The headline doesn’t refer to Rob Zombie’s rubbish remake of John Carpenter’s classic movie. It refers to a story I saw on BBC Newsline yesterday. I wanted to post on it straight away, but it wasn’t online. However, Henry McDonald has ridden to my rescue (much to my chagrin it must be said) here. Basically, a minister of the Independent Methodist Church (the amount of splits in protestant churches suggests that all is not lost in terms of bringing Irish protestants round to the idea of a republic), Reverend Jonathan Campbell, has said that the annual Derry Halloween Festival, which sees tens of thousands of people gather in fancy dress, in Derry “makes evil look innocent”. Halloween, we are told by the good Reverend is
one of the two major days for Satanists. God’s word clearly condemns and warns people about celebrating or glorifying Halloween or the occult. One of the main reasons we as a church are opposed to the carnival is that children are being disturbed. People are being deceived – they look on it as harmless fun, but it isn’t. We are doing this because we care for the people of Londonderry, and this is harming parents, children, families in Londonderry
Now, I’m not at all averse to the idea that Derry makes evil look innocent even at the best of times. However, I can’t help but think that this is utter madness. I can’t say that I want to ruin my Halloween by seeing thousands of drunken delinquents fighting and copulating on the streets of Derry, but it is hardly a form of Satanic activity. I do wonder sometimes if the reverends who complain about Halloween, Harry Potter, rock music, dancing (but not line dancing – clearly a satanic activity) etc need to get out more. After all, the parks and the cinemas are open everywhere even on a Sunday. They can’t be that stuck for things to do, can they?