‘Christian Action’ and the Halloween conspiracy

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When you lie and knowingly repeat the lie about followers of another religion, just to promote your own religious agenda, you make a mockery of everything your religion stands for.

In their attempt to promote 31 October as Reformation Day in honour of Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation, South African based evangelical ministry ‘Christian Action‘ and its spokespersons Dr Peter Hammond (Director of the Christian Action Network and The Reformation Society, with ties to Frontline Fellowship USA), J. Kerby Anderson and Taryn Hodgson (Africa Christian Action National Coordinator) have waged an annual smear campaign against the commercial and religious celebration of Halloween and ‘paganism’ in general. [0]

Their campaign is based on prejudicial and provable lies and as avid purveyors of these lies, they are guilty of bearing false witness. [1] Legally speaking, a false witness is a person who deliberately gives false testimony, a perjurer, liar, and a prevaricator – a person who has lied or who lies repeatedly. [2]

In a recent (Wednesday 26 October) recorded interview with Wynand Rousseau of Radio Pulpit, Hodgson again stated “Halloween is derived from a Druidic celebration of death in which ‘a god of Death named Samhain’ (sic) was worshiped with human and animal sacrifice”. Throughout the interview Hodgson characterized Halloween, Druidry and ‘paganism’ in general as demonic, and attempted to juxtapose the alleged darkness of demonic worship on Halloween with the goodness and divine rightness of celebrating the Protestant Reformation.

Of course, when one deliberately and knowingly fabricates falsehoods in order to preach your message, your own goodness and divine rightness must be scrutinized and revealed for what it is, a grave sin.

Samhain is NOT a Druidic (nor Celtic) god of Death!

McBain’s Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language defines the Scots Gaelic ‘samhuinn’ as meaning ‘summer’s end’. Samhain is Irish Gaelic for the month of November (the seasonal timing of the northern hemisphere celebration). [3]

Religious Tolerance.org recounts that “W.J, Bethancourt III has an online essay which traces the God Samhain myth back to the year 1770 when Col. Charles Vallency wrote a 6 volume set of books which attempted to prove that the Irish people once came from Armenia. Samhain as a god was later picked up in a 1827 book by Godfrey Higgins. That book attempted to prove that the Druids originally came from India. The error might have originated in confusion over the name of Samana, an ancient Vedic/Hindu deity. Bethancourt comments “With modern research, archaeology and the study of the Indo-European migrations, these conclusions can be seen as the complete errors they were…”. Later, he writes: ” ‘Samhain’ is the name of the holiday. There is no evidence of any god or demon named ‘Samhain,’ ‘Samain,’ ‘Sam Hane,’ or however you want to vary the spelling.” [4]

Samhain (and its modern commercial construct Halloween) is not the Anglican and Protestant ‘All Saints’ Day’, and nor is it the Roman Catholic ‘Hallowtide’ or ‘Solemnity of All Saints’, despite the fact that all of these religious celebrations involve, to varying degree, traffic with the dead.

In ‘The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain’, historian Ronald Hutton writes “Samhain, 1 November (northern hemisphere), was the major festival which marked the opening of winter in early medieval Ireland… In Tochmarc Emire it is the first of the four quarter days mentioned by the heroine Emer; ‘Samhain, when the summer goes to its rest’… It was therefore an ideal moment for the convention of the year’s most important tribal assemblies, and indeed ‘the feis of Samhain’, at which local kings gathered their people, is a favourite setting for early Irish tales… Heavy Irish immigration into the Scottish Highlands and Isles in the early Middle Ages carried the name Samhain there, in local variations, but to the Welsh the day was ‘Calan Gaeaf’, ‘the first day of winter’.” [5]

Southern hemisphere Pagans (including Druids) do not celebrate Samhain / Halloween in October / November, but at the start of the southern hemisphere winter in April / May.

Hodgson’s allegations of human sacrifice in wicker baskets by ancient Druids in their alleged worship of demonic forces on Samhain should be tested against cold history.

