What Exactly Do We Celebrate on Halloween?

Halloween is just around the corner, and we are all concerned about terrorism, security, violence and safety. As families, we have a golden opportunity to take positive steps to improve the climate for everyone, while at the same time strengthening our relationships at home.

1. Just say NO to violence. There is a world of difference between the traditional (pumpkins, skeletons, ghosts, goblins and witches) and the pornographic brutality promoted by the movie industry (Freddie, Jason, mass murder, torture, rape, and the celebration of brutality).

2. This means: do not buy costumes that glorify cruelty; do not watch movies with gratuitous violence; do not attend theme park events that present murder, terror, mutilation, and perversion as entertainment.

3. Remember that we are the parents. We have a responsibility to guide our teens as well as our younger children. That means drawing the line at entertainment content designed to satisfy a lust for blood, gore, pain, baseness, and depravity. Repeat after me: "Violence is not fun. In our family we do not rent it, watch it, play it on video games, dress up like it, or go to theme parks where it is passed off as an amusing diversion."

4. Provide alternatives. Fall festivals are all about celebrating the end of summer, a successful harvest, the bountiful provision for the winter, and the lives of the good people who are remembered on "All Saints Eve." There is a mountain of fun and entertainment to be had when we focus on our blessings.

Here's the bottom line. We live in a violent world. Children are abducted, brutalized, and killed every day. Mass murder is a part of our landscape. Domestic violence is a reality for too many. Mutilation and torture have invaded the lives of too many innocent people. There is nothing entertaining about any of that.

On the other hand, we have so much to celebrate that is good. We can do it together, as families. What a privilege, what an opportunity, what a potential for healing in our community!

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