Evangelicals and Halloween

Halloween provides evangelicals with an occasion to position themselves on the cultural landscape in more or less oppositional ways. To use Christian Smith‘s terms, Halloween becomes for some evangelicals a symbolic boundary: by not celebrating it, they assert and maintain a distinctive identity. Other evangelicals, however, make a point of not turning Halloween into a symbolic boundary, or at least of patrolling the boundary less rigorously, thereby signaling a less separatist, more accommodating stance toward the larger American culture. In other words (I’m about to complicate the metaphor horribly, so hang on), by not treating Halloween as a symbolic boundary between themselves and the larger culture, the moderate, pro-Halloween evangelicals draw a different symbolic boundary, one that separates them from the “fundamentalists” who don’t celebrate Halloween.

The following links represent a spectrum from separatist to accommodating.

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One thought on “Evangelicals and Halloween

  1. http://www.free-tv-video-online.me/player/sockshare.php?id=C8A61F8C20843E3D

    John-Charles, here’s a link to the full “King of the Hill” episode I mentioned where Halloween gets cancelled in Hank Hill’s town. I suppose this episode would fall into your category of evangelicals who want to separate themselves from the “fundamentalists” (although, I would argue that the show’s creators are definitely NOT Evangelicals and are instead using a “moderately” Evangelical character to show how ridiculous “fundamentalists” are…we can all laugh at the over-the-top “fundamentalist” and then think “wait a minute, isn’t my pastor/bishop/relief society president just like that?”).

    Be warned, that the link takes you to a site with LOTS AND LOTS of ads (and the legality of the site is questionable at best…).

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