May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saint Nicolas, Santa Claus, Atheists, and Christmas

Saint Nicolas

This is the time of year when most of us celebrate God, Love, Family, Sharing and Giving. It’s also the time of year when Atheists and Bigots celebrate Intolerance and Hate. To do that, there have to be a lot of lies. The one that is gaining momentum is Santa Claus is a Christian religious icon. This was news to me. Don’t find him mentioned in Scripture, the Desert Fathers didn’t write about him, no mention of him at Pentecost, none of the early church leaders, none of the early apologists wrote about him. Martin Luther didn’t write, preach or teach about him.

The connection given is Saint Nicolas that became St Nick that became Santa Claus. This can’t even be a tenuous connection; there are not two more antithetical characters to be found. We have a jolly fat ad man and a reportedly mean yet pious tough guy that was really skinny.

Nicolas was born about 280 years after Jesus in the town of Patara. He got in fights. Reportedly at the Council at Nicaea, Arias, who didn’t think Jesus was Divine, ticked Nick off and Nick rose, walked across the room and popped him a good one, knocking Arias down. For his passionate display, he’s sent to the dungeon. He got really skinny there.

His being a really thin and hard man had much to do with the amount of times he was beaten and tortured during the “Great Persecution” of the early 300’s CE. When Constantine came to power, and Christianity was made acceptable, he fought against corruption and injustice. Didn’t make many friends for that either. He certainly didn’t have any children fitting into this story. Two events are reported to have happened relating to children. One was his giving money to a father with daughters, and the father used to money for dowry’s to keep them from having to make a living as prostitutes. The other story is about a tavern keeper that robbed a man, kidnapped his three children and hid them in a pickle barrel. Nick found them and returned them to their father.

This causes some cognitive dissonance; in the Middle Ages he became known as the brawling saint, but became the patron saint of children. An odd confluence.

Early Santa Claus
Santa Claus came about by merging a lot of pagan, Nordic and other mythologies to create a composite character, along with some novels later on.

Atheists and other intolerant people, if they want to continue being intolerant bigots, is just say they hate Christians and Christianity, and reject the ideals of Love, Charity, Sharing and Giving. They are Christian ideals after all; pagans, those that existed before Christianity didn’t have these ideals (with the exception of the Jews). That they exist at all goes primarily to Jesus the Christ and the Apostle Paul. Christians spread these ideals from Jews to Gentiles. Pagans then just hated Christians and Christianity so much there was a lot of killing, imprisonment, torture and slavery of them. Fortunately, our modern pagans live in a Judeo-Christian culture that forbids such things. (Such things do still go in Islamist countries though. Try badmouthing Allah and Ramadan to them.)

Atheists, bigots, intolerant ones; once a year people that celebrate something you despise, and you attack attack attack and lie. The rest of the year you have it your way. Give it a rest. 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for nice article. I§m living in Czech Republic, one of the most atheistic countries in the world and myself being an atheist.

We celebrate Christmas as a nice tradition and gifts to children are given by "Jezisek" - small Jesus, with reminder of gifts given to him in Betlehem. People think here, that Santa Claus is American culture import and dontl like it very much either.

Anyway, I don't understand, why you connect atheists and intolerance? It is only downside for me in otherwise nice and informative post.

Slavek

Metaphysical Peregrine said...

@Slavek, Glad you read my post. In answer to your question about atheists and intolerance, I make the observation because the "New Atheists" have made their religion entirely an attack on Christianity. It's most aggressive and hateful during Christmas. Traditional atheists have a more respectful approach stating there is no god and don't any of the rest of it a thought.
Appreciate your informing us of your Christmas tradition. Very cool.