Michael P. McDonald

Halloween should be a time for youthful joy when children don fanciful costumes and collect candy. Unfortunately, because of the endless adolescence of so many adults, it has morphed into a night of debauchery as grown men and women put on ridiculous outfits and drink themselves into oblivion. Unfortunately for Catholics, these over-commercialized festivities drown out All Saints Day on November 1st, but even worse, every year there are always some bigots trying to make a quick buck pushing apparel that disrespects and belittles our faith.

While there are plenty of Halloween costumes that offend Catholic sensibilities, we have made progress in crushing the infamous priest with an erection costume, also known as “Keep Up The Faith Priest.” After years of condemning this odious outfit, our search found it has been relegated to the fringe corners of the internet. While a few smaller novelty costume shops have it on sale, none of the major stores carried the disgusting costume.

On a similar note, the big retailers (Amazon, Walmart, and Target) appeared to have mostly behaved themselves this year. Directly from these stores, there were no examples of anything offensive. However, particularly Amazon and Walmart, the stores’ online market places, where third-party vendors can hock their wares, had a smattering of outrageous costumes consisting of either sexualized or ghoulish nuns and priests.

Any true Catholic should be morally outraged by these nauseating costumes, and in a perfect world the big retailers would not allow third-party vendors to sell this smut on their websites. However, we do not live in a perfect world, and prudence dictates that we save our fire for the truly worst of the bunch.

Without a doubt, the distinct dishonor of promoting the most anti-Catholic apparel  belongs to HalloweenCostumes.com. By far, the costumes available on this website are the most offensive anywhere. It did not take long to find the “Pregnant Nun” costume. However, this perennial staple of Catholic bashing is just the beginning of the anti-Catholic costumes on offer.

A motif among the outfits on HalloweenCostumes.com is the sexualization of nuns. Trashy apparel like “Sinfully Hot Nun” and  “Sultry Sexy Sinner” feature sleeveless, low-cut habits with white crosses designed to accentuate the figure, and skirts well above the knee. Others such as “Sexy Blasphemous Babe” and “Heavenly Hottie Nun” look like a cross between a skimpy superhero costume and a habit leaving very little to the imagination. For the extra deviant crowd, HalloweenCostumes.com also has “Sexy Latex Nun,” “Say Your Prayers Nun,” and “Misbeheaven Nun” that would appear more at home in a 50 Shades of Grey novel than they would in a convent. Meanwhile, for plus-size anti-Catholic bigots seeking to sexualize nuns, the website has “Sacrilege Sister” and “Flirty Nun” available in bigger sizes.

Of course, HalloweenCostumes.com does not limit their sexualization to just nuns. Priests are also ridiculed in a similar fashion. For instance, “Sexy Priest” and “Sexy Sinfully Confession” are available. Both feature sheer, sleeveless tops and shorts that cover only what they have to.

In addition to the sexualization of nuns and priests, HalloweenCostumes.com also draws on the old anti-Catholic tropes that portrays Church figures as monsters and demons. The website offered seven women’s costumes and one girl’s costume with some sort of nun depicted as a blood-soaked murderer, demon, skeleton, specter, or zombie. Meanwhile, it sells two men’s costumes of fiendish priests.

If these costumes alone were not enough to raise the ire of Catholics, HalloweenCostumes.com compounds this outrage in how it treats other religions. Rather than the apparent scorn and derision the vendor displays for Catholics, these groups are spared such ignominy.

Searching for Jewish costumes reveals a handful of tasteful rabbi outfits, and the one women’s costume of Esther from the Old Testament is neither provocative nor vulgar. Meanwhile, HalloweenCostumes.com does not offer any costumes for the other major religions, thus sparing them the mockery of having their holy men and women portrayed as either sexualized or macabre figures.

While HalloweenCostumes.com profits off promoting anti-Catholic bigotry, it does not always have to be this way. Just as we had success in relegating “Keep Up The Faith Priest” to the obscure corners of the internet, in large part thanks to the dedication of our members who tirelessly contacted the vendors pushing that outrageous costume, it is time we push back against the filth on HalloweenCostumes.com.

Contact HalloweenCostumes.com: PR@HalloweenCostumes.com  

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