By KufreAbasi Essien
Have you been seduced by Santa Claus? That is a shocking question, isn’t it? And you are trying to understand why the supposedly benign figure popularly called Father Christmas should be associated with seduction.
The whole story about the seduction of Santa Claus starts with Christmas. This is the day observed by most Christians as the birthday of Jesus the Christ. Like most doctrinal practices, the observance of Christmas has caused numerous fractures in the Christian community. While some are of the opinion that it should be observed, others are totally opposed to its observance. In the face of this disagreement, one factor remains clear: both schools of thought agree that Christmas has its roots in ancient pagan practices.
In a recent interview published on page 8 of The Sensor At-Weekend, December 23, 2016, Friar John-Kennedy Anyanwu, a Franciscan Capuchin Priest, while responding to the question “How did Christmas celebration come to be?” said:
“The celebration of Christmas is something that is connected with old tradition which dates back in history. It dates back such that people have different theories and understanding of the origin of Christmas. These theories all boil down to the fact that it is a celebration of something great.
Before the advent of Christianity, the pagans that existed during the Roman Empire (that is, those who dominated the Roman Empire) usually had a celebration for the sun god. This happened until the time of Emperor Constantine when Christianity started gaining grounds. Accordingly, there was an adoption of Christianity as a religion of state. This was also a time when a lot of changes came into the Christian world. In clear terms, what we know as Christmas today came as a replacement of some pagan celebrations (the celebration of the sun god) at the time.
Also, in view of nature and weather considerations, those in Europe set aside a particular period to celebrate Christmas. The winter season was a factor here. It characterized the exchange of gifts, and general merry making. Ordinarily, when people celebrate, a lot of things go into it; people exchange gifts and other packages. So, when the Christian world saw the whole idea and how it had become cultural, they were almost getting used to it. So, instead of letting their own people join in the celebration of the sun god, they decided in strong acknowledgement, to celebrate the divine son of God; one who is Almighty and worthy of reverence. For them, Jesus is the son of God who has no comparison to other gods. With time, the Christians dominated the pagans, and in order that the pagan celebration will not distract them, the celebration of Christmas was fixed on that same day, so that they too, can celebrate the divine son of God, not the sun god.”
There it is: “In clear terms, what we know as Christmas today came as a replacement of some pagan celebrations (the celebration of the sun god at the time). And here lies the problem which this piece is going to tackle.
To examine the entire pagan roots of Christmas in this limited space will be an impossible task. If you intend to take a survey of that subject matter, you may wish to run a search on Google with the term “the pagan roots of Christmas.” What you extract will help you understand the coming paragraphs.
The idea of replacing the worship of the sun god with Christmas was as expounded by Bible sc scholars and theologians was to provide an alternative feast for the Christians in the pagan- dominated Rome during the celebration of the feast of the sun god and other pagan feasts.
“That was smart,” you may say. But the problem associated with that move is the remote and unconscious attachment of Christian faithful to the practice and vestiges of paganism and its symbolics. One of such pagan symbolic, vestiges and pagan affiliations is Santa Claus.
Researchers have linked Santa Claus with the pagan god Thor, known in the Greco-Roman Mythology as the Father of all pagan gods. In the myth, Santa is said to deliver Christmas gifts to homes using the chimney stack as an access way. So he wears red, symbolizing fire. Apart from fire, the color red is said to represent thunder and lightning, as Santa is seen as the father of thunder and lightning.
Some other researchers have shown that Santa Claus is simply an anagram of Satan Lucas. They also hold that Lucas is the code name for high devil, Lucifer, spoken about in Isaiah 14:12 and that the name is the root of such derivative words like lucid (shining, bright clear) and luck.
Beyond the anagram analysis, Santa Claus is linked with Odin, a widely revered god in Norse mythology. Odin is also a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic peoples and up to the Viking Age (between 8th-11th centuries) in the European and Scandinavian histories. The researchers also draw a visual comparison between the Nordic god, Odin, and Santa Claus. They both have long beards and a long-tailed head coverage, and ride through the snow in Reindeer-drawn carts and sleighs.
The link between Santa Claus and pagan gods is very strong. Santa Claus has nothing to do with Christ.
So why do we have Santa Claus and his symbols aggressively promoted during Christmas? This legend has been given a serious boost even by Christian churches and Christians, who should know better than the rest of the world. By so doing, the bearers of the these effigies, and symbols of Santa Claus are doing more harm than good: instead of celebrating the birth of Christ in place of the ancient pagan sun god, they simply invoke the spirit of Satanism into manifestation by adorning themselves with the costumes and regalia of Santa Claus.
If Santa Claus has no place in the Christian Faith, why are Christians busy promoting it even at the expense of the Christ? Is it that they are going back to the pagan practices that the early church fathers tried to pull them away from? Or, is paganism coming round to win the war against Christianity?
Church leaders, beyond advocating for peace at Christmas, having known the roots of Santa Claus, should go a step forward to condemn the passive worship of this pagan god by Christian faithful who promote Santa Claus. If they fail to tell this simple truth, then it will appear that the church has fallen for the seduction of Santa Claus.