ISLAMNEWSROOM - "Myth of Santa Claus"
WHO IS HE - REALLY?
Is this from Christian Religion?
NO! Santa Claus, his 8 flying reindeer, his elves, his shop at the north pole and the whole entire story - HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRISITAN RELIGION.
He started out with the name "Woden" (Odin), a god of nature, especially trees, from the Celtic Druid pagan religion. They believed in an elderly, magical, forest dweller with special powers over animals and the ability to know things - and even fly.
This made him the perfect character for myths, tales and bed-time stories for Vikings, Norsemen and much of Europe for centuries, before the Christian invastion to the north.
How Did He Become Santa Claus of Today?
Odin (pronounced Woden) to modern day Santa - A jolly old elf clothed in red clergy garb - has come a long way - to say the least:
1. Woden - Supreme Norse god, rides his 8 legged, flying horse, along with his black birds, represented keen memory and clever thinking. He is magical and can do many amazing things.
Woden is known to be strict and even harsh on young children who are bad.
2. Odin - elderly, bearded, one-eyed, stick carrying wandering wise man. He's still to be feared by young children, if they are not good.
3. Odin - dressed in his blood-red robe, along with his ravens and now with the severed head of his guide to wisdom, Mimir.
4. Odin - The lord of Yule (tree logs) appears without the black birds and head of Mimir - Now wearing his crown, carrying his stick, with magic holy and a yule log on his back as 'Father Christmas' - Just after Catholicism invades the Norse Land (Northwoods of Germanic Europe).
5. Father Christmas - becomes patron saint of charity (gift giving), Saint Nicholas. As 'Old Saint Nick' he now, instead of the yule log he carries a pine tree and kids toys. Real-life toy makers begin to cash-in on the concept.
6. Santa Claus - trying to bury his past. Now he seems to a charming and sweet old elf. But still a Yuletide image with same basic look, with only minor changes from when he was Woden (Odin) the god-of-war, in his red outfit, still wears his the long beard and promotes tree worship. Substitute for the flying horse with 8 legs, he now has 8 flying reindeer (myths of the Norse folks) pulling his magic sled above houses.
Rudolph with his red nose, was a new bid'ah (innovation) from the 1900's, but don't worry - they'll come up with more.
The myth of Woden, Lord of wood, god of war, bearded elf, dressed in blood red, with his flying animals and secret knowledge lives on - as long as there's a market for kid's toys (and for big boys) for the credit card vendors around the world.
What Do REAL Believers Say About Santa Claus?
Christians object to Santa Clause because of his pagan origin, not supported by Biblical representation, nor by tradition within the Judaiac or Christian traditions of old.
Jews don't even accept Jesus, peace be upon him, as a miracle birth (Muslims and Christians do), or a miracle-worker (Muslims and Christians do) or being taken up to God (Allah) to return in the Last Day (Muslims and Christians do).
So why should they be forced into allowing their children to be involved in such pagan beliefs, regardless of so-called benefits of "Spirit of Santa Claus" or "Christmas Magic"?
Atheists and agnostics (those who say there may be a god by they are not sure who) object to the concept of Santa Claus, simply because it brings along with it some very fantastic impossibilities and lies beyond the scope normal reality.
Muslims also object to the idea of Santa Claus, but for a different reason.
Islam teaches as fact, Jesus, peace be upon him, was the long awaited Christ (Arabic - Messiah) and he confirmed the main message of Almighty God: “The Lord your God, is One Lord and you must love Him and Him alone with all your mind and all your heart and all your strength.”
In any case Jesus, peace be upon him, is a powerful cultural symbol which is impossible to ignore, but this doesn’t mean that he should simply be accepted without question. There are some very good reasons to end with these false traditions.
Parents Must Lie About Santa Claus:
Perhaps the most serious objection to perpetuating belief in Santa Claus among children is also the simplest one: Parents must lie to their children - a lot. Belief in "Santa Concept" involves more than just "little white-lies", it means telling some "big whoppers"!
How can we encourage honesty, integrity and fairness in our youth, while at the same time persistently telling lies to them about something without any grounded proof in reality, nor having any real moral or lasting benefit?
Parent's Lies About Santa Continue to Grow:
In order to get kids to believe in Santa Claus, it’s not enough to commit a couple of simple lies and move on.
As with any lie, it’s necessary to construct more and more elaborate lies and defenses as time passes.
Skeptical questions about Santa must be met with detailed lies about Santa’s powers.
“Evidence” of Santa Claus must be created once mere stories of Santa prove insufficient.
It is unethical for parents to perpetuate elaborate deceptions on children unless it’s for a greater good.
Santa Claus Lies Discourage Healthy Skepticism:
Most children eventually become skeptical about Santa Claus and ask questions about him, for example how he could possibly travel around the whole world in such a short period of time.
Instead of encouraging this skepticism and helping children come to a reasonable conclusion about whether Santa Claus is even possible, much less real, most parents discourage skepticism by telling tales about Santa’s supernatural powers.
The Reward & Punishment System of Santa Claus is Unjust:
There are a number of aspects to the whole Santa Claus “system” which children shouldn’t learn to internalize. It implies that the whole person can be judged as naughty or nice based upon a few acts.
It requires belief that someone is constantly watching you, no matter what you are doing.
It is based upon the premise that one should do good for the sake of reward and avoid doing wrong out of fear of punishment. It allows parents to try to control children via a powerful stranger.
