Damned If You Do… No Really

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In a bizarro parallel to this Halloween upset in Florida, Moscow officials banned Halloween because it is too religious and hence "destructive for the psychological, moral and spiritual well-being of the pupils."

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  1. I love this quotation from the Interfax version of this story:

    http://www.interfax.ru/e/B/0/28.html?menu=1&id_issue=5667415

    “Walking with a demon in life can only lead one to tragedy, unhappiness and self-destruction.” – Vsevolod Chaplin, deputy head of the external relations department of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    Because that’s what dressing up as a pimp or Harry Potter involves. I wonder if Vsevolod has been reading a lot of Jack Chick lately?

  2. This sounds like the kind of story you might hear in the United States: Officials warn the government schools against celebrating holidays with religious overtones. The only difference is that American government schools, unlike Russian schools, seem to think that only Christian holidays have religious overtones. Other than that, I think that the ACLU should be proud of the Moscow authorities.

  3. I have no great problem with the holiday being excluded from public schools. And perhaps the real problem is that trick-or-treat, with its ritualized extortion, just feels too much like real life in Russia.

  4. “The only difference is that American government schools, unlike Russian schools, seem to think that only Christian holidays have religious overtones”

    I take it your local school district gives the kids breaks for non-christian holidays like ramadan and yom kippur, and makes them go to school on christmas.

    Christians may have been persecuted centuries ago, but when they scream “I’m a victim” these days, it sounds more like whining.

    While Halloween may indeed have religious roots, people who worry about it’s religious overtones today sound as silly as the couple of dozen chronologically-challenged, renaissance-attending neopagans who actually treat it like one. There’s an WWII down the street from me who treats veteran’s day like a holiday, worshipping the souls of his fallen comrades who he believes guide him in his daily life. Guess that’s another holiday that can’t be mentioned in public schools.

  5. “Christians may have been persecuted centuries ago, but when they scream “I’m a victim” these days, it sounds more like whining.”

    Tell that to the Christians in Indonesia who are the targets of Islamist terrorists right now as well as the Marmot Christians who were the victims of genocide in the 1980s.

  6. infamouse,

    You are correct, I should have been more specific. American christians crying victim sound like pathetic whiners.

  7. In Connecticut, most of the school seem to give kids the Jewish holidays off as well as Christian.

  8. I never said that American Christians are victims. But, then, all Christians are basically the same, aren’t they, so whatever one of them says can be attributed to all the others.

  9. k-chortoo! (Go to hell in Russian)! When my pet project Communism was undone, I had hoped that paganism would take over. Given the popularity of Heavy Metal music in Russia I thought that this would be a lay-up…. Oh well, back to the drawing board…

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