So… my friend passes me this article on and at first, I’m chuckling and giggling and saying “Okay, that’s cute.” Then I read what she’s written at the bottom of her e-mail. “Pay special attention to the part about how parents who are not Christian spiritually abuse their children.”
Religiously speaking, I was brought up as a Christian. I attended a pentecostal elementary school, I spent a great deal of time as a teenager soul searching and discovering what I believed and what was truly my faith. Even with the extremely fanatic pentecostals that I practiced with as a youth, Halloween was never considered to be Satan’s time of year. Except perhaps by the crazy old bible class teacher, who decided that I was a going to go to hell because I interrupted her to ask if I could go to the bathroom when I was five.
Halloween is a fanciful time of year, it is a time when children can pretend, it is an important part of childhood magic. As children we believe that magic is real and that it will save the world and that the world is a perfect and wonderful place. Rather than corrupt that world view and tell my children that Satan is out there waiting to claim their souls, I would rather have them believe in magic. I would rather have them believe what they choose to believe, rather than force my beliefs upon them. I want them to be free thinkers who can step outside of the box that a religious culture might draw around them.
That box was drawn around me and as a result, I walked away from organized religion. I have faith, I do believe in a higher power and even further, I believe that God, Allah and Asatur are one and the same. They have just been given different names by different cultures throughout time. All in all, the message is still the same. Love each other and love your world. Do not allow yourself to become part of the evil in it.
True evil is not Halloween or Satan. Evil is men like Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Evil is anything that will lead us to bring harm to another human being. Evil is in our every day lives. The period where our children deny the existence of evil is all too brief and Halloween is an important part of that evolution. Let them see the evil in the world through imaginary figures first, gently introduce them to reality. Don’t send them an abrupt wake up call and tell them that they are going to hell. This is the true spiritual abuse of children.