Would any of you allow your children to even try on a children’s Halloween devil mask? What if it was in a group of Halloween themed masks? My daughter has a bag of masks and one is of the devil. I won’t let her put it on (which makes her want to put it on). Do you think I should just throw it away?
I agree with Della, you are the Mama, it’s your choice. If I felt that strongly my kids would not wear it, besides they like cowboys, superheroes, princesses or farm animals. They never liked scary ones.
You’re the mama, it’s your choice. You might want to explain yourself, though. You could also get creative and let her take some paint and a little modelling clay and make it into something acceptable, like a cow mask or a ram mask…rams being one of the #1 choices of mascot at Catholic high schools everywhere (mine included).
The devil is a proude spirite, and cannot endure to be mocked…Old Scratch would undoubtedly be less than thrilled to be changed into a milk cow!
This, of course, is a reason that some people don’t get that upset about devil masks, while they would never allow their kids to dress as a priest or a nun for Halloween. They see the costumes as send-ups, and not something that gives anything like reverence.
My kids are dressing up as skeletons and ghouls. I don’t think it is a bad thing to make the scary into something you aren’t afraid of. Neither one of them wants to become one of the un-dead, and I’m not afraid they’re going to make anything serious of it.
I remember when I was a very young teen (13,14,15) my girlfriends and I would like to play with the Quigi (sp?) Board. After several sessions, I remember my mom coming into my room, going into my closet, grabbing it and saying to me: “This thing is going in the garbage, I’m sorry…it’s dangerous, God says no and I say no, so out it goes.” I was a little upset at the time as we thought it was fun, but in that day and age what your mom said was LAW. Parents were THE BOSS period.
I would give her some explaination but if you feel that it is not healthy, just tell her “Mom doesn’t care for this mask so out it goes.”
This is great. Yup, there was a time parents did have authority with their kids under 18. Now the kids tell them to shut up (I have heard it) the kids would whine, cry, etc. and get what they want. I cannot the more understand why young girls are even also allowed to dress in short skirts, no modesty etc.
I should clarify my original post. My daughter’s father thinks there is nothing wrong with our daughter trying on the different masks (including the devil one) I think it is wrong to wear it. I have no problem being the parent (there are enough temper tantrums to prove that) and making it very clear to my daughter who’s the one in charge, however, I am not her only parent.
Not having had any experience here you can take my opinion for what it’s worth but if your daughter is “of reason” maybe you could discuss with her why you wouldn’t approve of her wearing it.
While I have mixed emotions about “Halloween” I have made the decision to let my kids participate like almost every other kid on the block. But I don’t decorate in “dead” Halloween themes or let the kids wear “dead” costumes. IMHO I just draw the line there. When they are much older (they are now 2 and 3) we’ll have the discussion about discretion and prudence regarding society’s take on the holiday. Hopefully they’ll “get it”. Works for me, not for everyone, not a value judgement FYI…
The really interesting thing (to me) about Halloween is that it started out as a Celtic or European festival in their nature religions…sort of an Old Year’s celebration when the European natives felt that the spirits of the dead were closest. (This was more than one tribe, and I have no idea which put the festival on that date.) Jack o’lanterns were invented to guide the honored dead to their loved ones, but to keep evil spirits away.
When Christianity arrived and wove our liturgical calendar in with the native festivals, our All Saints and All Souls Day were the result, which gave us a wonderful and worthy pair of feastdays based on a Christian understanding of the place of our dead in our lives. When the Europeans went into Mexico, the natives there had a similar festival that they celebrated in July or August. It was moved to the All Saints Day/All Souls Day time of year, and so Dias Los Muertes (the Days of the Dead) are now celebrated at Halloween time. Meanwhile, the wiccans, who base their spirituality on a reverence towards nature (some are panentheists rather than pantheists), say they feel a little about Halloween as Christians must feel about Christmas…it is a sacred time of year that has been co-opted by a cartoonish commercial holiday that doesn’t mean anything to anybody except as an excuse to dress up and have a self-indulgent party.
I know there are many who don’t find skeletons to fit a festival of resurrection. I like to think it fits in with the “dry bones” imagery of the prophet, where the valley of dry bones is raised up and given flesh and life again. But as you say, it depends on whether each one is able to weave the imagery into their understanding in a spiritually healthy way. If it feels impious or irreverent or as something that winks at evil, that should not be ignored.
PS By the research I have done, by the way, the only “devil-worshipers” who are out there are either atheists who worship nothing but enjoy tweaking the noses of theists or people who are just plain psychopathic. Although it is indisputable that fools and the proud cooperate with it, there is no way a sane person can worship evil. It is too upside down and backwards. As long as we worship anything other than God, including ourselves, I think the devil is well-satisfied. If we strive to please God, even not knowing it is God we strive to please, that is something the devil is anxious to break up.
I won’t let my kids experiment with the occult on any other day, why should I on this one? No witches or goblins or devils costumes will ever be welcome in my home. Nor do I put tombstones, caskets or other macabre decorations in our yard.
