Santa Praying Over Jesus?

I’m no Bible expert, but I don’t remember the verse where Santa kneels in prayer over the baby Jesus…:

nativity

North Carolina. Need I say more? :)

(Thanks to Bella for the link!)

  • http://gremlin.net Gremlin

    Presuming I can’t post an image in here directly, I’ve had this on the server for years now: http://gremlin.net/images/jpeg/santainthebible.jpg

  • Peter

    Where’s the Easter Bunny and frosty the Snowman? Weren’t they there too?

  • Jack

    Hey easy on North Carolina! Every state has some odd balls :-) Y’all hear!

  • littlejohn

    Wouldn’t Jesus have celebrated Hanukkah? Where’s the dreidel?

  • http://duoquartuncia.blogspot.com Duae Quartunciae

    Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) lived from about 270 to 347 CE. The link from Santa to worship of Jesus is sensible, and the metaphor of placing him in the stable is a reasonable way of expressing this, I think.

    I don’t see anything here worthy of snark. As a friendly atheist myself, I think the intended message of the scene is sensible. Making fun of the obvious deliberate juxtaposition is a rather trite literal mindness, isn’t it?

  • Valdyr

    He’s probably praying:

    “Dear Lord, please don’t let Your brat son totally horn in on my present delivery racket here in Israel as You sometimes do in Germany. That is bullshit as I am sure You will agree. This is the only job I know how to do; and Your son is motherfucking Jesus, why is he even working, much less stealing from me? Seriously. Germans. Make them stop.”

  • Rob

    Yeah, be nice to us NC folk. Some of us are die hard bible dumping atheists!!!!

    …. that’s why we pick on the SC folks.

  • http://vegkat.blogspot.com Kat

    This is an entry in my crafty blog (I have another that’s more of a journal-y type). Scroll down to see the figurine my Gramma gave my daughter for her first Christmas. And why I have it in my house is also explained.

    http://vegkatsyarns.blogspot.com/

  • Brandon

    That doesn’t surprise me a bit. I am from North Carolina and I have got to say, we do have some odd people.

  • http://agalandherblog.blogspot.com/ Andrea

    Clearly Santa is babysitting so Mary and Joseph can go out for the evening.

  • Joyfulbaby

    I agree with Rob. Thank god for South Carolina.

  • http://anthonyrmiller.com/blog Tony

    I don’t know about chickens and eggs but this shows that Santa came first! It’s not a christian holiday after all.

  • Sue D. Nymme

    This reminds me of the most (imho) bizarre Christmas carol lyric, from Here Comes Santa Claus:

    Let’s give thanks to the Lord above
    Cause Santa Claus is comin’ tonight

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Beth

    You all know what “Santa” is rearranged? Satan! This is obviously an attempt by the devil to usurp the real meaning of Christmas!

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Dromedary Hump

    Isn’t one of those critters Punxsutawney Phil the ground hog? I didn’t even know he was Christian!! Looks like Jesus is in for 6 more weeks of winter.

    Hey Duae… did the 4th century St. Nick wear a red suit, come down from the North Pole, drive a sleigh pulled by 8 tiny reindeer, slide down peoples chimneys and was he present at the birth of the man-god in question?

    If the answer to all of the above is “no” you sure are begging the question, aren’t you? There’s a fine line between “friendly atheist” and an atheist christian apologist.
    IMO, you crossed it.

    Being versed in 1/2 assed Christian think, the actual intent of the display is to remind Christians that while they celebrate Xmas with secular fun and presents (which is what Santa is all about) to remember the religious significance of the holiday (not the REAL significance…the one they co-opted from the pagan winter solstice). Naturally, it loses something in the tacky plywood cut out translation :)

  • Luther

    Well, it it is just missing the dinosaurs. Perhaps the new conservative bible will fix all this.

  • Mak

    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really excited to see what Christmas looks like about a hundred years from now.

    “And then, Little Jimmy, the baby Jesus puts on his red suit and gets in his magic sleigh pulled by nine flying camels and visits every house in the world, bringing presents to the good children and myrrh to the bad children. So eight days before Christmas we decorate a tree and put a menorah on top so that he can find his way to our house by its lights, which symbolize the brilliant light of Rudolph’s nose.”

  • http://universalheretic.wordpress.com/ Victor

    Well, using Aristotelian logic (the same logic Christians use to harmonize differing accounts in the varying gospels) the Bible doesn’t specifically say that Santa Claus wasn’t at the nativity. So, he could have been …

  • http://aurorawalkingvacation.blogspot.com Paul

    Are you sure he’s praying? It looks to me like he’s tucking in a napkin…

  • http://lagunatic.wordpress.com/ Lagunatic

    Ugh – please, someone, save me from this state!!!

