I wrote several months ago about a woman who stood up in defense of her young son, who wanted to dress as Daphne for Halloween. Recently Jezebel provided an update on “Cop’s Wife,” who had this to say about her church following the holiday:
The first time Pastor contacted me was a few days after the Halloween post. He wanted to discuss my “spiritual care.” It was immediately clear that I was being viewed as having done something very wrong. Our initial conversation was me being called “defensive,” “vindictive,” “disrespectful,” “prideful,” and told that I “crossed a line.” I was told I needed to do penance. I was not asked about how [my son] was doing.
In a later meeting:
My punishment was to be disallowed from receiving Communion, and if I were to continue to not seek forgiveness, I may be removed from the congregation and not be able to transfer to another church in our denomination in good standing…
All of this. For letting her son–5 years old, mind you–dress as a girl for Halloween. What happened to loving people unconditionally? What kind of law does the church have on the books about Halloween costumes? If this is the kind of treatment kids get from churches, which are supposed to be spiritual refuges and safe places, it’s no wonder so many of them report being bullied in schools.
I will never understand people who focus on the most inconsequential things when there are actual life-and-death issues that need attention: homelessness, poverty, unemployment, domestic violence. Let’s not waste time by telling kids only certain gender-appropriate costumes are allowable on Halloween–or any other time.