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To think that belief in Father Christmas is not comparable to religious belief.

(1000 Posts)
Throughthelongnight Fri 06-Dec-13 22:20:42

Just that really. I have noticed that the expectation is that we all go along with the pretence of FC for the sake of parent's children's sensibility, but the same is not afforded where religious belief is concerned.

cheval1980 Fri 06-Dec-13 22:48:08

If religion kept out of where it doesn't belong (politics/schools/government) I think people may be less inclined to mock it. It can be frustrating to watch government resources and school education be wasted on religious nonsense, hence people might feel they need to fight back.

TheFabulousIdiot Fri 06-Dec-13 22:48:22

Isn't the title of the thread saying a different thing to the first post or have a just drunk a bit too much wine?

Not everyone uses father Christmas in the 'be good or else' way so definitely not comparable there.

Bloob Fri 06-Dec-13 22:50:06

Well yes, I suppose. But then no one has actually been killed in the name of Santa have they?

I don't know professor... Ever been to toys r us 2 days before Xmas in search of the last furby?!

cloggal Fri 06-Dec-13 22:52:55

No, curlew, you're right and very witty. When I said disrespectful I meant more the head-tilting and in some cases disparaging comments I've had for essentially being secular. (In some communities/families, it is a hugely minority position, apologies for projecting).

friday16 Fri 06-Dec-13 22:56:49

It's disrespectful because it's someone's faith.

So what? Kitzmiller vs Dover Area School District: a bunch of Christian nutters took over the school board in a small town, enforced young-earth creationism on the school, got sued into the ground on the inevitable constitutional issues, and then lied incessantly to try to cover up their stupidity. The judge in the case took over questioning at various points, and came extremely close to charging two of the people involved with perjury. The school district is near bankrupt paying the multi-million legal bill that their dishonesty got them into. Which part of the religious faith of Alan Bonsell (the YEC, the lying, the dishonesty) isn't worthy of mockery?

Closer to home, Bull and another v Hall and another which is the final gasp of the "I want to run a hotel but throw out all teh gayz because they is dirty and nasty" case. Hazelmary Bull (proof conclusion of Dorothy Parker's adage that beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone) claims that God tells her to hate queers to the point of refusing to serve them in her business. Which part of her faith isn't worthy of mockery?

Throughthelongnight Fri 06-Dec-13 22:58:19

Special, I agree that you do have every right to disagree with a religious point of view. The religious point of view being faith doesn't require proof or affirmation.

The point of this thread was to question those who vehemently suggest that anyone who doesn't go along with the FC myth is harming the 'magic' of christmas, whilst not being prepared to go along with the 'myth' of Christmas (the birth of Christ etc) to spare the feeling of those who believe in 'fairies'.

perlona Fri 06-Dec-13 23:01:32

Santa - Christmas presents, movies, magic, imagination, fun, reindeer, happy memories, excitement. Only children believe in Santa until they're old enough, until then, it makes Christmas magical and exciting.

Religion - mass murder, mass control, insanity, misogyny, homophobia, torture, ignorance, lies, war, genocide, inquisitions, child marriages, honour killings, forced marriages. A tool for evil people to manipulate the ignorant and if they can brainwash enough idiots, can destroy entire societies along with any hope of civilisation for the next few hundred years.

No comparison.

GiveItYourBestFucker Fri 06-Dec-13 23:05:45

Erm...isn't Santa Claus a version of Saint Nicholas? i.e a religious construct..

FraidyCat Fri 06-Dec-13 23:05:50

It is disrespectful to compare the two, because it amounts to calling the people who believe in the more complex myth idiots. However, if you don't mind offending people, then the comparison can be useful for undermining the arguments that some religious people like to make. I've heard it said that any such person should write down their argument, then replace the word "god" with "Santa Claus" wherever it appears, then decide if they still think it's a good argument.

To illustrate what I mean, I've heard a agnostic say atheism (as opposed to agnosticism) is unjustified, because atheists cannot prove god doesn't exist. Well, similarly, the agnostic cannot prove Santa Claus doesn't exist, but he presumably doesn't believe in Santa. Substituting Santa is the most straight-forward way to show what is wrong with the argument.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 06-Dec-13 23:09:08

What the actual fuck are you all talking about and why are you saying Father Christmas is a myth.

He's not he's real you bunch of utter bastard gits

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 06-Dec-13 23:09:58

<sorry couldn't help it even if it was very childish>

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Fri 06-Dec-13 23:10:00

Don't really understand your OP if I'm honest. Personally I think god is about as believable as father christmas. But I wouldn't tell you what to believe, nor would I tell you what teach your kids. I would expect you to offer me the same respect I guess. Not sure if that answers your question though.

BlueSkySunnyDay Fri 06-Dec-13 23:10:43

"no one has actually been killed in the name of Santa have they?" EXACTLY

I really dont "get" what you are saying the two things are completely different - because not everyone believes in God you want us to pull all the worlds children together and tell them santa doesnt exist? grin

I know people who claim to have experienced ghosts
I know people who firmy believe in angels

I only know 1 person who claims to have had a personal "godly" encounter ...and his wife claims it was probably drink related.

