Christmas Moralism

If you will allow me to be a negative Nancy, I would like to make a calm, Christian plea to Christian families to leave Santa Claus out of Christmas. I do not believe this is an issue to split churches over or fight about. If you disagree with me I respectfully accept your disagreement. However, there are many reasons to leave Santa Claus out of your children’s Christmas. For one, it comes very close to lying to your children. Not only is it likely a lie, but it is a “lie” that could have very dangerous consequences. We don’t want our children growing up and doubting the things we teach them. Everything they come to know we purposefully mislead them on takes its toll, and it’s much easier for a child to reject what you told them about the God they cannot see when they have already had to reject many mythical creatures that they cannot see. Santa gets in the way of Jesus while they are young, and could be a reason to doubt Him when they aren’t.

However, an overlooked reason as to why Santa is a bad choice is because of Santa’s true purpose. Santa Claus is an ultimate symbol for Moralism. For the non-Christian, whether they recognize it or not, Santa Claus serves as a behavior modification. Kids want to be good kids so that they will get good presents. Not because they love the Lord and through that love and honor their parents. They want expensive toys. It’s a “You scratch my back, I scratch yours” relationship. Notice the lyrics to the famous song about Santa:

“You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why: Santa Claus is comin’ to town. He’s making a list. He’s checking it twice. He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. Santa Claus is comin’ 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 sake.”

Notice here the song is telling children two horrible things: The first one is that the reason they ought to be nice, refrain from pouting, refrain from crying, and be good rather than bad, is why? Because Santa is coming to town. And what does Santa do when he comes to town? He hands out gifts. Although, they are actually no longer gifts, they are actually functioning as rewards’; they are payments. That’s moralism. It’s not Christian. 

However, there is something much more damaging in this song. And the American Atheist Association is taking advantage of it through this new billboard:

The idea in the song is not only that kids should be good for the sake of reward, but contradicting itself, the song suggests it’s possible to be good for the sake of goodness itself. This is the Atheists view of life; not the Christian’s. The Christian recognizes the question begging epithet at hand here. The Christian recognizes here that the concept of “goodness” cannot be accounted for without the God who entered into human experience, giving a meaning to Christmas. 

Without God, there is no “goodness,” there is only subjective preference. But the claim “be good for goodness’ sake” is an objective statement imposed on all people, and it assumes a common standard of goodness. This billboard, and that Christmas song, are both stealing from the Christian worldview; it’s borrowed capitol. They have stolen from our lumberyard to build their house. 

Don’t be good for goodness’ sake. Goodness is dependent upon God for it’s definition and authority. Be good for God’s sake. He is worthy of it, and He came to earth as a man in order to resurrect us from being dead in sin to believe this. Take advantage of your new life; don’t let Santa or “goodness” steal your children; render to God what belongs to Him. 

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