So Halloween has come and gone, and I decided to write this after the fact, seeing as how my mind is not made up on the subject and how I feel about it as a whole. I can tell you how I spent it; we turned off our lights to our house and did not give out any candy. Instead, I spent the evening at my brother and sister-in law’s house. They took my 2 year old nephew, dressed in a fireman’s costume, and my 1 year old nephew, dressed up as a lion, trick or treating. We walked along with them house to house, watching as they received candy. After that, we went back to their house to play cards and eat food and enjoy a few hours together.
Typically speaking, I have not been against Halloween. I have always celebrated it, and always planned to take my own children trick or treating. I still may, but lately I have been thinking long and hard about it. Most of the anti-Halloween arguments have not been convincing to me, and for that reason I have dismissed them. It seemed to me that if you weren’t revelling in some 0f the darker stuff, but rather were just dressing up as fun things like animals and clowns and super heroes, that there wasn’t much harm in the matter.
But then a few weeks ago I was at a store and I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of gaudy and grotesque costumes and decorations that they carry. And it wasn’t just the one store, but all of them. This seems to be an accurate snapshot of what our culture celebrate on Halloween. Even a cursory walk through the aisles will tell you what this holiday is about; Evil. Horror. The Occult. Ghouls. Fear. Darkness. Ghosts. Demons. Witchcraft. Gore. Vampires. Promiscuity. These things make up the fabric and essence of Halloween, with few deviations. And let’s face it, most of these things are completely evil and contrary to the things that Christ would have us us celebrate and focus on.
But because the evil celebrated is general in nature, and not specific, I wonder if this is perhaps why it does not offend our sensibilities and our sense of holiness as much as it should. I wonder if that’s why we don’t think to ourselves “That is sick. What a horrible wickedness all around us.” We don’t. Instead these things are broad and delineated and vague and ubiquitous, and it’s sprinkled with inoffensive things like pumpkins, princesses, farm animals and cartoon characters.
But what if the evil was specific? What if Halloween was a celebration of something like abortion? What if our society celebrated abortion by dressing up as doctors, nurses and pregnant women? What if kids went door to door, knocked and shouted, “Roe v. Wade,” and were given candy? What if the e stores were filled with pro-abortion decorations such as MVA’s, uterine currette, embryotomy scissors, cranial perforators, cephalotribes and decapitators? What if advertising was centered on abortion? If that were the case, would most Christians still have their kids dress up as alternative characters [farmers, princesses, bible characters] and go seeking candy just like the rest of society?
I’m still wrestling with that question, and I know where I am leaning. When I reach a firm conclusion to that question, I suspect I know where I will land on the whole Halloween debate.