Unclassified Info: Holiday left behind haunting questions

November 07, 2011

Last week, I voiced my disapproval of the “Jesus-weeners” — those folks who find Halloween evil and oppose the pagan iconography associated with it. Instead of handing out candy, they believe in passing out Bibles.

While I defended their right to believe what they wanted, I did suggest that instead of putting down others for liking Halloween, they simply turn out their lights and let the holiday pass them by.

Not surprisingly, I didn’t hear from Jesus-weeners on the topic. They are an extremely minuscule group and I’m probably not on the “must read list” for Bible thumpers. What I didn’t expect was to get involved in a lively debate with a reader about my seemingly harmless comment about turning off one’s lights.


Samanthe wrote to tell me it is unrealistic to expect that turning one’s porch light off would provide sufficient cover from people celebrating Halloween in her neighborhood. Her home is close to one of the most popular streets for trick-or-treating.

The residents on this street go all out, decorating their houses with incredible creativity and enthusiasm. I also live nearby and it truly is a spectacle to behold.

Unfortunately for Samanthe, it means dealing with an extremely large group of people driving into the neighborhood for a visit. And as we all know when Americans travel abroad, they don’t always pack their best manners.

“The idealized version of kiddies and adults acting out a character and going door to door gathering candy…and the quietude granted to those who turn off their porch light is just that: an idealized version,” Samanthe wrote. She described witnessing her neighbors’ property being damaged while her husband stood watch outside their home, yelling at kids to get out of their yard.

During our email exchanges, we both reached a similar conclusion — good citizenship and consideration of the property of others rests not so much with the children, but with the parents responsible for instilling values in children.

We also recognized the majority of kids and families out there had good intentions — just as most people in this world have good intentions. This got us brainstorming in hopes of finding a way to make the celebration safer for the good kids and less convenient for the troublemakers.

We started asking hypothetical questions.

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