The War on Santa has begun, and the big guy is in trouble.
Long criticized as too religious for interfaith celebrations, now jolly old Saint Nick is also somehow not Christian enough.
Close to home, some commenters in a Hood County Facebook discussion group were irritated recently when Santa made a cameo appearance at the end of local churches’ Christmas parade.
I am not kidding.
“It was all about Jesus,” the comment thread began, shouting “CHRISTmas is about Christ.”
The next comment compared having Santa in the parade to having Batman.
“This is a Jesus-loving, right-wing sort of crowd,” a commenter wrote, defending the church-run “Night of Lights Parade.”
Santa, Mrs. Claus and elves appear last.
In most cities, that’s meant to thrill children and signify the arrival of the Christmas season.
In Granbury, it’s almost as if he’s lucky to tag on at the rear.
“Why do people move to a conservative Christian community and then get mad to see conservative Christian values tied into events?” a Facebook commenter wrote.
Then she added a common line in Hood County: “Move if you don’t like it.”
Granbury is not the only Texas city with stealth anti-Santa sentiment.
In Amarillo, headline-grabbing street preacher David Grisham stirred a fuss Monday at Sleepy Hollow Elementary School.
He showed up during morning drop-off in a Grinch costume and marching with the sign:
“SANTA IS / FAKE / JESUS IS / REAL”
He goes around screaming, “Santa is a man in a suit!”
He told KVII/Channel 7 in Amarillo, “I’m not concerned about the magic of Christmas, but the miracle of Christmas in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.”
He said carpool parents who shouted at him — one went into parental overdrive and grabbed his sign — “don’t want to admit that lying to their child is wrong.”
Police said Grisham was lawfully on the sidewalk.
Principal Kelsey Williams posted a video apologizing and saying the Grinch has “made his way back to Mount Crumpit,” his fictional home.
The TV station began its story, “The Grinch tried to steal Christmas.”
Look, rant all you want about a so-called War on Christmas.
There is a time for respecting others’ faith and also a time for celebrating our own.
But leave Santa alone.
He’s busy enough without having to defend his integrity.
That chubby little guy never hurt anybody. He is an old-school saint, a fourth-century Greek bishop celebrated now primarily as a secular symbol of Christmas giving, joy and good old American consumerism.
As far as I know, never once did Bishop Nick the Greek say anything bad about Jesus.
Stop treating him like he’s Satan.
After all, kids pleading to meet Santa might someday find their way to church.
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