Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween

I’m somewhat familiar with the history of Halloween, Samhain, All Saints Day, and All Saints Eve. I'm a Christian. I don't believe there is anything special, spiritually, about October 31 as opposed to any other day.

I don't see costume-wearing as a way to honor or confuse evil spirits. I see it as a chance to be creative. Trick-or-treating can be a way to get kids away from the games and television and meet the neighbors, things that lacking these days.

Growing up, I enjoyed choosing something to "be" for the day/evening, usually something that was homemade – and I liked trick-or-treating. (Pranks or any kind of vandalism were never a part of it.) As I got older, I enjoyed expressing myself by applying gory special effects makeup to myself and setting up a lightly scary scene with a theme inside the front of my family's house so I could entertain the trick-or-treaters as I passed out candy.

I've also enjoyed "haunts" of various sorts – commercial scare mazes or homemade front-yard eerie displays, things of that sort, and participated in a couple over the years.

I don't see modern-day Halloween as some sort of plot to instill Satanism or Wicca in our kids. It certainly has become massively commercialized and having the kids pig out on candy can be questionable given the obesity rates among Amerians these days, but the problem isn't October 31 – it is what the kids are eating and doing most of the 364 other days of the year.

I do believe, as a Christian parent, it is my responsibility to teach my kids to discern good from evil, wasteful folly from light-hearted recreation, etc.

I think "Hell Houses" can be a good idea if done right. Really, they aren't new. Martyr plays from long ago used gory stuff to spread the message. Way too often, Christian attempts to be "hip" are all too hokey or otherwise lacking in execution, so I want a Hell House to be done right.

I actually do believe that demons, including Satan, exist. I believe angels exist, and demons are simply fallen angels. I think people assign blame to demons that quite often belongs on themselves, or they think of demons doing things or having powers that they likely don't. Someone doesn't become demon possessed because they wore a mask on October 31. They may become demon possessed if they engage in occultic practices and aren't indwelt by the Holy Spirit (as all Christians are).

The biggest issue with Halloween these days, by far, is immodesty. Females of all ages fulfill the role of attention whores by dressing to call attention to their sexuality and certain parts of their bodies. They can be slutty and trashy with a supposed "free pass" because – it's Halloween! (Kind of like how cheating on vacation doesn’t count.) And being what we are, we guys are reluctant to object - unless it means our intended or wife is getting leers from other men, or our daughters are letting it all hang out.

Concerned (conservative) mother Rebecca Hagelin had a column about this.

Princesses look different these days. The pre-teen and teenage girls who show up are likely to be wearing trampy costumes that say “s-e-x,” rather than “trick or treat.” We all know that girls are being sexualized by the culture at younger and younger ages in their daily wear. But Halloween costumes have taken things to a new low, making our little girls into sex objects even midst what is supposed to be an evening of childhood fun. The sad reality is that we live in a pop culture that is obsessed with trying to make our boys and girls think about sex all the time.
The boys are going to think about it all of the time anyway, if they are anywhere near puberty. But if they are, they should be thinking about the unobtainable models and starlets of the day, not pre- or barely-pubescent girls who live nearby.

The "top costumes" for tween girls on one popular costume website showed a slew of vampy options, including the highly offensive "teen girls prisoner costume" as seen on a young model wearing thigh-high boots and 6 inch heels, and showing lots of flesh under her prison-striped mini-dress.
Do you have plans for Halloween? Or if you are reading this afterwards, what did you do? Have you been bothered by the trend of slutty costumes, especially for young girls?

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