Halloween Night 2010
5:10 pm: The kids' friends come over and are wanting to know if my kids will be going trick-or-treating.
5:11 pm: Said kids come to my wife and ask her if they can go out trick-or-treating.
5:11 pm: Kids come to me and ask if it is OK if they go out trick-or-treating. They tell me their mother doesn't care if they go out or not.
5:11 pm: I tell kids that I don't have a problem with them going out.
5:12 pm: Kids are ready to go out trick-or-treating getting their costumes on and all share in the excitement of the upcoming festivities.
6:30 pm: I can't find my oldest 3 kids and my youngest (3 yr. old) needs help getting ready to go out. I help him get ready and I can't find any of the other kids. Have to assume they have already left to go trick-or-treating.
6:35 pm: My youngest son and I begin going out trick-or-treating.
At this time my mind is wondering about the appropriateness of participating in the activity on Sunday. Not because of my beliefs about it not being appropriate, but my wife's. I really don't know what is going through her mind or whether or not she truly thinks it is a violation of the Sabbath or not. I had successfully found some justification for it (which I could have easily used on my formerly tbm brain, but it probably would not have worked since I was uber tbm) which is that it is a good chance to meet and greet with neighbors in the area and let them see how cute my kids are in their costumes. This, to me, is a great Sunday activity because it encourages neighbor interaction. None of my kids' costumes were scary by any stretch (Basketball player, Ironman, Princess and Toucan) and therefore not able to be considered evil at all.
The thought that crossed my mind while wandering around looking for houses to visit (most neighbors did have lights on and were handing out candy...probably just a little less than last year, but not much) was what people who are not very religious must think of those who don't participate in giving out candy because it is on a Sunday. My first thought was that most people probably don't care...to each their own. But I couldn't stop there. Since I am an angry apostate (I should rename my blog to that, but I'm sure it is already taken) I had to take it one step further and imagine what people must REALLY think of those that don't participate in trick-or-treating.
My first reaction along those lines was...that they are arrogant snobs. I placed those people right up there with those people who told my kid to only take one piece of candy and, when they took two, would reach into the bag and grab the extra piece of candy back. They are selfish bastards, just one step below arrogant snobs.
Then my mind was taken to what religion does to people. Religion teaches that as long as an institution finds your behavior acceptable, you are encouraged to engage in the behavior whole-heartedly. But the moment the behavior is deemed unacceptable, you are strictly forbidden to participate and guilt and shame should be heaped on you if you dare to violate "the rules".
I'm sure I am being way too harsh here, but these are the thoughts I had. I kind of felt sad that there are people who refuse to participate in a fun and arguably wholesome activity because some religion teaches that the behavior is not becoming of the ideal adherent.
But then again, maybe in this tough economy, people were glad to be relieved of any question about whether or not to participate in Halloween since they couldn't afford any candy.