This week there will be a Halloween party at my son's public school kindergarten class and then the kids will be joining together in a Halloween parade through town on a school day. But, I'm sure that before celebrating Halloween, the teachers are going to warn parents and children of the risks of kiddie-occult involvement, as had been highlighted by Peter Smith, Britain's general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers:'Children must be protected from the more extreme influences of the occult and be taught in a responsible and positive way the risks of journeying into the unknown,' he had said. ...The premiere of Harry Potter the movie will lead to a whole new generation of youngsters discovering witchcraft and wizardry. We welcome the values this will ingrain, focusing on good triumphing over evil. Though it is important not to over-react to this entertaining phenomenon, the risks are clear.' Gallup polls on the subject are rare, but do show a growing interest in occult related subjects over time.
As school teachers have had time to warn children and parents to try and keep Fluffy inside the house during the Halloween season, there is some hope that animal abductions, mutilations and sacrifices will be minimal this year, varieties of which are described in a Washington Post column: "We found bodies of cats that had been pretty inhumanely slain, badly treated, pretty much slaughtered or used for sacrificial purposes." These types findings around the country help to explain why many animal shelters refuse to allow cat adoptions around Halloween. As a short school history lesson, it could be noted that the US Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that ritual animal sacrifice is a legal form of religious expression with regard to a case in Florida and as practiced by occults such as Santeria. Well, actually, don't count on any kind of negative vibe projected by public schools during Halloween, that would be so un PC and that negativity should definitely be saved for Christ and Christmas when no hint of Christianity is to be allowed. But this does bring up a legal question. Should Halloween be celebrated in public schools? As Peter Smith had noted, kiddie-occult literature can open the door to help lead children down a dark path. These are simply some of the effects of occult-filled novels and films. There are also public schools, such as Waldorf-method schools, that officially and actively teach New Age and occult-based philosophies. Should these types of practices be legal? It boils down to a question of constitutionality.
1. Halloween is a celebration that highlights aspects of evil and themes such as witchcraft.
2. Most scholars believe that All Hallows' Eve was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with pagan roots,particularly the Celtic Samhain.
5. The official policy of "separation of church and state" is supposed to apply to all religious beliefs.
6. According to this interpretation of the Constitution, if any religious beliefs are promoted in class, all should have an equal opportunity.
7. According to actual school policies, Christian teachers are not allowed to talk about why they believe in God in public schools.
8. Paganism and evil, however, are discussed and even celebrated in public schools.
9. Therefore, the celebration of Halloween in public schools and the free discussion of paganism and witchcraft represent unconstitutional discrimination. I personally don't endorse popular interpretations of Constitutional separation of church and state, however, if we are supposed to be following this precept, then it should be followed fairly. Why is it then that, as the occult and evil become more pronounced in society, paganism and witchcraft may be freely discussed in US public schools as positive influences while all God talk is expressly forbidden and portrayed as negative? If there is indeed a separation of church and state, then why isn't there a separation between the occult and state? Actual practices by public schools represent an unconstitutional breech of civil liberties. According to US policies, public schools are supposed to maintain religious neutrality:
"Second, the government may not establish religion: that is, the government may not endorse, sponsor, or require participation in any particular religion or religious activity. Public schools must maintain their religious neutrality so that all students of any religion, or no religion, can enjoy freedom of belief."
I've lived for a number of years in Ukraine as a missionary where the church and state do not allow for the celebration of Halloween in public schools. They do, however, allow the discussion of religious ideas and beliefs in school. I was able to talk to students there about the true history of the United States and the religious beliefs of the Puritans, for example, when it came time for the Thanksgiving holiday. In the US I have been quite disappointed by the situation in the public schools. Though I do appreciate the "7 Habits" approach at the Southampton SES, the influences of the public kindergarten my son attends disturb me almost on a weekly basis, regarding everything from age-inappropriate topics in class to increased aggressive behavior. The attached photo from Southampton Patch shows school kids in a town Halloween parade in 2011. Our family is planning to skip the parade and join a few other Christian families to do some fun things and to also celebrate the goodness of God. We have no interest in alternative harvest parties and the like.
Though I realize there are alternatives to public school and the constant barrage of negative influences, our family doesn't presently have funds for a private school and my wife does not feel that home schooling is realistic for her. More and more, I feel like Lot who was "vexed" in his spirit by what he saw around him in society. Who knows, it may be that one day we will move back to Ukraine. Some things are more important than just the "standard of living" that people have come to praise in the US. And, if the US dollar crashes as many people believe it will, then the American dream will have a rude awakening, or what's left of it at least.
I had seen the documentary film IndoctriNation last year and my Ukrainian wife didn't believe me when I warned her about the influences of US public schools. But now she is already quite concerned and more open to various options. Cal Thomas (America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist) discussed the situation of public schools, as outlined in the documentary:
"Every Christian parent with a child in a government school should see this [movie] and be forced to confront their unwillingness to do what Scripture requires for the children on loan to them by God. A mass exodus from government schools is the only way to preserve the souls and minds of our children."
On "All Souls Day" maybe we Christians should not dwell on the souls of the dead but should consider the souls of the living, and especially our children's souls as approach these types of challenges.
Based on the information presented, do you think Halloween should be promoted in public schools? What has been your experience celebrating Halloween? Do you plan to celebrate Halloween this year?