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Evangelical Preacher Says Parents Shouldn’t Lie to Their Children Except When Telling Them About God

santa and jesus

Oh, the irony. Sweet, sweet, can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-trees, irony. What follows is a quote from an Evangelical preacher who believes parents should never, ever, under pains of judgment from God, tell their children Santa or the Easter Bunny are real. These non-entities are nothing but myths, this preacher alleges, yet he, at the same time thinks it is vitally important to tell children the “t-r-u-t-h” about the Evangelical version of God. In his mind, God is different from Santa or the Easter Bunny.

Here’s what he had to say:

While it may seem like a good idea to teach your children about the Easter Bunny, or that there is such a creature that brings easter eggs. It is not. It is lying to them. Parents, you need to tell your children the truth.

….

A mythical creature does not do what Christ did for us.

[The same headline] would apply to Santa Claus and all you have to do is replace the Easter bunny with the words Santa Claus and you will get the real picture.

Both mythical beings may ‘bring’ nice items that bring temporary satisfaction to the human body or fulfill long-held desires for gifts and chocolate but they can’t do anything for your child.

Nor can they help your children out when they are in trouble. They have no power to rescue them at any time. So why teach your children about these two ‘people’ who have never existed in the format they are credited?

While there may be historic people who have done nice things and have been given credit for being the basis for the mythical Santa Claus, those men could not and cannot die for our sins nor grant us eternal life.

If you want to give your children easter eggs, and chocolate on this weekend, do so with the right purpose, the right reason, and the right focus. Put your children’s eyes, minds, and hearts on Christ, not a mythical creature that seeks to rob Christ of his purpose for coming to this world.

We need to place our children’s eyes and the world’s eyes on Christ and his sacrifice not on some creature that does not exist and can’t lay eggs made from candy or chocolate. Bunnies can’t lay eggs at all but that is a minor point in this hoax.

Keep your childrens’ and your own eyes on Christ as there is no substitute for him.

This preacher provides no evidence for the existence of God, yet, contrary to his missive about Santa and the Easter Bunny, he expects parents to teach their children to keep their “eyes” on a dead man, Jesus, for which he has no evidence for his claim that this man is a resurrected deity. Outside of the Bible, there is zero evidence for the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Over the weekend, Polly and I went out to eat at Sweetwater Chophouse in Defiance. Afterward, we stopped at Meijer to buy a few groceries. Typically, we grocery shop in Toledo — better stores with a variety of foods. The Defiance Meijer is poorly staffed with half-empty shelves, and, quite frankly, it’s a dump. We don’t like shopping at this store, but, unless we want to drive 50 miles to Toledo or Fort Wayne, this is where we must shop.

As we were leaving the store, I noticed a mother, her four-year-old daughter, and another woman standing in the aisle talking. I noticed the four-year-old giving me the “look” — that wide-eyed, eyes-fixed look of a child who is amazed that she just spotted Santa. As we approached, she never took her eyes off of me. I waved at her. She excitedly returned my wave. Though I was in excruciating pain, I decided to stop and talk to this little girl for a moment. I said to you her, “do you think I’m Santa Claus”? She shook her head yes. I replied, “I get that a lot.” Mom said to the girl “this is what Santa does when he is not delivering presents.” (I thought, if I was Santa, I sure as hell wouldn’t vacation in Defiance, Ohio in the off-season!) I asked the girl, “have you been good this year”? She nodded her head yes. And with that, I said, “you all have a wonderful evening.”

This scenario has played out numerous times over the past decade (now that my beard is long, pure white). I have told countless “lies” to children. Am I in any way harming them? OF course not. Fantasy and myth play an important part in the lives of children. No harm, no foul. In time, these children will get older and outgrow the myths of their youth. I feel honored to provide a fleeting moment of joy and pleasure in their lives.

