A Halloween Retraction

In my post about Halloween a few months ago, I said something offensive.

There are plenty of things about Halloween that make me ambivalent. I’ll not go into them, because I do not wish to judge others for their choices in things that aren’t that important. (Unless you’re being unsafe. That’s not cool. Be safe.) And I’m thankful to visit and bless people, even if they called me for an exorcism because they watched too many horror movies and need to get their boiler serviced.

At issue is that last sentence.

  • 1. The way I said it makes it sound like this happens all the time, instead of something that happened literally once. It was not appropriate to reveal that this happened, and the implications are belittling and hurtful. I am sorry.
  • 2. It is belittling toward people who ask for house blessings, which betrays trust. I am sorry for that.
  • 3. We are asked for house blessings by Inuit most of the time, and so my statement is particularly offensive towards Inuit. I am sorry for that. I have no wish to perpetuate or tolerate any negativity towards Inuit in this space.
  • 4. It suggests that I am skeptical towards house blessings in general. I am not. I find them difficult for many reasons, but I believe peoples’ experiences of spiritual threat and attack in their homes. I am sorry that my words suggested otherwise.
  • 5. House blessings/home exorcisms are an important part of our ministry here, and they are not something my culture understands easily. It simply isn’t appropriate for me to write about house blessings on my blog, let alone to do so in such a flippant way. I apologize for doing so.

I have edited the post in which I made this statement, and will link to this retraction in that article. I will leave the article itself, because many people (especially young people, Inuit and non-Inuit) connected with the feelings I expressed about Halloween. The short version is, it’s a time when it feels ok to accept ourselves, with all our flaws, when we feel pressured to be perfect. It is similar to how I feel about Lent, because that is a time that it feels ok to be sad, when I feel pressured to be happy all the time.

I am deeply sorry for the hurt my statement caused, and I’m sorry that it took me this long to wrap my mind around what was wrong with what I said. I hope I can do better. Thanks for reading.

2 thoughts on “A Halloween Retraction

  1. We all make mistakes. I made one yesterday that caused me much anxiety. I shared about a book on my blog that I hadn’t read in 15 years. I remembered liking it so much, I wanted to reread it. Last night I read the first four chapters, and I was shocked by the content. I had to go back and delete everything I shared about the book, and hoped that no one decided to read it based on my recommendation. We have to be so careful what we put out in the public space. It’s not possible to be perfect, but we’re expected to be perfect on the internet. Be gentle with yourself. Your apology shows how much you care about your ministry and community. For what it’s worth, I bless (cleanse, or smudge) my own house regularly and love Halloween!

    Liked by 1 person

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