I have friends who will have nothing to do with Halloween. I think that crosses the line into withdrawal and ‘fortress mentality.’ Instead, we have the girls (3 &5) dress up as positive figures (a ladybug, a giraffe, a Heffalump, Little Red Riding Hood, a Pioneer Girl, etc. This allows us to be part of the community event, but does not open our children to interest and/or fascination with evil, nor does it send the message that evil and the occult are trivial matters.
It’s a difficult question. As long as one is not crossing the line into judging who is going to hell and who isn’t, I think it is appropriate to abandon Halloween entirely, if that is what one’s conscience dictates. This might be especially necessary if you feel your own children have an unhealthy interest in evil or in the occult, or if the local celebration is inescapably irreverent. Some parents even opt out of Halloween because they don’t want their kids going door to door to beg for candy in quantities that will either rot the teeth or go to waste. Just being uncomfortable with it is a good enough reason. Not wanting to give scandal to weaker brothers and sisters who have scruples about it is enough. If your consciences says, “No”, then by all means, don’t. Kids need parents who honor their consciences.
OTOH, I think there is something healthy about a holiday that puts death into the context of being part of life…no longer an enemy that conquers, but a journey through darkness that we can trust will lead us into life. I think there is something healthy about a holiday that is about playing dress-up. That may be because it is possible where I live to celebrate it like that, though. And as for the candy…if you only visit people you know, there isn’t that much.
As far as the wiccan religions go, I go by the catechism, “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience–those too may achieve eternal salvation.”
There are those who seek and are evangelized but who are not given the gift of faith. They may be saved. That God can make any religion a path to Him, however, does not mean that we who have been given the gift of the Catholic faith are free to dabble in that which is but a shadow of the magnificent truths which we have been entrusted but cannot begin to appreciate.
I teach my kids that there are people who call themselves witches, and that none of them turn little kids into mice or push them into ovens to eat them. There are fairy tales that tell about good contending with evil, but they are not stories about real people. We need to pray for the real witches, that the Holy Spirit may guide all that they do, and in the end guide them to a true knowledge of the one true God. Some of them seek very seriously for God and try to remain humble about the wisdom and grace given to others, and in that dedication we should not let ourselves be outdone.
In other words, wiccan rituals may bring some to God, perhaps very close indeed, for the Holy Spirit will blow where He pleases, but it would be wrong for us to participate in those rituals in any way. In all things, we must witness the love of God, or we will preach a false religion by our actions, a religion that will drive poor souls from the saving arms of Christ.
Thanks for all the information, very interesting to see how, in the Church’s wisdom, we’ve assimilated non-Christians by “becoming all things to all men” and made more “pagan” rituals meaningful celebrations of the Lord’s victory over death.
It is all too easy though in our modern society for the devil to get a stronghold into our lives through the celebration of Halloween IMHO. I too believe it’s not about “Devil worship” but I don’t appreciate the irreverence or the association to the occult, I think IMHO it’s more about the fascination of the “dead” (I mean the real dead, not those gone but alive in Christ) and impressionable minds that can be dangerous.
And BTW - it’s my opinion that not all witches are “good”, maybe most, okay they practice a misguided but maybe “benign” form of worship of some sort of creator, but as for me, I’m not going to let my guard down and condone that practice just because there may be element of Truth. The evil one loves to distort Truth in the most benign ways in order to lead us astray. That’s just how he works. :twocents:
When my daughter, who is 16 months, and I were at the store picking out her haloween costume, we both passed over the devil. I first scanned the racks and pulled out a few in her size without looking at what they were. As we sifted through them one was the devil costume. I held it up and said, “You are not a devil. You are an angel!” My sweet daughter made a yucky face pointing at the costume and said, “eeww!”
I think that you should, but today’s society would think the opposite. A devil costume or mask would be a highly appreciated costume especially with liberals which would love the costume for its antichrist sediment. However, the same people who would condone a devil mask or costume, would condemn a Hitler costume. With double standards like that, I think that we should ban Samhain all together.
For whatever it’s worth, I think being afraid of a piece of plastic with a scary face painted on it is a little silly. It’s also more than silly to plant fear in a child that said piece of plastic has the “power” to pose a threat to your soul, integrity, faith or character–which is exactly the message you are sending by refusing to let her even try it on. We are supposedly beyond superstition and simplistic idolotry. Material items in and of themselves cannot be a threat to our souls. While I wouldn’t intentionally stock the dress-up box of a young girl with demonic paraphenalia, I would no sooner be afraid of a devil’s mask that comes out in the context of the make-believe of Halloween costumes.
It is not fear. We are supposed to avoid even the temptation to sin, and while a devil mask may not lead to sin, it certainly is not going to encourage holiness either. I wonder, how would you feel if your child wanted to “just read” the porn magazine on the shelf?
Apparently you either missed or dismissed the reference at the end of my post to “context” which, had you read it, would have saved you the embarassment of attempting to make the ridiculous analogy to children reading porn magazines.