For years, right wing politicians and pundits have complained about what they call a “War on Christmas”. That complaint, however, has been less a defense of the right to practice winter holidays in freedom than it has been an insistence that everyone practice only one winter holiday, and only in the way that right wing Christians approve of. The Religious Right has demanded that private businesses ignore the multiplicity of winter holidays celebrated by Americans, and recognize only Christmas, and identify it by name.
Yet, to win their War For Christmas, the Religious Right isn’t content with everyone saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “happy holidays”. They want to take their fight further, to a purification of Christmas of all non-Christian elements.
Specifically, they want to eradicate Santa Claus. In the view of extremist right wing Christians, Santa Claus is a pagan source of corruption, and a distraction from what they believe is the one and only reason for the season: The baby Jesus.
For example, the Christians Against Santa Claus group on Facebook asks, “Why do most Christians not fight the lie of Santa Claus? For too long the lie of Santa has drawn children away from the real focus of Christmas – Jesus.” Member Joyce Kauffmann-Woodruff comments, “I think that when santa clause replaces Jesus during Christmas he should not be referred to as St. Nicholas but as Satan Clause!”
According to Bible Believers, Santa Claus is the leader of a diabolical army of evil. “Santa has some cute little helpers called ‘elves’. It so happens, that Elves (a.k.a fairies, trolls, etc.) also are very popular ‘helpers’ in witchcraft, demonism and the occult.”
Right wing churches frequently try to push their members away from Santa. For example, there’s the anti-Santa poem published by Reverend Dale Visser in the bulletin of the Oskaloosa First Christian Reformed Church:
“The children look for Santa
In his big, red sleigh
Never thinking of the child
whose bed was made of hay.
When we look into the night sky,
We don’t see a sleigh
But a star, burning bright and high.”
Reverend Dale Visser isn’t just any ordinary preacher, it turns out. He’s also a Republican political activist who is using his position as the leader of the Oskaloosa First Christian Reformed Church to promote the presidential campaign of Michele Bachmann.
Dale Visser is one of the 100 Christian leaders that Michele Bachmann listed last week as proof that she is Christian enough to be President of the United States. In her introduction of that last, Michele Bachmann made it clear that she intends to convert her religious views into government policy, “witnessing how her faith guides her strong leadership”.
Would that include support for a government attack against Santa Claus? Michele Bachmann is proud to display Reverend Dale Visser’s political endorsement. Does she endorse Visser’s attack on Santa?