The white-bearded old pal does not exist, nor does Jesus, Mohammad, Vishnu, Shiva and not even Brahma. There are no reptilians controlling the economy of this world, there are no angels guarding our lives. The Pope of Rome is as real as the Great Wizard of Oz, the faith of any Ayatollah has the same value of a two year old child believing in Santa Claus.
Yes, Santa. In these days of Jingle Bells, I was wondering if I will ever tell this story to my own children. I remember enjoying the wait for Christmas and the surprise of receiving some presents from an unknown bearded old man. I soon discovered the truth, as most today’s adults did. Still, the same people who consider Santa Claus an innocent game to entertain their own kids, have their minds stuck in the deep ponds of magic thinking.
Raising children in the idea that something imaginary and illogical actually exist (yet, I am not talking about love) opens the doors to religion, faith, and troubles. A kid who believes today in Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, will most likely believe — as an adult — that virginity is a value to be preserved until marriage. That homosexuality is an abomination.
Or that eating a certain food would offend an imaginary god: let this be any meat on Friday for a Catholic (caviar, salmon, oysters are ok, though!), a Big Mac for a Hindu, bacon for a Muslim, whatever is not a boiled egg for an orthodox Jew.
Do you think I am going to far? Maybe you — like me — believed in Santa, for a few years in your childhood, but today there is no deity in your mind. Does this mean that Santa is innocent?
I love Jesus
It has not been an easy, nor a short journey, this that led me to get rid of magic and religious thinking in my life. Santa Claus was soon followed by the stories of Jesus I heard at school and at the local parish. Jesus was there, when I joined the Scouts, and I even ended up studying in a Catholic seminar.
Jesus, and his god in a masculine multiplicity, Virgin Mary, a ridiculously large amount of saints (comparable to the million Shinto deities). All these characters populated my imaginary. With their dose of morality, false promises and risible prescriptions.
Love and hallucinations
All these fantastic creatures were credible in my mind, because imaginary figures were allowed in my life when I was a child. Would my parents have told me “here are some presents for you, from us, because we love you“, I would have learned something about love, and less about hallucinations. And the first time someone was coming to me saying “open the doors of your heart to Jesus”, I would have laughed and walked away!
Instead, I was taught that love and presents come through imaginary friends.
And I fell in the trap.
- A post on Virgin Marys and unicorns
- Why do important people wear a hat?
- Tired of religion? Take a look on why everyone loves boobs!