Inerrant Rampancy

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Christmas-time Fun and Games

How to Have Fun With Christians This Holiday Season

Christmas is a time of merrymaking and general, good-natured fun. We play in the snow, we sing songs, we bake cookies in great numbers, we drink more, we give gifts, we even (though this trend isn’t as popular now as it once was) play games. A long time ago there were many more games at Christmas-time; children had to find things hidden in Christmas trees, crack-the-whip was the favorite of ice skaters, and many different cultures have prizes stuffed inside holiday loaves of bread or cakes. My personal favorite used to be the White Elephant game, where everyone brings some ridiculous and terrible gift and then tries to not end up with the worst one, but now I’ve moved on to a more sophisticated and edifying form of entertainment: bating Christians with philosophical questions regarding their belief in God and their disbelief in Santa. It’s really easy to play (assuming you aren’t a Christian, in which case you’ve automatically lost) and with the large number of religious people in this country you are almost always within striking range no matter where you are. So, here’s how to play:

1. Find a Christian

This is quite easy, as I said, but there are a few ways to go about it. You can ask individuals “Are you a Christian?”, you can hang outside of a church and get people as they leave (you must know what kind of church it is), or you can take the more combative approach and shout anti-Christian rhetoric until someone comes up to debate you. This last method is the most fun, but also the most dangerous as you may attract a large crowd of Christians and they might not be too happy with you, especially if you are in the South. Those guys are nuts for Jesus.

2. Ask your Christian if they still believe in Santa Claus.

Adding the word “still” gives the implication that they shouldn’t and betters the chances that they’ll say “no”, allowing you to continue on with the game. If they say “yes”, you are dealing with either someone who’s delusional (i.e. a “kid at heart”) or a wise-ass; both are no fun to play with and should be dismissed with extreme condescension.

3. Ask your Christian if they believe in God.

They will undoubtedly say “yes” and will probably smile and add “don’t you?” to their answer. You may respond as you like, but remember that you are playing a game that becomes infinitely more difficult if you get sidetracked by a philosophical debate. The object is to make Christians seem stupid, not to legitimize their claims by arguing against them as though they have merit.

4. Ask your Christian how they reconcile their two answers.

Here’s where the fun part starts. They won’t understand your question at first, and so you’ll have to hint at why believing in Santa and believing in God are the same thing. Don’t be so overt as to convert them right then and there; if you do that the game is over and you’ll have to find another Christian to play with. Just lightly suggest that they are similar beliefs until the Christian flat out denies that they are similar at all. “They’re completely different” is the money phrase.

5. Ask your Christian to kindly explain why they don’t believe in Santa Claus.

Ok, here the game can go two ways. Your Christian could do the typical Christian thing and start listing the reasons why they don’t believe in Santa. “I’ve never seen him. I know where the presents come from. It’s just a story my parents told me to make me be good. It’s scientifically impossible for Santa to do what he does. Etc, etc.” If they do that go to step 6a. Your Christian may, however, do the slightly smarter thing and claim that they don’t have to prove why something doesn’t exist since the burden of proof is on the claims of the existence of Santa Claus. They may then point out that arguments in favor of the “Santa Hypothesis” don’t hold water against the scientific and theoretical evidence that he doesn’t exist and that “until such concrete and empirical evidence for the existence of Santa is presented, evaluated, and found to be legitimate, I must side myself firmly in the non-existence camp. To do otherwise would be ridiculous.” This isn’t too different from the other response, but it has more options for extending the game. If your Christian responds like this, go to step 6b.

6a. Ask your Christian why the same arguments don’t also apply to God.

They, again, won’t know what you mean so you’ll have to explain that the same negations of Santa can be applied to God, thus proving his non-existence. If you have an average Christian, they won’t have much to refute you with, since they don’t really study much theology and don’t pay too much attention in church. Perhaps they’ll tell you that they have felt the spirit of God inside them or have heard His voice. They’ll probably say that they have observed His works and seen miracles of healing. They’ll tell you about how this one time their Aunt Millie was real sick and they prayed for her and she got better even though the doctors said it was a long shot. You can respond with science if you’d like, extending the game into a debate, but the sad thing is you’ve just lost. Sorry, you’ve encountered a Christian who doesn’t care that belief is illogical and that their disbelief in Santa is hypocritical. They are content to have faith rather than brains. So, you lose, but as a parting gift you get to rest a bit easy knowing that these kinds of Christians are mostly harmless and tend to be too dumb to understand that cripplingly dangerous aspect of their belief system. Smile at them, wish them a Happy Solstice, and move on.

6b. Tell your Christian that, like they disbelieve the Santa Hypothesis, you disbelieve the God Hypothesis. Ask them if they’d like to prove you wrong.

This is another point at which the game could turn into a debate, but here’s the rub. If it turns into a debate, you’ve got a fighting chance at conversion, which is worth double points! Obviously your Christian is somewhat educated as to the scientific method and scientific theory. They may even be an empiricist of sorts. This means that they probably question their belief in God often enough that you can shake their foundation a bit. Usually these kinds of Christians only debate with other Christians, and so they never get challenged. You can challenge them and maybe beat your previous high score. Sweet. However, if your Christian does not want to debate, claiming that science cannot comment on God since God exists outside of science and its laws, sorry, you’ve lost. These kinds of Christians can be debated, but they neuter you from the start saying “In this reasonable and rational debate on God you are not allowed to use reason or rationality, but I will allow you to go first, since I am such a good Christian.” You can argue the necessity of science (quite easily actually) but they won’t listen because they will call your defense of science just as inadmissible as the science itself, since you are talking about God. Again, all you can do is smile, wish them a Happy Solstice, and move on.

The game is hard, with there really being only one path to victory (but hey, it’s got double points!), but it’s a fun way to past the time this holiday season as a non-believer. There’s not really much else out there for us, with all the Christmas lights and Christmas carols and Christmas cookies and Christmas donkeys (I’m serious, look it up), and we’re attacked any time we even suggest having secular celebrations. Apparently we have started a war on Christmas, and so the game can serve as your little non-violent protest – not quite a war, and not quite the bending over Christians have come to expect from other religions and atheists every December.

Game on!

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December 8, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. To quote a Christian friend of mine “You don’t believe in God the way you believe in the Tooth Fairy [or Santa], you believe in God the way you believe in your friends.” Of course, some Christians do believe in God like the Tooth Fairy, or as my mother put it “some big guy in the sky” and they should be mocked relentlessly.

    Comment by R | December 10, 2008 | Reply

  2. (Golf clap) Wow, attacking children’s beliefs and about a billion people’s, for the most part, docile and kind-hearted, beliefs in one simple “game”.

    Comment by Dirk Diggler | January 16, 2009 | Reply


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