Who the Hell is Samhayen?!?

What is it about Halloween that brings all the Fundamentalist crazies out?  This video is a couple of years old, but I’m using it anyway; mostly because I’m lazy and mining other sites for material (Christian Nightmares again), but there’s plenty of fresh material out there.  As I watch this, I’m not sure what’s worse, her theology or the fact that she’s getting it all wrong.  Seriously, “Samhayen” is not the “Reaper of Death”, he’s not a god.  Heck, he doesn’t even exist!  Best I can tell is what she’s done is taken the word “Samhain” (pronounced “sau-wain”…, I think), an ancient Celtic harvest festival tied to the winter solstice that most of our Halloween traditions come from, and twisted it into this weird…, okay, I’m not using than kind of language tonight .  The early Church vilified Samhain (and other pagan festivals) to pump up their own religion and suppress the old ones.  There’s nothing remotely “Satanic” about Halloween and going to lengths like this to say that it is, well that’s  just ridiculous.

Many of my posts are inspired by quotes, videos, passages out of a book I’m reading, etc.  This one had a double inspiration: the video you just watched and this quote by James Cone :”While churches are debating whether a whale swallowed Jonah, the state is enacting inhuman laws against the oppressed.”  I think I got off someone’s Twitter feed, I don’t remember whose.  What I do remember is that when I read it, I gave a little fist pump and said “YES!”  I’ve felt this way for a long time, maybe not so much about “inhuman laws”, but that the church is basically fiddling while Rome burns.  I mean, people are starving, don’t have clean drinking water, and are dying from preventable diseases in droves.  We have child soldiers, abandoned land mines by the thousands strewn around the world and oppressive regimes persecuting and even killing people.  The environment’s a disaster, big business is actually considered a “person” in this country and money trumps people in all too many situations.  What is the Church doing while all this is going on?  Worrying about who sleeps with who or whether kids should go trick or treating.  Sometimes these idiots make me ashamed to admit I’m a Christian.

But, then, I run across people like Shane Claiborne, Bart Campolo and Hugh Hollowell.  All three of these gentlemen gave up comfortable middle class lives to move to the inner city and start a ministry to help people who most of us tend to forget about.  I’ve only met Claiborne in passing and will get to see Campolo speak next month, but Hugh Hollowell lives and works right here in my hometown of Raleigh, NC, so I’m pretty familiar with what he’s doing.  And that’s working his butt off to help drug addicts, homeless people, prostitutes and that sort find a least a little better life than they’ve been living.  Claiborne and Campolo are too, I’m just not as connected to them as I’m to Hugh.  They can use your help, too.  Whatever you can do is always appreciated, be it financial, material or showing up to lend a helping hand.  If you’re wondering why we should help people like that, remember this little tidbit from the Boss (and I ain’t talking about Springsteen):

“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’  Matthew 25:37-40