I happen to live in the state where the Newington school that’s being criticized for curbing the Halloween celebration within its campus is being criticized. I can’t believe this nonsense has gone national. A few parents got their panties in a twist claiming a violation of “rights” because their children couldn’t dress up profusely and have their costumes paraded around their schools. Because the schools didn’t want to have an entire WEEK of scholastic disruption.
Because of a common sense policy:
- The school and administration there are getting threats of violence from all over the country .
- People are sending hate mail from all over the country.
- People are upset that Newington is caving to overly political correctness shoved onto them by evil liberals. Like the words political correctness and liberal are bad words or bad things to be.
- Administrators are being accused of caving to radical Islam (say what now???)
- Administrators are being accused of assaulting Christianity and Tradition and generally Ruining Everything
Yeah, no. Just… shut up. Shut up shut up shut up shuttity up up up.
I can’t even fathom why anyone would seriously and consciously violently threaten ANYONE for setting a reasonable rule for a school. I have no argument in favor and every argument against. Other than that, I can’t really formulate polite words.
An Aside: Why do people say Politically Correct as if it’s a bad thing? Adjusting our language and behavior in order to be sensitive to the cultures and traditions and feelings of others is a GOOD THING. We become enraged and make threats of violence when others don’t do the same for us…
…but I suppose it only matters and is important if we feel it’s Christianity that’s being marginalized. I love my faith, I love Jesus, I love my God, and I love my current Pope (yo! Shout out to Pope Frankie!) and I love most of my fellow human beings but a lot of the time I don’t like many of my fellow Christians. The Bible gets twisted to mean terrible things, and while it’s corrupted, the Ten Commandments are ignored. In place of goodness, kindness, tolerance, love, and generosity, I read and hear about hate, selfishness, rage, and self-entitlement.
No, Christianity is not being assaulted. As a whole when we include all denominations, we are the majority religion in the United States and we are a major world religion. We are not in the minority in any way. That is a statistical fact. We are not marginalized in America. We tend to be catered to. We tend to be the religious group with the greatest power. That’s not to say that in some areas of the world, Christians aren’t persecuted, executed for being Christian, hated simply for being Christian. I know that right here in the U.S. there are plenty of people who hate Christians for breathing and painting us all with the same extremist evangelistic brush… much the same way people of all other persuasions make broad generalizations and hate simply to hate. Some people just hate anyone who is not exactly the same as they are. I know Christians who hate other Christians because they’re not the same denomination. I know Christians who hate others within their own denomination for “not being Same Denomination enough.”
Haters gonna hate.
Aw, damn it Taylor Swift. Brain, why you gotta be like that? Toss in Taylor Swift in the middle of a thought process. Oi.
Ok, so Halloween is, literally, All Hallow’s Eve. That means it’s the evening before All Soul’s Day (think Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows… the Deathly Souls) or as some like to call it, All Saint’s Day. This next part is very important:
Halloween is not a holy day for Christians. Tomorrow is.
Dear fellow Christians,
All Saints Day is “our day” and no one is taking it away. We get to recognize both Halloween and All Saints Day aka All Soul’s Day anywhere we want all we want. We can even go to church tonight (the vigil mass) or tomorrow to honor this holy day. Cool, huh? Costumes and candy have nothing to do with it. Church has everything to do with it.
Interestingly enough, not all Christian denominations celebrate Halloween. I think Jehovah’s Witnesses refrain from Halloween, as well as some Evangelicals and other similar denominations. It’s because we are to abstain from all appearances of evil… even dressing up and making fun of evil and anything that could possibly be construed as an association with evil IE. Halloween, the candy, the parties, the costumes, the make-up, the parades. It’s way more complicated than that for those denominations but Catholics aren’t like that. We like Halloween and we like All Saints Day. *Please note I’m not really speaking for all Catholics regarding Halloween, but All Saints Day is a Holy Day on the Catholic Calendar.
Of course there’s a lot as to why people dress up as ghosts, goblins, ghouls, scary witches, skeletons, devils, mass murderers, zombies, etc. There’s a reason why it’s “spooky” with a paranormal feel, why it’s creepy. Why owls at night give us shivers and some people still think Satan lives in my black cat, Luna.
It has to do with Samhain, an actual blessed day for Wicca, Pagan, and Celtic religions, that honors the Autumn harvest and coming of Winter as it sits halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice and in fact, Samhain predates All Saints Day. It’s a really spiritual time, when the doorway between our world and the spiritual world is thinned. A time when anything could happen and people feel vulnerable. Even if we don’t believe the same things as those religions, we still feel the cultural effects lingering from the days when our ancestors were afraid.
Dressing up as what scares you most lets you hide in plain sight from those very scary things.
We get to hide among the creeperss, letting ourselves believe that if the evil spirits came out on Halloween then they couldn’t distinguish between us and them and therefore we must be safe out in the dark while we put our complete and utter trust in our neighbors to not put poison into the candy they pass out. It’s a societal show of trust that we allow strangers and neighbors to give our children candy while we let our children go door to door in costumes out of arm’s reach.
We get to do that regardless of our religious affiliation or cultural background to beg for free candy from strangers and neighbors all we like as long (as the porch lights are on at the houses… leave the houses with the porch lights off alone). Dressing up for Halloween and begging for candy; attending Halloween parties; sending your children to schools that allow it in costumes…. as long as we remember that it has nothing to do, really, with Christianity.
Honestly, as a parent in general but also as a parent specifically to two children that don’t react well to HFCS and food dyes, with one of them being lactose intolerant to boot, I really don’t want teachers sending my kids home at the Rage Stage of the sugar rushes.
If your school has a policy of “no costumes, no candy, no overtly obnoxious Halloween” then please remember that your rights aren’t being trampled. I’ve come to realize this is actually Mom Spent Way Too Much On A Costume And Wants To Make Sure Nevaehly Is Seen Dressed Up As Pryness Elsa By As Many People As Possible And That Includes School Damn It. If that’s your issue then throw a damn Halloween party. Halloween falls on a Friday this year so go to three Halloween parties. Knock yourself out. You can let your child sleep in the costume and go on errands in it.
Your child won’t care, and won’t remember because her rights aren’t being trampled either. It’s not that big of a deal. Your child will remember Trick or Treating with you in the neighborhood. Your child will cherish those memories. Your child will grow up and have fond memories when she sees the photos of when she was a wee one with white faced cat make-up and pink cat ears while Daddy hugged her tight. They will show their children how they had their pictures taken year after year in their costumes at the front door of your home, how they got taller every year as they and their costumes changed. They’ll shed a tear when they see their first Cinderella costume in the memory box and you ask if it might fit their daughter that year. They’ll remember attending parties with you, helping pass out candy to others, drinking cocoa together, sorting through the loot on the floor looking for open wrappers and candy that might cause allergic reactions.