NB: All the numbered items below are "title cards" I flipped in advance of the section following. Make sense? Of course it does.
There are similarities: two bearded men with in an interest in changing our behavior. HOWEVER, there remain critical differences.
2.) Purity of Motivation
Santa Claus wants only your happiness. He wants you to know joy and plenty, and he works his ass off to help you get there.
Jesus? Bit of a dick, actually.
On the cross, He said:
“Forgive them, Father – they know not what they do.”
Which COULD be read to mean that he urged “God’s” forbearance and mercy upon mankind; that it was our fallibility and fear that led us to persecute and kill him. That even in his last agony, his plea to his invisible dad-God was to lay off the smiting.
That’s one reading.
But looked at ANOTHER way, this is maybe the most passive-aggressive thing anybody’s ever said about anything at any time. Because to ME, it seems clear that the “Prince of Peace” is really saying:
“No, yeah. You guys should totally kill me. I mean, since you guys are such ignorant and primitive swine, it’s not like you can help yourselves. Dad-God, you should totally not wipe them out, cause that would be like executing retards.
And, YEAH, He said “retards.”
When Santa Claus farts, it smells like spruce, and fresh ginger bread, candy canes melting in cocoa, and ardent wishes fulfilled – the wishes of everybody you’ve ever been fond of.
Every bracing gust of Santa’s ass-wind radiates the warmth of a potbellied soul-stove around which all people living and dead may warm their feet, and where we are granted freedom from fear and wanting. We are made whole for a time – we are unbroken, and our hearts become – even if only fleetingly – expansive, forgiving, and kind.
When Jesus Christ farts, it’s nothing but two thousand year-old frankincense and myrrh, so it smells like a mummified candle store.
3.) Comprehension of the Human Heart
Santa asks only that you try your best. Santa applauds your efforts – he appreciates that you keep plugging away, and he forgives you for falling short.
And Santa asks that you do your best THIS YEAR, and he will bring your presents THIS YEAR. There’s a statute of limitations on his judgment.
JESUS rewards? MAYBE after you’re dead.
Which of these guys understands you better? The guy who gives you an encouraging chuck on the chin and a payoff you can grasp?
Or the dude who expects you to remain pure indefinitely – just for the sake of it, offering you only the model of his cheerless self-sacrifice –a joyless slog of pain and futility toward some entirely theoretical prize you won’t live to see?
If you wanna motivate somebody, do you set for them an ambitious-yet-reachable goal?
Or do you go: “Army-crawl through that endless expanse of shit-speckled shards of glass for the next unspecified number of decades and I will totally give you a lollipop after you croak?”
Santa will eat the cookies you leave him. He’ll chow down on the cookies, and he’ll down the milk, and he won’t turn his nose up at a couple-few fingers of brandy, either. I bet he’d take a pull on your one-hitter if you left it for him.
If you personally eat a wheel of cheese, and a tower of macaroons, and a handle of scotch, Santa will remain your pal.
Jesus? He wants you to dine on homemade wine and dry-ass rustic bread.
He’s one of those self-righteous hippies who trick you into coming to their house for dinner only to slide a platter of weird-smelling nut loaf in front of you, then follows it with side of spelt drizzled in fucking misery. Fuck that guy. You will eat a McRib on the way home from his fucking house.
5.) Cultural Portrayals
Does the face of Santa appear in shrouds and in the grain of plywood and in water stains at overpasses and in toast? No. Jesus has cornered that particular insanity market.
True, there is Silent Night, Deadly Night, the slasher flick about a teen who DRESSES LIKE Santa and kills a whole mess of people, ONLY cause he was traumatized by watching his parents murdered by a dude in a Santa suit, so it’s forgivable, really, when you think about it. Aside from that, pretty much all the portrayals of Santa are totally positive.
But can we say the same of JESUS? We cannot.
Because of JESUS, John Lithgow would not permit his daughter Lori Singer and her boyfriend Kevin Bacon to dance. And what of Chris Penn? For did not Chris Penn long only for Kevin Bacon to teach him sweet dance moves in a montage set to “Let’s Hear It For the Boy?” Of course he did – that’s all any of us want.
And because of JESUS, Piper Laurie went straight out of her mind and punished her daughter Sissy Spacek for having her period. I mean, yeah, getting doused in pig blood sent her over the edge to kill everybody at the prom, but all that Jesus weirdness at home can’t have helped.
6.) Roman Catholic Priests
When Catholic priests engage in non-consensual ass play with choirboys, or altar boys, or kids from the daycare, or, really, any kid that’s too slow-footed or trusting to elude capture, whose skirts they hiding behind?
Well, the coarse-woven robes of Jesus, that’s who.
Santa does not sexually assault children.
Which isn’t to say Jesus did, necessarily – we just can’t know for sure. Long time ago. It is worth noting, though, that Jesus seemed to hang around with a whole shitload of whores.
I will concede that Krampus, one of the folkloric antecedents to Santa, did rape some kids each year. But this was less an act of sexual aggression than it was an expression of the Germanic insistence on ruthless enforcement of an unyielding Teutonic moral code.
So, if you wanna throw in with a weird-smelling hippie who offers you no hope in this life and serves shitty weird food, that’s your business.
The rest of us are gonna hang with the big man.