Now imagine if I went up to this child and said, “there’s no Santa or Easter Bunny. You need to grow up and stop believing lies.” Imagine if I excoriated her mother for lying to her, telling her that she needed to tell her daughter the t-r-u-t-h. According to the aforementioned Evangelical preacher, parents should tell their children the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about everything. Okay, here’s what I should tell this four-year-old girl: God became a man, who was born of a virgin (that’s a woman who has never had sex), who lived a sinless life, who was, at the age of thirty-three, executed on a cross ✝️ to provide a blood 🩸 sacrifice for your sins. Three days later, he resurrected (came back to life, think about your dead hamster 🐹 Joey coming back to life) from the dead, and later left earth 🌍 to return to Heaven (a place you have never seen, but it really exists up ⬆️ there). Someday, he will return to earth to slaughter 🩸 everything (humans, animals, cats, dogs) on earth, including you (and your mommy, daddy, nana, and grandpa) unless you tell the God-man, Jesus, that you are sorry for being a despicable, vile little girl, and ask him into your heart (your mind) to save you from your sins. If you pray this prayer, and really, really, really mean it, cross your heart, hope to die, you will go to Heaven when you die. If not, the God-man will torture you in Hell forever.

I, for one, don’t have a problem with lying in certain circumstances. Some lies are harmless, others are not. I don’t lose a moment of sleep over the former, and I try not to do the latter. During my fire-breathing Evangelical days, I was much like this Evangelical preacher. I prided myself in always telling my children the truth. Our six children were never exposed to the Santa, and Easter Bunny myths. In fact, we didn’t practice Christmas or Easter (or Halloween). No trees, lights, or Easter baskets. All Jesus, 24-7. Polly wanted it otherwise, but I was the head of our home, so she acquiesced to my authority and judgment. As if she had a choice. 😢😢

Of course, I was a hypocrite when it came to lying to my children. I generally told them the truth, but there were times I withheld the truth from them or out and out lied. Let me give you one humorous example. For eleven years, we lived in a12x70 mobile home. Our bedroom was on one side of the trailer, and our children’s two bedrooms (three children in each room) were on the other side. One night, Polly and I had a noisy, rambunctious roll in the hay. Boy, those were the days! 🙂 The next morning, our six-year-old daughter asked us about the “noise” she heard last night. With a smile on my face, I replied, oh, that was an owl in the woods. 🙂 Laura’s curiosity was quickly satiated, and off she went to prepare for school.

I suspect this preacher has spun a few lies in his time. In fact, having interacted with him numerous times, I know he has. All of us lie at one time or another. The only question in my mind is when is it okay to lie? I am sure I will be accused of practicing situational ethics or having subjective morals. On both of these counts, I heartily plead guilty. I am more than happy to flesh out my view on lying in the comment section. For now, I’m content to point out this Evangelical preacher’s rank hypocrisy.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Danger! Children Learning Santa Isn’t Real Might Lead Them to Think Jesus Isn’t Either

santa in the bible

Repost from 2015-2016. Edited, updated, and corrected.

James Bachman, former pastor of Roanoke Baptist Church in nearby Roanoke, Indiana and author of the Parson to Person column in the West Bend News, took to his column (no link available) to discourage parents from allowing their children to believe in Santa Claus. According to Bachman, allowing children to believe in Santa Claus, only to find out later that Santa isn’t real — say it ain’t so, Moe! — might lead children to question whether what they have been told about Jesus is true.

Here’s what NO-FUN-da-mentalist Bachman had to say:

My little daughter hears her friend excitedly talk about Santa Claus. Should I tell her he doesn’t exist or just wait and let her find out?

Santa does exist as a mythical, pretend character. Your daughter needs to understand the truth from her parents now. Otherwise, when she discovers the truth, she may wonder if you have been truthful about other things, including Jesus.

Children and youth especially are attracted to supernatural characters who know all things, are immortal and can give them what they want.

Why not rather tell her of the real person of Jesus Christ, who has all power — “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matthew 28:18) He created all things — “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” (Colossians 1:16) He understands even our feelings — “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) He promises to help with all our needs — “Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) And he showed us the greatest love possible — “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Compared to the real Christ of Christmas, the pretend Santa is a complete fraud. Christ wants to be to us every day much more than children want Santa to be at Christmas.

Why not allow children to enjoy the Christmas season, including believing the Santa myth? No child has ever been harmed by believing in Santa, a claim that cannot be made for the Jesus myth. Bachman’s anti-Santa column is a reminder of the fact that Christian Fundamentalists take the FUN out of everything. Several years ago, I attended my granddaughter’s high school basketball game. I wore a white shirt, red suspenders, a red jacket, and a Santa hat. I play the part because I enjoy doing so. I know I am a dead ringer for the REAL Santa — yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus — with my ruddy complexion, portly build, and full white beard. Before and during the game, I had numerous adults, teenagers, and children come up to me and address me as Santa. I had a lot of fun, as did those around me. And yes, a handful of children wondered if I was the real Santa. I replied, maybe.