The Santa Claus Myth Promotes Materialism:
The entire Santa Claus myth is based on the idea of children getting gifts.
There’s nothing wrong with getting gifts, but Santa Claus makes it the focus on the entire holiday.
Children are encouraged to conform their behavior to parental expectation in order to receive ever more presents rather than simply lumps of coal.
In order to make Christmas lists, kids pay close attention to what advertisers tell them they should want, effectively encouraging unbridled consumerism.
Santa Claus is Too Similar to God (Allah):
The first and foremost reason for all true Muslims to reject the Santa Myth is - Divine qualities and powers.
Allah, alone is Divine, has All-Power and does not share His Powers or Characteristics with anyone or anything. Associating partners with Allah in any form is called "shirk" in Arabic and is the only UNFORGIVEABLE SIN.
The parallels between Santa Claus and Allah are totally unacceptable.
Santa Claus, according to the centuries of lies and added fabrications, he can do miracles, he has super powers, he possess secret knowledge of what people are doing, gives out rewards and punishment to folks around the world based upon whether or not they adhere to his pre-defined code of conduct or his prescribed way of (Deen in Arabic).
His existence is implausible, without logic and totally impossible, yet you must believe it if you expect to ever see and of the gifts and rewards. Believers should recognize this blasphemy (shirk) and non-believers should not want their children to grow up in these lies and foolishness.
Supporters of the Santa Myth have been told and continue to tell these lies, adding to and stretching what is already far out of realtiy to the point that when confronted with the dangers and damage associated with this nonsense, they become most intolerant and defensive about these fabrications.
The Santa Claus “Tradition” Over the Centuries (Where Did it Come From?):
Some might think that because Santa Claus is such an old tradition, this alone is sufficient reason to continue it. They were taught to believe in Santa as children, so why not pass this along to their own?
The role of Santa Claus in Christmas celebration is actually quite recent — the mid to late 19th century. The importance of Santa Claus is a creation of cultural elites and perpetuated by business interests and simple cultural momentum. It has little to no inherent value.
Santa Claus - More About Parents than Children:
Parental investment in Santa Claus is far larger than anything kids do, suggesting that parents’ defense of the Santa Claus myth is more about what the parents want and less about what kids want.
Parents own memories about enjoying Santa may be heavily influenced by cultural traditions and assumptions about what they should have experienced.
So why not just let the children know their parents love them and reward or punish them for the values they have? Instead of bringing in some supernatural, magical stranger who sets down the rules and gives out the goodies to those who obey him?
Future of Santa Claus:
These days Santa Claus symbolizes Christmas and perhaps the entire winter holiday season like nothing else.
An argument can be made for the importance of the Christmas tree as a symbol for Christmas (notice that there are no Christian images which come close), but Santa Claus personifies Christmas in a way that Jesus or Allah cannot.
Santa Claus is, furthermore, a not really religious, allowing him to cross cultural and religious lines, placing him in an important position for the entire season instead of just Christmas day.
So if dropping Santa out of the Christmas seaon meant people would drop the whole Christmas holidays altogether - would it really be all that bad?
All of us should quickly admit Christmas sales promotions, starting with Black Friday and going all the way up to 'After Christmas Clearance' sales have turned this time of the year into an over the limit, credit card buying frenzy and commercialized a notion that in reality is nothing but lies.
What if people focused more on worshipping the One who created Jesus, peace be upon him, in the first place?
The One who created Adam and Eve and all of the Biblical prophets, peace be upon them all; the One who created the whole universe and all of us in it?
There’s a lot to be said for those religious people who refuse to become a part of this nonsense and refuse to allow the Santa Myth to become part of their own traditions, representing an intrusion of this unrealistic culture into their own.
Finally, we should mention the position of those who don't accept belief in God — humanists, atheists, skeptics, and freethinkers — refusing to be co-opted into a religious observance.
Whether Santa Claus in particular or Christmas in general is treated as defined by Christian or pagan religious traditions neither are religions which these nonbelievers are part of.
Christmas and Santa Claus have strong secular elements, however those are not as much religious as they are commercial
— OK, now think about this, what kind of person wants to invest their time, resources and monty in a holiday that is all about promoting lies, paganism, twisted beiefs and heavy commerce?
Credit card spending is higher in Decenber more so than any other month of the year.
Savings are depleted, pay checks are wiped out before even being deposited in the bank. Parents are further taken away from their children by all this extra work, extra shopping, extra spending, extra decorating and all for what? - Lies!
The future of the Santa Myth depends on whether we care enough to do something about it. Will we stop telling the lies about the Santa Myth?
Will we start telling the truth and share this article with others, so they can join us in making others aware of the Santa Myth?
If we don't, things will continue on the same down hill course they have been on for centuries. If people don't stand up for truth, integrity and honesty, then what will be the future of America?
- Muslims, please note: Celebrating holidays of other religions is forbidden in Islam, but particularly items listed above related to the Christian Santa Claus, make it clear this is nothing more than another invented god-man giving people what they want.
Support your children in the right way of Islam, be with them in these times of turmoil and confusion.
What they desire from you most is TIME - your time! Not toys, gadgets, play things from a made up clown with a cotton beard. This only goes so far.
What they really need most is the correct beliefs, proper morals, excellence of character, a decent education - and most of all the right relationship with the Creator and His creation.
We ask Allah to protect our children from this nonsense and grant them all true guidance and forgive us all, ameen.
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