Now, maybe I’m bias, because I’m a horror writer, but there is an element to our culture that seems to eschew imagination. Don’t get me wrong, this has nothing to do with me watching someone lecture my wife on her letting our children believe in the tooth fairy. And it certainly has nothing to do with some of the church objecting to the idea of “pagan holidays”, as if most the church’s history isn’t made up of pagan festivals.

Earlier this year, a friend of mine went to their local annual “fairy festival” in honor of May Day, a celebration of spring where the kids wear little fairy wings. There’s food and music, nothing really weird. However, the event drew protestors. People yelling at parents that they were damning their kids to hell.

My friend, someone who struggles with her own views on God, rightly wondered if those protesters may have inadvertently turned those children (and parents!) away from religion by scaring them and how someone could think yelling hateful words was a good way to spread love and a Christian viewpoint. I’m sure it certainly made her rush to return to my church. It certainly left at least one five year old wondering why the man said that Jesus didn’t love her.

I simply told her that she missed the point: obviously it is important to be defined by who you are against rather than who you claim to follow. There is, likewise, no freedom to meet people where they are and build bridges to them. It’s easier to throw stones. Or protest. (Luckily, she gets my sarcasm).

There is room for imagination and make believe in our children’s worlds. The idea is to have child-like faith, with the idea of keeping a sense of awe, wonder, and appreciation of mystery. I’m really not threatened by Halloween, the tooth fairy, or Santa Claus. And as long as I’m there doing my job, to help them learn to differentiate between fantasy and reality, my children won’t be confused.