By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large
Halloween can be a touchy subject within the Christian community. Many Christians object to its pagan roots, not to mention its celebration of the dead, and therefore feel any participation by themselves or family members is inappropriate; others of the faith see it less as a “celebration” at all, and simply a harmless, secular tradition wherein adults and children can dress up in costumes and trick-or-treat for candy and attend fun, social gatherings.
Even for those Christians who tend to see themselves in the latter group, however, there can often be examples of Halloween “fun” that they see as going too far. A family in Parma, Ohio has certainly shaken things up in their local community with a Halloween display in the front yard that many, Christians and non-Christians alike, see as having trumped standards of appropriateness for a neighborhood; featured are (fairly) lifelike creations of a corpse hanging from a tree, a body impaled on a stake, and another poor “soul” hanging upside down and nailed to a cross…and Halloween is still three weeks away!
As you would expect, the locals are divided on the gruesome presentation - some see it as way out of bounds for a residential community, while others consider those who object to be guilty of humorlessness and hypersensitivity. Those who have complained to the city have been told there’s nothing that can be done, as the family’s freedom of expression remains paramount in this situation.