Showing posts with label Santa Christ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Santa Christ. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

For All the Christmas/Easter Christians

     Lent is quickly coming to an end.  The time for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving will make way for Holy Week (Hell Week to the priests, ministers, choir directors, etc. who will be working their tails off.), and Christians everywhere can go back to regular habits of eating chocolate, drinking soda, letting their bibles collect dust, and jacking off to internet porn, knowing that they are closer to their god

     In honor of all the Christians who attend services only twice a year (Easter and Christmas), here's a reminder of the similarities between Santa Claus and god.

*Image Credit: LOLgod

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

6th Hate of Christmas: Caring

     The 6th Hate of christmas according to Heretic Norm E:

     From what I can see or hear, while going about my daily life, is that more and more christ is left out of christmas. I think that is a very good thing. I got a greeting card yesterday that actually wished me a Happy Holiday Season. Even the good catholic families up the street have candy canes, colored lights, and reindeer in their front yards. If any of them have manger scenes, they are keeping them well out of view. A pathetic California teacher is trying to gather enough signatures to allow christmas carols in the schools. Why does she think "Jingle Bells" is a christmas carol?

     I found this article interesting, but it brought out my darker side about christmas. It made me want to pick a fight with Linus of Charlie Brown for his explanation of the meaning of christmas.



     Alas, I am too old and too big to fight with Linus (especially since he is a cartoon character.) The irony of having a cartoon character explain the meaning of christmas is not lost on me though.

     I think we wide-open minds know that christmas is about the winter solstice from ancient times. After that, christmas is about money and spending. Buying presents, over indulging in food and drink, and family battles. The commercialization of the holiday is even alive and well in this time of a weak economy, unemployment, home foreclosures, and the homeless. The Salvation Army bell ringers are in a world of hurt this year taking in 32 % less money than last year. Looks like the generosity in people is a bit tight in this season of giving.

     My biggest hate about the holidays is that people actually expect others to care about them (the holidays). I don't care about christmas, and I have not been awake at midnight on New Year's Eve in many years. I get to use one of my favorite quotations from the old TV show "Maude." Maude was famous for her retort, "Who cares." She said it at least once in every episode of that hit comedy on TV.

     I am going to bake us a pumpkin pie and a fruitcake mainly because we like them. But it would be disingenuous of me not to mention that there is still a hint of nostalgia when I can smell in the house the scents of holidays past and mom's excellent cooking so many years ago.

     I do not exchange gifts or cards with any one, and do not expect gifts or cards from anyone.

     Just so you know I am not a total scrooge, I would love it if Santa gave me this for a present (see photo below). Otherwise, the holidays and anything remotely tied to the birth of you know who is a big "Who cares!"

Saturday, December 26, 2009

2nd Hate of Christmas: Mall Rage

The 2nd Hate of Christmas according to Little Loves' Mama:

     It is two weeks before Christmas and I am channeling the Grinch.  I am at the mall with my two lovely children, Miss No-Nap and Captain Whiny Pants.  I would not willingly drag my progeny to the mall during holiday madness, but I am scheduled to perform in the mall ice rink’s Christmas show and the only way anyone would watch my children was to meet me at the mall.  You see, my steadfast husband is gone for the fourth weekend in a row as he works on a traveling Christmas show, starring Iowa’s own Barry Manilow wanna-be.  And here I am, carrying my daughter and dragging my son through the wandering mall traffic.  My daughter would have been in a stroller, but we’ve just moved and I couldn’t find it anywhere.  A Christmas special, we ain’t.

