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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Yes, Virginia, there is a God at Canada Free Press

Timothy Birdnow

I do some Christian apologetics and an analysis of the classic Christmas "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" in a piece at Canada Free Press.

From the article:

"In 1897 little Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editors of the New York Sun asking the following question:

“DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
“Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
“Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
“Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

Editor Frances Pharcellus Church wrote a reply now immortalized in Christmas Lore.

His reply is interesting indeed. Far more than simply a feel-good answer to a little child, the aptly named Church (son of a Baptist Minister) gave a model answer in apologetics:


"Church was addressing something far larger and more insidious than the failure of faith in a magical overweight elf. He was addressing the most fundamental question Humanity has ever had to address, one with profound consequences, one every person must ask; “Please tell me the truth; is there a God?”

Yes, Virginia, there is a God.

Santa Claus is a fable cherished the world over. Throughout all nations his position is unchallenged in the hearts and minds of children, and adults play along to keep the magic alive as long as possible. He goes by many names; Santa, St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas. He looks a bit different in different lands, but always he is the same, bringing gifts, spreading joy, encouraging goodness and charity. He is an archetype of all that Mankind wishes to be.

And his loss, the ending of belief in Santa, is traumatic; a death of innocence."

End excerpt.

It's a nice reminder of the real reason for this season. We celebrate something far larger than the shortest day of the year (as the pagans had celebrated it prior); we celebrate true hope, for there is a way out of this!

As Longfellow so eloquently put it:

"And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

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