Saturday, December 09, 2006

Blasphemous Santa

Don't bash Santa

Kelly Ryan

December 08, 2006 11:00pm

Article from: The Courier-Mail

A PASTOR has slammed Santa as a counterfeit God who teaches children to be greedy and selfish.

New Life Christian Church's Pastor Steve McNeilly has accused Santa of being a blasphemous stand-in for God who makes liars of parents and causes confusion among children.

The Santa story creates commercial rivalry and encourages materialism and selfishness in children's hearts, he said.

"Santa has usurped the love and devotion and faith of little children," the Warrnambool pastor added.

Mr McNeilly's comments have sparked a storm of protest.

Senior church leaders and a child psychologist described the attack on Father Christmas as absurd and undeserved.

The Catholic Church's Monsegnieur Les Tomlinson said Christmas was a time for parents to teach children the joys of gift-giving.

"What we are celebrating in the birth of Jesus is the manifestation of the infinite love of all humans which is reflected in our concern for the needy and the sharing with others," Monsegnieur Tomlinson said.

Psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said Santa was a crucial part of a child's Christmas celebration.

"These claims are an absolute outrage for the vast majority of children who are healthier and happier because of their vast memories of Christmas," he said.

But Pastor McNeilly said Santa detracted from the "true message of Christmas that God sent his son to save us from our sins".

Remember my post on how Christians should boycott Christmas tree? I think Pastor Steve McNeilly is either reading and taking the Bible literally or is being nagged to buy a 1000-buck Playstation 3 package for his kids (if he has any that is). The latter reason is, certainly, more understandable to me. I have this problem with Christmas, ok, make that 2 problems. First, Christmas music. They're ok in small doses but every Christmas I get this massive dose of Christmas music everywhere I go and on every channel on TV. There's just so much Christmas music you can take. Second, presents. I'm fine with buying presents and shopping in general. However, I tend to buy more presents for myself than for anyone else. Maybe it's a combination of boredom (from having nothing to do since Christmas coincides summer holiday in Australia) and the urge to spend for Christmas.

What's not so understandable is the fact that the pastor can say with absolute certainty that Santa Claus doesn't exist and God does. I mean, Santa Claus is just as real as god himself. In some aspects, Santa rocks the socks of god. You see, there's no "words of Santa", Santa doesn't tell you to go and kill all those people who don't believe in his existence, there's no Santa's hell and he lives on the same planet as us. What makes him so certain? True god was invented before Santa but that doesn't constitute existence!

I also have to disagree with Monsegnieur Les Tomlinson.

The Catholic Church's Monsegnieur Les Tomlinson said Christmas was a time for parents to teach children the joys of gift-giving.

I suppose children do learn a joy during Christmas but it's not the joy of gift-giving. It's more like the joy of being on the receiving end of gift-giving.

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