According to ABCNEWS.go.com:
Bowing to concerns of a wide range of groups - from Christians who consider Halloween to have pagan or satanic overtones to church-state separatists who object to the holiday's religious roots - some elementary schools are canceling their customary costume parades and Halloween celebrations.
In their place are "Fall-o-ween" events, which take note of harvest and seasonal change but that eliminate all things spooky - or controversial.
Political correctness is getting out of hand. Halloween need not be turned into a threat to members of various religions. It is a harmless tradition that helps unite this country with a playful yet common holiday. The people of this nation are beginning to identify more with religious, ethnic and other groups than with our national culture. By discarding holidays out of fear of offending others, we simply forfeit our national culture and abandon our national identity. Things like Halloween, the 4th of July and Thanksgiving should be considered national treasures because they are times when everyone in this nation has an excuse to celebrate their commonality. If you search hard enough, you will always find some group that objects to a given holiday, celebration or tradition.
I’ve read a number of articles claiming that Christians feel Halloween is pagan, Wiccan, Satanic, etc. While I have never met a Christian who expressed anti-Halloween sentiments, I suppose that they must exist somewhere or these stories wouldn’t keep appearing in the media. If they really do exist, they need to keep things in perspective. Our nation is very accepting and tolerant of Judeo-Christian tradition. Our work-week typically does not include Saturday and Sunday, a tradition originating from the Jewish and Christian Sabbaths. Few businesses are open on Christmas day. Most restaurants serve clam chowder and/or offer a fish special on Fridays, a tradition arising from the Christian abstinence of meat on Fridays, the day of the Crucifixion. Our money is emblazoned with “In God We Trust”. Our national pledge of allegiance currently includes “One nation, under God”. If Christians really are the group most active in trying to tone down Halloween, they might want to think twice before attacking harmless traditions as they have the most to lose if holidays and traditions start getting “sanitized”. Secularists and people strongly in favor of the separation of Church and state are more than happy to follow this example and redouble their efforts to stifle Christian traditions and keep the vicious circle going. Instead of having rival groups picking at each others holidays, let’s try to maintain a national culture, enjoy national traditions and celebrate our similarities.
To those both for and against the October 31 holiday, I say: