Tract or Treat?
For evangelical Christians, Halloween is an opportunity to spread the gospel.
10/28/2007 04:45:23 PM
This is foolishness beyond belief.
10/04/2005 09:55:14 AM
One year my grandmother and I gave out candy. We made a little bag full of candy for the kids, and we bought these colorful cards. They had something like God loves you on them. That was it. It was a postive message that told kids that jesus loved them, but it wasn't a get saved or your going to hell. I see nothing wrong with doing something like that, I have a responsibilty to pass along the good news. I actually hoped that the parents would be supervising their kids bags. If the parents saw that God loved them, and not the kids. That was okay too. However, we gave out candy and the card. We did not give out just tracts.
11/27/2004 09:52:58 AM
I wish I had thought of this sooner. My kids would get these tracts, too. If I had gone with them, I should have given those who handed my kids these religious tracts some tracts of my own, from the LDS church. After all, fair is fair, right? I mean, when the JW's come to my door, asking if I want to read their literature, I tell them I will, if they read mine, and offer them a copy of the Book of Mormon.
11/01/2004 01:33:46 AM
My little four year old daughter got a couple of these tonight. Know what? Who ever it was (we were with a group of little kids/parents...letting the kids ring the bell)..can shove "The Little Princess" where the sun does not shine.
10/16/2004 10:51:27 AM
"The tracts, which feature cartoons and kid-friendly themes like dinosaurs, superheroes, and Harry Potter . . . " Harry Potter? I thought a lot of people from this variety of Christianity believed that Harry Potter was evil . . . My take on the whole thing? If Christians want to hand out tracts to kids on Hallowe'en, then they should go right ahead. "I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it." But if they can do that, they should respect the rights of other religions to promote what they believe. It's only fair.
11/02/2002 05:58:02 PM
Thanks Sunshine & trumpeter, Thanks for your comments, but the minor things that keep us divided are more than just minor. Remember jesus said a house divided can not stand. I don't see what the big deal is as long as you are witnessing about our wonderful savior.
11/02/2002 12:05:54 AM
Sunshine2777 THANKYOU!! I totally agree!! What's the big deal about handing out tracts anyway? It is a way to spread the word without forcing it on ppl. It's a good way for Christians to compromise - so maybe, as a Christian, you can let your kid go do some trick-or-treating, but you're going to send them out as an astronaunt or a clown, not Freddy Cruger or a witch, and they won't be the ones out egging or toilet-papering anyone's house. And you take the opportunity, as you should every chance avalible in your lifetime, to spread the gospel in a friendly, fun, non-threatening way. I think it's a great idea! What I don't understand is the Christian parents who send their children out as ax-murders then get offended when they unload something about Jesus instead of a candybar? (cont below)
11/02/2002 12:05:30 AM
ilk- I am in agreement with what you said below - we should be happy to see other Christains spreading the word. And for crying out loud, people, when your kid pulls out a tract about Jesus tell them how cool it is - don't roll your eyes and complain about "those Bible-thumping Jesus freaks" !
11/01/2002 07:54:05 PM
Okay....in regards to a post I made a ways back...I am back to follow up. How many tracts did you encounter last night? I encountered none....just as I thought, and just as it has been for the last 40 years of my life. How many did you encounter?!
11/01/2002 04:26:39 PM
ilk:As long as you throw human reasoning, free will and sin into the mix, you'll have all different kinds of interpretation of Christianity. Christ's instructions were simple but direct, His disciples are to go into the world and share the gospel. And He did take the time to warn us that we will get rejected, ridiculed, etc., even by those in faith at times. There will always be "minor" disagreements on issues within the family of Christ but the truth still stands and the commission given still applies. You have to remember, satan works thru anyone he can to destroy the church and division is one of his tools. As long as we are united in the basic truth of the Cross, then the minor issues are just that, minor issues.
11/01/2002 03:27:41 PM
When I say this, it goes for myself also. I went on the Muslim site just to see if they feel as we do. They hand out their Islamic tracts just as some christians hand out tracks. I guess the major difference here, is they aren't attacking each other b/c they do or don't hand out tracks. I feel that our bickering back and forth proves that the body of Christ is not very unified. Muslims support each other regardless of the country they live they are unite by their belief. Christians(we know the truth) find every issue to be divided over and this is one of them. Whatever happend to building unity in christ. Our comment back for show the state that the body of Christ is in today. Can we find at least one issue that we can be united together?
11/01/2002 03:07:21 PM
Bravo FaeryDragon. It's good to hear some tolerance and respect for the religious beliefs of others.
11/01/2002 03:00:00 PM
Tajobe wrote: >>I mean no disrespect to any parents, in fact, I hope they read the tracts also.>If a parent does not want their child to get these things from me, they do not have to bring their child to my house. It is their choice.<< How is it their choice if they have never been to your house before?
11/01/2002 02:55:43 PM
ilk wrote: >>I received christ when I was ten and I understood completely what that meant.>Even if your child does receive tracts in their candy bag, you are to be supervising the candy anyway.>Did you call me a puritan christian?<< No.
11/01/2002 08:35:47 AM
bktx1, Actually, the Bible says in 2tim 1:8, to never be ashamed to tell other about our Lord. It doesn't say to adults or children, but what type of parent would you be if you did not go through your childs candy bag. That would be like throwing them to the wolves, the literature is more geared to you than your child. You are suppose to be teaching you children the fear of the Lord.
11/01/2002 01:56:08 AM
The scariest house on the block belongs to the guy who passes out the Jack Chick tracts to kids.
11/01/2002 12:19:31 AM
The practice is disgusting and contrary to the Gospel. Our children should not be treated to "mass marketing." True evangelism is marked by personal example and an ongoing commitment one on one.
10/31/2002 11:14:58 PM
"...idiots in _cults_ hurt children, not Satanists..." Which Satanists? There are a number of types ranging from the dabbler to the serious and the generational. There are Satanists that believe Satan does exist to those who are athiestic and believe him to be merely a symbol of basic human nature.
10/31/2002 06:12:21 PM
croi, I find your comments rude and insulting. However, I'm glad you know now know Christ. Satanism comes on all levels, and I have educated myself quite well. And satanist do seek out children, I know that for myself. God bless you.
10/31/2002 06:09:45 PM
croi, I find you cocky and rude, however I am happy to hear you have found Christ. He will help you with humility. I have read several books on witchcraft, and no halloween isn't the only night, but it is a high holiday. And yes they do hurt children, by converting them to satatnism by making them believe they will be all powerful. I don't know how deep in witch craft you were, but I've done my homework. God bless.
10/31/2002 06:01:48 PM
Oh, and Ilk, Satanists don't generally celebrate Hlloween, and secondly, idiots in _cults_ hurt children, not Satanists. Try getting educated before you speak?
10/31/2002 05:56:07 PM
Having recently returned to Christianity after 8 yrs as a practicing witch & shaman I have to say, seeing all the "Fall Festivals" that churches hold is completely amusing to me. That's what Halloween WAS! A time to celebrate the harvest! As for passing out tracts to children... I think it's awful. I have discussed with my children that if they decide (I am not going to force them) to dedicate their lives to Jesus, that they are to discuss the matter with me first. It's too serious a thing for a child to undertake without understanding first, and a tiny tract isn't going to make it as clear as it should be to them. Besides, a LOT of the kids out there trick-or-treating come from Christian homes anyway... It's completely stupid to evangalize to them yet again.
10/31/2002 03:46:08 PM
ilk: crystalclearone used the term "Puritan Christians"... just fyi... God bless..
10/31/2002 03:37:25 PM
faerydragaon, Jesus said to suffer not the little children, but let them come. He comes to him must receive the kingdom of God as a little child(paraphrased). In other words children are a lot closer to God than we think, but we think as adults that we understand more, but we need to have the faith of a child. I received christ when I was ten and I understood completely what that meant. Even if your child does receive tracts in their candy bag, you are to be supervising the candy anyway. Sometimes we need to open up our mouths and evangelize, the silent strategy doesn't work on everyone. Did you call me a puritan christian? What is that? I'm not familar with that term.
10/31/2002 03:25:55 PM
I intend to hand out tracts tonight along with candy. The tracts are halloween mazes, word finds, and such. I mean no disrespect to any parents, in fact, I hope they read the tracts also. I condider it my duty as a Christian to share God's love. The child deserves to be saved whether their parent is Christan or not. If a parent does not want their child to get these things from me, they do not have to bring their child to my house. It is their choice. Just as they have this choice, I also have the choice to hand out whatever I choose to people who knock on my door.
10/31/2002 03:05:50 PM
Continued from last post. ilk wrote: >>You can always take the tracts and explain to your child what you believe and why. You are entitled to your beliefs.<< If my children ever received such tracts then I would be honest with them about them. I will tell them the truth and facts and point out the lies in the tracts. I would also tell my children that they can look up the factual information themselves then or when they get older. I have no problem with my children being educated on the actual history and facts of things. By the way, I am Christian.
