Tall Poppy Diaries

Observations and musings on life as a happy high-achiever (or what the Aussie's call a "Tall Poppy" ). "Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have." --Oprah Winfrey

Saturday, October 30, 2004


  A Halloween Message to Believers Everywhere

My Baptist Minister Daddy with Son 1 (unsure that "Thriller Guy" was REALLY his PaPa). Click to Enlarge for full effect...

I'm a good Christian girl. I say my prayers and read my bible. I am compassionate and understanding of others whose beliefs differ from mine. My parents (who met while Daddy was teaching and working on his doctorate at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where my mom was a secretary to the President of the Seminary) taught me that intolerance is one of the grossest forms of ignorance.

And every year at Halloween time I am reminded of just how ignorant intolerant people really are (like this guy in Kelly's "My Yearly Trip To Hell" post) . You see, my Daddy--the Baptist minister who served several terms on the Exec. Board of the Alabama Baptist Convention, who served on committees innumerable for the Southern Baptist Convention, who has devoted his entire life to preaching and living the Gospel as both a minister AND a college professor (teaching Psychology and World Religions for 30+ years)--is the biggest fan of Halloween that I have ever known.

My fondest Halloween memories are not of favorite costumes and going Trick-or-Treating. No, my favorite memories are of having the scariest house on the block and the parents who gave out the most AND best Halloween candy (which, by the way, buys popularity untold for weeks after with the other neighborhood kids...).

My Daddy (the Baptist Minister) would set up my Barbie turntable on our second-floor balcony, hook it up to speakers, put on a "Haunting Halloween Sounds" album and crank it up so that you heard the frightening sounds of Ghosts and Goblins from one end of the neighborhood to the other. He decorated our huge porch with a combo of black tarp, cobwebs, ghosts and goblins that was so scary to walk through that we were often forced to lob handsful of candy out to the Trick-or-Treaters who were too frozen by fear to come any closer than the sidewalk.

And so, it is with GREAT annoyance, that I hear year after year that Halloween=Devil Worship. If that's what you believe--FINE! Don't participate! But don't get all holy-roller and high and mighty over my enjoying a little costume party and candy exchange with the rest of the country. OK? Just keep your porch light off and we'll move on. But enough of the judgemental, NON-CHRISTIAN banter about the rest of us.

You see, I know for a FACT that we can celebrate Halloween AND the Sabbath without being hyprocritical. You know why? Because my Daddy says so. Remember him? The 76-year-old Baptist minister--the one who is in direct communicado with The Man Upstairs--the one who walks with a shuffle and is kept alive by 12 different meds, a dose of healthy living and a whole lot of optimism--The one who has devoted his entire life to the Lord?

Well, yesterday he got up, got dressed, went with a few buddies to his salon, and paid a stylist a chunk of his beloved, hard-earned retirement income to make up him and his friends to look like Dead Men from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video for his big Halloween Bash.

If MY Southern Baptist Minister Daddy says it's OK to dress up like a crotch-grabbing rock-star's sidekick and pass out a little candy to the kids, that's good enough for me.

And if you disagree with Daddy, PLEASE just be a Good, Tolerant Christian and keep it to yourself.

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