I do enjoy a good debate. Throughout the month of October, and most especially in it’s last week, the issue is whether or not Christians should do Halloween. I’d like to think that as a person who has done trick-or-treating, Christian Halloween alternatives, haunted house tours, Hell House tours, and alternatives that had nothing to do with Halloween and/or Christianity I can safely say that I’ve done pretty much everything at least once. I did not turn out to be a witch, worshiper of Satan, into demons, obsessed with the occult, or any such thing. I also did not turn out to be a saint, an angel, a shining example of Christian perfection, or any such thing. I did have a lot of great experiences, tons of fun memories, and quite a lot of good laughter over the years. Yep. I did Halloween and I’m completely normal and entirely average. If my experiences are an indicator, no matter what you do or you do not do, Halloween doesn’t corrupt your immortal souls into a downward spiral of evil and sinful behavior. I somehow suspected that buying a $10.00 costume and wandering from house to house demanding candy using the special words: ‘Trick-or-treat!’ was just something done for the fun of it and that adults like to do because few things are nicer than seeing smiles light up the faces of children.
Childhood is changing, things that were normal back in the day have begun to be phased out. We live in a world of constant supervision, if not by our parents, then by the cameras that watch our every move coming and going and our phones with GPS locators that all kids seem to have these days. That way they know who to look out for when they issue things like amber alerts. Halloween stands opposed to giving into fear by turning into something to be afraid of. Children may pretend to be among the living dead, morally-questionable swash-bucklers, unstoppable superheroes and super-heroines, powerful princes and princesses who reign over others for just one night – but it gives them a special memory that cannot be replaced. Sure, we could phase out Halloween, provide alternatives or erase it and do nothing at all. Maybe the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy will be next on the list. While we’re at it, let’s erase street fairs and festivals, the fair food is way too unhealthy and the games are all rigged to take their money anyway. Let’s make sure that children can’t have what we had when we were kids. That way they won’t turn out just like us. Too many children don’t get a childhood as it is, and now many of them won’t get to spend a night dressed up as someone else, visiting neighbors, getting candy, and not having to worry about grown-up things because some grown-up out there sees the whole lot of children as spiritually compromised lost souls worshiping evil in some mysterious candy collection ritual. Maybe one reason why children aren’t growing up to be Christians is because Christians won’t let them be children.