10/31/2002 03:05:12 PM
ilk wrote: >>Handing out tracks on halloween is no different than street evangelizing.>Christ gave every christian the command of going into all the world preaching & teaching the gospelof jesus christ and making disciples of men and baptizing them.<< I believe the best way to do this is to live your life as Christ wants us to. Being blatantly disrespectful is only going to drive people away, not convert them.
10/31/2002 03:04:49 PM
crystalclearone, Are we living by the word of God or are living by what is politically correct?
10/31/2002 03:02:56 PM
leonelm:I'm not making the mistake that all Christians agree w/ me. I know they dont which is fine, I'm more concerned w/ the truth, God's truth. Afterall, what He thinks is all that matters in the end. I would say that God has the monopoly on the truth and the thing to do is to line up whatever is in question w/ what the inerrant Word of God says. He did say for His followers to stay away from all evil and the APPEARANCE of evil.Thats not something I made up. And ilk is right, whatever does not glorify God isnt from God. Its from the one who hates Him. Like I said, when in doubt, err on the side of caution.
10/31/2002 02:59:53 PM
Why don't Puritan Christians go back to burning Witches and Pagans at the stake, like they used to? The Crusades were always fun for exposing different peoples views to impalement, the rack, the iron maiden hot burning pokers and other tortures to test their faith and validity of views in the eyes of some god. This makes an interesting spectacle for our children on a cold night, and sets a fine example of multi-faith tolerance, within reasonable limits. After all children are to be seen and not heard. If God wanted my kids to beg for alms, they would have been born in Asia as Buddhist monks and nuns and do it daily at sunrise.
10/31/2002 02:34:48 PM
Leonel, Read what the Bible says about having other gods or worshipping idols. That is a form of satanism. Anything that does not glorify God is from the devil. I could not access your post, can you put the link in your reply--thanx
10/31/2002 02:31:37 PM
faerydragon, Handing out tracks on halloween is no different than street evangelizing. Christ gave every christian the command of going into all the world preaching & teaching the gospelof jesus christ and making disciples of men and baptizing them. You can always take the tracts and explain to your child what you believe and why. You are entitled to your beliefs.
10/31/2002 02:17:28 PM
In the tracts that I have seen, none of them were factual about what they were preaching against. I believe the makers of these tracts are hoping those who read them are ignorant of history and facts. They say that they are for the truth but yet they spread lies and deceptive information on things. People may be able to hand out anything they like on Halloween but to hand out such things to children to convert to their belief system or religion is very disrespectful to the children's parents. Most of the people who hand out these things would raise cain if someone tried converting their child(ren) to their religion/belief system, so they should listen to their own feelings/thoughts about that and not do the same.
10/31/2002 01:42:33 PM
ilk: My encyclopedia mentions nothing about Satanism. Again, read the BeliefNet article I suggested for a history of the holiday. Paganism, by the way, is not the same as Satanism, but that's another issue. You have a right to your beliefs, and I respect them, however, not everyone shares them. That's all. It's actually a pretty modest argument. sunshine2777, I think my previous post answers your concerns. You're making the mistake of thinking all Christians agree with you. They do not. But you do have a right to your beliefs, also. I'm not attempting to quarrel, just to explain. I'm OK with people disagreeing with me. No one has a monopoly on the truth. I just want to be understood correctly. God bless.
10/31/2002 12:59:53 PM
leonelm:the key word(s)in your post is "Catholic". I wont expound further on this but Christians were directed not to have 'ANYTHING'to do w/ the dead, occult or anything that has the "appearance" of evil. If this day was simple harmless fun, then why does anyone even question it? Why do satan worshipers, etc attach themselves to this day? I dont have a problem w/ harmless fun for children but if theres even the slightest question as to how it affects or reflects on Christ and His Children, its better to err on the side of caution. Halloween is not a Christian holiday and it appears satan is having a heyday, even in the church. It is all spiritual and its a battle. If you think different, then you are buying into this world's lies and dont forget who is the father of all lies?? Look w/ your spirit, not your eyes.Seek God's wisdom and guidance in this and whoever does so will make the correct choices.
10/31/2002 12:22:32 PM
leonel, It is not my interpretation, read the encyclopedia.
