Had a Jehovah’s Witness knock on the door today. He asked “Do you believe in God?” And I responded with the gods’ honest truth and no sarcasm “Yes. Just like I do Santa Claus.” It caught his attention. So here’s the Noel Trinity for what it’s worth.
If you ask a sane adult if they believe in Santa Clause, they’ll say “No.” That’s because they know how Christmas works. Mom and dad buy presents and hide them under the tree for their kids to find Christmas morning. There’s a very mechanical and “real” way all that happens. But take a step back from that mechanistic thinking for a second.
You know what Santa looks like, right? We all do. You know what he acts like. You know what he says—“Good night to all and to all a good night” and “Ho ho ho!” And he acts. He physically acts in this world. Though there is a mechanism behind it, in Santa’s name presents are delivered to kids all over the world in one night. Father Christmas is just as real as most things in life. But he also definitely doesn’t exist.
I believe in Brahman or Jehovah or that base god we often discuss in the same way. That big G god certainly is real, but he doesn’t exist.
There is a Father Christmas. And his Holy Ghost of Christmas Spirit invades us all in his season. You know the Christmas Spirit. You’ve had moments of charity inspired by that Spirit. That ghost has driven you to act and can almost palpably be felt for better or worse in December in the West.
And in those moments on Christmas night when you put out your presents for your kids on Santa’s behalf, you become the bodily embodiment of Father Christmas. You become his Christ, his Krishna. You are Santa incarnate.
Does God exist? That’s not a question that can be answered any more easily than does Santa exist. If Santa doesn’t exist, then how do we all know who he is and all have memories of experiencing him? But only a total fool would ignore the very obvious reality that he isn’t real.
It’s not a yes/no question.