By Ralph Hutchinson, Sports Editor

This is not the sort of thing I usually write about as a sports editor, but someone needs to. Halloween is a fun thing for kids and grown-ups alike that is under siege by the religious right. Recently, an Anglican Bishop came out against it. While few think of Anglicans as the holy roller type, what he said does remind me of them. The Right Reverend David Gillett is disturbed by the dark and scary parts of the holiday which he views as part of the occult. He says that Halloween needs to be lightened up. I say that he and others like him need to lighten up. Children have great fun trick-or-treating for sweets and cheap toys.

While I always dressed as one of my sports heroes, not as ghosts and goblins, it is only natural to think of such things as leaves fall from trees and green things turn to brown with the approach of winter. Everything around seems to be dying, and this reminds us of our own mortality. On Halloween, we get to play with that and have a little fun instead of just being frightened. Also, we get to let out the darker side of our nature for one night. So long as no one gets hurt, nothing is wrong with that.

The religious right wing of Christianity has been raving for years about a war on Christmas which is all hype, all the while waging a real war against Halloween. Both have been highly commercialized by the retail industry seeking profit, but that is how the economy works. It is not going to change. Did you know that they themselves were the ones who first started retailers saying "Happy Holidays" and "Season's Greetings" by voicing objections to the commercialization of their religious holiday, as if it were the birth of the Almighty Dollar we were celebrating. You cannot have it both ways!

I had a blast every Halloween when I was little, except one year when I was sick and could not go out. My big brother only saved the lousy candy for me. I also enjoy putting on a show for kids just as much today. Halloween is not some plot by the occult to corrupt children. It is not the work of the devil. It is just some good clean fun. The nuts trying to ban it need to get over themselves.

Buying Halloween costumes for kids is one idea, though you can turn it into a family project and you and your kids can use arts and crafts to make your own costumes. Many people find that kids crafts are a good way to introduce kids to working with their hands.