Kimberly Daniels recently wrote about Halloween Candy for Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network web site, and her rhetoric about demonic Halloween candy personifies a brand of religion that amounts to Christian superstition. It links to the crazy that is epitomized by extreme fundamentalists.
Daniels wrote for CBN that, “During Halloween, time-released curses are always loosed. A time-released curse is a period that has been set aside to release demonic activity and to ensnare souls in great measure … During this period demons are assigned against those who participate in the rituals and festivities. These demons are automatically drawn to the fetishes that open doors for them to come into the lives of human beings. For example, most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches.”
She explained why she does not buy Halloween candy, “I do not buy candy during the Halloween season. Curses are sent through the tricks and treats of the innocent whether they get it by going door to door or by purchasing it from the local grocery store.The demons cannot tell the difference.”
I really, really, really want to know HOW Daniels knows the demons can’t tell the difference between purchased grocery store candy and trick or treat obtained candy.
Her warped views hold little similarity to what most people think of as conventional religious faith or spirituality, and holds more in common with Grimm’s Fairy Tales, seances by adolescents at slumber parties, and ghost stories told at camp in the dark in the woods around a camp fire before going to sleep in a tent, (shining a flashlight up your nose, optional).
Daniels’ version of Halloween is as different from real Wicca and modern Paganism as the fictional highly commercialized figure of a red-suited, white bearded fat old man with flying reindeer we think of as Santa Claus differs from the Biblical account of the birth of Christ at Christmas.
Daniels has made a career out preaching a religion of fear at seminars. She prattles on about sex with Demons, time released curses oozing malice like cold tablets release medicine, and trick or treat candy prayed over by witches to curse it.
When I was a child I toured a local Pearson’s candy factory on an elementary school field trip, a place where they make salted nut rolls, nut goodies, mint patties. I sure don’t remember any witches with warts and pointy hats on the tour.
I feel qualified to address Ms. Daniels stupidity passing as faith, because I am a Minnesotan. I live in the fly-over land that is home to crazy fundamentalist Christian zealots like Michele Bachmann. Bachmann during her earliest forays into politics on the local level, served on a charter school board of directors, where she tried to prevent the showing of the Disney movie Aladdin claiming it promoted magic and paganism, while trying to insert teaching Creationism and Christianity into the curriculum.
Bachmann when she subsequently ventured into state politics, is alleged to have brought in a group of other crazies to the chamber of the state legislature while her fellow legislators were away from their seats, to pray over the desks of those legislators who did not agree with her extreme views, in order to change their minds. Apparently that made more sense to her than using reason and critical thinking for persuasion.
Bachmann her co-religionists of the political extreme represents that view of religion that sees prayer as manipulating God to take their side, viewing prayer as if it were equivalent of the witches scene from Shakespeare’s play Mac Beth. They replace prayer for “Double double, toil and trouble, Fire burn and Cauldron bubble” chanting.
It is one thing for Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in his poem Kubla Khan, to create with his words the mental image “A savage place! as holy and enchanted /As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted/By woman wailing for her demon-lover!” but quite another to believe it is real. Religion peddlers like Ms. Daniels assert that having a jack-o-lantern at Halloween is a means of access for demons into your life.
She asserts that Dracula and presumably other vampires, mummies and werewolves, and witches on brooms are real, that people on Halloween can be tricked into having sex with Demons instead of people, and that there is sacrificing of babies, followed by drinking their blood. I’ve actually attended a few pagan Samhain events; people drank Coke and Diet Coke, Mountain Dew and other soft drinks, a few drank beer. No one sacrificed babies or any other living thing, and no one drank blood. (And in case you are wondering, NO, it was not something done as research for this article.)
When I read the article Ms. Daniels wrote, which is all over the Internet despite being taken down by the Robertson web site, I couldn’t avoid the thought that the best explanation for this nonsense was that Daniels had wandered around a Hallmark store or maybe a costume shop while high out of her mind on some kind of hallucinogenic, like a bad trip on LSD, and this was the result. If so, she must trip a lot, because this is a purely seasonal message from Daniels. She’s bat crazy year round, and even crazier people pay good money to listen to her. But then, Daniels is a former prostitute and drug addict; proving the adage that there is no one more self righteous, prudish, crazy religious as a reformed whore – pick your own favorite variation.
I like to read things that are too obscure to interest other people. I read Congressional Bills, Court filings, Orders, and decisions, science papers, obscure literature and poetry, philosophy, and historic documents. I’m one of the few people I know who has actually read the Malleus Malificarum, more commonly known as the Hammer of (or against) Witches, the 15th century witch hunter’s manual. Daniels really should be looking to the classics; she just has no sense of the richness of tradition. Daniels is a light weight; you won’t find any silliness about haunted candy corn in the classic old texts.
I can’t help but wonder if Daniels gets her ideas from watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the spin off series, Angel, that are still showing in syndication; or maybe the Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi marathons on the movie channels; or perhaps from the panels at science fiction conventions.
I’d bet some serious coin that someone with a wicked sense of mischief and a decent familiarity with H. P. Lovecraft could persuade Daniels to preach a sermon or two at one of her seminars against the evils of Cthulu worship. Fiction and fact are so nebulous to crazies like Daniels, the troublesome notion that Cthulu is fictional would likely be completely unimportant, given her views on Dracula being a real live, well, undead, vampire sucking blood out of people. Yeah, more like Daniels sucking money out of people’s pockets.
Of course, the serious side to this silliness is that people like Daniels and the right wing extremists to whom she appeals like to pander to fear and ignorance. They want to create paranoia about people who might find their spirituality in pagan nature worship, or ethnicity based practices, or alternative traditions by equating it to the the most hateful ideas possible.
You know what is really scary? That people like Daniels, and those who pay to listen to her, and those who feature her on their web sites ——–they take her and people like her absolutely seriously. They are convinced that they, and only they, have the right idea, the correct faith, the only acceptable religion, and that they have to either persuade the rest of us or force the rest of us to do and to see things their way. They have to save the rest of the world from being different from them.
The RIGHT way, not in the sense of right that means correct; RIGHT in the sense of the political and religious spectrum. Now THAT’S SCARY!
Happy Halloween, Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve, Feast of the Departed, whatever name you give to the date.