“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – Santa…The Enforcer!

The “Walk On Eggshells Union” (WOE-U) has been busy rewriting Christmas songs to make sure that no one could possibly be offended. Silent Night went from holy night to winter night after a New Jersey elementary school got involved. They changed the lyric to make the Christmas carol more “acceptable” to an apparently hypersensitive audience. Perhaps we will soon be going to hear the local orchestra deliver the stirring holiday rendition of Handel’s “The Promised and Expected Deliverer Described in Some Religious Texts”, the composition formerly known as “The Messiah”.

While there have been denials everywhere that there is any “war” on Christmas it does seem that there is, at the very least, some politically correct police actions going on. So I decided to ask the question, “What would Saint Nicholas Do”? After all, the fourth-century bishop of Myra (present-day Turkey) was the role model for our present day Santa Clause. Saint Nicholas is said to have saved a poor family’s daughters from slavery by tossing some gold through the window that landed, according to legend, in stockings that had been hung up to dry. From that trick shot came the custom of hanging up stockings for St. Nicholas (and now Santa) to fill.

Well it seems that old Saint Nick was generous and kind to children but more than a little feisty when it came to his beliefs. Gene Edward Veith wrote this in World Magazine (December 24th edition)….

“During the Council of Nicea, jolly old St. Nicholas got so fed up with Arius, who taught that Jesus was just a man, that he walked up and slapped him! That unbishoplike behavior got him in trouble. The council almost stripped him of his office, but Nicholas said he was sorry, so he was forgiven. The point is, the original Santa Claus was someone who flew off the handle when he heard someone minimizing Christ. Perhaps we can battle our culture’s increasingly Christ-less Christmas by enlisting Santa in his original cause. The poor girls’ stockings have become part of our Christmas imagery. So should the St. Nicholas slap.”

Mr. Veith goes on to describe how the new Santa “Enforcer Clause” might look.

“This addition to his job description will keep Santa busy. Teachers who forbid the singing of religious Christmas carols—SLAP! Office managers who erect Holiday Trees—SLAP! Judges who outlaw manger displays—SLAP! People who give The Da Vinci Code as a Christmas present—SLAP! Ministers who cancel Sunday church services that fall on Christmas day—SLAP! SLAP! The Santas should also roam the shopping aisles, and if they hear any clerks wish their customers a mere “Happy Holiday,” give them a slap.”

Veith is not advocating violence…just a gentle little tap on their heretical noggin. So if this catches on we can look forward to such classics as

“I Saw Santa Slapping Heretics”  sung to the tune of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause” or maybe “Jingle Bell Slap” sung to the tune of “Jingle Bell Rock”.

I am not sure I agree with all of Veith’s reasons for Santa to give a gentle Christmas smack. Perhaps I would slap lawyers who put the fear of a Supreme Being into the hearts of teachers. I suspect that few teachers left to their own accord would ban the singing of Christmas songs.

Instead of slapping those who give The Da Vinci Code I would slap Christians who haven’t done any research on the heresies contained within that book. If you can’t find the time to develop a defense of the basic tenets of your faith — SLAP!

Instead of slapping clerks who say “Happy Holidays” I would prefer that Santa slap the corporate officers that order what the poor clerks can say.

And I would not slap a minister who cancels Sunday church that falls on Christmas day. I believe a legitimate argument can be made on both sides. Christmas is a very special family day. I will not judge anyone who chooses to worship the incarnation of the Christ child on Christmas Eve and then enjoys their family on Christmas morning. I was raised in legalism and saved by grace. When I read that Christians are slipping into the judgement robes I become like the shepherds on that Christmas night.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  Luke 2 KJV

After nearly dying of spiritual thirst from legalism I do get “sore afraid” when we judge the motives of others or suggest that not meeting on Christmas is heresy. Forgive me if  you disagree. There is a solid Biblical basis for that forgiveness (No doubt some will suggest that I should get slapped for quoting from The King James Version and the The Message in the same post).

 If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Galatians 6 The Message


Merry Christmas and a Slappy New Year!