Has the Christian God Become Indistinguishable from Santa Claus?
“Kids are being marketed to from the moment they’re born. And they’re not just being marketed products, they’re being marketed values … And the values are: “Things can make me cool; things define my self-worth.”
— Susan Linn 
We’ve all heard the comparison between God and Santa… but, it wasn’t until recently that I really sat back and considered all of the similarities:
- Keeps a list of who’s naughty or nice
- Come across as “all-knowing” and omnipresent
- Interchangeable images, e.g. Long white beard, male, older, etc.
- Taught to children by parents
- Both, generally, require “child-like faith”
- Sing songs about or directly to
- We give either tithes or cookies to…
- Has servants or helpers (e.g. angels or elves)
- Good behaviors rewarded with presents or “treasures”
- Both are, arguably, at the center of Christmas
The last bullet point there is the most uncomfortable one to acknowledge out loud…
All of this makes me wonder: Has Christianity become indistinguishable from consumerism…?
But, the point I’m trying to make here is simply that both Christmas and Christianity have seemingly become about the domestication of us as humans operating within a capitalistic society.
Now, look, I’m truly not being “that millennial” here who is trying to push socialism – I’m not a socialist and, neither am I a full out capitalist… today, I’m just being, like all healthy forms of critique should be, bipartisan.
First, in order to answer this concisely, we should talk about domestication and the process of…
Think about domestication this way: It’s the controlling of one’s behaviors.
“Children are domesticated the same way that we domesticate a dog, a cat, or any other animal. In order to teach a dog we punish the dog and we give it rewards. We train our children whom we love so much the same way that we train any domesticated animal: with a system of punishment and reward. We are told, ‘You’re a good boy,’ or ‘You’re a good girl,’ when we do what Mom and Dad want us to do. When we don’t, we are a ‘bad girl’ or a ‘bad boy .’”
Think “Starbucks Rewards” system…
You see, if we can define not just one’s values we can then, later, dictate their overall sense of self-worth. And, if you can get a controllable foothold on someone’s worth you can dictate just about all of their actions.
I know, it’s terrifying…
It begs the question of “how free is our market, actually…?”