David Grisham Jr. is a self-described Christian “pastor” who once ran the fringe group Repent Amarillo. How fringe? In 2010, he posted a video of a firing squad executing Santa — because it distracted people from Jesus.
His latest stunt, done on behalf of his new group Last Frontier Evangelism, is just a step away from that. He strolled into a Texas mall, found a bunch of kids and parents waiting in line to take a picture with Santa, and yelled out that Santa wasn’t real… because Jesus was the true reason for the season.
Besides the fact that many of those Texans in line were likely Christians themselves, and setting aside the overall asshole-nature of the video, see if you can spot the irony in his rant:
… When you substitute the lie of Santa Claus in the heart of your child for the truth of Jesus Christ, you are bearing false witness against God. Don’t lie to your children and tell them there’s such a thing as Santa, when you know in reality that there are no flying reindeer, there is no workshop at the North Pole, there is no elves making toys, that you buy all the gifts and put ’em under the tree.
That’s all the truth. And there is no real Santa Claus. There is no Santa. It is not your place to lie to your children. Tell them the truth about Jesus Christ.
On Facebook, Grisham posted the video with the description that he was “ASSAULTED by parent at Amarillo Texas Mall” for talking about Jesus. There’s no evidence of that in the video other than a man coming close to him and asking him to stop yelling.
Grisham is essentially encouraging parents to substitute one myth for another… but that’s a decision the parents should be able to make for themselves. While plenty of atheists would take issue with religious indoctrination — in part, because it’s meant to last a lifetime — most atheists have no problem telling kids about Santa because there’s an expectation they’ll grow out of it. There’s joy in (temporarily) letting them believe the story and spirit of the holidays… and there’s also joy in seeing children work out the logic behind why Santa Claus doesn’t exist.
Grisham took that away from them. What he did was no different than standing outside a movie theater and spoiling the story for everyone still waiting to buy tickets. It doesn’t make anyone sympathize with his passion; it makes them want nothing to do with him. Ever.
(Thanks to David for the link)