Candy, not faith

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As a kid, the best part of trick-or-treating on Halloween was sifting through the many surprises in my bag at the end of the night.

Of course, some finds were always better than others. For instance, there was always that one guy who, without fail, would hand out toothbrushes and apples every year. This year, it goes even further.

Last week, The Globe and Mail published an article about Jesus Ween, a campaign started by a Christian group in Calgary to hand out Bibles instead of candy to children on Halloween.

“We’re about bringing Jesus into Halloween,” Pastor Paul Ade, one of the organizers, told the Globe.

While Jesus Ween supporters are free to love Jesus all they want, it’s pretty ballsy of them to take advantage of a holiday where children come to their doors, expecting candy, and are given Jesus instead — although I’m sure he’s great too.

Children are often thought to be one of the most impressionable groups of people. Handing out Bibles to children, then, when their parents may not be there to explain Jesus and Christianity to them, is an almost sneaky tactic.

Then again, one could argue that if people are coming to your door expecting free candy, you should technically be able to give them whatever you want.

This Halloween initiative is risking offence for the sake of preaching religious views. Where do we draw the line at what is offensive?

I’m not saying this will cause Halloween to become some free-for-all of advertising ideologies, but there are plenty of other platforms available to express religious views.

You shouldn’t need to resort to preaching to a five-year-old dressed as Lady Gaga. Just as people are free to express their religious views, you are free to express yourself accordingly as well.

For instance, as an atheist, if I received a Bible on Halloween, I would be neither offended nor appreciative; I would probably just use it as a decorative bookend.

So although freedom of speech and religion is alive and kicking, let’s leave Jesus out of it for a night and hand out some good old Tootsie Pops.

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