Sunday, 30 December 2007

Santa Claus IS coming to town

It’s a year old, but I only saw it a few weeks ago – and it is seasonal (again). Malcolm Williams from FEVA has an article telling us that it is time to speak against Santa Claus. Santa is “manmade religion” he says, who teaches good works and brings the magical and mystical into a mechanical worldview, he is a bit of easy and pretend religion for a secular nation. The message of Santa flips and spins the gospel.

I don’t think this is a great model of cultural engagement. I’d guess most Aussies would think it took the whole thing far too seriously. Some would get angry, because Santa is sentimentally important for them. I don’t think we’ll get far attacking Santa, and we’ll get further thinking about what makes Santa special for people – the longing for childhood innocence, for magic and for memorable emotional landmarks and showing people that Jesus offers a reality that can’t be found anywhere else, even in a great family Christmas. Attacking Santa as an idol under estimates what real idols are like!