Lying to children weakens their faith


Tye Smith’s column (“The hypocrisy of Santa Claus,” Dec. 1) had a parallel in the Deseret Morning News (“Teacher’s cause is anti-Claus,” Dec. 1).

Both articles made many valid points that reinforced my plan to keep my future children Santa-free. This plan came from a scenario that a friend suggested.

Imagine (or remember) somebody telling a child the truth about Santa: “Have you ever seen Santa? No? Then he doesn’t exist.”

“Have you ever seen the Tooth Fairy? No? Then she doesn’t exist.”

“Have you ever seen the Easter Bunny? No? Then he doesn’t exist.”

Follow this to the logical conclusion: “Have you ever seen God? No? Then he doesn’t exist.”

The kind of thinking that is used to dispel the belief in an imaginary Saint Nick can establish a dangerous pattern for matters of faith. Not all things that are true can be seen (I can’t see oxygen, right, so it must not exist), but if most of the unseen things we teach our children about turn out to be fabrications, they may have difficulty believing those things that are true.

Let’s stop lying to our children and dwelling on material things, and return the holiday to its true purpose.

Steven Paradise

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering