Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sorry, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus. There is no god, either.

Sorry, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus. There is no god, either.

I got into a discussion the other day with a couple of evolution deniers at work. I’m not exactly in the closet; I have one of my Secular Student Alliance group’s flyers posted on my desk. The conversation began with how I think PETA is bull, and ran into evolution somehow. So eventually, the santa vs. god argument came up.

Now, the argument was that Santa is based on a real person, St. Nicholas. But did the actual St. Nick live at the North Pole? Did he fly around the world in a sleigh pulled by magic reindeer? Did he have a workshop filled with magical little people? Was he even a fat, bearded old dude? Nope. None of these describe the actual person. But they do describe the legend of Santa Clause, who is certainly a myth.

So why try to make Santa real? The person was trying to make a connection to what was real and the beliefs she held. She wanted to make the connection between Christmas and Christ, but there simply is none, well, at least not one in reality. Perhaps a legend links the two, but there is not a shred of real evidence linking these together.

Now, I realize it’s about that time of year when those “persecuted Christians” get all uppity about non-believers like me pissing on Christmas. Well, I don’t piss on Christmas, just on the Christ part. I think peace on earth and goodwill towards men is a fine idea. Generosity and charity are just dandy. But what pisses me off is when religious clergy distribute toys to children so they can cop a feel. What angers me is when a nativity scene makes an appearance in front of a courthouse or other public institution, especially when other groups are forbidden to do the same. My son is six. He understands that santa, line the easter bunny and the tooth fairy, are all imaginary games we play with children. Like the money we use in Monopoly isn’t real, neither are these characters. But they are still fun. Mostly, I tell my son that I bought the presents because I want the credit. I paid for them; I want the thanks. He gets it. This year, I’ve got They Might Be Giants “Here comes science” album on CD and DVD for him and his cousin. I still can’t believe I missed that album.

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