10/31/2002 11:51:08 AM
ilk: Not everyone agrees with your interpretation. In fact, most Christians -- including Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox churches -- do not. For an alternative view, read: http://www.beliefnet.com/frameset.asp?pageLoc=/story/47/story_4771_1.html&boardID=27513
10/31/2002 11:50:31 AM
ilk: Not everyone agrees with your interpretation. In fact, most Christians -- including Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox churches -- do not. For an alternative view, read: http://www.beliefnet.com/frameset.asp?pageLoc=/story/47/story_4771_1.html&boardID=27513
10/31/2002 10:57:20 AM
ELAMARCH, We all have to live by our own convictions. Yes, as a child I too went trick or treating, but I don't think my parents had a clue as to the meaning of halloween. It really isn't a kids holiday, It actually a satanic high day where they will sacrifice a human. The whole idea of trick or treat, is to give a treat to ward off the evil spirits. Now, we have the Holy spirit living in us and the word of God, that is all we need against any evil spirits. I think we owe it to our children to tell them the truth and offer them an alternative. But, lik I said you have to live by your own convictions, but what would jesus do?
10/31/2002 09:55:15 AM
I have been a believer in Christ since the age of 4. My mom let me trick or treat and dress up with my friends as a child. She even held a party for me where we bobed for apples carved pumpkins. As a lot of people in this discussion, I think celebrating the American Halloween is an individual consideration. I like going to pumpkin farms, hay rides, caramel apples and hot apple cider. Which is all done around this time of year. My version of Halloween is dress up for little kids. I have read a lot debate on this issue. To each his own. My daughter wanted to be Piglet this year. (From Whinnie the Pooh) So I let her be Piglet. Her preschool class is going to show their costumes to an Elderly Home today. Should I ban her from going? I let my kids choose as well. They went trick or treating and today they are going to Awana. I can go on and on, but my point of view is that Halloween has become a child's dress up day in America and I don't see a problem with that.
10/31/2002 09:33:19 AM
Morn_Sun... I agree with you for the most part. However, in this world, hosts not only have the "right" to hand out Christian tracts, they have the right to hand out ANY tracts or literature (nothing illegal). Personally, I would probably not evangelize to non-adults, it just seems like iffy ground to me. I wouldn't be able to rid myself of the feeling that I am disrespecting the parents, whether intentional or not. That is not to say that I wouldn't try to teach with conduct and character, or even generalized statements about God (which is why I kinda like those Candies with the nice, non-threatening, statements on them). Ahhh, that stereotypical mean old lady ain't that mean. She should be saying, "God has His eye on you, and me", which ought to soften her approach. Be Well,,,
10/31/2002 08:55:28 AM
soulalive, Last year, I decide to use halloween as a evangelizing tool. I feel it is important that people understand the meaning behind halloween and who it is glorifying. But, I handed out tracts and bible stickers. Candy taste wonderful, but it is bad for your teeth. Children really don't need all the sweet stuff, plus people are so cruel nowadays you never know what their motives are.
10/31/2002 07:54:41 AM
MornSun wrote: I hope -you- realize that people don't have a right to tell what Christians can and cannot hand out to those who wish to trick or treat at their home. While I don't see a huge issue with handing out tracts, I'll play devil's advocate here for a moment (no pun intended). When parents allow their kids to go out on Halloween, the expectation is that they will receive candy and other goodies, not literature, etc. And if one believes Christians have an absolute right to hand tracts out to kids, then one must also say that ANY religious group, including "cults", have the same right. Somehow I don't think Morn_Sun would agree to that. Maybe I'm wrong.
10/31/2002 07:16:01 AM
Mykal100, Actually, I was responding to the comment made that absolutely no tracts should be allowed to be given out. The hosts have a right to hand out Christian tracts if they wish...especially if they are doing so from their own home. One would seriously hope it's done tactfully. I don't approve of images of gore either, or a malicious message...particularly in the case of young children. Even if what's being said would be true...alot can be stated for exactly how it's said and in what way. Ever see the sterotypical mean old lady who would try frightening a kid by saying: "God has his eye on you?" How much more better would it instead be to say: "God loves you so much he can't keep his eyes of you"?
10/31/2002 01:18:31 AM
LCandR, thank you for your kind words. I certainly agree with your thoughts there, too. It is always good to see someone having the courage to stand true to their beliefs. Thanks for sharing. God bless you h1
10/30/2002 11:12:53 PM
human1 I like your messages. It's not fair that so many evangelicals are stereotyped by a few outspoken annoying people. We can be nice and smile as we try to understand some people's resistance to evangelizing but many of these posts just show a confusion of what's good and what's not. So be it if some parents would prefer their children to "have fun" dressing as witches, murderers, etc. and then get upset that that same child is presented with a message of love. For me, it just gets to a point where yeah I want to be understanding of some of these posts but then it's like truth is truth and I gotta stand for it. Anyway I don't know whether you would agree with any of this. I just liked your posts.
