Are you afraid of Santa?


#21

heh, wonderful :rolleyes: It’s not lying if we don’t CALL it lying!

I’ll just let it rest as going against that particular source might risk upsetting TPTB on this forum…


#22

[quote="exoflare, post:20, topic:179111"]
Well, I don't have any problems with anything you just mentioned so I don't see why you bothered to mention them or what relevance it has to what I said. The fact remains that if your kid wants to know whether some guy really does fly around dropping presents down chimneys and you tell him or her that there is, then you're lying to your kid. The mere mention of Santa Clause, trick-or-treat and playing make believe is a red herring and does nothing to address that point.

[/quote]

Did you fail to read or understand the post above about the difference between lies and story/fable?

Is there some difficulty in being able to discern the difference between a lie and make-believe?

Most people readily understand. Children make believe all the time. Adults with a spirit of fun and play do also. This is the polar opposite of lying.


#23

I would urge much spiritual caution in this line of thinking, and I say this with all Christian charity. It is not okay to make up our own rules about what is sin and what is not…we need to follow the rules of the Catholic church and that can be hard. Pride can sneak in and we think we know better, this can happen either by having more liberal or more conservative views then the church.

It is not okay for someone to say “I beleive stealing small amounts of money is not a sin even if the Catholic Church says it is sin, the church is wrong.” It is also not okay for someone to say “Even though the Catholic church says the Santa myth is not a sin, I beleive it is a sin and the church is wrong.” I am not comparing the sins here, but notice the thought process. Each time we think we know better then the church we can get into trouble.

Admittedly, most of us at one time or another have had these thoughts. Some think the church is way to strict…others think she is not nearly strict enough. It is a struggle to be sure I am not saying it is easy.

It sounds as if you are not comfortable with the Santa myth and you are not alone. I just want to urge caution that you not make a declaration that it is sinful because that is not your declaration to make. I hope that makes sense, God bless.


#24

[quote="Sailor_Kenshin, post:22, topic:179111"]
Did you fail to read or understand the post above about the difference between lies and story/fable?

Is there some difficulty in being able to discern the difference between a lie and make-believe?

Most people readily understand. Children make believe all the time. Adults with a spirit of fun and play do also. This is the polar opposite of lying.

[/quote]

I'm well aware of the difference between lying and playing make-believe, although I would like to ask the same question of some people here. The difference is that playing make-believe doesn't involve willful deceit. When we played such things as "cops and robbers" as kids, for example, none of us were actually under the impression that we really became either legitimate officers of the law or convicted criminals. That would be ridiculous. But it doesn't matter that none of it was real since it was all just for fun and a good exercise of imagination. Reading and listening to stories about Santa flying around the world and dropping presents down chimneys, or playing Santa at Christmas in some way is similarly harmless.

It becomes a lie when you try to deceive a child into thinking the stories are the reality, even when the child seriously wants to know the truth. And THIS is the point which never gets addressed when I bring it up. Instead it gets met with equivocation fallacies and irrelevant appeals to emotion like being the Grinch, or calling into question whether I'm any fun at parties. :rolleyes:

Again I don't even think it's that serious of a lie, and really I don't care that much if other parents tell it to their children. I'm more just utterly fascinated at how so many people are so hell-bent on refusing to call a spade a spade whenever this particular topic comes up.


#25

[quote="Monicad, post:23, topic:179111"]
I would urge much spiritual caution in this line of thinking, and I say this with all Christian charity. It is not okay to make up our own rules about what is sin and what is not...we need to follow the rules of the Catholic church and that can be hard. Pride can sneak in and we think we know better, this can happen either by having more liberal or more conservative views then the church.

It is not okay for someone to say "I beleive stealing small amounts of money is not a sin even if the Catholic Church says it is sin, the church is wrong." It is also not okay for someone to say "Even though the Catholic church says the Santa myth is not a sin, I beleive it is a sin and the church is wrong." I am not comparing the sins here, but notice the thought process. Each time we think we know better then the church we can get into trouble.

Admittedly, most of us at one time or another have had these thoughts. Some think the church is way to strict...others think she is not nearly strict enough. It is a struggle to be sure I am not saying it is easy.

It sounds as if you are not comfortable with the Santa myth and you are not alone. I just want to urge caution that you not make a declaration that it is sinful because that is not your declaration to make. I hope that makes sense, God bless.

[/quote]

With all due respect, the "Ask an Apologist" subforum doesn't constitute binding Church doctrine. (though I know sometimes they will cite it) :blush: If you can find an authoritative teaching of the Church that goes against what I'm saying, though, I will gladly concede.


#26

I will just add that there is reason to believe that many of the stories in the Book of Genesis are myths and we still consider those stories to be “true”. In general we believe the people in the Old Testament to be real historical figures but chances are the stories told would not hold up as factual in a modern court of law. Biblical events that seem to happened in the course of a day may have actually occurred over the course of a few years. (Or vice versa.) The dialogue was probably scripted over the course of several centuries of oral re-telling. The reasons given (or not given) for the actions of God and people bear the bias of those who repeated or wrote down the stories.

And yet we believe the stories to convey the truth.

When it comes to tooth fairies and Easter bunnies those are roles that Moms and Dads play. But at least Sinterklaas IS a historical figure. The stories told about him seems to be a mixture of reality and legend. His physical image has been stylized over the years (just as common pictorial images of Jesus and the apostles give them later European skin coloring, hairstyles, and clothing.) And the stories about St. Nicholas have been merged with some other European myths.