In his ‘Commentary on the Gallic War’ (Commentarii de Bello Gallico), Julius Caesar reports that “Gauls built effigies out of sticks and placed living men inside, then set them on fire to pay tribute to the gods.” Caesar adds that “though the Druids generally used thieves and criminals, as they pleased the gods more, they sometimes used innocent men when no delinquents could be found.”[6]

“Other Roman writers of the time, such as Cicero, Suetonius, Lucan, Tacitus and Pliny the Elder, described human sacrifice among the Celts, only Caesar and the geographer Strabo mention the wicker man as one of many ways the Druids of Gaul performed sacrifices.”[7]

In ‘A History of Religious Ideas’ Mircea Eliade writes “One medieval commentary, the 10th-century Commenta Bernensia, states that men were burned in a wooden manikin in sacrifice to Taranis.“[8]

“While some modern authors like Barry Cunliffe are convinced that the Druids practised human sacrifice, others dispute Caesar’s accounts as repeating a sensationalistic rumour as propaganda to encourage his supporters back home. The Roman army perhaps misunderstood the Gaul ritual and thought of this event as a human sacrifice practice. The ritual is similar to Indian festival of Dashehra the festival of victory of good over evil. On this day in the Treta Yug, Rama, also called Shri Ram, the seventh incarnation of Vishnu, killed the great demon Ravana who had abducted Rama’s wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. The entire narrative is recorded in the epic Ramayana. There are outdoor fairs and large parades with effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna, and son Meghanad. The effigies are burnt on bonfires in the evening.” [9]

Hodgon’s condemnation of the celebration of Halloween on the grounds of alleged but as yet unproven historical assertions of human sacrifice, whether accurate or not, isn’t strong enough to warrant or justify her cautionary defamation against Druids (ancient and modern). Ancient Druids, like their modern counterparts, worshiped (and still worship) the gods of their Celtic ancestors, not demons, and modern Druids (and Pagans in general) do not practice human sacrifice. To imply that they do so at modern celebrations of Halloween is a lie.

Christian Action says “Participating in Halloween gives sanction to a holiday that promotes witches, divination, haunted houses, and other occultic practices.” [10] So what!

Christian Action obviously rejects the notion of constitutional supremacy and would gladly dismiss the constitutional right of all occultists (Pagans included) to religious freedom in this country, even if that means lying about Pagans and their religious holidays to get their way. South African Pagans are fed-up with the way in which Christian Action co-conspirators  repeatedly attempt to undermine the support for and credibility of religious minorities and their religious celebrations in this country and we’re not going to take any more of it! Your day of judgement has arrived.

Tell ‘Christian Action’ what YOU think of their conspiracy by writing to them.
Christian Action PO Box 23632, Claremont, 7735, South Africa
Email: info@christianaction.org.za and info@frontline.org.za

References:

[0] Christian Action smear campaign against Halloween

Ten Reasons Christians Should Not Celebrate Halloween
by J. Kerby Anderson (Copyright © 2001 Probe Ministries)
http://www.christianaction.org.za/articles/10%20reasonswhychristiansnothalloween.htm

The Bible And Halloween
Copyright © 2003 Africa Christian Action
http://www.christianaction.org.za/articles/thebibleandhalloween.htm

31 October Is Reformation Day
Copyright © 2003 Africa Christian Action
http://www.christianaction.org.za/articles/31%20October%20is%20Reformation%20Day.htm

The Paganisation of South Africa (2004)
Dr Peter Hammond Copyright © 2011 Christian Action
http://www.christianaction.org.za/articles_ca/2004-1-The_paganisation.htm

[1] Biblical references prohibiting ‘false witness’

Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Exodus 23:1 Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

Deuteronomy 5:20 Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Deuteronomy 19:16 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;
18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.
20 And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.
21 And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Proverbs 12:17 He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.

Proverbs 14:5 A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.

Proverbs 14:25 A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.

Proverbs 19:5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.

Proverbs 19:9 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.

Proverbs 19:28 An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.

Proverbs 21:28 A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.

Proverbs 24:28 Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.

Proverbs 25:18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.

Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Mark 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

Luke 18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.

Romans 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

SOURCE: http://www.topical-bible-studies.org/21-0024.htm

[3] McBain’s Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language
http://www.archive.org/stream/etymologicaldict00macbuoft/etymologicaldict00macbuoft_djvu.txt

[4] ‘Halloween, Myths, Monsters and Devils’ by W.J. Bethancourt III
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hallo_sa.htm

[5] Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain
by Ronald Hutton
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stations-Sun-History-Ritual-Britain/dp/0192854488

[6] Commentarii de Bello Gallico
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commentarii_de_Bello_Gallico

[7] Lugodoc’s Guide to Druids
http://www.lugodoc.demon.co.uk/Druids/DRUIDS.htm

[8] Mircea Eliade, A History of Religious Ideas, Vol. 2.
http://www.amazon.com/History-Religious-Ideas-Gautama-Christianity/dp/0226204030

[9] http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/T/timeteam/2007_ang_druids.html
and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicker_man

[10] Ten Reasons Christians Should Not Celebrate Halloween
by J. Kerby Anderson (Copyright © 2001 Probe Ministries)
http://www.christianaction.org.za/articles/10%20reasonswhychristiansnothalloween.htm

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