Pastor Scrooge can’t bear to hear of children believing in Santa. He would rather children be taught about Jesus and his blood cult. No candy canes or presents, dear children. You must learn the truth; that you are a vile, wretched, sinful urchin who is headed for eternal torture in the Lake of Fire unless you tell Jesus you are really, really, really sorry for disobeying mommy and daddy and ask him to come into your heart and save you from the behaviors Pastor Bachman says are sins.

Children believing Santa is real is harmless fun. It’s too bad people like Bachman want to ruin Christmas for everyone. Bah! Humbug! I say to Santa-hater Bachman. May his stocking be filled with coal.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Asking Permission to Touch Others

dont touch me

During the month of December, I usually wear my Santa hat in public. This leads to a lot of attention and fun, especially the closer we get to Christmas.

Two weeks ago, I shot the Fairview vs. Fayette boys high school basketball game. I usually position myself underneath one of the goals. For home games, there are stands on one end, so I am able to sit while shooting the game. This is much easier on me physically.

During the game, a woman came up to me and said, “Hey, a girl over there is trying to get your attention.” I thanked her. Looking at the far end of the ends of the stands, I noticed a young woman with down syndrome wildly waving her hands and arms at me, trying to get “Santa’s” attention. I waved back at her, and she was quite excited over Santa’s response. We traded waves and “I love you” hand signs the rest of the game. Afterward, I walked over to where she was standing. She was thrilled that Santa was speaking to her, so much so that my presence rendered her speechless. I said to her, “Would it be okay if I gave you a hug?” I thought, “surely, she would want a hug from Santa.” Instead, my request freaked her out. She quickly retreated to the safety of her caretaker. I told her, “that’s okay, you don’t have to hug me.” My daughter Bethany, who also has down syndrome, was standing next to me. Bethany said to the girl, “I will give you a hug.” The girl was fine with that, so she and Bethany hugged and that was that.

This reminded me that it is always best to ask someone first before hugging or touching them. Personal space should always be respected. Several years ago, I was shooting a game at the same gym. A young mother came up to talk to me about taking photographs of her son. He played on the basketball team. As we sat there talking, she placed her hand on my leg. I don’t think she meant anything by it — I am old enough to be her father/grandfather. That said, I was quite uncomfortable the whole time we were talking. Of course, I spun a completely different story to Polly. “Hey, this hot woman was hitting on me. She put her hand on my leg!” Polly wasn’t buying it . . . Ah, the fantasies of old men.

Let this post be a reminder that we should always ask permission before touching others, particularly people we don’t know.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Are you on Social Media? Follow Bruce on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so.

Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: The Figure of Santa is a Representation of Satan

As a child, we are filled with wonderful stories of the magic of Christmas that Santa brings to us. He is a jolly old elf who drives a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer who help him deliver presents to all of the good children around the world. Parents use it to encourage children to behave and children love the thought of being inundated with special gifts. Santa Claus sounds great, however, the figure of Santa Claus is a representation of Satan himself.

Satan is the Antichrist, as he wants to be God and take His throne. He comes in disguise as an angel of light to deceive those who love God into believing he is God, but he is an imposter. As Santa, he comes to the most vulnerable of all people, children, seducing them with gifts and the power of magic. He bases his ministry to children on their behavior, convincing them that they need to be good to be accepted and loved, continuing the belief in our power over the grace of God.

Santa Claus is eternal, omniscient, and omnipresent. He has no true beginning or end and uses the power of witchcraft to know and see all, as well as to be everywhere at once, at least on one night. This is the same as Jesus Christ, who as the Living God is the eternal God over all creation.

Santa has the power to work miracles and children believe he can do even more extraordinary things if they ask him (pray to him). Children believe he can bring families together, heal the sick, give people a home or a job, and much more. Satan can also work through signs and wonders, and will use these to prove he is “god”. We must be vigilant to know the difference between a true miracle from God and false signs and wonders of the Antichrist.

Ultimately, Santa is represented as a God, with minions who do his bidding as he commands them from his hidden fortress in the North Pole. Satan too has his Kingdom of Darkness where he uses the demonic as well as human spirits to carry out his Antichrist plan. He is setting up an army of darkness for his purposes when he believes he will overthrow God once and for all and become the only god of man.

