The annual debate over whether or not Christians should celebrate Halloween is in full force… again. Scripture is thrown back and forth; arguments are made; sermons are preached; "harvest alternatives" are created; paganism is wiped with a general brush of witchcraft; and another battleground between siblings is made.
I liked Halloween as a kid… for the candy.
Then I depised Halloween as a young adult… for purely spiritual purposes — divinely inspired, of course.
Then I liked Halloween again… for the reason it gave adults to be kids again in costume AND for the way Christianity and Celtic life blended together in ways that perhaps have been wrongfully demonized.
Then I hated Halloween again… because the gluttunous amount of candy and chocolate that everyone consumes demands cocoa, sugar, and… slaves. Same with cheap costumes (not so much the cocoa and sugar, but the slave part is a grim reality).
After that pendulum, let me say this: I like Halloween. I LOVE Halloween. After digging through history and lore and legend and yes… Scripture… I don't find too much fault in celebrating the New Year of an ancient culture. The gore and zombie-cults are often of modern/post-modern making, so choose how you will for your family. Let it not be another ground zero for Christian siblings to take stabs.
How Do I Want MY Halloween to be Better?
1. Damn the candy.
We're addicted to the stuff year round. Companies like Hershey's or Mars/M&M or Lindt (included Ghirardellis) or Toblerone or Nestle or any of these big consumer giants want ONE THING from us: to buy their product.
We love their products and so we buy, buy, buy; and eat, eat, eat.
We give little thought to how candy bars are produced… that perhaps 200,000 children on Africa's West Coast alone are enslaved on cocoa plantations to meet OUR demand. But we get our backs up because we don't want our holidays to be interrupted… or our children to go without (we could all do with a little more going without)… or that our sugar/chocolate addictions won't get their fixes. We think of ourselves first.
Then comes Christmas.
Then come Valentine's Day.
Then comes Easter.
Then comes Mother's Day.
Slow the sugar train down!
Is sharing chocolate "wrong"?
However, I believe it has become a wrongful thing to do now that we know more and more about how lives are becoming disposable in our raging demand for the stuff. Going back to the roots of Samhain, chocolate was nowhere to be found. We simply don't need it. It's nice to share when we have it, but no one will die of a lack of chocolate (even a choco-holic). For people around the world to be enslaved, live and die because of a product we don't need… and absolutely don't need in the greedy way we consume it… is wrong.
Cocoa Camino is a fair trade option in Canada. Another article lists 19 of the Best Organic and Fair Trade Chocolate (make sure to check for the fair trade mark; just because something's "organic", doesn't mean it's fair trade). If these options are too pricey in your opinion, ask yourself: "How then does cheap chocolate and candy pay everyone fairly around the world in all this mass production?"
Furthermore, no one (especially kids) needs king-size chocolate bars. Cute little goblins and ghosts coming to your door could use ONE treat. One SMALL size treat. That's it. That's all that needs to be given out. As for getting bags of goodies… no kid needs a pillowcase FULL. Nor do adults.
The only way the monster of Halloween Candy Slavery will be defeated is if we stop buying it… and this will include a massive change in lifestyle.
2. Damn the "Slutoween"
The sexualization of children is on the rise in the western world. A smart way to keep the trend going is to take children's fictional characters and sexualize them for adults to flaunt (more often than not, women). Girls are saying: "Why not! It's fun!"… guys are saying the same thing.
"We're just having fun!"
"It's no big deal!"
Yup. Heard them all. And more.
First off… if you're buying a Halloween costume, check where it's made. If you follow the supply chain to its primary production, you'll be surprised as to how many people subsist in sweatshops just so you can look funky for a night.
Secondly… when we scream out hard to protect our children from sexual exploitation, it is ridiculous and moronic to create sleazy costumes out of children's images. This isn't healthy sexuality. It's smut. I'm not a huge fan of sleazy nurse or cop costumes either, but at least those are adult occupations that adults can choose to dress up or dress down.
More and more purchasers of sex-on-demand want child-like services. If you're 25, skipping around as Alice-in-Wonderland in a skirt that shows your butt, boobs and belly is not only disrespectful you, it perpetuates rape culture, and steals innocence from children's worlds where sexuality is meant to be grown into… not stolen.
That's my Halloween rant.
1. Cut the candy.
2. Splice the sleaze.
Argue theology another day. Real people are dying in real time because of our celebrations. Perhaps that needs to be the 'Christian' focus.