For me, and for many others, Halloween is an innocent and fun holiday that's just a secular celebration of Autumn. It's about dressing up, haunted houses, and piles of candy. And that's about it. It's the simplicity of the holiday that I find particularly appealing.

For some, Halloween is a nefarious and unholy celebration. They are absolutely entitled to their opinion and I would never try to force them into celebrating the holiday. But what about the other way around? Do they have the right to tell me not to enjoy my favorite holiday? A Texas man is trying to do just that, by "infiltrating" Spirit Halloween stores with "tracts". Tracts are small pamphlets that are meant to spread God's word. However, many of the most popular tracts contain controversial messaging that not even all Christians support.

Photo by Максим Власенко on Unsplash
Photo by Максим Власенко on Unsplash

Here is the public post, which gives specific instructions to like-minded people about how to sneak tracts into Spirit Halloween Stores:

I'm sure Spirit wouldn't appreciate literature on their shelves about not celebrating the one holiday that Spirit is open for. I'm sure they also don't appreciate picking up extra litter (which is what most of this will become) or possibly being associated with the message of these groups. And Spirit would be well within their rights to kick these people out of their stores and charge them with trespassing should they return. Even folks who advocate the use of tracts likely see this method of spreading them as irresponsible and obnoxious.

Is leaving tracts at Spirit ultimately harmless? I have to say "No" and here's why: many of the most popular tracts contain messages that are anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist, xenophobic, or just downright bad information. If you are guessing that I'm talking specifically about Chick Tracts- you guessed right! And it is the right of every parent to limit the messaging given to their children about religion, politics, etc. If anyone left pro-drag show tracts at a very conservative church, can you imagine what would happen to them?

Here's the thing, I personally love Chick Tracts and have owned several dozen of them. I'm a bit of an expert, as I've read nearly every one of them. I love them in the same way that I love the movie Showgirls- they are beautifully rendered (Jack Chick was an incredible artist) but oftentimes have ridiculous messaging. My favorite, of course, is the famous "Dark Dungeons" in which a girl kills herself over a D&D game. You can read it all here.

While it may be ironically amusing for an adult like me, would it be right to leave it in public for a child to find and freak out about? I'm not so sure. Telling a kid they are going to Hell for enjoying Halloween seems rather mean-spirited and not particularly effective for "winning" them for Christ.

Regardless of what you believe, I'm wishing you a happy secular celebration of Autumn.

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