     So I am carrying her and the sweat is pooling in my bra and my back under the diaper bag back-pack.  My son is charged and rearing to go – for once he is not protesting.  Perhaps he is outrunning the mall Santa, who was lurking behind an indoor reindeer fence with his big black boots and jingling elf helpers as he posed for pictures with wailing children clawing to escape his lap.  Not someone you’d really want to invite into your home when you’re tucked in fast asleep…

     What do I hate about this scenario?  The slow, browsing pace of the mall traffic.  The people who stop in the middle of the flow to search their purses for coupons or to text their companions that they “couldn’t find the sweater in medium, do you think that large would be too big?”  The retired people who think shopping on the weekend is more fun than shopping when the young’uns are at work.  Women wearing faded Christmas sweaters, as a reminder in case you forgot what season it is.  The people who have properly contained their children in strollers, yet who are still dawdling next to the Magic Eye Posters because, OMG, they’re freaky!  And so early nineties, please have the taste to ogle something current and cutting edge.  Seriously.  Just not Snuggies.  I freakin’ hate Snuggies.

     I can get from one end of the mall to the other in five minutes flat, even as I galumph along in my snow boots, whilst favoring a broken toe.  My son and I have worked out a code and he knows that if I say, “Switch!” it means that I am letting go of his hand to jockey my daughter to my other hip.  He wordlessly slips behind me and takes my other hand.  We can perform this maneuver as easily as a race car changing lanes, it is effortless and we don’t need to slow our pace.

     We dart and dash between clumps of people.  Sometimes I say, “Excuse Me!”  But I mostly don’t.  We’re on a mission, people!  Who has time to lallygag?  At one point, I say quite loudly, “Skinny -up!  We’re going to slide right next to the wall!”  Did I care that the couple we eclipsed glared at me?  Nope!  We didn’t bump them.  I think, though, that they didn’t appreciate the insinuation that they were moving too slowly, puttering around like geriatrics at a craft fair.  But they were!

     I don’t have road rage.  The crowded mall parking lot didn’t faze me in the least.  In fact, the lot was extra packed due to the sooty mounds of snow piled at the ends of parking lanes.  I don’t lose my cool in parking lots or when driving – there’s too much at stake when it comes to the size and speed of vehicles.

     But I’ll admit to mall rage.  For the most part, it is safer than road rage.  Barreling at top speed I weigh less than a car, at least I hope I do.  I’m never rude to the people working there, never short with security or impatient in the checkout line.  But I get incensed by the slow walkers.  Even when hugely pregnant and carrying a toddler I can outpace most people.  So be wary – Grandma WILL get run over by this mama on a mission.

     (This post was written by Little Loves' Mama.  Read more of her work over at Soup.) 

     Postscript: December 26th is the second busiest shopping day of the year, so have fun pushing through the malls today.



Friday, December 25, 2009

The Truth Hurts


The 1st Hate of Christmas: the Scam


     My seven-year-old tongue probes the soft, rust-flavored divot between my remaining baby teeth. Another tooth lost, and I feel like a big boy, on my way to becoming a man. I inhale and look up at my tall, skinny dad, with his long nose and big Adam's apple. It's time.

     "Is the Tooth Fairy for real?" my timid, boy-soprano voice sounds.

     "She's real if you want her to be."

     Dad's voice is awkward and singsongy, like when he reads The Rescuers to me at bedtime. His brown eyes widen behind his rose-tinted, round glasses and his black eyebrows rise unevenly.  His Adam's apple  moves up and then down.  He smiles.  Something's weird in his smile, something that I don't have a word for yet, but it feels like I asked something I wasn't supposed to. I can see it in his eyes and hear it in his freaky response: he wants me to believe.

     But, I'm not stupid. It just doesn’t make sense that a miniature lady with wings can fly through a closed and locked window, get under my heavy head and pillow, and turn my bloody stump of a baby tooth into money.

     She's real if you want her to be?  What a bogus answer! My seven-year-old mind (Yes, I've reached the age of reason according to Catholic teaching.) sees right through my helpless father's smile. A dam breaks.

     "Is the Easter Bunny for real?"

     "He's real if you want him to be."

     Well, is just plain stupid! Why isn't he giving me a straight answer?  If you want him to be?  I want the truth! Is it really possible for a bunny rabbit to carry loads of candy, baskets, and eggs to homes around the world, and all in one night? A bunny can't open a locked door. A bunny can't cross the Mississippi River. No, there is no Easter Bunny. I can live with that, but the next question, it's more frightening and carries larger consequences.

     "Is Santa Claus for real?"