There is only one Jesus Christ, and Satan is not going to stop trying to funnel all of the worship that Jesus deserves over to himself. Satan will use whatever tactics he can to deceive us into believing he is the one true God we need.

— Beth, The Other Side of Darkness, The Antichrist Side of Christmas, December 9, 2019

Breaking News: John MacArthur Says I’m a False God

bruce-gerencser-santa-claus

I found the following excerpt on the Reformation Charlotte blog. Transcribed by Tony Capoccia from a 1990 sermon by Fundamentalist Calvinist John MacArthur, it is clear that Mac believes Santa is a false God; and since I am Santa, that means he thinks I am S-a-t-a-n in the flesh.

Here’s what MacArthur had to say about Santa Claus:

What a false, fake substitute the world puts forth at this time [Christmas 1990] for that true message. Do you remember these words? “You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I’m telling you why; Santa Claus is coming to town. He’s making a list and he’s checking it twice; gonna find out whose naughty and nice. Santa Claus is coming to town. He sees you when you’re sleeping; he knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sakes. You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I’m telling you why; Santa Claus is coming to town.”

Now does that threaten you? That is a very threatening poem. That is intended to scare children. Now listen, if you look at the letters of Santa, you will see that Satan is hidden in Santa. When we teach a child to sing this song, we are teaching him a false theology. We are teaching him a false set of doctrine. Let me see if I can explain it to you.

First, that song teaches that Santa is a transcendent being. He lives on a higher plane. He lives on another level. He transcends time and space. He has powers equal to whom? God! Not only that, he knows everything. He’s omniscient. “He knows when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’re naughty. He knows when you’re nice.” He knows everything.

Not only that, he’s everywhere. “He sees you when you’re sleeping.” He’s not only omniscient, he’s omnipresent. And he is watching to see whether you have been good or bad. And not only that, but he bestows favors. Now on what basis does Santa give his favors? What must I do to receive good things from this transcendent being, called Santa. Well it is very simple, I have to be what? Good. I can “earn” Santa’s favor. If I am good, Santa will give me gifts. After all, he’s making a list and he is checking it twice to make sure that we’ve been either naughty of nice. And on the basis on how we’ve been, he’ll deal with us.

And if I’m not nice and good, I won’t get any gifts. So I better be good for goodness sake, not to mention for my own sake or anybody else’s sake. But do you want to know something about Santa? He may be transcendent, and he may be omniscient, and he may be omnipotent, and he may be omnipresent. He may be dispensing all of the good things, but you know what? You can’t trust him. You can’t trust him. You say, “What do you mean by that?”

It says, “He’s checking to see if you are naughty or nice.” And you better be good for goodness sake, because if you aren’t good, you won’t what? You won’t get anything. You want to know something? That’s not true. Plenty of times I haven’t been good and I get something anyway. Every year I get something. And you want to know the truth of it? There are a lot of naughty people that get a lot and there are a lot of nice people that don’t get anything.

Do you know what about Santa Claus? You can’t trust him. He doesn’t even stay true to his own word. He’s blustering around and warning everybody to mind your manners and be good all the time; be nice and not naughty and good and not bad. And then you know what? When Christmas comes he caves in, and even when we have been naughty he gives us all that stuff. And sometimes he overlooks people that are nice. He really can’t be trusted. His threats are meaningless and so are his promises. But that’s good because it takes the sting out of him.

And there is another good thing about Santa; you only have to worry about him once a year. He only shows up once and you know when it is; it’s always on Dec 25th, so you can get your act together just a few days before. You say, “Well where is he the rest of the time?” Oh, he’s in the North Pole. Could that be heaven in Satan’s little scheme? “What’s he doing?” Oh, he has all these elfs around him. “What are they doing?” Whatever he tells them. Mostly, meaningless things like make toys. He is sort of inane isn’t he? He threatens but never fulfills his threats. He promises but doesn’t always fulfill his promises.

Is it any wonder that if I believe all that as a child, when I come to be an adult, I might have a hard time believing in a Transcendent God who does know everything, who is everywhere, who does have all power, who does keep his promises and his threats, and who does not save me and give me good gifts on the basis of my works but on the basis of His grace. If Santa has been my understanding of God, then I am in trouble. That’s why I say, hidden in the letters of Santa is Satan.

