Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Santa Myth

I wrote about this back in April in the Christian Traditions post.  Dr. Lydia McGrew, who holds a PhD from Vanderbilt University, seems to agree in her article on "Why I Don't Teach My Kids That Santa Claus Is Real."  And here is an article in The Washington Post by one of my favorite preachers, Mark Driscoll, on the same topic:  "What We Tell Our Kids About Santa."  So, my general exhortation to all parents everywhere is to be truthful with your children. If I had it to do over again, I'd do it differently, so I certainly cannot judge others who have perpetuated the Santa myth.

1 comment:

  1. I actually dig the whole Santa Claus thing, but I've softened my view on people who don't. It would be (and indeed was) hypocritical of me to be upset with people for teaching one tradition I find to be based on falsehoods and then turn around and be upset with them for *not* teaching them another tradition that is clearly and mostly-uncontroversially based on falsehoods. But...

    However dismissive she is about the line of thought, it's telling that McGrew's main argument about teaching the "truth" of Santa Claus to children is that future revelation may cause them to question the "truth" of other things.

    I see it the other way around. The Santa Claus thing is an excellent way to allow children to learn about healthy skepticism at their own pace and not become cynics. Never mind that it's also fun and highly unlikely to result in lasting emotional damage.

    She sort of reinforces the argument she's combatting when she says that "most Christian young people do not go to college primed with evidences for the existence of God and for Christianity." Why do young, intelligent people need to be primed at all if a cold, skeptical look at the evidence would supposedly lead them to the truth?

    One more thing:

    "But she never laughs about the "pretense" that God exists. And please God, she never will. Because He's different. He's real. And she knows that, too."

    This sounds strikingly like a fun conversation my wife and I had last night while watching a popular film. I'll spare you the scatological details in this forum, but the gist was that the Dementors of Azkaban were more important than Pac-Man because they were real, and Pac-Man was just a video game.