     "He's real if you want him to be."

     "So he's not real then."

     "Do you want him to be real?"

     What kind of question is that? Of course, I want him to be real. I want to get presents, the things that I want, every year for Christmas for the rest of my life.  I want to be rewarded for being a good boy in school with loads of Smurfs, Legos, and Hot Wheels.  Yes, I want him to be real. But...

     The North Pole? Flying reindeer? Glowing red-nosed Rudolf? Elves? A fat man sliding down our skinny chimney?  How does he get through the damper?  How can I believe that anymore? How can I believe anything again?

     "I don't believe that he's real."

     Dad doesn't flinch.  His Adam's apple bounces, and then he smiles looking proud, but also a bit disappointed.  Or is he worried?  I've never seen this look on him before, relaxed facial muscles surrounding strained eyes.  I don't know what it means.

     I have another question for my dad, a question that I'm too afraid to ask. I don't want to hear his answer. I don't want to be told that He's real if I want Him to be. I want to know that He loves me. I want there to be a life after death, because any night the house could burn down, I could die in my sleep, and I just want to go to heaven and be with the people who love me, forever.  I want to be forgiven for my sins.

     So, I don't ask.

     For years and years, my fear keeps me from asking, but true to my namesake, my doubt remains. Over time, I get used to the doubt. I forget that the unasked question remains. I'm side-tracked, converted, and brought into the scam.

     I help Mom fill the Easter baskets after my little brother and sister fall asleep. I put the quarter under their pillows, but make Mom retrieve the teeth. I stay home sick from school and find my Christmas presents early. I feel like an adult, like I'm important, because I know the same truth as my older cousins. Even better, I can make my little sister and brother happy by encouraging their belief. Why would I want to ruin that for them or for the other kids in my class?  They need their Santa, and I need my presents.

     When my little sister figures it all out, I'm eager to initiate her into the ways of the scam. When playing hide-and-seek a week before Christmas, our little brother finds the wrapped Christmas presents inside the big cardboard Christmas-tree box on the highest shelf in the basement.  My little sister and I spin a lie to keep his big brown eyes believing: Santa can't get to all the houses in one night, so he delivers the presents early to most houses and the mommies and daddies help him by putting the presents out on Christmas Eve after the kids go to sleep.  Little brother buys it.  Phew.  Presents for another year!  And another year.  And another...

     In my thirty-first year, I finally ask The Question that I was too afraid to ask in the first grade, even though my mind knew the bogus answer that would follow.

     "He's real if you want him to be," the echo of Dad's voice bounces through my brain.

     But, I know that he's not real. There is no god. There is no heaven. There is only this fragile world, this precious life, these delicate relationships, and the frail mystery of existence.  Still, I'm frightened.  What will happen if I don't believe in god any more?

     I try it out.

     The world doesn't end. I don't lose myself in the fires of debauchery. I don't abuse others and use them for my gratification. I don't fear, anymore. Instead, I find peace.

      And, I still love. I still hope. I still seek. I still believe.

     Only, I don't believe in the myth of the Santa Christ.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa's Dark Side



     Have you ever seen a child scream when placed on Santa's lap?  Have you heard the adults nearby laugh at the frightened child's agony?  Has it turned your stomach?

     Have you ever wondered if it's at all abusive that we subject our children to lies that Santa exists, force them sit on a strangely dressed and frightening old man's lap, and encourage them to tell him their deepest desires and wishes?

     Beyond the joy of the gift giving, it's all a bit sadistic.  If you are naughty, you deserve nothing and you get nothing.  You will be punished by some white-bearded guy, who is omnipresent throughout the world's edifices, and descends from above to inflict his judgment.  No wonder children cry on his lap: what pressure!

     Get ready for the extreme.  ABC news reports:
      Elsewhere [in the world], Santa has a much darker side.
      The Netherlands' Sinterklaas does have a white beard and a big book with children's names in it, much like the gentle Santa who keep a list of who's naughty and nice, but he also goes about with a posse of soot-covered sidekicks called "Black Peters." [Not a racist sounding name at all.]  If Sinterklaas' records show a child to have been particularly bad, legend has it he or she could be carried off by a Black Peter to be turned into a cookie.

