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Being hung up on skin color is now creating controversy about Jesus and Santa

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It is puzzling how inane conversation has developed concerning the skin color of Jesus Christ and Santa Claus, particularly during the season touted to be having peace on Earth and goodwill towards men.

Growing up it never occurred to me to be concerned about how Jesus Christ or Santa Claus were depicted even though skin tone did advocate a Caucasian background. The Mickey Mouse Club displayed white cultural bias also, but it never bothered me at the time. Our household just did not get stressed over the issue.

It was a novelty to see any black face being shown on television as my father would express amazement if there was even a “colored referee” happening to be officiating a sporting event. That is just the way it was in many minority households. Whites may have a little difficulty grasping this issue but that is understandable.

However the recent hoopla on Fox concerning the issue of Santa Claus being white is a frivolous undertaking. Santa Claus represents one of the aspects of Christmas where it is more important to visualize what Saint Nick represents in goodwill than worrying about his racial classification. Some things should just not register on the race meter and Santa Claus is one of them.

There also has occasionally been consternation raised about the racial makeup of Jesus on and off across the years. One easily can assume that ranking Jesus’ skin color high on the concern list demonstrates issues about the observer more than the pigmentation of the skin color of Christ. Once again showing partiality is frowned upon in Biblical teaching and is a clear sign of personal problems if someone is taking inventory of skin color.

Everyone has been in the position of saying something extremely high on the stupid meter, and such was a case when a teacher told a black male teen that he couldn’t be Santa Claus because “Santa is white”. One could hardly classify this as a teachable moment.

The teacher felt badly about what took place and called the parents to apologize and set the record straight. Ironically the father of the black teen also is white and is asking the school to fire the teacher after having the young man removed from the teacher’s classroom. Without a doubt the teacher did a bonehead thing, but to demand dismissal seems excessive.

Hypersensitivity regarding race can be both a white and black issue. Although it is disheartening to observe that the skin color of Santa and Jesus is causing friction, it is more distressing that deflecting from the real core meanings of Santa and Jesus are being overlooked in lieu of debates about skin color.

Martin Luther King emphatically declared that he was looking toward a day when his children would be judged not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. The discussion concerning Santa and Jesus should be centered on exactly the same criteria. It begins to trivialize who Jesus was, what He represented, and what Christ called believers to do when one becomes overly focused on whether Christ was white or not. Skin tone is just not a meaningful debate.

Whether somebody is white, black, brown, yellow or brown should be dispatched to the bone-yard of other long dead subjects, especially when racial concerns of skin color have never been a very high priority when conversations of Jesus and Santa have come up in the past. It was just never a topic of discussion for concern.

Today factional thought is taking root in many areas, and the debate about Jesus or Santa being white or not just is not a subject that has any redeeming value in the discussion. With Christ flesh will not inherit the kingdom of God anyway and Santa’s being white is not a prerequisite for his charm.

Interest in unhealthy debates is useless and only ruins those that listen is a Biblical principle. Focusing on the color of Santa Claus or Jesus Christ is a worthless enterprise.



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