Here are my thoughts for Halloween, for whatever they are worth: there is NO ONE RIGHT WAY to celebrate it. Personally I am very chicken-hearted and realistic gruesome costumes scare me and come back in my nightmares. So I don’t like to be around people who go in that direction. However, it’s harmless. “Haunted Hosues” are slightly different; I have heard of many of them used as masks for racism and religious crusades. Sometimes they are so gruesome that they are shut down. If I had little children, I would skip the local haunted display.
As for the Twenty-somethings, what they choose to wear is excruciating. The net effect of super-sexy costumes is to sexualize women even more and encourage men to continue to think of them that way. However, you can’t talk them out of it. There is something about the “meat market” that always put me off, and don’t tell me you are a feminist from behind the sequined mask of your sexy-devil bikini.
The evangelical Christians who denounce Halloween are acting pretty much like Republicans whose basic point of view is, “I’m against it, whatever it is.” You don’t have to celebrate Halloween at all, but there is no need to teach your children to take a position of superiority towards those who do.
What I see here is making it up–just like the Religious Right perpetrates the lie that there is some sort of war against Christmas or Christianity. They do this to drum up support from ignorant and excitable people. There is no truth in what they say and I know it: I do not make a secret about being an active Episcopalian and I must say, my friends, employers and colleagues take almost no notice of it. You don’t have to wear your faith on your sleeve. Watch out for that, because as Jesus said, “You have your reward.”
But I object much more to the women who are consumed with sexy costumes, often far beyond the age at which they ought to be putting their figures on display. A little creativity can produce much better ideas than the sexy devil, the sexy nurse, the sexy harem girl, and so on. And you can always rent, rather than buy, a costume. You will have a myriad of options.