     Dutch journalist and filmmaker Arnold-Jan Scheer has studied St. Nicholas' scary side. He says some parents feel it's good for their children to be taunted and intimidated by St. Nick's helpers.
     "I think the mother thinks, well, this is tradition, this is part of life, this is how it has to be," Scheer said. "Children need to be confronted with their fears."
     In parts of France, St. Nicholas is accompanied by a cannibalistic child killer named Père Fouettard (or the "Whipping Father"). He flogs children who have been naughty and dispenses lumps of coal, leaving St. Nick to bestow gifts to the good. In village parades this time of year, sinister Père Fouettards grab children and whisk them along, while some cry in fear and others taunt him back.
     In parts of Austria, it's worse still. When St. Nicholas makes a house call, he is accompanied by a demon named Krampus. While St. Nick rewards good children, Krampus beats the bad ones. Wearing fierce-looking masks, horns and animals skins, he overturns tables, sets fires, and grabs adults and children to spank them while St. Nicholas watches from the sidelines.
     I was unable to embed the video, but please click here to watch it.  You won't believe your eyes.

     A collared cleric, Canon James Renthal, President of the St. Nicholas Society, speaks in awe of the "good reason" for exposing children to this cannibalistic demon as being to teach them the difference between good and evil.  Ask that of the screaming and wailing children in the video, who are being ripped from their parents and carried off by the demonic side-kick to be eaten as Santa, mommy and daddy all watch in delighted laughter.  Is it just me, or is there something sinisterly ironic about a cleric speaking of what's best for children?

     But is there really a difference between what these European Santas and their evil sidekicks do to children and what religion does?

     If you are nice you will go to heaven with our loving and white-bearded Father and be rewarded with everything you've ever wanted, but if you are bad, the devil will pull you into the fires of hell for an eternity of pain.  It's a Merry Christmyths after all.

Image Credits:  
My Scrapbook 
and 

Friday, December 11, 2009

Auditions/Submission for "The 12 Hates of Christmas"


     Dear Disciples of the Gospel According to Hate:

     In celebration of the holiday season and the coming of the Santa Christ, I'm inviting readers of the Gospel According to Hate to write guest posts about what they hate most about the holidays.

     Why hate?

     Well, the holiday season is a season of joy and celebration, but it can also be a season of deep repression and a powder keg for familial bloodsport.  I invite you to safely let it all out here, so that you don't lose it when Great Aunt Trudy asks you why you still aren't pregnant for the thirty-third time, or when Dad makes you play Trivia Pursuit all night long, or when your in-laws toss veiled barbs about you not going to church again on Christmas morning, or when Grandma gives you that excessively moist kiss that smells of coffee and cigarettes, or when your Uncle Walter drinks himself under the table and goes on and on about how different things would be if he were president.

     I hope to receive and use twelve posts that I will post starting on Christmas day.  The series will be called "The Twelve Hates of Christmas."  Although, the subject matter can be about anything to do with the various holidays of the season.

      If you're worried about it being too difficult, here's a possible way of going about writing a piece.  Spend about twenty minutes writing about something that absolutely drives you nuts about the holidays.  Spend about another twenty reading it out lout and polishing it.  And spend a few more minutes to gather any weblinks to which you want me to hyperlink.  Wait one day and then come back to it for twenty more minutes to rewrite fine points, etc.  All together, you could have a piece in well under 75 total minutes.

     Please limit your piece to no more than 700 words.  Short pieces, even under 100 words or just a picture or a poem that captures what you hate, are perfectly acceptable.

     Type it up and send it to me at gospelaccordingtohate@gmail.com by Friday December 18.  Attach any pictures you want posted in the post as well.  Also, let me know if you have a blog to which you want the post linked.

     Also, if you want me to use a pseudonym to protect your identity when I post your submission, that is okay.  Just let me know what you'd like it to be.  I promise not to give you up.

