Has Halloween become a government holiday?

Buck writes:

This is bizarre if true. The governor of a U.S. state is considering rescheduling Halloween by executive order. He doesn’t say that he’s simply banning the practice of Trick-or-Treating on government property, but that he may reschedule the day. Of course Halloween has no connection with government. It has no history of any connection to any government. It is also many centuries older than the United States. What the heck is wrong with Governor Christie?

Here is his Twitter message:


Does he believe that parents are so ignorant and mindless that they will be shoving their scared, costumed young children out into dark, un-lighted, storm-damaged, flooded neighborhood streets, if he doesn’t use the force of government to stop them? Are New Jersey residents so brain-dead, helpless, and out-of-control that their governor has to order them to keep the own children safe at home? Have all American communities disintegrated? We are rapidly becoming a retarded country.

- end of initial entry -

LA replies:

As I said the other day, the meaning of Halloween has been transformed and its importance vastly expanded from the one-evening innocent event it was when you and I were kids. It has become a several-day-long, culture-wide sacrament of darkness and the demonic, and as such is now a quasi-official commemoration of a core aspect of the liberal order. Therefore it’s not so odd that Christie feels that government has a role in it.

Sage McLaughlin writes:

Buck asks: “Are New Jersey residents so brain-dead, helpless, and out-of-control that their governor has to order them to keep the own children safe at home?”

New Jersey is a state so mindlessly statist that it is illegal there to pump one’s own gas. This ban is justified on the incandescently stupid grounds that it provides jobs to gas station attendants, an idea one would have expected to encounter in Communist Russia circa 1922. I have yet to meet a person from New Jersey who either objects to this on principle, or understands why it is so idiotic, or is the least bit comprehending of the obvious arguments against it. I’ve tried, and I get nothing but blank stares.

In fact, I have never visited any place where the government is so in-your-face from the moment you arrive as New Jersey. It is no surprise that the loudmouthed, self-important Christie was elected there, nor that he assumes the people there are incapable of figuring out something like whether or not to send their children out on Halloween in a flooded state.

Doug H. writes:

In the last few years I have noticed people decorating their yards and houses several days in advance of Halloween. They put up lights just like most people do for Christmas. On the Make Magazine blog site, one of the editors said Halloween was his favorite holiday. I didn’t know Halloween was a holiday. Doesn’t the word holiday mean, holy day? If so, how can anyone call Halloween a holiday unless they are implying sanctification of the demonic? I don’t think most people even consider the meaning of the word, holiday.

LA replies:

Well, let’s remember that words do expand their meaning. Independence Day and Memorial Day are holidays, but no one imagines that that means they are supposed to be holy days or protests their designation as holidays.

Dave T. writes:

In fairness to Christie, I’m sure the government at minimum takes certain steps to increase the safety of the children who go Trick-or-Treating in 21st century America, e.g., increased police presence in the neighborhoods. After all, the character of our neighborhoods, and the level of social trust that exists within them, has drastically changed since the time you were a kid, especially in places like New Jersey. On that basis alone, it doesn’t surprise me that the government is involved in Halloween to the point where Christie could speculate about “rescheduling” the activities that normally occur at that time.

A Kern writes:

Halloween is NOT a “movable feast.” Christie should know that! It is the “hallowed e’en” that precedes All Saints’ Day. Christie has made some good points in the past, but not on this one, for sure!

Andrew B. writes:

Our Democratic mayor here in a suburb of Philadelphia disclaimed any responsibility for Halloween, since it is a spontaneous, traditional community event.

He has encouraged parents in town to talk about it among themselves and figure out if they would rather do Trick-or-Treating on Friday, by which time it is expected that most downed trees and wires will be cleared. So now the community is sending out emails and soliciting a consensus opinion from friends and neighbors on what to do.

Isn’t that how it should be done?

Rescheduling Halloween by government fiat is like trying to tell people when they can open Christmas presents.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 30, 2012 04:16 PM | Send

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