Happy All Hallows Eve: Better Known as Halloween

Today is Halloween in the United States. Halloween is a day of light-hearted fun for children and adults. When I was a small child growing up poor in a rundown urban neighborhood, Halloween was one of the few truly happy and fun times in my life. Christian fundamentalists and many conservative evangelicals do not like Halloween.

Here is how a number of Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals go out of their way to spoil the joys of Halloween for kids.  They stick this actual sign on their front doors Halloween evening:

fundie-halloween-signDuring my trick or treat days 52 years ago, I do not recall ever seeing a sign like this on any front door.  This must be a recent custom in fundie circles.  If I had encountered a sign like this on someone’s front door, the first thoughts trotting through my mind would have been: “Who is this coldhearted person, and who is YUH-HUH VUH-HUH?”

What I do recall is seeing people sitting in their well-lighted living rooms with the front door closed as numerous children came to the door, rang the doorbell, and no one ever opened the door.  I always wondered why those people would not come to the door for a small child.  Maybe they were all deaf?   Maybe they hated little children like me?  Maybe they had no joy in their hearts?   Maybe they ran out of candy?  Maybe they were just plain weird?   No. None of the above. They were probably diehard fundies who actually thought ghosts, demons, witches, sorcerers, conjurers, and innocent children come out to worship Satan on Halloween—and they wanted no part in it.

All I can say is this.  The children who go from door to door for a little trick or treat candy do not practice the occult, nor do they participate in Halloween for occultic reasons. Most of them do not read Hebrew, and they do not use Halloween to celebrate death or worship Satan.  I am also pretty sure of this.  If you fundies out there do not open that front door and drop some candy into the bags of your trick or treat kids, they are going to remember the people at 101 Maple Street as sticks in the mud with cold hearts. When those same kids get a little older and you invite them to your Vacation Bible School down at Possum Holler Baptist Church, do not be surprised if they turn you down.  Kids are really smart, and they know where the coldhearted people live in their neighborhoods.

Finally, just a few nights ago, I read an article about Halloween, and the author suggested that Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals might safely participate in Halloween by putting items like Chick tracts into the bags of trick or treaters rather than candy. You know Chick tracts—the bestselling fundie mini-comics available in a public restroom near you.

Just a word to the wise, I think this idea is really bad and just plain tacky.  If you want both the kids and their parents to remember you as an A-hole, just drop a Chick Tract into their trick-or-treat bag. You can forget Vacation Bible School for sure after doing that!!!

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