Baby wearing “Santa Doesn’t Exist” t-shirt: FIXED

I’m not sure if the original “Santa Clause Doesn’t Exist” baby t-shirt was an ultra-Christian ‘reason for the season’ thing. Probably not. Either way, there could be many Santa-believing children who can read the shirt, depending on the family / situation.

Baby wearing Santa Doesn't Exist T-shirt (top) and baby wearing God Doesn't Exist t-shirt bottom

I think that this shirt would be much more likely to appear in a Christian household. It feels like another cheese ball attempt at humor. You know, the ‘ironic’ spins on pop-culture, awkwardly re-purposing songs and fashion. The original baby-t with Santa struck me as being designed by a Christian trying to have a laugh because children believe a goofy thing that they’re told. It’s a bit hypocritical!

My wife and I are both atheists. We don’t do the Santa thing. Many parents do. Some are mixed marriages, yet some are atheists. I understand that ‘Santa’ isn’t firmly grounded in religion, and traditions can be soaked up through cultural accretion. It’s a personal decision, and there is no ‘right way’ to be an atheist parent.

Dale McGowan’s books are good places to look. McGowan’s Parenting Beyond Belief contains essays from both sides of the ‘Santa debate’. What side are you on? Do you ‘do Santa’?

New version of the baby t-shirt by itself below the fold.

God Doesn't Exist baby t-shirt but that's okay the other babies are laughing too

I did this one by request. Feel free to steal it. If you happen to make a shitload of money from any of my stuff, donate a chunk to an atheist organization. I suppose I’m alright with photoshop (not amazing, but I get by). If you’ve got a decent idea but lack the skill set, send me a request on twitter.

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  • TychaBrahe

    I don’t see a difference between the second and third image. Am I missing something?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      It’s only there in case somebody wanted it without being attached to the original (super ‘tall’ image when combined with original.)

  • http://www.jafafahots.com Jafafa Hots

    I think the Santa thing is perfectly harmless as long as you don’t mind lying to your kids.

    My own sister did this with her own kids… I found it very disturbing to have to try to talk to my 7 and 8 year-old nieces who were excited about the Santa they totally believed in.

    It hurt. I felt like I was betraying them even while just smiling and murmuring “oh, isn’t that nice” kind of comments. They so TRULY believed.

    The argument my sister and others always used is “I don’t want them to miss out on the fun.”

    I think this betrays a kind of narcicissm. Kids are going to have fun on Christmas if you celebrate it, regardless.

    I never believed in Santa, and I never felt I was missing out on fun. As I watched my friends argue about Santa, what I felt is the same thing I felt when I heard them arguing about Jesus – I felt like an outsider to some degree, but relieved to be so – because who wants to believe in kooky things?

    Kids LOVE make-believe. They love My Pretty Pony, they love Scooby-Doo, they love their favorite teddy bear, and they aren’t crushed to know that these things are make-believe – they don’t throw out Teddy, they don’t turn off the Disney cartoons.

    These parents just can’t admit to themselves that THEY don’t want to miss out on the fun of watching their kids believe, they don’t want to miss out on being able to feel like they are kids at Christmas too.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      @Jafafa

      I agree it’s not harmful. My reasons for abstaining aren’t an appeal to emotion, more of a cold-hard logic thing. “If I was Jewish with an all-Jewish family, would we do Santa? Muslim? etc.”

      “Kids LOVE make-believe. They love My Pretty Pony, they love Scooby-Doo, they love their favorite teddy bear, and they aren’t crushed to know that these things are make-believe”

      I liked this bit. Especially the Scooby Doo bit – at the end of every episode, the ‘monster’ is just some asshole in a costume.

  • wilsim

    My wife and I decided before we had any kids that we were not going to lie to them at all.

    Obviously this includes Santa, but also other supernatural things like ghosts, monsters, faeries, dragons, god(s), angels, or anything, really.

    Our reasoning was that we didn’t want to lie to our children, for any reason, and have them later find out we lied to them – I think lying to children, even (mostly) harmless lies like Santa, can damage a trust relationship.

    I would be OK with my children wearing either shirt without the green text.

  • http://www.jafafahots.com Jafafa Hots

    I agree it’s not harmful.

    Actually what I said is it’s not harmful if you are ok with lying to your kids.

    Mild sarcasm there, because I do believe lying to your kids is harmful. (The Santa thing in and of itself is unlikely to scar them for life.)

    Basically it seems we agree though.

  • http://justdfacsmaam.wordpress.com MarkNS

    I think the whole Santa schtick is a great, fun way to teach kids critical thinking skills. I never actually told my kids Santa exists. Sure, I’d leave presents from “Santa” under the tree and take a bit out of the cookie they left out but, when they asked “Is Santa real?” I’d respond with “What do you think?” They would then work through the evidence. “Well, we get presents from him so he must be” etc. As smaller kids, they found this evidence convincing but as they got older they started with the harder ones like “How’s he get in the house? We don’t have a fireplace” and the like. Eventually, like all kids, they figured it out for themselves. These same skills let them to their eventual dismissal of all things religious and other nonsense.

    So, play along and watch your kids become good critical thinkers and anti-theists.


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