10/30/2002 08:59:33 PM
I have a question....while I would not hand out tracts on Halloween. I just looked at the Biblical Candy article. Would people really be offended at some of what is there? For example....there is a chocolate mint looking candy wrapped and sealed in a wrapper that says, "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." What about that? I kinda like it....would that be an offense?
10/30/2002 06:51:44 PM
nleanin: Exactly. We're not talking about what's legal. We're talking about what's appropriate.
10/30/2002 06:40:31 PM
"However, it IS a person's right to give anything (within legal parameters) away to people who come knocking on THEIR door, be it tracts, candy, or the dreaded healthy snack." The Legality of passing out tracts has never been in question here.. rather the issues of politness, appropriateness and tact are what most of us are angling towards.....
10/30/2002 04:57:52 PM
unlikely...I'll add that it is unlikely that most of us will even see a tract tomorrow night! I'd love to hear back on Friday how many were rec'd from each of us. I'd find that interesting. I'm in my 40's...and I have never seen a tract on Halloween.
10/30/2002 04:50:23 PM
My first thought on the whole thing is that this is silly. Personally, I see nothing wrong with dressing up and begging for candy once a year. However, it IS a person's right to give anything (within legal parameters) away to people who come knocking on THEIR door, be it tracts, candy, or the dreaded healthy snack. As parents of trick-or-treaters you have to be prepared that you may be confronted with tracts. Politely decline and get on with your life. You are NOT entitled to candy from anyone who keeps their porch light on. You really need to get over it. Fortunately for you and your kids, most people who strongly object to Halloween don't even acknowledge the day...so I don't see the point in worrying over something that won't happen. It amazes me how some people are not happy unless they can argue about something.
10/30/2002 03:05:47 PM
I cant say anything that most of you would embrace on here so all I can say is that it makes me sad to read these posts and to see people making judgements and developing opinions on something that they dont truly understand and grasp the meaning of. I say this w/ a truly humble and saddened heart so please dont accuse me of being arrogant as some of you are quick to do. Thanks.
10/30/2002 02:55:57 PM
I don't really see the difference in the action described below, as with the action many have taken to come to our children's schools pushing beliefs many families do not believe in. For this very reason, my children are in private school. I said before, I enjoy Halloween. I wouldn't see a fruitful use in handing out "tracts". We purely enjoy Halloween for the fun and imaginative holiday it is. We love our neighbors....and don't wish to "push" our beliefs on them. Why do others wish to push their beliefs onto our children at school? Is that any different?
10/30/2002 02:09:45 PM
Sorry. That should have read keep "your" kids home. Mine will be going out with instructions to say a polite "no thanks" to any tracts or "christian themed candy." (Well, unless its a Reese Peanut Butter Cup. Those are mine.
10/30/2002 02:07:49 PM
Pt. 2 Don't like Halloween? Fine. Keep our kids home and don't answer the door. At least the Jehovahs Witnesses have the guts to do that! But you don't like them either! Oh, by the way, will you all be celebrating Christmas? It's not in the Bible and it's based on pagan holidays stolen by Christianity. Better put away those Santa lites and trees! What did Jesus also say about those who hurt children ( I think in any manner)? "Better that a millstone was hung around their necks and they were drowned in the sea."
10/30/2002 02:07:40 PM
Pt. 1 Jesus said that unless we become like "little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven." Children who have not been force-fed the "truth" by any religious zealots, of whatever tradition, are truly the epitome of the kingdom of Heaven: open, transparent, loving, and perhaps most important, still in touch with the imagination that the Divine endows each of them with. Fundamentalists of all stripes are bent on destroying that innocence just as much as any other child abuser. Why the furtiveness of putting "tracts" in Halloween goodie bags? Could it be that these individuals don't have the guts (like early Christians) to preach openly on the streets? Why not just stop kids and their parents outside the house and witness to them? If you have the truth, why not take your example from your forebears, or is that too much a risk?
10/30/2002 01:45:59 PM
Although my children have never had a problem while trick or treating, my solution to potential problems such as those described in this article is simple: Go with your kids. I would pocket any tracts or other questionable materials for discussion -- and possibly, to discard them -- later.
