A vicar has declared that it is just silly to believe in Santa. Nobody sensible would believe in someone they cannot see and cannot prove exists, he said… and I wonder if he has even yet had that ‘uh-oh’ moment.
I know there are a few devout religious people who read this blog and you know I do not set out to offend the religious (except the really nutty ones) – not out of any sense of self-preservation or kowtowing, but because I honestly don’t care what anyone else believes in. That’s why, when atheism became a religion with meetings and devotees and high antipriests and so on, I changed my description to ‘apathist’.
If someone wants to believe that the constellation Orion is the Winter God or that the North Wind has a face or that the holiest teacup ever made was spirited away by their God and is now in orbit around Betelgeuse, all that is just fine and dandy with me. None of it troubles me at all.
However, even the most devout must surely see the wionderful irony in a vicar telling his congregation not to believe in things they can’t prove exist. As ‘shooting yourself in the foot’ incidents go, that is a bang-on centre-shot with laser sights and exploding bullets.
There are many more pictures of Santa than there are of God. On the basis of visual evidence, Santa actually has the upper hand here. Okay, I know the jolly fat Santa was invented by Coca-Cola but even so.
Religion, like Santa, is based on belief. Okay, Santa is a little different, we can trace him back to Darvell Gadarn’s usurping of the St. Nicholas legend with some surety, whereas the Judeo-Christian God’s origin is a bit less definite. There are theories but nothing absolute either way.
Still, it is all based on belief. If, like me, you don’t believe in God then nobody anywhere can offer absolute proof. To the likes of me, God is as real as Santa – not at all.
Neither is the tooth fairy. Nope. No tooth fairy. Kids pretend to believe in that one because they get money for their milk teeth, They pretend to believe in Santa because they get extra presents ‘from Santa’. Parents need not worry about the smarter kids, they’ll keep the pretence going as long as the presents and cash keep flowing.
I was very interested in the ‘gruesome tales’ attached to St. Nicholas, of course. They turned out to be about as gruesome as the Grimm fairy tales I heard as a child and which probably started the dreams that result in stories now. Hard to believe kids are now scared by such stories. The Brothers Grimm didn’t always have happy endings you know – people died in their tales and there were no saints handy to bring them back to life.
Well, anyway, I have a new story idea. A New Santa who takes umbrage at not being believed in and who takes revenge…
Also, I will laugh for days at the parent who said this –
He has been coming in for years now so who know what else he has told them – he may have even been talking to them about Satan.
Um… that’s kind of his job, you know?