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Donald Duck comics were banned from
Finland because he doesn't wear pants.

An old law in Bellingham, Washington, made it illegal for a
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The Trivialization of Good and Evil

In Western culture, which has spread to much of the rest of the world, we celebrate certain days in remembrance of major developments of the past. It is noteworthy to look at two of these prominent holidays—Halloween and Easter—and see that they are like bookends on the spectrum of the cultural response to good and evil. And almost right in the middle are Christmas, a celebration at the end of the year, and New Years Day, a celebration of the beginning of the year, a celebration that goes back to the celebration of a new cosmic or world age.


Halloween, literally "All Hallows Evening" or "Holy Evening", now sometimes called "fright night" is currently the United States' second most popular holiday (after Christmas) for decorating. These decorations run along the lines of witches, spiders, mummies, zombies, and vampires, tombstones and gargoyles, all of which are associated with evil, peril, and death. It is often considered to be the most fun holiday, being celebrated with parties and balls, special candy, food and drink, and special games and other party activities such as bobbing for apples. Costume parties are popular, sometimes with elaborate costumes and masks, sometimes of macabre grotesquery. It is generally thought of as a night of revelry, with some of the very worst of human behavior implied by the extortion for treats during "trick or treat" visits, and the vandalism. By some it is seen as an excuse to "let loose" and to run wild. Because of all this it is the time of greatest demand for police and emergency services.

In some cultures Halloween is focused on the return of the dead, and observances make supplication to the good and evil spirits. Ultimately, Halloween as a holiday harks back to the same terrible catastrophe that inaugurated the Jewish Passover, All Saints Day, and Day of the Dead. The latter description is self-explanatory, while the former relates to the idea of the survivors being the righteous or "saints".


The Easter holiday as observed in the West is now a Christianized festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary. Unlike Halloween, the spirit cultivated at the Easter holiday is more one of sober reflections than revelry; it is focused on ostensibly good and wholesome things, and it is at least superficially pointed toward the beginning of life rather than death.

Like Halloween, the roots of the holiday go back to the same development that spawned the Passover, and in some cultures the word for the holiday reflects the derivation from the Passover. Etymologically, the word has its original roots in "Ishtar", the star of Venus. This is reflected in the connection of the Easter holiday to Eos, the goddess of dawn, Venus, the goddess of heaven, and various fertility goddesses associated with the planet Venus.

Similar to Halloween, the original holiday Easter was celebrated with special activities, some of which reflect the goddess of fertility theme. Of course, hunting for brightly colored eggs hidden by the Easter bunny is one of these.

The bottom line is that in our celebration of these two holidays we indulge in the trivialization of both good and evil. For Halloween we do it by focusing on unreal beings, and exaggerated or fictional evils—ghostly dead souls returning, witches, devils, demons and evil spirits, ghouls, zombies, etc., all of which have nothing to do with the REAL evil experienced under the human condition. And for Easter we do it by a more somber focus on superficial or temporary surface virtue—cleaning up and dressing up in our finest clothing, going to a church service, paying our once or twice a year respects to Christ, thinking good thoughts about God's sacrifice, and praying, all of which have nothing to do with real virtue or the real issues that face us under the human condition.

Noteworthy is that most people neither know nor care anything about the cause or instigation of these holidays and their original meaning. Of course, one common thing these holidays share is candy, lot's of candy! What fun we can have with a sugar high while we trivialize good and evil in our state of denial! Pathetic isn't it?

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