SITA: The Corruption of Halloween

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

SITA: The Corruption of Halloween

To avoid an argument, there are three things you should never discuss.  Religion, Politics or Sports.  Tonight I violate that quick and simple rule.  Those who do not want to be offended by my reasonable non-judgmental middle of the road rant may want to change channels now.  There are three things that really annoy me with this coming Autumn holiday, the first two will be the false belief I need saving from myself and the last will be all about sluts.  I will be inserting the images without the usual resizing so you may read them better, you’re welcome.

Truck or Treat

There are two Mega-Churches in my city and I won’t name names but they have done terrible things to any and all holidays that are not based upon the Christian holiday calendar.  In addition to “Pray Election Day Away” and the “Stations of The Cross” performed publicly on The Fourth of July is a weeklong festival called “Trunk-or-Treat” in the mall like parking lots of both worship centers.  You may even have this practice in your town but for the uninitiated I will explain.

Some organizations around the US sponsor a "Trunk-or-Treat" on Halloween night (or on occasion, a day immediately preceding Halloween), where trick-or-treating is done from parked car to parked car in a local parking lot, often at a church house.  The trunk of one's car is opened, displaying candy, and often sometimes games and decorations.  Concerned parents see it as safer for their children, while other parents see it as an easier alternative to walking the neighborhood with their kids.  Opponents frown upon the Trunk-or-Treat as violation of the tradition of walking door-to-door on Halloween, and as exclusion of children that do not belong to these groups and thus are not informed about them.  Some have called for more city or community group-sponsored Trunk-or-Treats, so they can be more inclusive.  Many neighborhoods see a large reduction in door-to-door trick-or-treating because of a competing Trunk-or-Treat.  These have become increasingly popular over the years especially in conservative states like Utah, and are catching on around Midwest and Southern states.

Churches are expanding on the original idea of trunk or treat by adding food, music, games and rides.  Their goal is to reach more of the community with an alternative to trick or treat.  It not only has become a way to provide an alternative for children in the church but to the entire community.  They have also found that it opens up opportunities to invite parents and children to other events or services going on at the church.  A number of churches have started handing out Halloween Christian tracts or other information on the church.

From an article in the New York Times By Fernanda Santos Published on October 31, 2006:

Trunk-or-treating — also known as Halloween tailgating — solves the rural conundrum in which homes built a half-mile apart make the simple act of ringing doorbells require some physical fortitude. Where neighbors are strangers, these community events substitute family-friendly entertainment for the unwanted risks of what lies behind each door.

And for churches that had disdained Halloween as a pagan ritual, trunk-or-treating has become a safe alternative for parents — and pastors — who wish to keep a watchful eye on children, often encouraged to dress as biblical characters.

“We live in the country, so our kids don’t have the chance to open the door and hand out candy to another kid because no one comes to your front door on Halloween,” said M. J. Martin, P.T.A. president at the Garrison Union Free School, who had purple bat wings protruding from the back of her head for the festivities. “This is a way to celebrate Halloween with the whole family without any of us parents having to worry about whose house our kid is going to, or if the kid will get hit by a car or get lost in the woods.”

Now I agree with the first part of this excerpt, if you’ve living somewhere where your closest neighbor is three miles away then a central location for the kids to trick or treat is a great idea.  If we are talking about making it safer from the number one Halloween related injury, getting hit by a car, then once again I agree with the Trunk-or-Treat idea, even though you could get run over by a car in the parking lot too.  But if we are talking about the parking lot being safer from the type of people who would hurt the children then that is just media fueled paranoia.  There have only been two documented cases of candy tampering and both were proven to be caused by the children’s own families.

From LiveScience by Robin Nixon Published October 27, 2010:

It really is a myth that, every October, "strangers are getting ready to poison the candy," said Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University and co-author of "Don't Swallow Your Gum! Myths, Half-Truths, and Outright Lies about Your Body and Health" (St. Martin's Griffin, 2009). As for all the warnings, "they are, to some extent, fear-mongering," Carroll told LiveScience.

There has been exactly one documented case of a child being directly poisoned by Halloween candy, Carroll said. In 1974, an 8-year-old died after sucking on a Pixy Stix laced with cyanide. But the poisoner was not some mysterious Grim Reaper posing as a harmless neighbor. Nope, it was good ol' Dad.

In another case, a 5-year-old decided to try his uncle's heroin, and with no one around to give him pointers, he overdosed and died. The family then sprinkled heroin into the child's Halloween candy stash, in hopes of using the candy myth to cover their own negligence.

What about razor blades lurking within nougat? Pins in chocolate? Syringes?

Nope. Nope. And nope.

And from Science on NBCNews:

The only recent exception to the surprising lack of Halloween candy tampering is one odd case in 2008 in Ontario, where a handful of children in a single neighborhood found cold medicine pills in sealed boxes of Smarties. However, the orange gel capsules were obvious outliers from the rest of the candy, and no child consumed the medication.

Halloween is dangerous for kids in another way, though. According to an analysis commissioned by insurance company State Farm, Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for child pedestrian accidents. An average of 5.5 children die after being hit by a vehicle on Oct. 31 each year, compared with an average of 2.6 child deaths on other days. The message? If you want to protect kids on Halloween, drive safely.

