This story comes from the department of “believe what you want but don’t be a jerk about it.”
On Saturday an evangelical preacher from Texas named David Grisham posted a video on his Facebook page that has upset many people. In the video Grisham, in an Amarillo mall, approaches a group of children and parents waiting to see Santa. He announces loudly and repeatedly that there is no Santa Claus, and that Jesus is the reason for Christmas.
Of course, some of the parents weren’t too happy about Grisham’s stunt, and he was confronted by a couple of angry fathers. The conversation that ensued was largely civil, but at one point Grisham tells one of the men to not put his hand on him. Grisham whined about the “assault” on his Facebook post.
If Grisham thought he would get a lot of sympathy on social media, he was wrong. So far over there have been over 20,000 comments on the video. Responses like these were typical.
Of course if Grisham had any knowledge of Christmas he would know that Santa Claus comes from St. Nicholas. The real St. Nicholas was born in the area now known as Turkey in the third century. He was raised as a devout Christian by his wealthy parents. After they died in an epidemic he followed Jesus’ instructions to sell him possessions and give the money to the poor.
Nicholas was persecuted by the Romans and imprisoned. The anniversary of his death became St. Nicholas Day, celebrated on December 6. So whether Grisham wants to accept it or not, Santa Claus is as much a part of the Christmas season as is Jesus. Maybe even more so, as many theologians agree that Jesus was not born in December.
Here’s Grisham’s video, via YouTube.