10/30/2002 12:59:27 PM
Morn_Sun... I see your point, but you cannot seriously believe that the owner of a house (who is advertising that they participate in Halloween, by Jack-o-Lantern, etc) has the right to hand out whatever they wish to children? So long as the treats/messages being handed out are appropriate for children I have no qualms with it, if there is a possibility that some parents won't find the content suitable, they should be forwarned. I can't fathom when it would be appropriate to give gory material to children (without the parent's knowledge or consent), whether I consider that material fact or not.
10/30/2002 12:57:17 PM
Why is it that every holiday has to have some stupid controversy tied to it? Who cares!!! Kids are out for one thing on Halloween! To see who can get the most candy and who can eat it the fastest!!! They are going to toss out all the toothbrushes, toothpaste, apples or fruit, they will keep the money of courst and if they get any religious tracts they will toss those out too! Why?? to make more room for the candy. Give me a break and stop taking all the fun out of the holidays. I say that Halloween should be left alone for the kids to enjoy, if you do not want to contribute then shut off your lights and pretend no one is home.
10/30/2002 12:39:31 PM
Just leave the house dark and dont answer the door.Its that easy,these people can just pray for the children instead of forcing their personal beliefs on them.
10/30/2002 12:33:35 PM
"I hope these people (handing out tracts) realize they have set the rules that it is okay to attempt religious conversions on children...." I hope -you- realize that people don't have a right to tell what Christians can and cannot hand out to those who wish to trick or treat at their home.
10/30/2002 12:31:56 PM
There are some good points here. The primary responsibility for religious/spiritual instruction belongs to the parents, and no one should try to usurp their authority.
10/30/2002 12:19:24 PM
Exactly.. many of these are the same parents screaming at school board meetings about the supposed "liberal indoctrination" of their children.
10/30/2002 12:09:41 PM
Mykal, "I hope these people (handing out tracts) realize they have set the rules that it is okay to attempt religious conversions on children, even if that means using fear on impressionable children." That, unfortunately, is one of the big problems encountered with these types. They do not recognize "rules" or fairness applied equally to them and to others. This arrogance illustrates the entire problem. Fairness is not respected: No "other" necessarily afforded the basic respect and human rights that they demand for themselves. In short, Human Brotherhood, and Equality simly are non-issues with these people--they do not care about these things. It's all about insular arrogance for them.
10/30/2002 11:56:16 AM
I can understand that those who participate in handing out tracts with candy feel that the salvation of these children's souls is of utter importance, and that stepping on a few toes is a sin worth committing in order to achieve the greater good. My feeling is that this type of evangelism is probably counter-productive to what Christian feel is their commission. Parent's who are offended by these tracts will, more than likely, pass on their opinions about these tract-distributers to their children. Besides, Chick tracts or anything that threatens an impressionable child with eternal punishment is not appropriate. I hope these people (handing out tracts) realize they have set the rules that it is okay to attempt religious conversions on children, even if that means using fear on impressionable children. I expect that we will hear no complaints fro these people should other religions use Holloween as a teaching opportunity.
10/30/2002 11:56:04 AM
I have mixed feelings on the whole subject. On the one hand, I have no objection with folks handing out messages of a spiritual nature, such as inspirational bible quotes along with candy (so long as they are appropriate for children). Tracts, which I define as messages soliciting a religious conversion (or a consideration of conversion), should probably not be given to children, especially ones that are designed to scare the audience into reflection on the message. To me, the whole thing would only make the parents of the trick-or-treaters feel as though you are attempting to undermine their authority and personal religious beliefs. continued
10/30/2002 11:33:40 AM
I've always enjoyed Halloween, but oddly enough, even though I am Pagan, I've really toned down my outward celebration of the holiday. No decorations, no handing out candy, no costume parties- I've turned into a real curmudgeon. Not to mention that candy is so darned expensive... Fundies are so fearful and religiously jealous that it ought to be classified as a psychological disorder. But since it is socially accepted to behave in such an appalling manner, it is up to us to take the high road and use something they seem to have lost: our sense of humor. I've thought of what I'd hand out to the kiddos if I chose to participate in the trick-or-treat again, and came up with the "Spell of Total Control": If you want to see a whole roomful of people do your bidding, do this: 1. Walk into a roomful of people. 2. Yawn. Print on paper, cut out and hand out. Sunfell
10/30/2002 11:16:52 AM
Lucillius, Your "Puritan" substitution is, frighteningly, not far from realiity. I've read theological pieces from Southern Baptist sources which actually OWN the Puritans, and specifically celebrate them as their direct spiritual forefathers. They literally see themselves as a continuation of Puritanism. An appropriately scarry Halloween tidbit, huh?