Other Posts on Christmas

1983: Drafty Windows, Bubbly Water, Dead Kittens, and the Christmas from Hell

Tales From the Appalachian Foothills: The Church Christmas Tree

1978: Our First Christmas

How Fundamentalist Christians Ruin Christmas

Christmas: A Plea To Evangelicals Who Evangelize Non-Christian Family Members

Christmas, 1957-2014

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Are you on Social Media? Follow Bruce on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so.

Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Don’t Tell Your Children Santa is Real

Christmastime can be so much fun when you have children. Many of us remember the excitement of Santa, the Christmas tree, and presents from our own childhood. They’re happy memories, and we want to recreate those for our children.

But as Christian parents, our first priority isn’t fun, it’s obedience to Scripture. Yet is there a way to make Christmas merry for our children while still upholding God’s Word? Is Santa patently unbiblical?

No, he doesn’t have to be, as long as he keeps his sleigh parked inside the parameters of Scripture. Let’s take a look at some of the ways Santa can be unscripturally naughty, and how godly parents can keep him nice and biblical.

….

Santa Claus isn’t real. If you tell your children he is, or that he is the one who brings their presents, or that he knows whether they’ve been naughty or nice, you’re lying. The Bible says that lying is a sin, period. There’s no exception for jolly old elves who pass out toys (or for tooth fairies or Easter bunnies, either, for that matter). And not only is lying a sin, it is extraordinarily hypocritical to lie to your children about Santa Claus and then turn around later and punish them when they lie about something. Lying to your children about Santa Claus teaches them that it’s OK to lie (i.e. sin) when you want to or when it would be to your advantage.

….

Santa Claus isn’t omniscient. 

He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good, for goodness’ sake!¹

Uh uh. No way. Omniscience is an incommunicable attribute of God. He is the only One who has the power to see and know all things, and it is an insult and an affront to Him to even suggest that a mere mortal – let alone a fictional character – has the same power and knowledge that He has. In reverence and awe for God’s preeminence, we should never ascribe to others the things that belong to God alone.

….

Santa Claus teaches works righteousness. In St. Nick’s economy, good behavior earns a reward (presents). Bad behavior earns punishment (coal). If you’ve ever shared the gospel with anybody, that will probably sound familiar. Most lost people think that’s what Christianity is. If you’re a “good person” God is happy with you and you’ll go to Heaven. Hell is the punishment for “bad people”: Hitler, murderers, and rapists. This is not what the Bible teaches, either about salvation, or about why children should obey their parents.

— Michelle Lesley, What should we tell our kids about Santa Claus?, December 2, 2019

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Michelle Lesley Says It’s a Sin to Tell Children Santa is Real

jesus santa

We have raised our five year old to know that Santa Claus isn’t real. Now that he’s getting old enough to have conversations with his little friends, how do we explain to him what to say to them when they talk about believing in Santa? I don’t want him to crush their dreams but I also don’t want to teach him to perpetuate the lie for his friends.

This is a great question, and one my husband and I also had to address with our own children, since we raised them to know that Santa Claus isn’t real.

Before I tackle your question, I’d like to address Christian parents who tell their children Santa Claus is real, that he is the one who brings their presents, etc.

I’m sure you have the best of intentions and only want to make Christmas fun for your children, but when you tell them these things about Santa Claus, you are lying.

Santa Claus isn’t real. If you tell your children he is, or that he is the one who brings their presents, or that he knows whether they’ve been naughty or nice, you’re lying. The Bible says that lying is a sin, period. There’s no exception for jolly old elves who pass out toys (or for tooth fairies or Easter bunnies, either, for that matter). And not only is lying a sin, it is extraordinarily hypocritical to lie to your children about Santa Claus and then turn around later and punish them when they lie about something. Lying to your children about Santa Claus teaches them that it’s OK to lie (i.e. sin) when you want to or when it would be to your advantage. Excerpted from: The Mailbag: What should we tell our kids about Santa Claus?

And this reader has raised another ripple effect of your sin of lying. You’ve now put your brothers and sisters in Christ in the difficult position of figuring out how not to blow your cover when their child (who knows the truth) interacts with yours. Do they teach their child to take part in your lie, or do they risk their child telling the truth, disappointing your child and possibly angering you? And think about the pressure on a five year old child to try to keep something like that a secret, knowing someone will be disappointed if he doesn’t. You’ve created a no-win situation for people you are supposed to self-sacrificially love, encourage, and edify.

