American Jesus: The “Real” Story of the Halloween Pumpkin

Two posts in one week? Apocalypse must be upon us!

Actually, it’s just Halloween, a holiday I enjoyed as a kid (even as a Christian kid), then loathed as a stick-up-my-butt Christian parent (thankfully a brief period), and now enjoy again. And because it’s Halloween, I’m seeing all sorts of ridiculous stuff online that I think is too funny not to, you know, make fun of.

One of the things that always embarrassed me as a Christian were attempts by people to hijack secular culture and redefined it for American Jesus as a way of justifying their children’s participation in something “pagan”.

Of course, Halloween is the toughest one to justify depending on your theology, but also one of the most fun! So how do they do it?

One way is by appropriating the poor pumpkin and using it as a Christian Metaphor, like the one I found on my Facebook page today.

How a Christian is like a Pumpkin


Being a Christian is just like a pumpkin! Let me try to explain, I brought this pumpkin here to help me illustrate what I mean.

There were so many silly pumpkin carvings I could barely choose one, but the idea of putting the image of a thorn-crowned Jesus with a sexy “come hither unto me” stare on a pumpkin seemed one of the most inappropriate.

First, God picks you from the pumpkin patch and brings you in from the field. The Bible says He selects us out of the world. We are in the world, but no longer of the world.

Apparently this is a Calvinist fable, as the pumpkin’s free will to choose to be carved is overridden by the Pumpkin Carver’s choice, and the other pumpkins are just SOL. Just sayin’…

He then washes all the “dirt” off the outside that we received from being around all the other pumpkins. All the outside influences of our former life must be cleaned up. Old things are passed away and all things are become new.

The “dirt” doesn’t come from other pumpkins. It comes from dirt. Which pumpkins grow in. Which is part the protection mechanism and part of the “design”, right? Now all natural defenses are removed by symbolic cleansing. The pumpkin thinks he is better off, but in reality biology hasn’t changed, he’s been removed from the life-giving vine (contrary to the fable maker’s theology) and he is susceptible to premature rot.

Then, He carefully cuts off the top and removes all the “yucky stuff” called “sin” out from the inside. Look at this! Yuk! Sin will not have such internal power. He then changes us from the inside out by the Power of His Word. That’s why it is important to go the church and learn about God’s Word.

This “yucky stuff” holds all the seeds (life), is an essential part of pumpkin anatomy, and is actually called pumpkin brains. Why oh why does God think my brain is yucky enough for a lobotomy? Sounds rather ghoulish and close minded to me. How can I ever learn without a brain??? (On a serious note, the “yucky” pumpkin brain can be used to make a nutritious broth, even combined with cinnamon and mulled apple cider for a sinfully yummy drink!)

He carefully removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and fear. He replaces them with the seeds of faith, hope and love. After Jesus is invited inside, you begin to experience the changing power of God’s love in your life.

What?? Seeds are awesome! Seeds bring forth life! Pumpkin seeds aren’t perverted and evil, pumpkin seeds make more pumpkins! And those that don’t can be boiled and roasted…crap that sounds a little hellish, but still crunchy and delicious!

Then He carves a new smiling face. Our countenance is changed by the power of His presence in our life. We then become so grateful. It can even show on our face!

Freakin’ A, I can’t even have my own countenance? Why did you make me a pumpkin to begin with if I was so messed up you have to give me plastic surgery, transplants, and a lobotomy to turn me into something else?!

Now we are going to light this candle inside. Look! This pumpkin now reflects the light from inside out. So too, when Jesus, who is called the Son of Light, lives inside of us, He shines through our life for all to see. We can let His light reflect through us to reveal His presence.

Putting fire inside fruit is just… unnatural. Who needs all that hot air and dehydration? Besides, pumpkins can’t “reflect” anything because they don’t have a shiny surface, and nothing “reflects” from the “inside out.” That’s just bad narrative.

Like all of this pumpkin nonsense.

“Let your light so shine before men that they may be able to see your good works and glorify your Father, who is in heaven, and help me show your light to others through the things I do. Amen”

Seriously, is this how you want people to see your God? Is this the best fable you can come up with? Stop pretending you’re different and trying to justify your desire to participate in a fun holiday with a made-up object lesson. Just carve the damn pumpkin and call it what it is: a Jack o’Lantern for Halloween. We’ll all be better off, and you can stop sounding desperate.

4 thoughts on “American Jesus: The “Real” Story of the Halloween Pumpkin

  1. I laughed my ass off reading this! As a catholic I’d never heard the “you are a pumpkin” analogy until I ran across it on Zoe’s blog a week ago. The protestants come up with such funny stuff, and the calvinist take is even more hysterically funny! I was simply told demons run amok on Halloween and to be careful not to get possessed (typical catholicism). Whatever that meant. I was allowed to go trick or treating and loved getting candy. Never did see any demons while out and about, but that’s because my mom said they were invisible. How convenient.

    Liked by 1 person

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