Santa vs Jesus game slammed for being 'blasphemous'

Santa vs Jesus game slammed for being 'blasphemous' December 3, 2016

A Christmas-themed board game that pits Jesus against Santa ‘trivialises Christian belief’ by portraying the the two ‘as fictional characters’, according to Evangelical Alliance spokesman Danny Webster.
The BBC reports that Santa vs Jesus, made by London company Komo Games, is played by two teams – one for each of the festive figures – who battle through challenges in an attempt to win the most “believers”.
It was funded via crowd-sourcing site Kickstarter which said it was:

The most complained about game in history. 

Webster says he believes a board game helping people learn about Jesus at Christmas would be “a great innovation” but he has a problem with the Santa vs Jesus game because:

It trivialises Christian belief and equates them both as fictional characters. With over 4 out of 10 people in the UK mistakenly thinking that Jesus was not a real historical person, this game won’t help correct that.
At its heart Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus and the gift of life he brings. Santa comes from the story of St Nicholas who as a Christian bishop was generous to the poor and was very happy to have Christ as his king. When it comes to Santa vs Jesus, we’re firmly on Team Jesus too.

Some of the opinions of reviewers on Amazon, where the game is for sale, are less measured and include allegations of blasphemy and disrespect:
One humourphobe wrote:

I dare you, creators of this game and Amazon, to make a game about Mohammed! You wouldn’t would you! Then why pick Jesus? Christians are currently soft targets so why not jump on the bandwagon!

Another wrote:

I find it in the poorest of taste and offensive. Jesus (complete with nail holes in hands) and Santa with his followers and friends fighting over a Christmas tree. How upsetting, cheap and nasty to corrupt the beauty and meaning of Christmas in this way.

Despite the controversy, Santa vs Jesus was fully funded within days of the project going live, securing the £4,500 Kickstarter goal in 48 hours and eventually attracting more than £7,000 of investment.
One of the creators of the game, Julian Miller, says:

Sales are exceeding all expectations and we’ve had to rush through another order with our manufacturer to keep up with the demand.

Miller, along with David McGranaghan, came up with the game for a family Christmas party a few years ago.

The enthusiasm of our family and friends and the rise in popularity of games such as Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens made us realise there was a gap in the market for a funny tongue-in-cheek game pitting Santa against Jesus.
For years people have wondered ‘who rules Christmas? Santa or Jesus?

Not everyone is enraged by the game, though.
One commentator wrote:

It looks enormous fun. I am a Christian and am not the least offended by anything I saw. Take it in the spirit it is meant to be played.

Hat tip: Marcus Robinson

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  • Bill Bonk

    Oh didums then. Are the christians offended that their fictional saviour is actually being portrayed as fiction. Methinks christian sensitivity is very revealing. It betrays that the christians fear the truth.
    Well at least christians only whinge and whine. They don’t shoot up night clubs or the offices of comic satirists.

  • barriejohn

    Have they ever seen this?

  • Broga

    I know Santa is real. When my grandchildren left a glass of milk and a piece of cake for him they were gone in the morning. And he left them presents made by his elves. What more evidence is needed?

  • barriejohn

    Broga: I know Jesus is real. He answers all my prayers (though sometimes the answer is “No”).
    I dare you, creators of this game and Amazon, to make a game about Mohammed! You wouldn’t would you!
    He may be right, but so what? Shouldn’t he be celebrating the fact that in most cases you can mock Christianity without needing to check under your car for a bomb afterwards?

  • Broga

    @barriejohn: The “you wouldn’t criticise Mohammed” comment implies therefore you shouldn’t criticise Jesus. Or if you do criticise Jesus only you are a coward.
    There was a time when you dare not criticise Jesus or, if you did, you would end up fitted with thumbscrews, stretched on the rack or having red hot plates applied to you. All this means is that a section of violent Islamists are 500 years behind what is now regarded as civilised behaviour. Not criticising Mohammed is an option not to be judged by medieval criteria and killed by those who apply it.

  • RussellW

    “who rules Christmas? Santa or Jesus?”
    Most people in the West celebrate Christmas as a pagan Roman festival with some Germanic trimmings and don’t really give a rat’s about Jesus.
    I have a neighbor who used to remind me every year that Christmas was Jesus’ birthday. I corrected her by saying it’s really a combination of the festival of the Unconquered Sun and the Roman Saturnalia. She eventually gave up.

  • Smokey

    We in Scandinavia don’t celebrate Christmas. We celebrate Yule.
    Cooler heads prevail up North.
    Also, fjords.

  • StephenJP

    I had been under the impression that nearly everyone thought that JC existed, even if they didn’t accept his divinity; and that mythicists like me were in a very small minority. Yet the Evangelical Alliance spokesman says that 40% of Britons don’t think he existed. Not sure what his source is,but if accurate this is quite encouraging.

  • Stephen Mynett

    StephenJP, the apparent acceptance of Jesus as a real person is something that has always surprised me as there is little, if any, genuine evidence for his existence – before the trolls come I know absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
    I had often thought it was a kind of polite trade off in that we would deny the existence of gods but not upset the Christians too much by denying the existence of their superhero. Times have changed and there is no need for such niceties these days, there never was, so people are more prone to say what they think.
    It is a question that may never be answered either way, the third verdict of courts in Scotland springs to mind, not proven and the damage being done by Islamic terrorists in the region is destroying a lot of evidence of those times.
    Of course, there may be some interesting stuff in the Vatican records but while I am waiting for answers and honesty from them I shall take up cat-herding as a hobby.