But St. Nicholas is still the patron saint of children whatever language we use for his name. And that is truth.


#27

Early last century a well-known company popularised the image of the red Santa we now see everywhere at Christmas. "Santa" and "Claus" actually comes from Saint Nicholas, a Catholic Bishop who distributed necessities to poor families, believing that no one should be without at the time of Jesus' Birth. Santa Claus is a secularisation and commercialisation of a real person and genuine charity of gift-giving to the poor. Claus is sometimes used as an abbreviation of Nicholas.

stnicholascenter.org/Brix?pageID=35

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus

You can always bring some of the spirit of St Nicholas into your children's Christmas


#28

Adding to this: But like any good saint, Santa Claus wants to point us to Jesus. If parents don’t teach their children that Santa gives gifts in honor of the birthday of Jesus then it isn’t Santa who is the problem. It’s the parents.


#29

[quote="exoflare, post:24, topic:179111"]
I'm well aware of the difference between lying and playing make-believe, although I would like to ask the same question of some people here. The difference is that playing make-believe doesn't involve willful deceit. When we played such things as "cops and robbers" as kids, for example, none of us were actually under the impression that we really became either legitimate officers of the law or convicted criminals. That would be ridiculous. But it doesn't matter that none of it was real since it was all just for fun and a good exercise of imagination. Reading and listening to stories about Santa flying around the world and dropping presents down chimneys, or playing Santa at Christmas in some way is similarly harmless.

It becomes a lie when you try to deceive a child into thinking the stories are the reality, even when the child seriously wants to know the truth. And THIS is the point which never gets addressed when I bring it up. Instead it gets met with equivocation fallacies and irrelevant appeals to emotion like being the Grinch, or calling into question whether I'm any fun at parties. :rolleyes:

Again I don't even think it's that serious of a lie, and really I don't care that much if other parents tell it to their children. I'm more just utterly fascinated at how so many people are so hell-bent on refusing to call a spade a spade whenever this particular topic comes up.

[/quote]

Again, it's not a lie. You seem capable of distinguishing between make-believe and lies, with this one exception.

I would go as far as to say that denying Santa and the Easter Bunny to YOUNG CHILDREN under the guise of truth-telling at all costs, is cruel in the extreme, and robs them of some essential and ineffible element of childhood---the gift of innocence.

Perhaps you would also tell them the stark details of other things beyond their capabilities of understanding, also under the guise of 'truth at all costs?'

But you are not dealing with adults in this case. Not every truth that is appropriate for an adult is also appropriate for a child.

When the time comes, a good parent will know. Rigid, harsh, and overcontrolling parents adhere to absurd guidelines that might suit a teenager but do not suit the individual natures of young, vulnerable and innocent children.


#30

Yes, because not telling that there really is a Santa who flies around the world in a sleigh led by flying reindeer is akin to cruelty to your child and robs them of their childhood.

I’ll respect those parents who choose to tell their children there really is this Santa who flies around the world, but I think it’s only fair for them to respect my choice as well. I don’t get these double standards? You think we should respect your view of this, yet when some people explain their reason for not, it’s cruel and robbing our children, how is that respecting other’s views?

How do you think the children survived Christmas before the idea of a Santa in a red suit who flew around the world on Christmas came about? Did they not have a good Christmas? Were they robbed of some important part of their childhood by not believing this? I doubt it.

For some parents this isn’t an important part of their Christmas tradition, what’s so wrong with that?

I guess I just don’t get it.

Perhaps I’m different than some people in that I really don’t care if a parent chooses to tell their children there is a Santa, I really don’t. I will just choose not to. And well, I’m sure my children will enjoy their childhood regardless :o I think this is such a small matter in the grand scheme of a child’s life.


#31

How do you think the children survived Christmas before the idea of a Santa in a red suit who flew around the world on Christmas came about? Did they not have a good Christmas? Were they robbed of some important part of their childhood by not believing this? I doubt it.

this


#32

[quote="Sailor_Kenshin, post:29, topic:179111"]
Again, it's not a lie. You seem capable of distinguishing between make-believe and lies, with this one exception.

I would go as far as to say that denying Santa and the Easter Bunny to YOUNG CHILDREN under the guise of truth-telling at all costs, is cruel in the extreme, and robs them of some essential and ineffible element of childhood---the gift of innocence.

[/quote]

BrokenFortress pretty much covered this, but the other thing I need to point out (again) is that I never advocated completely denying Santa and the Easter Bunny to young children, or any other children, in the first place. However, once again you have to over-generalize and respond to a strawman argument in order to avoid addressing my actual position.

Perhaps you would also tell them the stark details of other things beyond their capabilities of understanding, also under the guise of 'truth at all costs?'

Perhaps you're serving up another batch of red herring? ;)

But you are not dealing with adults in this case. Not every truth that is appropriate for an adult is also appropriate for a child.

While this is correct in and of itself, I'm still not sure how you think it applies here. It's not as if every child is just born with some innate and fragile psychological dependence on believing that "Santa Claus flying around the world every Christmas dropping gifts down chimneys" is an objective fact. As BrokenFortress has pointed out, if that were the case there would be a whole lot of messed-up children in the world today. Not to mention every child in the world born before maybe the 19th century or so would have been a victim of so-called "child cruelty" by default.


#33

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