    Maybe I’ll move back to Canada..where, in nativity scenes, baby Jesus is always surrounded by a bunch of cans of Molson.

  • Revyloution

    Lagunatic, now I know why I love you. Youre Canadian! (disclaimer, I married one)

    I just love the diversity of this blog. Who ever thought that there was someone who loved doing needlepoint AND was an atheist? My faith in humanity is restored Kat. Nice blog, I enjoyed the “WTF Cheap Trick” needlepoint.

  • http://lagunatic.wordpress.com/ Lagunatic

    Revyloution, will you love me still if I admit to hating hockey AND beer?
    Heresy, I know.
    Good move on marrying a Canuk – we do things right,eh? ;)

  • Revyloution

    You arent the only Canadian who hates hockey and beer. My wife does too. (hate is a strong word, I think ‘could care less’ is more accurate)

    I myself love good dark beers, fine scotch and red wines, and as I mentioned a few weeks ago in the Tiger Woods article, I could care less about sport.

    I just finished scanning through your blog. I loved the ‘Mensa/menstral’ bit. It reminded me of a campfire years ago. When people first meet me, they often mistake me for someone intelligent. Of course my friends know better. One new comer asked if I was a member of Mensa (I assume he thought it was a noble organization) before I had a chance to answer, one of my friends piped up with

    “No, but he is the local chapter president of Densea”

  • http://piercepresley.com Pierce Presley

    I wonder what the sign says, and I wonder is Jazmin DuBois lives here (she of the Boondocks comic strip and TV series, whose worship of Santa is hilarious).

  • http://sundialsaga.blogspot.com Modern Girl

    I don’t see what the problem is. They’re both fictional fairy tales, so what’s the harm in mixing them together? It’s like a Jetsons meet the Flintstones or Futurama meets Simpsons kinda thing to me.

    If a Hindu community took some artistic license and associated two separate stories together in a display, (and we were aware enough to notice) would we be offended? Would we make fun of them?

  • http://www.secularplanet.org Secular Planet

    I’ve seen plenty of similar displays down here in northeast Florida. It doesn’t strike me as odd at all. Both are completely made up (the nativity story and the Santa story), so why not just mix the two any way you please? It’s just like Urkel visiting the Tanner family on “Full House.”

  • RG

    You’re wrong. Santa not only prayed over Jesus, but fuzzy forest creatures sang christmas carols while he was doing it.

  • Parse

    This isn’t all that unusual, especially among the “Remember the reason for the season” crowd. Considering that Santa Claus was originally based off a saint – and that I’ve seen these before – I shrug this off with a general ‘meh.’

  • http://1minionsopinion.wordpress.com 1minion

    No one’s asked the obvious question then – Is Santa coming tonight? I mean, he’s right there by the baby… no one wants to suggest that and risk coal in the stockings I suppose? I mean, when you think about it, Santa is kind of creepy, knowing when you’re sleeping, knowing when you’re awake.. is he on any lists concerned parents want to check twice?

  • Amy

    I’m so embarrassed. I actually live in the small town where this display is set up. The praying Santa was stolen earlier this week, and after much moping, whining, and pleading from the man who made it, it was returned anonymously. Some type of drunken prank, evidently.

    It’s so awesome to live here. :p

  • Billy

    This is SUPER common down in Texas where I grew up. When I was a kid there were tons of displays like this. When I was a christian, I thought it was cool. It was santa showing deference to baby jebus. A reminder of what the true “reason for the season” was.

    Bleh. Whatever.

  • science101

    I live close to this ridiculous display and I don’t mind it since it makes the people who believe in these things that much more idiotic. They’re hopeless and helpless!

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Giant literate bunnies — check.
    Equally giant koala/puppy hybird. — check
    Sing giant gray beaver — check
    Predator lying next to a freakishly small sheep — Check
    A imagery idol of millions of kid which will be emotional scarred for life when they find that said idol isn’t real. — Check
    Santa Clause — Check

    I believe this could possibly be the most accurate portrayal of an historical event ever imagined.

  • Flah

    You’re wrong. Santa not only prayed over Jesus, but fuzzy forest creatures sang christmas carols while he was doing it.

    RG, unfortunately, you just took my head right to South Park’s Woodland Christmas Critters and now I’m scared for Santa and the baby.

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    Everyone knows that Santa time travels, how else could he deliver a billion and a half presents in a single night. A quick jaunt back to the 1st century to worship the baby Jesus is a piece of cake. That’s at least as plausible as every other Christmas story you’ve been told.

