October 31 is less than two weeks away, and I must ask: Do you have your Jesus Ween goods together? Have you made your Jesus Ween costume, purchased your Jesus Ween Harvest Seeds, set out your giveaway Bibles and tracts for one those evil devil-children come to your door, seeking candy?
No? Well, get on it, fellow Christian: Jesus Ween is near.
You may have already heard about Jesus Ween holiday, the brainchild of Christians who were tired of their fellow brothers (and sisters) spreading sin on Halloween. Jesus Ween has gone global, according to their website, which heralds October 31 as “World Evangelism Day” and a “Christian Day of Gift Giving.” *
Started in 2002, Jesus Ween has its own flashy website, its own Facebook page, its own advertisement videos (complete with holy music, warm lighting, fire and brimstone), and its own holiday candy. No, not candy: These are Jesus Ween Harvest Seeds, each package containing a scripture verse. Funny, them seeds look a lot like candy corn to me. But maybe that’s because I’m looking at them with the devil’s eyes.
As for the Jesus Ween costume: well kids, pack away those skeleton costumes, those hobo outfits, those Scooby-Doos masks. (Does anyone else remember what those store-bought masks smelled like? Plastic heaven.) According to the Jesus Ween Facebook page, “On October 31, every Christian is to wear a white top to symbolize Righteousness and the love of God to all mankind.”
So, maybe, a white top and some knock-off jeans that look a little bit like brand-name clothes, but really aren’t. Because, like so many groan-inducing Christian cultural artifacts, Jesus Ween seems to be just another attempt by well-meaning Evangelicals to co-opt something and try to repackage it as a holier(-than-though) version of that thing. (Reminder: some day, I really must tell you my Scripture Bob Square Pants story.)
Of course, because I’m a feminist, you already know I love cavorting with Satan. So I won’t be celebrating Jesus Ween this year. My youngest son has purchased his Goodwill costume—he’s going as a devil, ironically, in part because it was inexpensive and fit him. (Tempted by the good deal, I guess). And I’ll be at home, helping my parents hand out candy, and trying to keep my mom from handing out hazelnuts, which is only slightly less embarrassing than giving kids religious tracts.
But Happy Jesus Ween to the rest of you. May your Harvest Seeds be tasty and your costume as white as snow.
*When I read Jesus Ween propoganda, I wonder why I hear echoes of George Constanza’s dad, talking about the Festivus for the Rest of Us, the Airing of Grievances, the Feats of Strength?