  • Angela_K

    I suppose if the game makers change the game to Jesus versus Satan, they’d be OK with that.

  • L.Long

    Hey! Xtian dicks! Xmas is NOT xtian and has NOTHING to do with jesus, nor does Santa despite the St Nick BS! Also makes fun of jesus?? Why not we make fun of Thor and that is really dangerous! He has a big Hammer!!! Get me a good ALL Paying insurance policy and I would make and sell a game about the mythic Mo!!! But now that trumpkin is here I would be careful about xtians too.

  • Paul

    But the babble has gawd versus the devil and jeboy versus the devil and of course gawd lost against those iron chariots so what’s the problem with two other imaginary “people” having a game.

  • Newspaniard

    Why would anyone who believed that Moses, Jesus or Mohammad actually existed be on this site?

  • Mr. Webster may have evidence that Jesus was a real historic person. No one else ever has, but he may, and so let us hear him out. Please, Mr. Webster, let us see the evidence. Any evidence will do. Anything. Any single contemporary account. Just one. Please.

  • barriejohn

    I suspect that he “knows” that Jesus exists because he talks to him every day:
    (That’s not a Little Britain sketch, BTW!)

  • StephenJP

    @Stephen Mynett and Trevor Blake: it is interesting that many writers who are quite confident that Jesus was not the son of God, such as Bart Ehrman or Joseph Hoffman, still insist that the character represented in the Gospels must have been derived from a real person, to the extent that they violently criticise those who take the mythicist position, such as Richard Carrier or Rene Salm, and even refuse to engage them in discussion. I am intrigued as to why this should be.
    I am not at all surprised that this site includes many mythicists: I would expect nothing less. But I am still pleasantly surprised by the suggestion that 40% of the people in the street feel the same way.

  • RussellW

    The only answer an atheist can give is that the Jesus of the Bible is entirely fictitious. Whether or not the Christian religion was constructed around a real person by some demented religiots is a different question.Why is it important?

  • StephenJP

    If one takes the question at face value, it is an actual historical issue that can be approached using all the tools of historical enquiry,including Carrier’s Bayesian analysis. I think that an atheist who can say to theists “your arguments are wrong,and this is why” is in a stronger position than those who simply say “I don’t believe it!!”

  • barriejohn

    Belfast Telegraph Poll
    Blasphemy: 20%
    Good Fun: 80%
    (I’m a bit worried about that 20%, personally!)

  • Paul

    The 20% might be due to a “Don’t Know” answer!

  • John

    Ah, the Norwegian Blue – pining for the fjords –

  • Pike

    I can’t help but shake my head at all the attacks on Christians in the comments about this story…not just on this site, but on others.
    I have never celebrated Christmas from a religious sense, but I understand the religious implications of it and how much it means to people. But being that I am not particularly religious (although raised Catholic), I am not offended by this game, and find it funny…I want it.
    But, I cannot help but feel that if the shoe were on the other foot…if this wasn’t “JEsus vs Santa”, but rather “Mohammed vs. Allah”, everyone saying “oh boo hoo you whiney Christians”, would be the same exact ones saying “RESPECT ISLAM! IT IS A RELIGION OF FAITH AND PEACE! RESPECT IT! THIS GAME IS AN ATROCITY!”. Yet because it’s a joke at Christianity’s expense, it’s okay.

  • barriejohn

    Paul: It’s 24% now. I’m losing the will to live!

  • Angela_K

    @Pike. Look through previous news items on this site and you will find we attack Islam, other religions and woo.

  • barriejohn

    Pike: I am tempted to say: “Stupid boy”, but instead I will just say: “Not on this site!”.
    (Just one of many links that I could have chosen.)

  • Cali Ron

    Pike: You obviously haven’t visited this site very many times. Mo is blasphemed on almost every day of the week here, us atheists really don’t consider any given day “holier” than another or any given imaginary god any more “holier” than the the next. Islam is the religion of intolerance, violence and death, although, Christianity is currently running a close second, having lost their zeal for killing in the last couple hundred years while the Muslims have decided to double down on death and destruction.

  • Cali Ron

    I also wonder why so many people just accept that Jesus was an actual man who existed despite there being no evidence of that fact. The Romans ruled the land at that time and they kept a lot of records, including court matters, so you’d think the whole “give us Barabbas” bullshit and Pilot “washing his hands” would be documented by them somewhere, but no.
    Technically there have been thousands of Jesus’ over the centuries, but not one of them was ever a god, or son of a god. I work with a Jesus (Hispanic, not Jewish) and I tell him all the time it must be wonderful to have so many people believe in you. He’s catholic, so he just sighs, shakes his head and tells me I’m going to hell. I always reply you can’t go to someplace that only exists in people’s minds.

  • Robster

    Is this a fact?: “over 4 out of 10 people in the UK mistakenly thinking that Jesus was not a real historical person”. Suppose 9 out of 10 is more than 4.

  • Cali Ron

    Shouldn’t that be 6 out of 10 people mistakenly believe Jesus was a real person?