Last night was Halloween. My son dressed as a leopard and we went trick-or-treating as a family in our neighborhood. Times have been tough and most of our neighbors didn’t put out decorations this year, however, one family went all out.
They had a fog machine and dozens of skeletons and every child in the neighborhood went to that house last night. They had set up a small haunted house for the kids to walk through and an elderly white woman sat inside the “house” handing out baggies to the kids. “Wow, what a great haunted house!” we said as we walked home with Kid’s candy loot.
When we got back, Daddy went through the candy bag. As he opened the baggie from the haunted house, he found a Jack Chick tract inside, this one. For those who aren’t familiar with Chick tracts, they are evangelical Christian pamphlets in comic book style layout designed to terrify children into converting to Christianity.
The tract the old woman gave to my son tells the story of Timmy and his friends who go to a haunted house, which is demonic. As they run in terror, Timmy is hit by a car and killed. In later pages Timmy’s friends talk to his mother who tells them that Timmy is in hell right now and will be forever. Then she leads them in the sinner’s prayer so they won’t suffer the same fate as her Timmy.
Don’t my parental wishes for my child’s religious education matter even a tiny bit? How can you think you’re being honorable or doing the right thing when you’re being so intentionally deceptive? What kind of person sets up a haunted house to lure children so that they can tell those children that going to a haunted house can lead them to hell?
This woman doesn’t know my son. She doesn’t know his name, his age, his favorite subject, his struggles, his hopes, his dreams. She doesn’t know his beliefs about morality or eternity. She has no idea what, if any, religion we his parents are teaching him at this age. For all she knew, we could be Christians already but not wanting to teach our son a fear-based approach to Jesus and the Bible. Did any of that matter to her? No.
If anyone reading this isn’t offended yet, imagine she was handing out Wahabi Islam tracts to your children, telling your children they were going to hell if they didn’t dedicate their lives to Islam right now. Pissed yet?
Dozens of children went to the neighborhood haunted house last night, babies to middle schoolers. Each child was given a baggie that contained a few stickers (made in China), a Jesus pin (choking hazard for the little ones!), and a Chick tract. Trick-or-treating on Halloween is a holiday tradition we have for children. It’s a chance to interact with your neighbors, let kids out later at night than usual, and to have fun pretending to be scared of things like fog machines and plastic bag ghosts.
If you think Halloween is evil or against your religious beliefs, ABSTAIN! Everyone knows not to knock at the door of the house with their porch light off, so just stay inside or go to the movies or something. Don’t set up a trap to manipulate the fears of small children you don’t even know. The arrogance of that is unforgivable.