“We proclaim Jesus Christ!”

You’ve probably already seen the above photo of the huge 2012 Christmas billboard proudly being displayed in New York City’s Time Square which compares Santa Claus to the crucified Jesus of Nazareth. The sign reads: “Keep the Merry! Dump the Myth!

The billboard was paid for by the religious non-profit organization American Atheists ( which fights against all forms of public religious expression, except of course their own. Interestingly, their organization was founded by the famous American atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair (1919 -1995) who is best remembered for the Murray v. Curlett lawsuit, which led to the landmark 1963 Supreme Court ruling which ended Bible reading in all American public schools.

Justice Potter Stewart (1958-1981), the lone dissenter in the courts 8-1 ruling wrote concerning that particular case: “It led not to true neutrality with respect to religion, but to the establishment of a religion of secularism.” You see, two years earlier the Supreme Court had already officially recognized “Secular  Humanism” as an “official religion” (Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488 – 1961).

Anyway, after I saw the American Atheists brilliant 2012 Christmas billboard, I decided to do some in-depth research and try to determine with absolute certainty, which person on that billboard is a myth – Santa Claus or Jesus of Nazareth. I started my quest for truth by first researching who Santa Claus is. According to Wikipedia Santa Claus (the guy with the funny red hat) supposedly lives at the North Pole with a large number of magical elves, and eight (or nine) flying reindeer. The elves reportedly make toys in Santa’s workshop and the flying reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh every Christmas Eve, so he can deliver toys and candy to all the “good little girls and boys”.

Armed with these facts, it proved to be extremely easy to determine whether Santa Claus truly existed or not. Logically, if Santa exists we should expect to discover a great deal of evidence to substantiate such claims up at the North Pole.

Thanks to modern technology, we currently have Web Cams right now up at the North Pole taking pictures. We also currently have satellites taking pictures of the North Pole from outer space. Well, I poured over literally hundreds of photo’s and satellite images, I even read recent first hand accounts from various Arctic expeditions to the North Pole. Sadly, the following photo pretty much sums up all my findings:

As you see, all that really exists at the North Pole is water, snow,  ice, and the occasional polar bear. There simply is no physical or archeological evidence of a workshop, magical elves, flying reindeer, or even a sleigh. Based on such overwhelming evidence, I can only conclude that Santa Claus is in fact a myth. What a surprise.

Well, what about the historical Jesus of Nazareth? Was he Jewish? Did he live in the 1st century? Did he have followers? Did he perform a ministry of miracles and exorcisms? Did he claim to be God? Was he executed by the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate? Was he crucified on the eve of Passover? Was Jesus’ tomb found empty? Did his followers believe that Jesus had physically risen from the dead? Did his followers worship him as God? Were they willing to die grueling deaths rather than change their testimony that Jesus was the Christ and that he had indeed risen from the dead?

These questions are easy to answer also. The eye witness 1st century gospel accounts recorded in the New Testament and even numerous 1st and 2nd century secular (pagan) historical accounts attest to the life, death, and resurrection of the historical Jesus of Nazareth.

Edwin Yamauchi, professor of history at the University of Miami, asserts that we have more and better historical documentation for Jesus than any other religious founder (eg, Zoroaster, Buddha or Mohammed). Of the non-biblical sources testifying of Jesus Christ, Yamauchi concludes:

“Even if we did not have the New Testament Christian writings, we would be able to conclude from such non-Christian writings as Josephus, the Talmud, Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger that:

  1. Jesus was a Jewish teacher.
  2. Many people believed that he performed healings and exorcisms.
  3. He was rejected by the Jewish leaders.
  4. He was crucified under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberias.
  5. Despite his shameful death, his followers, who believed that he was still alive, spread beyond Palestine so that there were multitudes of them in Rome by 64 AD.
  6. All kinds of people from the cities and countryside – men and women, slave and free – worshiped him as God by the beginning of the second century.” (Yamauchi, JUF, 221, 222)

Bottom line, Jesus of Nazareth lived and is nothing like the modern “constantly evolving” myth of Santa Claus. So, back to the American Atheists request to “Keep the merry and dump the myth this Christmas.” Personally, I don’t mind the mythological Santa Claus, but if the atheists want Santa Claus “dumped from Christmas” and the historical “Jesus Christ kept…” Well, that’s fine by me! I’ll do as they strongly suggest. I’ll keep the “Merry in Christmas” and also keep the “historical Jesus of Nazareth”. I will also re-read the wonderful eyewitness historical accounts of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament. “Hey, thanks for the suggestion guys!”

The LORD uses who He chooses (even hardened atheists) to spread His Word and proclaim His truth. I can’t wait to see what sort of mind-bogglingly ridiculous Christmas billboard the American Atheists will display  next year. I’m sure it will be another doozy.

About 720 years before Christ was born, Isaiah (whose name literally means: “The LORD Saves”) prophesied:

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end, – Isaiah 9:6-7

Have a Merry Christmas!

Sean Kirkpatrick

Sean Kirkpatrick posted at 2012-12-24 Category: Historical Evidence