Santa Claus is dead – well, at least a pinata of Santa is dead, thanks to the good folks at Repent Amarillo, the “Special Forces of spiritual warfare,” who put Santa before a firing squad.
In a video by the outfit (who, by the way, “abhor violence”) Santa’s list of “heinous crimes against the Lord our God” are read out before the execution. Among them “idolatry” for replacing himself with Jesus Christ, and for being a “stumbling block to parents who lie to their children that you exist to bring them gifts.”
Then, before the violence begins, Santa is told: “We would plead that the Lord have mercy on your soul, but you have no soul, as you exist only as a lie and nothing more.”
Then, the video gets really chilling and creepy as parents are instructed to bring their children to the screen to witness Santa’s final moments. Then the shooting starts as three people lock and load and empty their guns into Santa several times. Then, the “coup de grace” (pronounced “coo-dee-grace” on the video), as one goes in to take a final couple of close in shots to finish off the jolly fat man. The video shows just the barrel of the shotgun as two shots are fired pointblank into Santa’s head.
With the gun powder still thick in the air, we’re told that they’re “doing this all in good fun. We chose a pinata on purpose to make sure that no one would confuse this with a real person because as Christians we do not advocate violence against real people. We abhor violence. So this is all just for good fun, it’s like parody.”
Finally, he’s right – this is a parody in the truest sense of the word – meaning the whole thing is a travesty. Living in the South I regularly encounter “non-violent” gun-toting Christians who believe Jesus would have packed heat if he could have, forgetting that Jesus truly abhorred violence, even when the disciples were defending him against arrest.
In the rest of the video, some good points are actually made as viewers are encouraged to “do unto the least of these” as a gift to Jesus Christ this season.
“Christmas is about benevolence to the needy, not about rampant commercialism,” he states, but then pleads for us to return to the true intention of Christmas – “the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.”
But, as C. Joshua Villines has already pointed out here at RD, Jesus is not the reason for the season; He is, in fact, a latecomer to the party.
“Long before those Christian traditions developed, this was already a special time of year. People have always gathered together at the time when the nights were at their longest and the weather its most bitter. Feasting, small gifts of affection, fires and candles, evergreen trees, and all the other hallmarks of ‘Christmas’ find their origins in much older traditions in observance of the winter solstice.”
So, if the real reason for the season is to remind ourselves of our connection to one another and to help the “least of these,” why, then, would we seek to execute any symbol that reminds us of that?