  • beckster

    Hey now! NC isn’t all crazy!

    On Sunday December 20th, the Triangle Freethought Society (TFS), a chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, will have a ceremonial unveiling of the First Annual Winter Solstice display in Moore Square, downtown Raleigh. They will be erecting the sign between 11 am and 1 pm and will have the dedication ceremony from 1 to 1:30 pm.

  • Debra

    Don’t pick on all South Carolinians. Granted, there are a lot of theists and Dominionists (talk about weird!), but there are also some atheists out there too :)

  • KH

    North Carolina voters dumped Elizabeth Dole after she made campaign ads insulting atheists as well as her opponent. North Carolina went blue in 2008. Asheville NC has an openly atheist city council person. Yes there are wackos and ignoramuses everywhere but NC is not the preeminent hotbed, so the “need I say more” was uncalled for. I bet you could get photos of ridiculous Christmas displays from all 50 states, including your own.

  • http://reanhouse.blogspot.com Sarah

    You know, I’m not sure kittens and bunnies can read either. lol

  • bernerbits

    I don’t remember Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes) kneeling and praying before a cross, either.

    The hell is with that attitude anyway, “I can’t enjoy anything secular in nature, so I have to Christianize it?”

    In the strip Calvin was a hardcore skeptic and completely irreverent. Santa praying over Jesus is a little less extracanonical since Saint Nicholas was at least a Christian.

  • aerie

    bernerbits is correct: The praying Santa is the Christian way of rationalizing (lying) to themselves their fondness for the “secular” Santa character.

  • ATL-Apostate

    Oy vey! My home state makes friendlyatheist.com news again.

    /facepalm

    But trust me, there’s worse than this in the old North State.

  • http://www.banalleakage.com martymankins

    It’s one of those verses that talks about a white bearded person in the sky. Oh wait, was that Moses or Santa they were referring to in the old testament? ;-)

  • http://Thenaturalbuddhist.blogspot.com JohnFrost

    I’m always surprised how many North Carolinians are regular readers here.

    It was funny, I saw that picture and thought, ” I could swear I’ve seen that display before…” scroll down, “yup, sure enough!”

  • muggle

    I’m just glad it was on private property, frankly. I’m also glad I don’t live next door.

    That said, free expression. Of course, if I did live next door, I’d feel compelled to get creatively freely expressive myself.

    Ah, ain’t America great?

  • http://duoquartuncia.blogspot.com Duae Quartunciae

    Dromedary Hump asks me: (this comment)

    Hey Duae… did the 4th century St. Nick wear a red suit, come down from the North Pole, drive a sleigh pulled by 8 tiny reindeer, slide down peoples chimneys and was he present at the birth of the man-god in question?

    If the answer to all of the above is “no” you sure are begging the question, aren’t you? There’s a fine line between “friendly atheist” and an atheist christian apologist.
    IMO, you crossed it.

    I recognize my post as an “apologetics”; it’s part of being a friendly atheist to try and understand someone else’s perspective and be willing to stand up to say so. So I don’t think I crossed a line between two different things. I remain both a friendly atheist, and an apologist for this display.

    Your description of the display seems about right. The difference is simply in the phrasing we might use. You have said:

    Being versed in 1/2 assed Christian think, the actual intent of the display is to remind Christians that while they celebrate Xmas with secular fun and presents (which is what Santa is all about) to remember the religious significance of the holiday (not the REAL significance…the one they co-opted from the pagan winter solstice).

    I’d say something similar:

    Being familiar with Christian thought, the actual intent of the display is to remind Christians that while they celebrate Xmas with secular fun and presents, which Santa usually represents, to remember the religious significance of the holiday, and to remember the religious antecedents of the modern Santa Claus figure.

    I think there’s a place for all kinds of voices amongst atheists. The aggressive and snarky voices are often best at getting things moving. It’s not me though. I tend to be an apologist aiming to understand sympathetically views I do not share; and that has a place as well.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com Anna

    Mixing Santa and God/Jesus certainly isn’t uncommon. Check out Santa’s Favorite Story. Or the lyrics to Here Comes Santa Claus.

  • declerk11

    You’re missing the point! Santa is there to show you we forgot the real meaning of Christmas! Without Jesus or God we wouldn’t have Christmas to celebrate!

  • http://www.facebook.com/doncobb01 Don Cobb

    I like it! It’s about time the secular humanists acknowledged Jesus, and having Santa PRAY OVER HIM? Awesome, in my opinion.


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