Monday, December 28, 2009

Be It Resolved That: "It is immoral to lie to children about Santa Claus and people should not do so."

Saint Nicholas (Greek: Άγιος Νικόλαος , Agios ["saint"] Nikolaos ["victory of the people"]) (270 - 7 December 346) is the common name for Nicholas of Myra, a saint and Bishop of Myra (Demre, in Lycia, part of modern-day Turkey). Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving… [c/o Wikipedia 2009]

(gift giving does not seem the most amazing portion of the history, not to me anyway :P)

I concur with this resolution for a number of reasons which I shall herein explain, however I wanted in my introduction to state that I do not intend this position to resolve any matters related to religion, Christology, history, etc. This is neither a defence of Christianity nor an inducement for any other to believe as I do. Much rather I hope to root my arguments in simple historical precedent and I hope all who read it will be able to make this distinction.

So let me briefly outline my main three points before I delve too deeply into any one of them.

Firstly, though I do not believe that children come to believe that, for example, break and enter is an acceptable act, because of the Santa myth, I fear the real damage come from the exclusion of a historically rooter personage. Santa as he is presented is a mythical figure after the tradition of titans, he ever was, ever will be, is all seeing and bears no particular religious affiliation, serves no master, in effect Santa is almost godlike, thus replacing the true representation of a man who served his life humbly and with love and charity for the sake of his Lord.

Secondly, the sprit of fellowship and Christmas is not enhanced in any way I can perceive because of the presence (or presents) of Santa Clause. Whereas St. Nicholas was a generous and charitable Christian figure who we wish to save for posterity and who we wish to remind people of, the fictional Santa claims no affiliation to this human character. Though in an outside analysis we readily conclude that Santa is based on St Nicholas, Santa himself makes no such claim. He does not wear red Catholic regailia, nor does he bear the cross, and moreover, his qualifications for “good and bad “ seem far more based on secular concerns than religious obedience. Though I do not advocate the forced assimilation of or for any religion, by removing this real and historical element from the events and character we create a certain ignorance in the children we subject to this figure. Moreover the secularization of society at large has led to deteriorations in the family and fellowship lifestyles of many ‘main stream/ secularized’ families. More, by removing historical and religious concerns from the young masses they will grow in life more ignorant of their history, with less interest in the real history behind basic symbols. Studying the life of St Nicholas may be both enlightening and entertaining. Studying the life of Santa… well, you get the idea.

Thirdly and finally, the content of this lesson seems to have hit the nail on the head, so to speak. We tell people it is wrong to lie, and then we inundate them with falsehoods. I recently asked a friend of mine how she thought I would respond to this. He initially did not know, then she surmised that I would want the Santa myth to continue because it is good for the development of imagination, that without these such myths children would not be able to interpret imaginative stories, that they needed this in order for their development. I was somewhat aghast as her opinions until I realized they were far more common that I had perhaps previously considered. My response was that no. I did not feel lies were necessary and that the true history of the individual was more than sufficient to provide enough activity for their brains that they might still grow up being okay, without the Santa myth. However, in a society where few read and fewer still read anything factual or encyclopaedic, perhaps I am wrong and lying to children is acceptable as a mean of destroying their connection to history, religion and independent analysis or thought… but then I would wonder why these outcomes were desirable… alas, such is not the purpose of the present assignment.

In conslusion I do hope that I have shed some light on my position. I am happy that this is being discussed. Even as an elementary example, this sort of mass conditioning is quite prelevant in our western society. You will also notice the content for this assignment states that most of what we believe about Santa here in Canada is based on American ideas. Indeed, in much the rest of the world Santa ONLY exists as an impersonation of St. Nicholas and his, as well as church history is greatly intertwined with the festive season. The North American ideal of “St. Nick” has somewhat different underpinnings.

No comments:

Post a Comment