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Censoring the World for Santa

As an atheist, I have no problem informing people that their imaginary friend is… well, imaginary. But it seems that many of my fellow atheists get all bent out of shape when the imaginary friend happens to be Santa Claus.

Yesterday, I published an Examiner article about a news anchor who told the obvious truth about old St. Nick toward the end of her 9pm news broadcast (9:45pm to be exact). I defended anchor Robin Robinson and to my surprise, atheists went ape-shit.

I had fellow atheists tell me that I am taking away people’s happiness, that I am angry at Santa, that I must not have ever experienced Santa, that I hate children, and I even had a few people threat to beat me up. Now, it isn’t the death threats I typically get from Christians mind you, but that is pretty extreme coming from atheists. The funny thing is that all these responses resemble typical responses Christians give when I inform them that God is imaginary.

To me this all boils down to control. This is something I often talk about in terms of Star Wars to my Jedi friends, but I will have to just get to the basics of it here. People can control themselves, but you can’t control the world. If you want to lie to your kids about Santa Claus, that’s on you. It seems that some atheists believe that lying to their kids about Santa Claus will help their kids to think critically and to learn to discover the truth for themselves. That’s cool, but I see it as undermining my trust to my children.

What you can’t do however is to force the entire world to support your lie. Religions do that. Christians get all bent out of shape whenever anyone says anything that doesn’t support their worldview. They have to control the flow of knowledge and information to protect their lie. I had one of my fellow atheists tell me that if I came to his house and told his kids that there was no Santa, I would be in trouble. Like with Christians, I told him that I didn’t have to come to his doorstep, I was already inside his house. The internet is a wonderful thing.

Parents tell their kids about God and kids believe it because they trust their parents, their religious leaders, and their community. But when just one atheist is out there no believing it becomes a threat to them. The same is true with Santa. It just takes one kid watching the news at 9:45pm and it is all over. My point here is that you can’t protect your kids from learning that Santa is a myth by trying to censoring the entire world just like religious believers can’t protect their belief in God by censoring the entire world.

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  • thelogician

    Great post, and I totally agree. This reminds me of a comic by Penny Arcade (here: http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/12/24) that compares god and Santa.

  • http://statusviatoris.wordpress.com/ Status Viatoris

    I think the fundamental difference between parents encouraging a belief in Santa, and religion encouraging a belief in a god, is that we all know that the Santa lie will sooner or later be blown out of the water. Its purpose is not to delude lifelong, simply to accord children a little extra magic and incredulity in a prematurely grown-up world. That said, I do not feel denouncing the Santa myth at 9.45pm merits such a reaction; children old enough to be watching tv at that time, are definitely too old to still be caught up in the fat bearded man hype!

  • Pingback: Dangerous Talk » Why Are Theists Angry?

  • Pjevs

    Lying about Santa Claus to your children is bad,but the children will eventually know the truth about Santa. But for
    grown up atheist to celebrate Christmas, which is a Christian holiday, is beyond hypocritical.

    • http://twitter.com/DangerousTalk Staks Rosch

      I hate to break it to you, but Christmas was stolen from the Pagans. The reason for the season is the weather.

      • Pjevs

        Thanks I know that,but that don’t change the fact ,that most people celebrate Christmas as Jesus’ birthday, and that includes atheist.

        • http://twitter.com/DangerousTalk Staks Rosch

          Ahh, No. Most atheists I know (and I know a lot) celebrate the winter season. I’ll be talking about that later in the week.

          • Pjevs

            I am Danish,and in Denmark 80% of the population are atheist, and yet most celebrate Christmas on December 24,which is believed to be the birthday of Jesus,and that’s what I call hypocritical.Look forward to your article on this subject later this week.

            • http://twitter.com/DangerousTalk Staks Rosch

              It’s also the winter solstice and the day that Santa delivers all those presents. It really has nothing to do with Jesus.

              • Pjevs

                You know that and I know that.Still most people,at least in Denmark, are running around a christmas tree and singing christmas carols.

                • http://twitter.com/DangerousTalk Staks Rosch

                  But not to Jesus.

                  • http://statusviatoris.wordpress.com/ Status Viatoris

                    As far as I am aware, the Christian faith “stole” that date from the pagans and called it the birthday of Christ. Christmas trees and the original carols have everything to do with the winter solstice and nothing whatsoever to do with the birth of Christ. So now who are the hypocrites?