I was raised in a Catholic home and we went to church every Sunday and I went to CCD/Catechism. I did the First Communion thing and the Confirmation thing … yet I grew up watching the Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin special, put on a costume, grabbed a sack and went trick-or-treating. My parents didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. It was a fun thing that us kids got to do once a year. I was never left to run wild … my mom always went with us kids. As did most of the other parents. And when I felt I was “too old” to trick-or-treat I HAD to stay home.
My parents took responsibility for me. I take responsibility for my kids.
Lately I’ve gotten a bit of flack for letting my kids trick-or-treat as well as for passing out treats. I’ve had Christian friends tell me I am encouraging kids to embrace “pagan rituals”. Sigh …. You know what!? I’ll bet 90% of those who knock me for what we do, went out trick-or-treating as kids and they loved it. Honestly, what harm is there in dressing up and “begging” for candy? Now, if they were out there following true “pagan rituals”, I’d be somewhat concerned. I’d be really concerned if they were following satanic or wiccan rituals … but they aren’t! All they are doing is going to homes in the neighborhood and getting candy from family and friends. All I am doing is seeing people in my neighborhood and their kids having a good time. We don’t go overboard and decorate with witches, skeletons or other scary images. We have pumpkins and scarecrows and indian corn and leaves .. fall things .. as decorations.
Christianity was struggling to survive in the 6th century and Gregory the Great (A.D. 540-604) advised the Archbishop of Canterbury to retain the Druid sacrifices and celebrate them in honor of the fallen Christian saints – All Saints’ Day was born. There were several other Druid or pagan festivals adapted to Christianity .. Easter is one, so is Christmas. So if you want to get really picky lets just stop celebrating them as well. Halloween initially started with the Druids wanting to cleanse the dead before they moved on to heaven, the enchanted souls were freed by the Druid god, Samhain [the god of the dead], and taken together into the Druid heaven. Usually there were animal and human sacrifices and all kinds of “magic”. It was done at a time of the year when the life giving warmth of the sun retreated and winter sets it. Other groups said it was a time when the summer goddess (the Great Mother) relinquishes her power to the winter god (the Horned God) and sacrifices were made to please the winter god so he would make the winter a mild one. Our Christian forefathers decided to adopt some of the mild pagan rituals and keep them as “holidays” to convert more pagans to Christianity.
I think if I do my job, as a parent, and teach my kids right from wrong as well as make sure they have a solid Christian foundation and a real relationship with Jesus, that they to will be well adjusted, normal adults able to function in today’s society and they won’t become some radical nut-job on the fringes. My job is to raise them up and teach them. Romans 14:20 – 21 says “Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak”. My kids are not weak and it will not make them stumble and I doubt it offends them and I doubt their relationship with the Lord will suffer if they went out trick-or-treating or fall harvesting or whatever you want to call it.
C’mon America (especially you religious-right freaks making a mockery of Christianity) PullYourHeadOutOfYer…..