The political implications of Halloween in public schools

Anyone who thinks public schools are neutral in treating spiritual matters had better take a closer look Photo: AP Image

CALIFORNIA November 2, 2013 — Halloween is part of the American culture. Whether it’s just a great fantasy outlet for children or a tool of Satan depends on your perspective.

The United States was founded on Biblical principles that included freedom of conscience, speech and religious practice. The First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the federal government from inhibiting the free exercise of religious beliefs, whether Christian or not.

Unfortunately, public schools are not as neutral in religious matters as most believe them to be.

Parties and make-believe role playing are very common in public schools during Halloween. Even when harvest festivals replace the name of Halloween, there can still be every size and shape of witch, ghost and goblin attending classes and school events.

Dressing up as a superhero can be charming and even motivational for younger children. But when they mimic Satan, witches, demons, zombies or even death (skeletons), why aren’t the dark spiritual implications questioned?

The core of Halloween is the antithesis of Christianity; gory, creepy costumes make light of the reality of evil and death itself (John 8:43-44). Christianity celebrates life, as well as the giver of life (John 6:35-40). Ask yourself: Does Halloween, with all its activities and role-playing, help mature a child for a higher and nobler calling, or does it feed a child’s sinful nature (Proverbs 22:6)?

Now ask yourself: Are public schools really neutral in these spiritual matters?

What would happen if students dressed up as Jesus Christ, or the Apostle Paul, or even Mary the mother of Jesus? What if they handed out Bibles instead of candy, or even openly talked about the gospel of eternal life? Would that violate school policy?

The answer is pretty clear.

If a student’s role playing is overtly Christian, a school will probably be open to legal action for allowing religious proselytizing on public property. Yet cute little anti-Christian representations of demonic spirits or witches are just as religious and spiritual and are only chuckled at (1 Corinthians 2:14-16).

The fact is that children are being used in a larger spiritual battle (1 Peter 5:8). If Halloween embodies dark religious entities and practices, aren’t public schools then contributing to the desensitizing of children to what the Bible clearly warns against (Ephesians 5:11)?

But wait, public schools don’t explicitly promote evil; Halloween is just good old fashioned fun.

That argument would be credible if Christian beliefs were allowed to be role played at the same time. But not only are they unwelcome at Halloween, they’re also purged from other important celebrations, like Christmas and Easter.

Recall the now traditional lawsuits at Christmas time to remove anything even hinting of Biblical truth or the gospel from government property.

Nativity scenes, traditional Christmas hymns, the exchange of Christmas cards and presents, and even saying “Merry Christmas” are being purged as much as possible. Apparently nothing is welcome in public schools that points to the joyous birth of the world’s only Savior of sinners, the God-child Jesus Christ (John 10:27-30; 11:25-26; 14:6). This in spite of the fact that Christmas, unlike Halloween, is a national holiday.

The irrational “separation of church and state” rule has been the weapon of choice to remove expressions of Christian faith and Biblical truth from schools. In their place are secular symbols and fantasies that have nothing to do with Christ: Santa Claus, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, the holiday tree, Frosty the snowman, and anything else falsely claiming to represent the “true meaning” of Christmas.

The same thing occurs around Easter. Eggs, rabbits, candy, and even saying Spring break instead of Easter break all detract from the celebration of the central truth of the Christian faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-23). Instead of schools acknowledging what the Easter celebration commemorates for the vast majority of people, irrelevant symbols that actually obscure the profound implications of the resurrection are playfully substituted.

Politically, our Constitution has been twisted to allow any manner of benign caricature of Christian spirituality to be paraded in public schools with legal impunity. Constitutional principles are manipulated to ensure only purely secular symbols are used to somehow represent the central truths of the Christian faith: the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Sadly, these are the political realities in our public schools today.

Don’t misunderstand; even many Christians tolerate some pagan trappings during Christmas and Easter. But even with these distractions, the truths about Christ still shine through. It’s these spiritual truths that our secular public school system will not tolerate. They will, however, tolerate any manner of pagan spirituality that’s offensive to the pure gospel.

Spiritual warfare has existed since the fall of man and will continue until Christ returns. Until that day, even public schools won’t be immune from use as a spiritual weapon to replace God’s light with Satan’s darkness.

Unfortunately, our children are trapped in it.

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankKacer or #BiblicalPolitics

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Frank Kacer

Frank Kacer has been writing and lecturing on the applications of a Biblical worldview to the contemporary issues of the day since the mid 1990s. Besides his regular Biblical Politics column with the Washington Times Communities, Frank has authored over 100 op-ed columns for Good News Etc. and the popular Christian Examiner. Frank can be reached at


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