My niece told me “Tia (aunt in Spanish) I want to a princess for Halloween.” I smiled really huge because my baby couldn't have picked a better costume; she would make an adorable princess. I told my brother that I could take her trick-or-treating. He said, “Halloween is a satanic holiday and she is a Christian child. She doesn’t do that.” He said this in front of my 5-year-old niece. I can’t begin to tell you how much that bothered me.
My brother is a devout Baptist and I respect his beliefs because they make him happy, and to each his own. But I find some of his practices harmful when it comes to my nieces. I just don’t think that he should say things like that in front of young child. Just think about it, my niece gets to school next Friday (they are celebrating Halloween on the 30th) and she won’t be wearing a costume. I’m sure she’ll feel uncomfortable because she might be the only one not dressed up. Imagine if another child asks her “Where is your costume?” and she says “Halloween is a satanic holiday and I’m Christian”. Can you imagine the follow up?
I don’t think young children should be put in that situation. They just don’t know how to explain things properly, so they might end up getting hurt in the process. They can be the victim of alienation, even worst, they can get psychologically damaged. I read a post the other day on Perfectly Pagan, a fairly new blog about discovering Paganism. The creator of the blog, One Pink Fish, explains that her husband advised against using terminology their children couldn’t explain or that would get ridiculed around friends, in order to keep them safe. I GET HIM!
Some have told me that I’m a hypocrite because if I follow a path, and I believe is the right one, then I should want my entire family to follow it too. Trust me I do, and I wish, but I’ll not push it down their throat; that is not the Pagan way or MY way, period! I believe in letting people make informed decisions. Let them experience life, so they can learn what works for them. A 5-year-old child just doesn’t know. I think it is immoral to make them commit to something they don’t fully understand.
I know this is a very touchy subject, and I might get the same old reply: You have no children, so what would you know! And whoever says that is very right. I haven’t had the honor of making life—yet—but I love people in general, especially my little angels. So it breaks my heart to see how they get pushed into these types of situations. Children should be allowed to be children. Wait until they are old enough, before asking them to make lifelong choices.
What are your views on this issue?
P.S. Sorry if I sound a bit frustrated. It is just so hard to see unfairness happen right in front of my eyes, and to the ones I love most. It kills me because I can complain, try to educate the intolerant soul, but in the end I can’t really do a damn thing about it ;( I’m angry.