Straight, Not Narrow Minded--Why I don't celebrate Halloween.
Thursday, November 12, 1998
In the October 29 issue of Coast Weekly, public forum author Denise Sallee, professing to being a practicing witch, expressed her anger about the loss of Halloween to "the Christian Fundamentalist right, who in the last decade have been working hard to take away this important tradition."
"Gee, I said to myself, being a born again Christian and because I no longer celebrate Halloween, I guess she means me!" Her article was filled with rage toward those who she calls the "Christian Fundamentalist right." Here''s a brief list:
* I''m narrow minded
* I''m depriving the people of America
* I''m frightened
* I''m ignorant
Ouch! "I didn''t know I was so despicable."...Not!
I grew up in what was then two small Bay Area towns, Sunnyvale and later Mountain View. These were the 1960s and ''70s. You might remember those days of bell bottom pants and peace signs, eek! It was also in these times that I looked forward every year to Halloween. The candy, spooky costumes, school parades and trick-or-treating. Many wonderful memories had been etched on my mind during those times.
As I was in my teens and young adulthood, there was something else that I observed. Growing up in a small Pentecostal church I began to realize that there was a spiritual world surrounding me. My parents were involved in church leadership; my brother and I being present to witness as they assisted our pastor. You might say our education to the spiritual world and its conflict between good and evil began earlier than most.
There were occasions, though thankfully rare, that we would see the deliverance of individuals that were demon possessed. Sometimes this happened at our church and other times at their residences. Since those earlier experiences, I have had others and my spiritual senses have been quickened and sharpened. I no longer fear what these supernatural forces can do to me, though I do have a healthy respect for them.
In my desire to share my faith with all individuals who inquire, I have tried to understand theirs. Thus, I''ve studied about other religions and belief systems. Paganism, witchcraft and the beliefs of the wiccan are some that I have been studying at present. I cannot say that I have a full knowledge as of yet; though I do understand their fundamental beliefs.
Due to my experiences and knowledge, I have tried to remove "all things pagan" from my family. The practice of Halloween is just one of them. All the previous public forum did for me is reaffirm my decision not to celebrate the holiday due to its pagan roots.
If we truly want to keep religious freedom in this country of ours we need to be tolerant of each other and respect each other as individuals. "Tolerance is not acceptance" and the door swings both ways. Secondly, as an individual and father, I have every right to decide what is best for my family and children. If the traditions of those around me go against my beliefs and convictions then we will not take part. Thirdly, if there''s anyone Sallee should be angry with it should be Hollywood. They have taken Halloween one step further toward its demise and rejection of good moral people of all races and religion. If this sounds strange, than look in your local video store at all the bloody hacker movies associated with Halloween. I trust you''ll agree.
David Fulmer is a husband, father, born-again Christian, graphic designer and songwriter.