In the early eighties, I lived in Southern California for part of a year. There was a conservative, protestant religious television show on cable then and there, called something like The Eagle’s Nest. I recall the show in particular because there was one about Halloween, making the argument that real Christians shouldn’t celebrate that holiday because it is a pagan seasonal festival. Because of this, the show advocated having nothing whatsoever to do with the Halloween tradition.

I remember this because, on the face of it, it sounds reasonable. If one were to be internally consistent, one that professed a strictly Christian observance would probably be bound to avoid pagan festivals. However, the more memorable part was the fact that the set for the show, arguing that righteous Christians should have absolutely nothing to do with celebration of Halloween, was decorated as a cemetery and in the background, throughout the show, someone dressed as Frankenstein or some other character would wander by. At the conclusion of the show, if I remember correctly, all of the creatures that had been wandering the cemetery ganged up on the preacher, who was forced to make his concluding statements while laughing at being mobbed.

Hypocrisy seemed to me to be a palpable manifestation conjured by this display.