Here are two frightening stories for Halloween. Unfortunately, they're both true.
Newton, Massachusetts - When students at Underwood Elementary School walk in to their classrooms on October 31st, there will be no witches, SpongeBob SquarePants, skeleton paintings or Frankenstein tattoos to greet them. The school's principal said yesterday he acceded to the complaints of a handful of parents who said that because the school's traditional Halloween celebrations offended their religious beliefs, they would not send their children to school if the revelry continued this year.
He canceled Halloween!
Wiccans protested Christmas?
The Ku Klux Klan protested Kwanzaa?
Nazis protested Yom Kippur?
Loggers protested Arbor Day?
Native Americans protested Thanksgiving?
The unemployed protested Labor Day?
African Americans protested White Sales?
Norman Bates protested Mother's Day?
Conscientious Objectors protested Veterans Day?
Ted Nugent protested Vegan Day?
(ok, I made that one up)
Sparta, New Jersey - Students at Pope John XXIII Regional High School have been ordered by the principal, the Rev. Kieran McHugh, to remove personal postings about the school or themselves from Web sites like myspace.com or xanga.com, even if they were posted from the students' home computers. This was done in order to protect students from predators.
I don't know about you but stories like this scare the pants off me. A handful of religious extremists cause one of our most beloved holidays to be canceled. A priest denies his students the use of probably the most important communication tool of this century to protect them from talking to predators. Perhaps the good reverend is looking in the wrong place for predators of children. Maybe the problem is not in cyberspace.
The line between church and state is slowly being eroded by the religious wrong. Be afraid.......be very afraid.