Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Father and the Holy Spirit

My three year old returning from childcare this week talking about Father Christmas coming or not coming to school for Christmas has pissed me off a bit. I thought I was living in a secular country; what gives childcare the right to fill my son’s head up with bullshit of the Santa / Father Christmas (Santa’s British incarnation) type? Would they have done it if there was, say, a group of Muslim children in the facility, too?
I hear you saying that I should get a grip and join in the innocent fun. I agree, this is a relatively benign affair. I still have issues with it: because all problems start off benign so there’s no reason to encourage the benign. I therefore have this to say:
  1. Nice bullshit is still bullshit, so why should we fill our childrens’ brains with bullshit?
  2. This whole Santa affair only works because children are susceptible to accept anything they hear from what they consider sources of authority (parents, childcare supervisors). Abusing this susceptibility of theirs goes against my philosophy of raising a critical thinker that can think for himself instead, because my son is in the age where the foundations for a critical thinking life are laid.
  3. At the end of the day it would be left to us, parents, to clean the child’s brain from this bullshit. I am not about to cooperate; when my child asks about Father Christmas my child is going to learn a new word: “bullshit”.
  4. Last, but not least: Why can’t we find a rational alternative to this Santa bullshit? What is wrong, exactly, with telling children the truth – that they’re getting presents from people that love them and worked hard to give them their presents?

1 comment:

Moshe Reuveni said...

I like Cory Doctorow's tweet (
I've been asked to be the day-care Santa Clause for my daughter's creche! I'll be the world's greatest Jewish Atheist daycare Santa EVAR!

For the record, I fell in love with Doctorow long before I knew he was an atheist. I didn't know he comes from a Jewish background until this tweet.