I recommend reading that whole article, it gets crazy and weird the further along you read.  The problem that I think all this can be attributed to is lazy parenting.  The news told me about poisoned candy and razor blades in apples and I just don’t want my precious snowflake to have to walk more than five feet at a time so going from windowless van to windowless van in a church parking lot dressed like a bible character is a far better idea.  What are you dressed as Lil’ Mikey?  I’m the Angel of Death where to claim the first bourns as punishment for Herrod’s decree, now give me my candy.

Jesus Ween

Yes, you read that right, and I feel dirty even bringing this one up.  From the official website:

JesusWin is a global initiative to ensure non-Christians receive educational materials about Jesus.  Many people have a wrong opinion of who Jesus is and we continue to encourage and work with churches and thousands of Christians to give out tracts, bibles and other Christian gifts.  Since 2002 over a million Christian gifts have been given to neighbors, strangers and friends on October 31st.  JesusWin is also known as JesusWeen and continues to get popular in the United States, Canada, UK, Africa and Brazil.

The dictionary meaning of Ween is to expect, think or believe.  We therefore see October 31st as a day to expect a gift of salvation and re-think receiving Jesus.  JesusWeen is a non profit organization and focused on helping people live better lives through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  JesusWeen is a God-given vision which was born as an answer to the cry of many every October 31st.

Every year, the world and its system have a day set aside (October 31st) to celebrate ungodly images and evil characters while Christians all over the world participate, hide or just stay quiet on Halloween day.  Being a day that is widely acceptable to solicit and knock on doors, God inspired us to encourage Christians to use this day as an opportunity to spread the gospel.  The days of hiding are over and we choose to take a stand for Jesus.  “Evil prevails when good people do nothing”.  JesusWeen is expected to become the most effective Christian outreach day ever and that is why we also call it ”World Evangelism Day”

Now during the discussion with my wife of what I would be working on tonight the subject of Bible Tracts came up and she did not know what they were.  If you do then I apologize for this explanation.

Gospel tracts come in various shapes and sizes.  The content of gospel tracts varies based on the author’s or publishing organization’s theological perspectives. By and large, a good gospel tract contains a succinct presentation of the law and the gospel with a call for the reader to repent and receive Jesus Christ (John 1:12) as his or her Lord and Savior.  -- Tony Miano of CARM

In general, every encounter I have had with Tracts, I have found them to be poorly written, linking situations to Bible verse by the loosest of connections, reactionary and generally shockingly offensive.  I wanted to offer my own rebuttal to JesusWeen but honestly Ian Fortey of Cracked.Com said it best on October 21, 2012:

Jesus indeed. I'm no theologian, but I suspect right now that nowhere in the Bible is there a passage denouncing Halloween. 

That said, modern fringe Christians (those Christians who make normal Christians wake up mid facepalm every morning from sleep exasperation) like to believe that Halloween is evil and sinister.  Still. In modern day today.  Not in Salem 200 years ago.  Crazy little dinks.

In order to avoid the seduction of devilry and Twizzlers, some few Christian soldiers have set up Jesusween, the worst-named attempt at stemming the tide of once yearly Satanic sugar rushes ever.  So what is Jesusween, and does it have anything to do with Messianic penis, as the name suggests? It's even worse.

According to the site, JesusWeen "is a global initiative to ensure non-Christians receive educational materials about Jesus."  Because maybe you have yet to hear about Jesus; he likes to keep shit on the down low.  You know how meek and humble Christianity is, historically.  If the world's religions had a party, Buddhism would be shirtless on the patio drinking pina coladas, Judaism would be telling self-deprecating jokes near the snacks, Islam would be daring me to finish this joke and Christianity, of course, would have stayed home, because it never wants to bother anyone.

Now in and of itself, Jesusween isn't entirely offensive.  If you don't want to celebrate Halloween, no one is making you.  But then that's kind of why Jesusween is offensive.  Because someone, somewhere, is doing something that these people feel is not Christian and therefore they felt the need to co-opt it and make it about their religion, when Halloween is not about any religion at all.  Was it once, a bajillion years ago?  Sure.  But this Halloween, you go outside and ask any of the kids dressed as Avengers what pagan god they're paying tribute to and see if you get many answers before the police ask you why you're talking to so many strange kids on Halloween.

All you need to know about Jesusween is that the man who started it, a pastor, was upset that Halloween had nothing to do with Jesus.  This is like painting a crucifix in your toilet bowl because you don't shit hymnals, or excommunicating your cat for not confessing its sins.  Of course it has nothing to do with Jesus, because it has nothing to do with Jesus.  Stop being ig'nant.



I am a heterosexual male, I have been known to partake in adult cinema and understand what fantasy is.  I loves me some sexy women wearing sexy outfits.  I do not however want to equate my favorite horror movie icons with getting an erection.  Could we just keep it to sexy nurse, maid, bus driver, polo player, etc.  This is how you form an unhealthy connection between sex and violence. 

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