Our sin always negatively affects others.

Michelle Lesley, Mailbag: My Kid Knows the Truth About Santa. What if He Tells His Friends Who Don’t ?, December 3, 2018

Leave it to Christian Fundamentalists to suck the magic and fun out of Christmas (and Easter too).

Songs of Sacrilege: Chasing Empty Mangers by Derek Webb

derek webb

This is the one hundred seventy-third installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please send me an email.

Today’s Songs of Sacrilege is Chasing Empty Mangers by Derek Webb. Webb, formerly part of Contemporary Christian Music group Caedmon’s Call, is now an unbeliever.

Video Link

Lyrics

the tiny christmas tree
the empty stockings hanging
the house devoid of chaos and life
while daddy’s getting drunk
the peanuts kids are dancing
there’s no star atop the tree tonight
’cause i’m taking what you give
the baby god returning
bringing peace to every house but mine

so another man takes the fall
just for doing all he could
in light of what you dreamed up
for your glory and another man’s good

oh god, what have i done
without your great permission
knowing fully of the end at the start
like a dirty goddamn trick
i either sin as i resist you
or i do it as i’m doing my part
so all my empathy
to judas and the devil
they were yours as much in light as in the dark

so another man takes the fall
just for doing all he could
in light of what you dreamed up
for your glory and another man’s good

so tonight i’ll watch the skies
for a sleigh and saint appearing
like a great star running out of space
on this drunken christmas eve
i gotta say that feels as likely
as any one of you three showing your face
so a toast to all my friends
who are lost and beat and bleeding
still chasing empty mangers out of faith

 

Quote of the Day: The True Meaning of Christmas by John Hardin

santa claus drownsMy partner, Amy Gustin, had a great idea the other day. This is not at all unusual for her. A lot of my columns begin with one of her great ideas, and this is one of them. The other day, Amy was perusing some books about the cave paintings at Lascaux and Chauvet while contemplating the flora and fauna of Ice Age Europe, and speculating about the Paleolithic origins of certain pagan European Christmas symbols, when she said this: “Environmentalists should take over Christmas.”

“What?” I replied. She explained that a lot of European pagan Christmas symbols celebrate the Boreal Forest and an arctic climate. We have Christmas trees. Christmas is the only time of year when snow is popular, and Santa lives at the North Pole and gets around on a sled pulled by caribou. All of these things remind us of the arctic, and they should remind us that the arctic is undergoing dramatic changes due to global climate change.

Can you think of a better symbol for global climate change than Santa Claus? First, he drives a zero-emission, carbon-neutral vehicle, and he’s been doing it for centuries. Second, everything Santa owns faces imminent destruction, unless we can stop the sea ice from shrinking. Santa, Mrs. Claus, all of the elves and the whole toy factory are headed straight for a watery grave at the bottom of the ocean unless we stop global warming now.

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Coca-Cola has done a great job of making the polar bear into a symbol of Christmas, and we should adopt that symbol wholeheartedly. Instead of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, put a mother polar bear and her two cubs in your nativity scene. I’m all for wise men, if you can find any, but how wise can your men be if they’re standing next to a hungry polar bear?

The global climate crisis effects everyone, and it’s time to make Christmas into a holiday for everyone. From now on, Christmas is about the North Pole and the gift of a stable climate. Being born doesn’t get you a holiday, in my book. Jesus has a holiday — it’s the one he lived and died for, and Christians should go ahead and do Easter big. But Christmas is too important to let Christians hog it to themselves. Besides, Christmas is better without Jesus.

We’ve still got Santa Claus, but now Christmas is about saving Santa. We’ve got reindeer and sleigh bells, snow and Christmas trees and we’ve got all of the animals coming together to help their friend the polar bear. We’ve got the Nutcracker to help us crack the nut of global climate change, and we can re-edit the Charlie Brown Christmas Special so that Linus’ big speech reflects the holiday’s bold new direction. Everything you love about Christmas will still be there for you, but now Christmas has a mission.

— John Hardin, Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do, The True Meaning of Christmas, December 18, 2017

Bruce Gerencser