Unfortunately many of the people who are the most scathing and critical of other peoples lifestyle choices and beliefs are people who believe in Gods...they even disparage the belief of people who believe in different gods.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Fri 06-Dec-13 23:11:20

Both fictions, one is a harmless pretence for children, another is something that can rule people's lives.

catkind Fri 06-Dec-13 23:11:58

I don't go around telling religious families' children there is no god, that would be disrespectful. Nor do I go round telling children who believe in santa that there is no santa. I don't expect my children to be told santa is real or that god is real, but am prepared to go along with a certain amount of playing along at christmas (letters to santa, nativity play). I don't tell my children santa is real either, I tend to say "what do you think". So yes there is a certain parallel.

I'm a bit more prepared to play along with santa without letting them know the alternatives because I know they'll all find out it's a myth in the next few years, and I don't think they're likely to offend anyone by fanatical belief in santa to the exclusion of say fairies. Also the things santa requires ("being good") are vague and generally things I want them to do anyway, whereas gods generally require being worshipped.

NoComet Fri 06-Dec-13 23:12:54

Actually I do. I'm an atheist to the core (and we didn't do Santa and I always knew the tooth fairy was mum),
but I do bite my young he about religion with other people's DCs until they are 10ish.

By Y5/6 I think DCs have the right to make up their own minds and by Y7 be left at home if they don't want to go to church.

I wouldn't preach to someone else's child, but I wouldn't lie to an older one either.

I think for children it is exactly the same thing. Your parents have taught you to believe so you put your faith in them and trust it is true. I think the only difference is that Santa Claus can be proven to be false.

I don't make fun of people for their beliefs. Everyone has the right to believe whatever they feel. Telling me I am disrespectful for thinking all religions are the same as each other and the same as believing in invisible pink unicorns is a bit unfair, since I would completely support anyone's right to believe in them all.

Can I go all evangelical and recommend the great FSM as god of choice? Nobody has been killed in the name of the great noodle in the sky.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Fri 06-Dec-13 23:13:59

The flying spaghetti monster comment is usually as a defence when an atheist is asked to prove the non-existence of god. Which I think is fair enough because the burden of proof of not on us and we can't disprove god, nor can we disprove the spaghetti
monster- but it doesn't mean we believe in it.
I honestly don't think that is meant to be sarcastic or to hurt anyone but it genuinely is as a response to being backed into a corner and justify one's beliefs as an atheist.

friday16 Fri 06-Dec-13 23:14:48

It is disrespectful to compare the two, because it amounts to calling the people who believe in the more complex myth idiots.

What's the threshold of complexity past which believe in the physical reality of a myth is no longer idiotic?

NoComet Fri 06-Dec-13 23:23:14

I don't know if my DDs said anything when they were younger (as DH believes in God and I don't, I think they were still deciding).

I know at 12 and 15 they do have frank discussions with their friends.

(Seacreatly I hope they do spread doubt to one DC, because he's far too clever for fairy tales. As is DH, but to question his faith would spoil too many happy childhood memories.)

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 06-Dec-13 23:24:03

It's comparable in the sense that they're both beliefs in made-up stories.

It's not comparable in how those beliefs are applied to our lives e.g. no Santa based wars (except on mumsnet) or terrorism, belief in Santa as an adult is not socially acceptable, belief in god is etc.

TheArticFunky Fri 06-Dec-13 23:26:56

I don't think it is disrespectful to disrespect someone's faith (does that sentence even make sense?! ).

However it is wrong to disrespect someone because they have faith or don't have faith. I am Christian and I think it is perfectly acceptable for someone to dislike my religion and disagree with its teachings. It is unacceptable for someone to hold the view that I'm stupid and lack skills of rationale because I have faith. Likewise it would be wrong of me to believe that an Atheist is lacking in character.

In my humble opinion faith isn't about intellect and rationale it's very much an individual/personal thing. I have faith that that our spirit doesn't end after death but I don't have proof and I wouldn't want to enter a debating contest as I would probably lose.

Throughthelongnight Fri 06-Dec-13 23:29:56

So is it okay for me to tell a child I don't believe in Father Christmas?

And is it okay for me to tell a child that I don't believe in God?

TheFabulousIdiot Fri 06-Dec-13 23:30:22

I'm happy enought to go along with the fun of a jolly fat man getting stuck I a chimney after flying through the air on a sleigh drawn by reindeer to give presents to every child while simultaneously snorting at the idea of creation, Jesus and god which is just as illogical but so much ore stupid and damage g, particularly to young minds.

Think if you can't see the difference then you are
Rob ably a bit simple but then I do thnk a faith in a god requires you to be a bit simple.

TheFabulousIdiot Fri 06-Dec-13 23:31:36

I think it's fine to tell a child you don't believe in father Christmas. Why wouldn't it be?

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