I had a talk not too long ago with a very intelligent person about Christian Christmas stories. He asked, â€œSurely you donâ€™t actually believe that the Christmas story you preach really happened?â€ It was a question that I settled long ago, although it reminded me that many people still struggle with their faith around the holidays.
Even though there are probably some good reasons to ponder the â€œrealityâ€ of the Nativity story over the holidays, I honestly donâ€™t even think about it anymore. I once read a quote that went something like, â€œThe question is not always whether it is real, but whether it mattersâ€¦the things that matter most become reality.â€
Atheist Sam Harris has written about â€œtiny liesâ€ and the cost they have on our culture. He even discusses Santa Claus, taking on a popular non-religious Christmas tradition as a form of deception. I see Harris, much like my friend, in a very “stuck” place. When we bring the wrong question to the table, we often feel the need to “force feed” answers. No one likes being force-fed.
When it comes to Santa, the question for families is not so much whether or not he and his reindeer troop are real; rather the question is whether or not he matters. Because if he matters, every family finds a way to make him real during the season. [Read more…]