     I reserve the right to edit or not print everything you write, but as you know, my blog is pretty much no holds barred, so have fun! 

     Heretic Tom

Friday, November 27, 2009

Selling the Santa Christ

     The season of Advent doesn't officially start until Saturday at dusk, but that hasn't kept our Christian friends from joining in the credit-busting wealth-fest and excuse to stampede and kill your brothers and sisters that is Black Friday.  What peaceful season!

     As usual this holiday season, preachers will decry the erosion of the "reason for the season" and call upon good Christian men to rejoice and put the Christ back in X-mas (ignorant of the fact that the X comes from the Greek letter chi, which is the first letter in the word "christ" in Greek, the language in which most of the New Testament was written).

     But let them decry the heathens they claim have commercialized Christmas.  Let them point fingers.  For their own kind have also given themselves to the coming of the Santa Christ.  None is exempt, for the internet reveals all.

    Two days only at Lifeway Chritian Stores: Biblical Soulutions for Life: CDs, DVDs, bibles, kids' stuff, everything on sale!  Hurry before your time runs out.

     At Christianbook.com, move fast for this week's specials: the box office flop The Nativity Story for only $4.99 on DVD (sorry no Blue-Ray), the NIV Study Bible, 2002 Edition with black, bonded leather for a whopping 75% off, The Beginner's Bible: 50% off, and nothing speaks Christmas better than a new Veggie Tales Christmas DVD: Saint Nicholas: a Story of Joyful Giving.  Strange that Veggie Tales is only 33% off and the bibles are 75%  and 50% off.  I guess nothing sells the world of god better than a bunch of singing vegetables, which reminds me, you can also get the book Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God for just $7.49.


     Rush over to Family Christian Stores for the after Thanksgiving 3 day sale event with $5 and 50% off "doorbusters."  Wallet busters is more like it, but don't fret, you're spending for Jesus.  Think of it as a holiday sacrifice, an indulgence in celebration of the incarnation. Spend a little on cutting-edge originally titled CDs like "In the Hands of God" by Newsboys or "Christ is Come" by Big Daddy Weave. Is it just me or are these boy bands kind of hot?

     What if we ... Brandon Heath?

     Welcome to the Masquerade indeed.


     Or click over to Catholic Supply of St. Louis, Inc. and visit their "Extensive Christmas Shoppe" where adding a "pe" to the end of "shop" makes it okay to exploit religion for financial gain.

     If someone you know is addicted to their yearly Precious Moments cute little crack fix, head over to the Religious Goods Center and slap down $35.00 for a one-of-a-kind mass produced and dated figurine.  The celebration of your savior's birth in a simple manger won't be complete without it.

     Or for more Catholic goods, head on over to Abbey Press, the self-proclaimed "web's top source for gifts of faith, family, and friendship!"  Or head to the Catholic Company and get your Christmas cards ordered during Advent, while shopping for Advent books, wreaths, and candleholders.  We don't want those Jews owning the candle market now, do we?  At Autom.com you can get Advent gifts and supplies for as low as 49 cents!  Try to beat that deal, you Protestants.

     But to get the ultimate Christmas gift for your Catholic friends, drop everything and click over to Vatican Gift, for here you can drop $220 on a rosary and $95 more on a rosary box.  Or go all out and spend $420 on the "The Medal-Cross fo [sic] Saint Benedict - 18 kt Gold and platinum." But don't worry, it's worth it, because Vatican Gift has a direct line to Pope Ben who will bless your purchases "absolutely for free" and they're also throwing in a free 2010 calendar of Pope Ben.  And at Vatican Gift, they go even further by sending "a relevant" contribution to "chidrens [sic] in Africa and in other parts of the world, for their health and instruction."  So, buy now, and you can contribute to children being told by the Catholic church that condoms don't prevent the spread of HIV.  So, give some HIV to an unnamed black kid in Africa!  What could be a better way to spread Christmas joy, hope and salvation?

     So, all ye preachers, decry the commercialization of the season, but don't come crying when your collections go up in the coming weeks and you silently take a little off the top for father's needs.

     After all, we live in Jesusland.