Monday, October 19, 2015

Ten Minutes to Midnight and the World is Not Going to End

Science and religion, forever intertwined and often at odds. Today someone told me that she doesn't celebrate Halloween because it's about devil worship. I respect people's beliefs, how some denominations forbid birthdays and holidays, but I often wonder if everyone's making informed decisions.

Of course faith is not always a matter of being informed or right or even connected to reality. It's often a leap.

Halloween, I said, is about honoring the dead and our ancestors. Though I did learn tonight that Halloween, which is the Super Bowl of all secular holidays for most kids, is probably connected to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people donned costumes and lit bonfires to scare off roaming ghosts. The evening before All saints' Day, which was the time to honor saints and martyrs, became at some point All Hallow's Eve or Halloween.

It is most certainly not about devil worship. It is about candy. Twenty-five percent of all candy sold in the United States is for Halloween, my Google research uncovered.

But my conversation got me thinking about how people often cling to erroneous information even when evidence to the contrary is right in front of them.

For example: people who deny climate change or that President Obama was born in America or that the Earth is only roughly 6000 years old. Or that the world is flat.


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