At the time of writing, this Halloween has passed without incident. No appearance of trick-or-treaters which is hopefully a sign that this tradition – immature and irresponsible at best and an unwelcome deference to witchcraft and paganism at worst – is finally passing into oblivion. The crass association with variations of Satanism surely means that Halloween has no place in any civilised society unless it perhaps seeks to embrace such accommodation or to naively and blissfully pretend that this is a small price to pay for the commercial advantage that the occasion brings.
Naturally, we seek to be on guard against more obvious evil nowadays, such as the scourge of terrorism, despite our government having so often ignored the hate-speech inflicted on communities of Muslim young people for many years. The frog in the kettle dies by incremental increases in temperature, rather than by placing it in boiling water from which it can jump; maybe we are finally intervening in the face of an imminently approaching boiling point.
Ironically, the Australian Labor Party shows inconsistency in affording such religious freedoms. Its desired repeal of exemptions to the Equal Opportunity Act through the upcoming state ballot box in Victoria threatens organisations such as Christian schools that make a major contribution to excellence in education. Their move to prevent the employment of practising Christians only is a ridiculous one. After all, discrimination is a part of every act of employment by every employer. To intervene on this count, though, is to overturn a prized value of the separation of Church and state. It also denies the freedom of parents to choose a very popular form of education which enhances the development of values in the home through their consistent promotion via every member of staff in their child’s school.
Christian values are sadly becoming an underappreciated part of our society which often prides its secularity but would scarcely recognise itself if suddenly devoid of every trace of Christian influence that has generated our education, welfare, legal and health systems. This is despite a majority of citizens still officially identifying themselves as Christians in our nation.