Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Debate - A Fantasy

On a popular talk show, in a realm outside our normal reality (The views expressed are an attempt to reproduce the opinions of the individuals involved and do not necessarily reflect those of the author.)

Host: Tonight we have two men on our show who represent the very spirit of Christmas; Saint Nicholas of Myra and Mr. Santa Claus from the North Pole. Mr. Claus, what do you think is the essence of the Christmas?

Santa Claus: The essence of Christmas is giving. Which is why I give toys to children around the world.

St. Nicholas: I am in favor of giving, especially to the poor and needy. But the essence of Christmas is God giving His Son, and we must stand firm for His truth against all opposition.

Santa Claus: That seems rather narrow. I am in favor of good little children, whatever they believe.

St Nicholas: But are any of us really good? That is why Jesus came to redeem us. He reaches out to the immoral and imperfect with forgiveness.

Santa Claus: I reward those who are nice and not naughty; how else are we to get children to behave? I even keep tabs on them all the time to see that they mind.

St Nicholas: But God reaches out to those who are naughty. Even men who will sell their daughters into prostitution because they cannot afford to support them. And we are motivated to obey Him because He loved us so much.

Santa Claus: I think all religions basically say the same thing. The important thing is to be good.

St Nicholas: We are not good enough to be rewarded for it. We need to be forgiven. And all faiths are not alike. The pagans have gods who are capricious and lustful and bicker among themselves. They imprisoned and tortured me because I would not join them in their worship. Are you surprised I worked to close their temples and tear down their shrines?

Santa Claus: I still think we should leave aside this dogmatic stuff and just be nice to each other.

St. Nicholas: And I think, apart from the birth of the Lord Jesus, Christmas is just a meaningless holiday. Niceness is futile unless God changes your heart. I am tempted to slap you in the face, but last time I did that I got in a lot of trouble.

Host: And now for a word from our sponsor. After which we will have Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge and Mr. Grinch in to explain how, in spite of many reservations, they came to find a meaning in Christmas.   

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