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Santa Crucified

December 23, 2007

This week Art Conrad of Bermerton, WA nailed a stuffed Santa Claus to a fifteen foot crucifix and displayed it in his front yard. He then took a photograph of it to make Christmas cards with the caption: “Santa died for your MasterCard.”

Causing quite a stir among neighbors, Conrad claims that this artistic display is intended to rail against consumerism and political correctness. He comments: “Santa has been co-opted by our corporations as a symbol of consumerism. Every year Christmas comes earlier and earlier.” But how are we to interpret this religiously?

Conrad has creatively wedged consumerism between the birth and death of Jesus, between Christmas and Easter. Are we then meant to cry out for the death of the functional American savior—a toy giving, corporation-boosting Santa? Refusing to embrace a Santa who died for our MasterCard.

Ironically, this isn’t far from what Jesus did do. He did die for our MasterCard, for our debts, but not to boost our material possessions. Rather Jesus died to deal with all debt, financial and spiritual. His death clears away the debt of materialistic lust by offering payment for our infinite transgressions, the greatest of which is trading out the God of the universe for our petty idols of money, sex, family, success, power, beauty. But that’s not all. Jesus will eventually return to level all financial debt and make the world a place of peace and prosperity for those who hope in him.

Article from Seattle Times

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 27, 2007 8:52 am

    I just heard about this for the first time yesterday. I’m surprised nobody has done this before.

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