Friday, October 31, 2008

Christians Dampen Halloween?

Here in north-central Florida Halloween is subdued, judging from the turn-out in my home neighborhood. Not a few children we know informed us, upon inquiry, that they would not be trick-or-treating in our familiar neighborhood because they were required to attend to a "Fall Festival" put on by the pastor of their local church.

Halloween traditions aside, what is the beef with Halloween? Its origins are not evil, and Lord knows that all of us, including our children need an escape, a time out of time, or a dip into liminality, as the Folklore students would phrase it.

Halloween is not and has never been an enjoinder to be or do evil. Halloween is a once-a-year healthy evening in our lives when we can experience for a moment something else apart from our rule- and prescription-driven lives. Time-out-of-time where we discover something about ourselves and others.

The kids knocking at my door were polite and gracious, to a ghoul, fairy, or mutilated linebacker from the hometown football team.