TODAY: Hurricane Sandy slams into the Northeastern Atlantic coastline, Halloween turns grisly for children, some churches push “Souls to the Polls,” and Thomas Friedman tries to redefine “pro-life.” I discuss all these in today’s edition of The Briefing: A Daily Analysis of News and Events from a Christian Worldview.

“Think big.” Those were the words of Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as Hurricane Sandy hit the New Jersey coast. But mid-day Monday, effects of the storm were hitting much of the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic states. By the time Sandy hit the coastline, arriving very near to Atlantic City, the storm was pushing 90 mph sustained winds.

In New York City, public transit came to a halt. Early this morning, The New York Times posted startling photographs showing water pouring through subway doors and into the construction site at Ground Zero. Elsewhere in Manhattan, a 90-story construction crane threatened to crash into the streets below. Over a million school children are out of school in New York City alone, and over 12,000 flights have already been canceled.

At 2:24 this morning, officials reported that at least twelve persons had already died as a result of the storm. As morning dawned, 5.7 million people had no electrical power.

Even with all the warnings, many resisted calls to evacuate. The New York Times reported that gamblers stayed in the Atlantic City casinos until the very last minute, evidently as reckless with their lives as with their money.

Most Christians can do little more than pray at the moment, but opportunities for relief and assistance will surely come in the aftermath of the storm.

Forecasters predict considerable damage and dangerous weather as the storm continues to pummel the region. As of Monday, meteorologists were estimating that the storm would be the most dangerous of the last 100 years and insurance officials warned that the total damage could exceed that of Hurricane Katrina.

The issue of Halloween also remained in view, as new reports of the sexualization of young girls followed yesterday’s review of the issue. The “adultification” of Halloween is bad enough for adults, but even far worse for children and teenagers.

Writing at the Huffington Post, Jessica Samakow described one mother’s shock after seeing costumes intended for young girls:

“What she wasn’t expecting was an over-abundance of “sexy” costumes for girls as young as 2. During her shopping trip, she took pictures of those that most offended her sensibilities, including a “little black dress” for preschoolers, pleather “fire chief” costume with knee-high boots made to fit a 4-year-old, and a tween “delinquent devil.”

Samakow then wrote this, describing the efforts of some parents to resist the trend:

“HuffPost blogger, David Valdes Greenwood is trying too, telling his 4-year-old daughter she couldn’t dress up as Madonna one Halloween. ‘Until she is old enough to have a more mature understanding of the messages that can sent by what she wears and how she looks, it our job to help her understand what is (or isn’t) appropriate and why,’ he wrote.”….

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