Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday Soapbox

I consider myself a religious person. Although a bit conflicted as to formal religious worship, I do believe in God.

I also adore all things Halloween. In fact, long before the current trendiness of Halloween, in 1993 I watched "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and it became one of my favorite movies of all time.

So when I opened the October newsletter from my son's school, I was a bit shocked to read this:

Welcome to October, a beautiful month of colors, harvest, and yes...Halloween. As Christians living in a secular world, Halloween is all around us and impossible to ignore. Since we can't erase the ever-increasing dark unchristian side of Halloween, or put blinders on our children to shield them, help us to turn it into a holiday that honors God and his good creations (Phil 4:8).

It goes on to talk about bats and spiders, how they are all created by God and therefore good, and that we should not dislike them because they are unlucky enough to be linked with such an unchristian holiday. Well, that's not exactly what they said, but it's certainly what they meant.

I'm also not so hip on the "Christians living in a secular world" bit, but I will keep my mouth shut on that one. There's always another Saturday, says I.

I had always known that there were people who object to Halloween, but I never thought I would be so, er, close to them.

I have never understood that objection. I can see how some people take the "horror" aspect of Halloween a bit too far, and as I have a son who just today freaked out about riding on a fire truck, I can see how that would be frightening to a young child. Halloween is technically a pagan holiday, although the Catholic religion has an "All Souls Day" on November 1, which focuses on the departed and, well, their souls.

But I have never really associated Halloween with religion, and I am confused why anyone would. Why would it be against someone's religion to dress up and trick or treat? What exactly does that have to do with your relationship with God? I don't see any of the commandments being broken, there is no false idol worship going on. I personally don't think that God (if I may be so bold as to speak for God) would condemn you for celebrating Halloween anymore than he would for celebrating Valentine's Day or ringing in the New Year.

If you are a bad or evil person, Halloween is not going to make any sort of dent into the already perilous condition of your soul. If you are an innocent four year old dressing up as a firefighter, I can't help but wonder if God thinks he is as cute as a button and wishes he could get a picture. Figuratively speaking, of course.

As the newletter so succintly points out, this school apparently has something against Halloween, and I love how the resigned sigh at the end of that first sentence is almost palpable. They won't even allow the kids to come to school in their costumes. They will only let them wear a hat.

After the pirate shirt flap, I'm wondering if I would be pushing my luck by picking up Mr. Personality from school with my favorite sweatshirt on:




I'm bad. I know.

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