Friday, October 31, 2014

Separation of Church and Halloween

The church is killing the community. Sounds wrong, doesn’t it?  We’ve been told that the church is all about community.  Somehow, though, it has replaced the real community with a faux community conjured up from a homogeneous group brought together in a vast cinderblock bunker with a steeple on top and a 20-acre parking lot.

My daughter is going trick-or-treating tonight with a friend.  Sounds easy.  Took a lot of work to get to that point.  We live in an area with poor public schools.  Most everyone goes to private school.  My daughter knows almost no children in her neighborhood.  I guess you can say that private schools are killing the community, but that is for another post.  So back in early September, I set up a trick-or-treating date with my daughter’s best friend who lives 40 minutes away.  I communicated back and forth with the mom about Halloween plans and the sleepover.  All seemed well.  Until Monday, when I was informed that the girl couldn’t come because she had to volunteer at the “Fall Festival” at her church.

Yep.  Fall Festival.  Not Halloween.  Not trick-or-treating.  Why would anyone want their kids roaming their neighborhoods in costumes?  Seeing their neighbors.  Carving scary jack o’lanterns. The church feels a need to put an end to that.  Perhaps Satan has been found residing in Smarties and mini Twix bars.

And if the “Fall Festival” replacement is annoying, could it be worse than Trunk-or-Treat?  Skittish parents drive into their church parking lot and back their cars into a circular formation.   They fill their trunks with candy, pop the door open and the kids, unaware there is a real world out there, circulate among the trunks and fill their bags with candy.  Trunks are not for kids and candy.  They are for luggage.  Bald tires.  Low-level mobsters bound for the East River.  Sigh.

In a few hours, my daughter and another friend will roam the streets.  They will get to see neighbors they know and meet new ones.  My daughter will enlarge her community each time she rings a doorbell and says “trick or treat.”  I will go with them on the more unfamiliar streets and I, too, will enlarge my community.  And I get to look into other people’s houses.  I love that!

I’m so looking forward to seeing the little, happy kids.  And the bigger happy kids.  Hopefully not the really, really big kids, but I guess that’s ok as long as they are polite.  I’ve heard that we should expect around 150 kids.  Everyone will be out in this neighborhood – the children of the elite that live in $10,000,000 houses, college students, and the kids that live in public housing 3 blocks away.  My community will grow.  And it will only cost me 300 pieces of chocolate.  And I can leave my car parked in the drive.

Come on and ring my doorbell.  Ain’t nobody going to hell.