Thursday, October 4, 2012

How good? Like, Judaism-good, or just, like, Unitarian?

     Happy Halloween everyone!  Yes, it has begun already.  It starts on Oct. 1 and runs 31 days--like Christmas or Hanukkah, only better because it's not 9 or 12 days of crappy music and it ends with fistfuls of CANDY.  Plus, I get to craft myself into oblivion and pretend to be someone else for a full 24 hours.  And it's usually somebody even MORE awesome than I already am.

     But lately, the children of the Monterey Peninsula are killing my buzz.  Seriously you guys, if I overhear one more kid word vomit about the sins of humanity worshiping Satan on Halloween, I'm going to roll my eyes so hard that they will get stuck inside my brain.  I'll have to watch my own brain as it seizes.

     It's not so much the belief that confounds me, so much as the look on my son's face when he's not sure he's just pissed off God by hanging up a paper ghost.  Look, I understand where these families are coming from.  I'm Unitarian, that means I've got a basic understanding of the major world religions and several of the less publicized.
    That also means I do have my own beliefs, rooted in many cultures and that are very personal to me.  It means I believe in lots of things, but mostly it means that I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person.  I promote the justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.  I give and ask for the acceptance of one another and encourage spiritual growth in our congregations.  I affirm in a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.  There is a right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at largeMy goal is world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.  And I believe in respect for the interdependent web of all existence, of which we are a part. 
     As a Unitarian Universalist, I do my best to uphold these principles and respect other world, religious, and political views.  But I also hope that the same regard is fostered around me.  I celebrate Halloween.  I let my kids enjoy it.  And we don't knock on the neighbor's door and demand candy when we know they don't.  I don't correct children (or adults) when they spout off about my sins for carving a pumpkin or cobwebbing my front porch.  And I certainly don't solicit anyone into changing a moral stance on it.  Its faith; it's not right or wrong.

     So is it so insane to ask that the same respect be given to my children?  When I was growing up, my family had the usual, normal traditions that other households did; e.g. Easter egg hunts, Valentine's cards, fireworks on the 4th of July.  But none of them were as energizing or enveloping as Halloween.  I want that excitement to carry on!  My mom deemed herself the Queen of Halloween; she's passed her crown (and as someone who has dressed up, usually making my costumes from scratch, for all 28 years of my life--I believe it's a well-deserved title).  One day I hope to coronate my own prince and princess. I have no idea why my mom loved this holiday so much, but it made her happy.  It made us happy. 

     Halloween is special to me.  Don't ruin it!  Or I'll end up coining another punny moniker for the residents here, just like I did for the Slidoucebags of of Slidouche, Louisiana.  Something along the lines of the assholiest of the assholiest, something equally clever and unladylike. 

Today's subject line quote is from 30 Rock, "The Fighting Irish" (2007).


  1. I agree. I remember being 4 or 5 and my grandma taking me to the neighbors house to trick or treat and told we were going to hell. Um really? Hell is only for specific people. (I won't get into who)but I have read the Bible and it does not say trick or treaters are damned to hell. Promise. And this from a back slid!

  2. I remember the anti-Halloween fervor started around Siloam when I was a kid; luckily now it's pretty much gone--all the churches figured out they could give out candy as a ministry. More of a "soft approach" than telling people they'll go to a lake of fire and fry!



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