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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Santa Cutting Off Heads of Children

A rich couple in Manhattan hung this grotesque display in front of their home in order to, reportedly, protest the commercialization of the Christmas season.

Ah yes, nothing reminds folks of the true meaning of Christmas like images of Santa Claus decapitating children. Oh the magic of the holiday.

I, too, despise the mockery our culture has made of the Christian festival. But this stunt is only intended to shock and disgust. It accomplishes nothing good.

And even if their message against materialism were clear - which it's not - I have a hard time taking that seriously from someone who lives in a $3 million brownstone. It seems that commercialism has been good to them sometime along the way.

It reminds me of a Reuters report I read earlier about Pope Benedict XVI denouncing the materialistic mentality people have at Christmas. Huh?! Aren't those gold cuff links I see in your photo, Holy Father? The pope lives like a renaissance king and he's telling me and you how not to be materialistic. Those who live luxuriously simply have no credibility in this area. None. It's like a pornstar preaching about chastity. If you want to teach the world how to be un-materialistic, do what Jesus said and sell all you own and give it to the poor.


HT: GOP and the City

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4 comments:

The Cubicle Reverend said...

I heard about this, they pulled it down when they finally realized it may have been in poor taste.

The Cubicle Reverend said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Beast said...

I enjoy your blog tremendously, but I respectfully disagree with an aspect of your post. Your post seems to indicate a belief that obtaining financial success automatically conforms you into a materialistic person. Being materialistic is not necessarily linked soley with owning or enjoying material things. When Jesus said, sell all you have, he was talking to a man who placed his possessions above all else. That is being materialistic. I agree that the rich and owners of fine things are more prone to the danger of materialism, but that alone does not link them to it by default.

Simply because someone lives in a nice house or drives a nice car does not mean they cannont notice the danger of materialism. To you, the brownstone is a rich, fancy thing. To the homeless man with nothing to eat, your warm home that you will sleep in tonight is even fancier. Material worth is a relative thing. So, the issue is whether the brownstone or your personal home is placed at the forefront of importance in your life, even above your relationship with God, not how much that improperly placed item cost.

And I agree with your comments concerning the Santa, nothing good can come from that.

Pr. Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Beast,
Thank you for the comments. And I have enjoyed your blog as well. Keep it up.

First of all, the post is intentionally hyperbolic. I exaggerate my case to hopefully make a point. Jesus used the rhetorical technique of exaggeration often. [ie. "If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out."]

I do not believe that merely possessing riches makes one materialistic. I do believe that "living luxuriously", as I said in the post, is a problem.

I am aware of the relative nature of wealth. For I have slept in grass huts in southern Sudan where there was no electricity, no plumbing, no paved roads for hundreds of miles in every direction. I have seen children dying of malaria when 25 cents worth of medication would save them.

But no matter how you cut it, no matter where you're from, a $3million dollar house in the most expensive borough one of the most expensive cities in the country is extravagent.

It's not a sin to live in Manhattan. But it is a bit difficult for people who live in the lap of luxury to effectively condemn materialism.

And regarding the pope, he is unquestionably the richest man on the planet. There is absolutely no reason at all for the pope - especially as a pastor - to be bedecked in gold, jewels and silk. I happen to have a lot of respect for Benedict, just as I did for John Paul, but I believe he is sinning by perching upon such a mountain of riches.

It is great to hear from you and I warmly invite you to comment again, even to disagree. Blessed Advent to you and yours!

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