Oh please no...While I was planning on responding to a number of things that Andy and Dusty pointed out, Dusty's last post means that I have only one thing to talk about. I don't care what the goal of the ad campaign is, having Jesus in a Santa suit will primarily inspire in people the belief that instead of asking Santa for material things they should be asking Jesus for them. Plain and simple, that's what the add says. It's the prayer of Jabez book in a picture. There is a second, perhaps more interesting negative reinforcement here as well. I turn it over to my dear friend Robert Capon.
Thanks Jake. here's something I wrote about God and Santa.
"The Messiah whom Jesus' contemporaries expected- and likewise any and all of the messiahs the world has looked to ever since (even, alas, the church's all-too-often graceless, punishing version of Jesus' own messiahship)- are like nothing so much as religious versions of "Santa Clause is coming to town." The words of that dreadful Christmas song sum up perfectly the only kind of messianic behavior the human race, in its self-destructive folly, is prepared to accept: "He's making a list; he's checking it twice; he's going to find out who's naughty, or nice"-and so on into the dark night of all the tests this naughty world can never pass...Jesus, thank God, is not Santa Clause. He will come to the world's sins with no lists to check, no tests to grade, no debts to collect, no scores to settle. He will wipe the handwriting that was against us and nail it to his cross. He will save, not some minusclue coterie of good little boys and girls with religious money in their piggy banks, but all the stone-broke, deadbeat, overextended children of the world whom he, as the Son of man- the holy Child of God, the Ultimate Big Kid, if you plese- will set free in the liberation of his death."
I hate Santa. I hate reinforcing the idea of good behavior in the sacrament of gift giving. Death to Santa. Death to manipulation (if you're good then...) Long live pointless gift giving.
With great love, Jake.