TO DO WITH THEIR FAITH AT ALL.

And it occurs to me to create a sign that says:

"Halloween is a Pagan holiday. We want it back!"

... and discreetly tape it to the church door during the service.

Yeah, I would wear black clothes and run like an arthritic, bursitic geezer rabbit, so don't paint me as a modern Martin Luther or anything.

Trouble is, I'm conflicted about this. Should I do it or not?

It's too late to make a decision this year. That's why I'm leaving it up to you, dear reader.

Should I do the semi-demi-mini Martin Luther thing, or not, next year at Halloween 2008?

Vote with the Comment button. Vote early and often and pro Green Party.


PS - I was pretty tired when I came home from work today (yeah, working on a High Holy Day ... my deities understand I need the dough). But this little bit of info galvanized me, and the Johnson Personal Samhain Ritual is a GO.

We want our holy day back.

Another extra: I just answered the door to a Trick or Treater, about seven years of age, all alone, dressed in a tie-dyed shirt and round sunglasses. Taped to his shirt: "Long Live John Lennon."

I think I'm going to run out of candy. That kid just walked off with the motherlode.


Athana said...

Yes! Yes! I say go for it, anne!

Although it'd be nice if you could put your sign somwhere where the first priest who strolls by can't rip it down and shred it before the congregation spies it.

Howsabout sneaking into the church and tucking little slips of paper into all the hymnals -- with your "It's ours, give it back" message neatly typed on each?

You go, girl!

Aquila ka Hecate said...

Why just you? Why don't we all do this?

Never mind that we Southerners celebrate Beltane at this time-it's the damn cognitively-dissonant principle of the thing!

The nearest Catholic Church to me is, I think, in downtown Joburg-a criminal paradise.But my partner works there year, yes.


Thalia said...

I also would say, from the safety of my computer chair, because I am an abject and total coward myself, to go for it next year too. They think they can have everything, don't they?

And, awwwwwww! I think I would have given that kid all the candy too. Now I'm all sad.

ronan said...

No. As far as I'm concerned, the more paganism that seeps into their beliefs and practices, the better.

At the very most, perhaps a sign:

You're Welcome.
-- The Goddess

Anonymous said...

Excuse me? All Souls' is TOMORROW. Rodger Cunningham

Ali said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ali said...

Sorry, Anne, but I have to go with "no" on this one (being a Catholic Druid myself, raised in a very loving and tolerant Catholic family). To me, this seems similar to the whole "gay marriage" issue--how do Catholics celebrating All Soul's Day keep you from holding Samhain holy? (How does one man's loving homosexual relationship "destroy" someone else's heterosexual marriage?)

Since when do death, loss and grief have "nothing to do" with the Catholic faith? Catholics have loved ones who have died, they have a sense of heritage and ancestry, they're not completely oblivious to the changing seasons and the coming of winter. As far as I'm concerned, death and change are too big to be owned by only one religion. Each spiritual community should be allowed to acknowledge and celebrate them in their own way without being harassed.

(Though I'm not entirely opposed to the "You're Welcome" sign someone suggested above.)

Anne Johnson said...

It is because I lean toward Ali's opinion that I didn't go near CTK RCC.

I may be wrong, but I thought October 31 is All Souls' Day and November 1 is All Saints' Day. The latter because there are so many saints it has become impossible to honor each one on their feast days. (And among those saints are some bored goddesses, let's not forget that!)

Hecate said...

do it, do it, do it!

Anonymous said...

Nope, All Souls' Day is Nov. 2. What are these folks trying to pull? RC

Anne Johnson said...

They're trying to pull their kids off the streets on Halloween so they don't get 11 pounds of Kit Kat bars.

Yes, 11 pounds. That's how much the bag of candy weighed that The Spare brought home on Holy Night.

Luna said...

Others have said it. All Souls Day is Nov. 2, following All Saints Day. According to Wikipedia -- yeah, I know, kind of crappy source -- it was established in 1048. When I was a practicing Catholic, it was a pretty established holiday. It is also celebrated by some Protestant s and by the Eastern Orthodox church.

So, for this reason, I say don't post the sign.

Maeve said...

You can officially go to Mass on Saturday evening, and have it count as having gone to Sunday Mass. Maybe having a Mass on Halloween serves a similar purpose?

I don't think the Catholic history of "absorb the holidays, then ban the pagan religions" works in their favor in regards to having Halloween Mass though.

I'm leaning towards posting the notes.

yellowdog granny said...

there is a church right by the library and they had the parking lot full of kids in costumes..2 hay wagons and they were having a great time...oh took everything i had to not go ask them if they knew as christians they were helping celebrate a great pagan holiday..but i wanted them to send their kids to the library for the halloween party so kept mum...

Anonymous said...

If they're going to hold a Mass on Oct. 31 evening, it's not an All Souls' Mass,it's an All Saints' Vigil Mass. Or in English, All Hallows' Eve. Hey! RC