10/30/2002 10:51:57 AM
Hey, Bela Lugosi's a minion of Satan, don'tcha know. And I've always found Jack Chick tracts to be entertaining bathroom reading. Just wish they made 'em a little bigger for when the roll runs out.
10/30/2002 10:45:59 AM
I was in Borders last night and was appalled to find an "Are you Saved" pathetic propaganda leaflet condescendingly left in the Islam section, courtesy of the Southern Baptist Convention. (You know... the kind that are found in public mens rooms... presumably for the "faggots" to pick up and "find Jesus") Gratuitously targeting (SOMEONE ELES'S) children with religious propaganda is deplorable. If these right-wing loonies don't want to be a part of the cultural phenomenon of celebrating Halloween here's a suggestion: Leave the porch light off on October 31.
10/30/2002 10:38:01 AM
Halloween is a cultural institution that has as much to do with "corrupting religion" as the Easter Bunny, Christmas trees, Bela Lugosi or the Tooth Fairy. The fact of the matter is, obsessive fundie types have their knickers in a twist at any instance in which they cannot wrestle complete manipulatory control of every aspect of the spiritual or supernatural understanding from the individual and from every other manifestition or tradition of it throughout history, and tyranically replace all with their own dogmatically-corrected version, a la Chairman Mao. It is about the obsessive pettiness of completely anal control freaks, pure and simple.
10/30/2002 09:52:40 AM
This is a KIDS HOLIDAY. It's all make-believe. It has nothing to do with real evil. Some individuals need to get a real perspective on Halloween and stop trying to ruin this holiday with their own superstitions and uninformed beliefs about a day when kids run around in costumes and ask for candy. That's all it is.
10/30/2002 09:50:13 AM
Hey, DeadBird: You're not alone. We've got a Hell House here too, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It's been going for several years, and features such charming soul-winning scenes as one o' them faggits dying from AIDS, and a chainsaw-performed abortion. But it's too repulsive even for small-town Kentucky, and each year has had to look farther and farther afield to find someone willing to rent a building for it . That and tract-distributors remind me of an old joke. The definition of a Puritan (replace now with "fundamentalist": a person obsessed with the idea that someone, somewhere, is having a good time, and determined to stop it.
10/30/2002 07:58:02 AM
I can remember growing up Catholic in a predominantly Protestant neighborhood, so Halloween was a real touch and go thing. Most neighbors were cool, but I can distinctly remember being given Chick tracts by at least one family, and not just the anti-Halloween ones. I'd get the anti-Catholic ones as well, telling me I was doomed to eternal hellfire if I didn't renounce my evil, pagan ways. I didn't appreciate it too much (neither did my mom), and it didn't exactly bring me closer to Christ. If anything, that kind of self-righteousness that I (repeatedly) encountered as a child painted a very negative portrait of evangelical and born again Christians for me that I *still* have a hard time shaking. Not all evangelicals are like that, and I know that, but I'm still having to work on not dismissing them all out of hand. I never did understand that mindset. What possible good does it do to give gospel tracts to kids other than to anger parents of said children? It has never made sense to me.
10/30/2002 02:32:41 AM
*sighs* I'm just so frustrated with all this crap that's going on around Halloween. I'm sure Satan has better things to do than worry about if kids are going out or not on Halloween to get a few treats. I'm so sick off all of this stuff. People making up stuff about how halloween celebrated Satan, and how Satanists use that to party on down. Give me a break. If one of my kids got one of thoes tracts, I'd tell the guys giving them out to cram it where the sun don't shine. But then again, what kind of person would I be if I did that. (Plus it just might add more fuel to the fire.) I think that if pagans gave out tracts about stuff like this or about any other secular holiday (Christmas = Yule, etc...) then we'd get freaked out upon! People, give it up and get a life! Please leave the kids alone!
10/29/2002 11:22:23 PM
The truth will set you free! http://wilstar.com/holidays/hallown.htm Happy Samhain! The day itself is only as 'evil' as one cares to make it...
10/29/2002 11:01:48 PM
human1 - well said!
10/29/2002 10:04:23 PM
(cont) For the record....I enjoy Halloween....treat my kids to all the fun, imaginary, creative, bright orange, black, and purple thrills our neighborhood has to offer...hand out candy rather than seize the moment to build a wall between us and our neighbors.
