Thursday, November 15, 2007

Santa is Satan: the False Idol of American Consumerism

America is thought to have no unifying faith, but I believe we worship at the altar of shopping malls through the veneration of our purchases. Capitalism is the faith that binds American society and it's patron saint is Santa Claus.

Don't be ashamed if you don't recognise father Christmas, he's an obscure old Christian saint. Santa Claus is an evil pagan construct altogether different from jolly old St. Nicholas pictured here.

He was once known as St. Nicholas, the 3rd century Bishop of Myra in modern Turkey. He is in fact the patron saint of sailors, as he was a sailor and fisherman during his life and once saved a fellow sailor on a voyage to Alexandria. Today he is commonly associated with Christmas, and the gift giving that the is apart of the western Christmas tradition. But Santa Claus is an idol of the Amercan phyche as perversely distorted in character as a his butchered name is in pronunciation (Santa Claus is a mispronunciation of the Dutch word 'Sinterklaas'). Santa is the personification of the holiday season (the secular term for the Christmas festivities), and as its' embodiment, he urges us to indulge in the gluttony of consumerism under the auspices of representing Christianity and the gift giving spirit.

You may think he's jolly, but he'll consume your soul if you're too concerned with material wealth and capital gain.

In reality Santa is a false, pagan idol of our secular, capitalistic society. The queer pagan symbolism of elves and reigndeer serve to mask the suffering of the global proletariate who do not share the benefits of of America's gluttonous desire to consume (which is ironically represented in Santa's own obesity). The name Santa Claus itself seems a diliberate attempt to secularize 'father Christmas' and remove him from a christian context so that he might be more readily acceptable to America's atheist and agnostic citizenry. Santa Claus embodies the growing preoccupations of materialism and capitalism in our culture. When American Christians should use the Christmas holiday to reflect on the unique mysteries of their faith, they are instead concerned with pagan elves and reigndeer. As an obese, old, toymaker, he represents our shared vices of consumerism, sloth, and gluttony. Santa Claus is a false idol of our perverse modern society and is undeserving of veneration intended for Jesus on the day of his birth.

If 'God is Dead' capitalism is the new faith that unifies American society. The dollar is our eucharist ,the malls are our temples, and Santa Claus is our patron saint.


Greyhound said...

Great Post! I totally agree with your summation. Although I do not adhere to any one religion, especially christianity, I think it's high time we wake up as American citizens and see what's going on before it's too late.

renea mac said...

I stumbled upon your post and I'm glad I did. Well put. I especially appreciate the way in which you highlight the important role meditation on mystery plays and how we don't even know what mystery is anymore. Thank you for posting this.