Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Jesus versus Santa

According to a BBC report, a Catholic priest in Novara, Italy, has caused a stir by telling children that Father Christmas doesn't exist.

The priest said he had never intended to hurt anyone, but it was his duty to distinguish the reality of Jesus from the story of Father Christmas which was a fable just like Cinderella or Snow White.

I don't know about you, but I find this really funny. All we need to complete the picture is a department-store Father Christmas teaching children to distinguish his own reality from the story of Jesus Christ, which is a fable just like Cinderella or Snow White.

In a reality contest with no holds barred, I think Father Christmas would have a distinct advantage: "Children, think about it: when did you last get a present from Jesus?"


John Morris said...

Hello Jonathan

Found this post while surfing while recovering from my op.

If Father Christmas = Santa Claus
and Santa Claus = St Nicolas, then the priest has a problem as St Nicholas is real and DID exist. (A Turkish bloke, sorry Bishop, from Myra)

I am not however sure what the evidence is that Jesus existed, let alone what the evidence is that he was the Son of God etc.


Jonathan said...

Hello John, thanks for the comment.

According to Wikipedia, almost all the evidence for Jesus's existence comes from the Bible and other early Christian writings, so it's hardly objective. However, most historians seem to accept that these sources probably contain some basic facts that are more or less correct. The evidence for the existence of other historical figures is, I suppose, often based on documentation that's no more reliable.

Wikipedia refers to the historical St Nicholas but doesn't explain what evidence there is for his existence; perhaps no-one questions it. However, St Nicholas would probably have burst out laughing if he could see himself transformed into the red-cloaked Father Christmas that we know today.

I feel that we have here two legendary heroes, each loosely based on a real person who lived long ago but probably lacked any divine or magical powers.