10/29/2002 10:04:00 PM
I'm a protestant Christian...I've witnessed to some people (does that make me evangelical?)...if so then I am an evangelical protestant Christian. I believe the word of God, the Bible, is completely true (does that make me fundamentalist?)...if so then I am a fundamentalist evangelical protestant Christian. I grew up with alot of fun...(yet also alot of baggage we call dysfunction today.) So make that...a fundamentalist evangelical protestant Christian of dysfunctional heritage. I enjoy wine, and Disney Land, don't believe in the death penalty, do believe women can teach in church, would never protest an abortion clinic yet am pro-life...(and became a believer in Jesus at a Southern Baptist Church)...That would most likely make me a "liberal fundamentalist evangelical protestant Christian with a dysfunctional background".
10/29/2002 09:41:07 PM
Maxpontifex & Mitak101 Kiss and make up - http://wilstar.com/holidays/hallown.htm
10/29/2002 09:21:11 PM
I take great offense to Mitak101 and his comments about Christendom. Not all of us are evangelicals and not all of us oppose halloween. In fact it is on the eve of All Saint's Day so I see no real problem in this contrast. And by the way jashan there is no wrong with "capturing the day for the Lord". For all things are his.
10/29/2002 09:06:00 PM
Just another reason why Christendom is totally irrelavent. In a time of terrorism, hate, division the focus is on the kid down the street wearing a Barney costume. How primitive and superstitious these fools are!? Yeshua weeps. He didnt die for this bullshit.
10/29/2002 08:45:39 PM
If you want to hear something really sickening, a church in my area is hosting a "Hell House." While this is bad enough, the blurb in the newspaper stated something about a it having a 9-11 theme. I didn't read it all, that little bit was disgusting enough. Dead Bird. Dead, dead bird.
10/29/2002 08:41:03 PM
Tract pushers amuse me to no end. Nothing like selling your product while people are young and impressionable. It's a shame most of the people who hand out tracts don't send their kids out. I'd love to shove a pack of cigarettes in each of the little darlings' trick or treat bags, and see how much their parents appreciate the similar tactic of "hook em young". I do love complaints about the Halloween season getting longer when Christmas, (though another pagan holiday fully hijacked by Christians) starts its season occasionally before Halloween does. I do think a consistent message should be presented though. If parents are arguing against Halloween in the schools because of church/state separation (which is their right; I'm not saying they shouldn't hate Halloween), I want to see those same people put an end to this prayer in school and creationism garbage, since often the same ones crying "Church/state!" at Halloween are happy to violate that code if it's in their interest. Ishie
10/29/2002 08:21:45 PM
With everything else going on in the world, do we really need to get worked up over some kids having fun? I know some people object on religious grounds, but I think turning off your porch light is enough protest. Big meanies. The only people with a legitimate gripe against Halloween are the dentists....
10/29/2002 08:20:24 PM
From http://wilstar.com/holidays/hallown.htm - "The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated not with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes," made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul's passage to heaven." Now we know...
10/29/2002 08:09:14 PM
My husband and I joked that if we were to hand out little Rosaries or holy cards on Halloween, we'd find them scattered all over the street the next morning.
10/29/2002 08:07:39 PM
For kids it's all harmless fun, like getting presents after the winter solstice. It's nothing to do with the 'occult' whatever that means. Its much more about play-pretend and performance (at least where I grew up). It is an excuse to dress up and practice a few entertaining routines. I was allowed out as a child and kids that came to our door were welcomed in. It was all just a great laugh. My wife was not allowed out - her parents weren't religious, but did think it was a form of begging! Ironically she went onto work in theatre... If kids come to our door they will get and a few sweets & coins - more if they actually have a joke or song that they have spent more than 10 seconds rehearsing. There is a Celtic/Catholic history but I doubt any child is even aware of it - http://wilstar.com/holidays/hallown.htm Lighten up folks...
10/29/2002 08:04:02 PM
The first "Christian" to shove a tract in my child's hand gets it shoved down his throat.
10/29/2002 07:40:07 PM
"recapturing the holiday for the Lord"? Since when was it a Christian holiday to begin with? If anything, the pagans should be out recruiting and recapturing the holiday *from* the Lord. Pagans had it first; Christianity just took it over and slapped some saints on it to make it more 'appropriate.' Halloween's the one night of the year where kids can go out, do what they want, dress how they want, and NOT be judged for it or told that they need to grow up and act like an adult. Anyone who wants to ruin that is just plain mean-spirited.
10/29/2002 07:30:05 PM
Man, talk about sucking the fun out of kids' lives. Why can people just let kids be kids. ~Arachne~
10/29/2002 07:08:39 PM
...saying that themes like ghosts, witches, and other spirits smack of paganism and the occult. They do. Good.