Jesus, Santa, and . . . Paris???
CNN.com is reporting that a man in Rhode Island has decided to do something different this year for his Christmas decorations. Instead of a manger scene, or even Santa and some elves, he's decided to post near life-sized posters of Paris Hilton in his yard. It's causing quite a stir.
Although I don't think this is right, I find it to be very creative and funny. The sad part, though, was the reaction of one of the townspeople, Ron Raffonelli. When asked what he thought of the display, he said he "would be upset if his young grandchildren came to associate Christmas with [a] naked woman. He'd prefer the kids to think of Santa Claus. After all, Raffonelli said, 'He's been around longer.'" (quote taken from the CNN.com article).
Two things bother me. First, here's another example of people missing the historical, and primary, meaning of Christmas. It's not about Santa or presents (see here for a great poem about the consumerism of Christmas), but about the birth of Jesus, Son of God, Messiah, Lord. I don't expect the world to trust Jesus, but it would be nice to hear non-believers admit that the reason Christmas exists, at least historically, is to commemorate Jesus' birth. Second, and equally disterbing, is Raffonelli's comment that Santa should be the 'poster boy' of Christmas instead of Paris Hilton because "He's been around longer." Again, no respect shown for history or religion. I'm no expert on this subject, but I'm pretty sure Santa doesn't pre-date the pre-existant Second Person of the Trinity. In addition, he doesn't even pre-date the Incarnation.
Ah, just frustrating to see such ignorance. Anyways, have a Happy Jesus Birthday (maybe that's what I'll call it from now on, instead of Christmas) and spend your money on missions instead of cd's, Ipods, and X-box's.
posted by Jason Sampler at 10:16 AM