St. Nicholas was good

Ms. Theologian noted a story about an Oregon Washington man who put up a Santa crucifix in his yard, to protest the commercialization of Christmas. Great idea.

But rather than getting het up about Jesus getting left out, I feel for St. Nicholas, who has become a shill for shopping and saturated fat. The real man, a Christian bishop, is someone to celebrate and emulate. There was an op-ed in the New York Times on Christmas Day, from which comes:

And what of the throwing of the bags of gold down the chimney, where they landed in the stockings and little shoes that had been hung up to dry by the fireplace? Charming though it sounds, it reflected the deplorable custom, still prevalent in late Roman society when the Byzantine church was struggling to establish the supremacy of its values, of selling surplus daughters into bondage. This was a euphemism for sexual slavery — a trade that still blights our world.

Little wonder St. Nicholas is the patron of brides: a cloaked reference to women who escaped sex slavery. And there are other stories like this.

If you missed it, go back and read “St. Nick in the Big City” by John Anthony McGuckin.

I also wrote about St. Nicholas in 2005 and 2006.

7 Replies to “St. Nicholas was good”

  1. It was actually GhostGirl’s post, who expresses a darker side….I was a little horrified, but perhaps that’s because if I crucified Santa in our neighborhood I fear for our safety. 🙂

  2. You probably know that many countries in Europe there is St. Nickolas Day. It’s earlier in the month, but at least in those countries, much more attention is paid to him than over here on this side of the pond.

  3. According to Wikipedia he made many good deeds, but he also slapped Arius during the Council of Nicaea and destroyed many Pagan temples. A typical Christian of his times, Trinitarian or not: benevolent with the poor and intolerant with those who held different beliefs.

  4. I can forgive the slapping and intolerance. I wouldn’t do it, but at least he was honest about it and didn’t engage in liberal passive aggression. The clothing crime…well, that is another matter.

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