In nearly 20 years of writing for this publication, I've taken great pride in offending, alienating and angering thousands of readers.

I've written about assassinating Santa Claus, made fun of Princess Diana before she was buried and branded Elvis a racist around the same time Chuck D. of Public Enemy did.

But few of my columns over the years offended more people than the first of my anti-Halloween columns. The following, from 1997, generated around 150 negative emails and a few dozen angry callers.

I present it again for the same purpose. Happy Halloween!

You know me; I love to ruin somebody else's good time. It's always fun to rain on a parade belonging to someone else. That's why I've come up with a phrase guaranteed to make average people upset.

I've been using it for weeks; now you can, too. Just walk up to someone who's talking about their plans for Halloween, look them dead in the eye and say, "Halloween is Satan's Christmas."

Then say it again, even more seriously. "Halloween is Satan's Christmas." If they ask what you mean, tell them, "I hear that Satan is never happier than he is on Halloween night. That's when he recruits the most souls."

It's very important to look extremely glum when you announce the news. It's a great trick because it makes people enjoy Halloween just a little bit less, knowing that they're helping out the devil by doing so.

And think about it: when you celebrate Halloween, aren't you just paying tribute to demons? You're shaking the hand of Mr. Six Six Six himself and saying howdy. You may as well kiss his steely hindquarters while you're at it.

And I have never really liked Halloween, at least not for many years. To me, there's nothing sadder and more pathetic than an adult dressing up in some wacky outfit. It's cute when my two-year-old niece puts on a bunny outfit. But when a 25-year-old woman puts one on, she looks stupid.

While Halloween has become one of the nation's favorite holidays over the past few years, there has also been a backlash against it. It started in the fundamentalist Christian community and is slowly seeping into the mainstream.

In a very informative essay found on the Chick Publications evangelical web site (http://www.chick.com/), "Should Christians celebrate Halloween?" a former witch, William J. Schnoebelen, tells it like it is about this wicked holiday:

"If you allow your children to participate in Halloween (Trick or Treating, costume parties, etc.) you are allowing them to play on 'the devil's turf,' and Satan will definitely press his home court advantage. You are opening up doorways into their young lives for evil by bringing them into a kind of `fellowship' with these ancient 'gods.'

"We are commanded not to become involved with the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). Both from my experience as a witch, and since getting saved, as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I have seen far too many examples of how breaking this command works out in lives."

Another of the cool hardcore Christian web sites is demonbuster.com. This site consists of around 2,000 pages of text offering to "cure" people of homosexuality, bigotry, lustfulness, etc.

And, of course, they want to cure you of your Halloween habit, too. Check out what they have to say:

"You say, `Well, we don't take it seriously.' But the devil does and so does God. Particularly this is true when the Church which He purchased with His own precious blood builds houses of horror in its fellowship halls so that the little lambs who have been entrusted to its care can be terrified and opened up to invading spirits of fear and torment and confusion. How this must Grieve the Lord!"

In addition, they insist the holiday is the devil's birthday and encourage people to write letters to the editor condemning this satanic practice.

It's too late for this year, but clip the next few paragraphs and mail it to the editor of The Star about 340 days from now.

HALLOWEEN, TRICK OR TREAT?

"You can call a duck a horse, cow, cat, etc., but it is still a duck. You can call what you do a 'fall festival,' 'alleluia party,' etc., but you are still observing Halloween, even if you dress up as Bible characters. Halloween is the highest satanic holy day of the year.

"On October 31st, the high priests of all witch covens are required to make a human sacrifice. God condemns witches and everything to do with them. The head of the first satanic church said, 'a witch is a witch,' when referring to black and white witchcraft. All their power comes from the devil.

"People think it's funny to scare people to 'death.' II Timothy 1:7 says, `For God has not given to us the spirit of fear....'

"So guess who is scaring you?

"Tell your children the truth about Halloween. Revelation 21:8 says liars won't make it to heaven. Then, parents, you will be doing your job as the high priest of the family like you are supposed to be. If you open your doors to pass out tracts, you are still observing Halloween. Why don't you pass them out another time? Stop being worldly, Christians."

There should be more than enough material in this column to anger and/or disappoint anyone with a little bit of Halloween spirit left in them.

Happy Halloween!

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