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While it is true that the holiday has pagan origins, sadly, until abot 25 or so years ago, the secular Halloween was indeed a simple child-oriented event, with kids going door-to-door in costume, asking for candy, etc. It had been this way for a LONG TIME, but then a few enterprising preachers decided to make names for themselves by putting a focus on the holiday that did not exist before they started shouting about it. Of course as soon as they started hollering about demons and Satan Worship, all the nut cases crawled out of the woodwork and futher co-opted what used to be a fun night with childish costumes, candy and tummy aches.
So thanks to the efforts of a few preachers who put together a batallion of straw men and then intimidated practically the entire Christian body to go to war against it with them, we now hypocritically let our children dress up in insipid, innoffensive costumes and go to "Harvest" parties so they won't feel sad about not being able to enjoy the terriblle no-good pagan holiday. In my opinion the whole thing was and continues to be just one more thing to distract the church from what is really important. And again we have allowed the loudest voices to dominate the conversation.