The Alaska Dispatch News has a story out of Amarillo, TX--which the national and even international news has picked up--that an Alaska-based evangelical preacher is lurking at a Texas mall, trolling kids waiting to sit on Santa's lap, and screaming at them that Santa isn't real!
I can hear it now . . . ding-a-liiiing, hear them riiiiing, soon it will be that day you stand between Orange Julius and Sunglass Hut and yell at second-graders who are simply trying to sit on a fat old man and whisper in his ear that they want a new Play Station next week.
Alaska-based "radio host and evangelical pastor" David Grisham (presumably no relation to John Grisham, author of such legal thrillers as The Pelican Brief and The Runaway Jury) is "tired of Santa Claus overshadowing Jesus Christ at Christmas."
Okay. Now is where I need to take a timeout and blow the whistle on a few things:
First of all--and I don't mean to sound irreverent--but there is no way for Santa Claus NOT to overshadow Jesus. Santa is big, round, fat, and jolly, and Jesus was famously abstemious and died for our sins on the cross with every rib in his body showing. So based on sheer girth, there's no way Santa would not overshadow Jesus. At a metaphorical level, Santa (I'm sorry to say) is more fun for kids than Jesus, because as I just noted, Jesus died for our sins (depressing!) and Santa is landing on our rooftops on a sled guided by reindeer, jumping down our chimneys to drop off the new series of Shopkins, and shoving a handful of Chips Ahoys into his jolly red-cheeked face on his way back up into the starry night sky.
Second of all, I dispute Mr. Grisham's logic in telling kids that "the man you're seeing today is just a man in a red suit. Santa does not exist." Personally, for an atheist such as myself, Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and God are all more or less in the same boat. Who is this guy to tell kids Santa isn't real? If I were in that mall, I'd pull him aside and tell him that I don't think God is real either, and you don't hear me yelling at him about it. Live and let live, I (and the bible!) say, and follow the teachings of Jesus by NOT BEING A FUCKING DICK, HOW ABOUT?!
Third and finally, I question Mr. Grisham's connection to Our Great State. According to the Dispatch article, "God called him to the state to do ministry." Specifically, he only moved to Alaska in May after receiving this phone call (or perhaps a text message with airplane emoji?) from God, and the Facebook page for his radio show says his mission is this:
"To take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Last Frontier (Alaska). Through street evangelism, street preaching and teaching, (and) calling on the lost to repent."
I understand the use of a parenthetical to clarify that Alaska is a.k.a. the Last Frontier, although that seems a bit obvious to anyone who just came here on their own without God specifically telling them to. But what I don't understand is why the word "and" is in parentheses. Also those two sentences are fragments. I don't think Jesus would AT ALL appreciate the grammatical blasphemy spewed like so many Christmas cookie sprinkles all over Mr. Grisham's Facebook page.
Regardless, what this guy is NOT gonna do is claim he's an Alaskan when God only hit his phone up last May, he hasn't even spent a full winter here, and at the first sign of snow he flees to Texas.
The parents at the mall rightly clapped back at this ding-a-ling for Grinching out on their kids, but we all owe them a debt of gratitude for putting up with Mr. Grisham. He is clearly the unlovable Grinch we all need right now.
Thanks Mr. Grisham, and