Q: Do atheists celebrate Halloween?
A: Sure. Why pass up an excuse for a party?
Q: But isn’t Halloween a religious holiday?
A: Not really. It started out as a pagan Celtic holiday called Samhain and eventually got mixed up with the Christian holy day of All Saints; but the pagan parts, the Jack-o’-Lanterns, the dressing up as ghosts, witches, etc., predominate. These days it’s pretty secular. Even if it weren’t, we’d still celebrate it. After all, Christians have never been shy about appropriating pagan holidays (like Halloween, Christmas and Easter) for their own purposes, so why should we be?
Q: And the atheist purpose for Halloween is?
A: Having fun.
Q: How do you do that on Halloween?
A: Didn’t you see the picture of the baby with an alien popping out of its chest?
Q: <Gasp!> You don’t mean…?
A: What do you take me for? I mean we like to put costumes on our kids and take them trick-or-treating just like everyone else. Or dress ourselves up and go to parties where, I guarantee you, neither baby-eating or devil-worshipping ever takes place.
Q: Are there atheist-themed costumes?
A: I suppose so. One fellow I heard about wanted to go out dressed as God but couldn’t figure out how to make himself invisible. One Halloween, I dressed myself up as a Frankenstein-type monster and you could think of it as my way of thumbing my nose at Mary Shelly’s religion-inspired theme that there are things Man is not meant to know… or maybe that it was just the only costume I could find that fit me. Check out the slideshow I’ve put up and make up your own mind.
Q: Do all atheists have such an odd sense of humor?
A: A lot of us do. Satire is a frequent theme in the costumes you’ll find in the slideshow (which are from sources like Think Atheist’s annual Halloween costume contest).
Q&A (together): Happy Halloween everybody!
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