God and Santa Claus MAG

June 4, 2011
By Anonymous

I stopped believing in God (at least, a theistic god) about the same time I stopped believing in Santa Claus. I didn't suddenly have an epiphany after meditating under a cherry tree for a year. The cause was closer to home. It started in a book.

For the first few years of my life, I was as Christian as a non-baptized person can get. I attended a Catholic school from the age of four. There, I was taught that God created the world in six days, and that Adam and Eve were the first humans but were cast out of the Garden of Eden for eating forbidden apples. I lived a few doors down from a church, and every once in a while I went to Sunday school to learn about stuff like Noah's ark and Jesus' disciples. I prepared for Communion with my class and drew pictures of what God might look like. At night I'd make my parents read me the story of creation because I liked hearing about how God made all of the animals. I took in everything about religion with unquestioning faith. After all, why would my ­teachers teach me something if it wasn't true?

After four years, I moved to another town and attended a different (non-religious) school. Learning about God was pushed to the back burner as I made new friends and read encyclopedias. Toward the end of elementary school, I borrowed a book about physics from the library (I was, and still am, a giant nerd). It taught me about Newtonian mechanics, relativity, and quantum field theory. It also disproved the existence of Santa Claus. Evidence like gravity and relativity was the straw that broke the camel of faith's back.

After I finished that book, I realized that I didn't believe in Santa Claus. What's more, I saw that I hadn't believed for quite a while. Sure, I'd wanted to believe in Santa, but wanting to believe and believing are very different things.

The same thought process led me to doubt the existence of the god I'd learned so much about as a kid. Before, I'd assumed that God had made the dinosaurs and planets and stars. Now I began to wonder. The Bible said that the Earth was made in six days, and that all of that occurred about 6,000 years ago. But hadn't my teacher told the class that the Earth was four billion years old, and that it had formed millions and millions of years after the sun was created? Gravity seemed to fill in for God nicely in that respect, and these time frames made more sense.

I had another problem. If God existed, why wouldn't everyone worship the same one? ­Instead, the ancient Greeks were pantheistic, and Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shintoism were practiced in Asia. Why would God make himself apparent to only half the globe? It just didn't make sense.

As I grew up and became more interested in science, other stuff I read made my doubts grow. How did evolution fit in with the creation story I'd loved as a kid? Why did God let good people in third-world countries die of starvation, but then reward the bullies at my school with cell phones and iPods? It didn't seem possible to me that the God I had read about in the Bible – who cared about his creation – existed today. This thought made me sad.

I like the idea of having someone watching out for me, and I haven't completely ruled out the existence of a god – but if there is one out there, it's certainly done a good job of hiding itself. The jury isn't out yet. Sometimes, late at night, I'll still say the occasional prayer, just in case anyone's listening.


The author's comments:
Yes, I don't (completely) believe in a god. No, this does not compel me to commit crimes or do other miscellaneous evil. I just don't see the need for supernatural beings that can't be proven.

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This article has 34 comments.


on Mar. 26 at 5:00 pm
Sparaxis SILVER, Saint Marys, Georgia
7 articles 6 photos 268 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you keep on picking on me, I'll mess up again. This time, on PURPOSE."

That's because Catholicism does not count as Christianity, biblically speaking.

on Apr. 28 2016 at 12:14 pm
lizmaria140 GOLD, Lilburn, Georgia
13 articles 2 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!"
-St. Catherine of Siena

Hmm. Catholic teaching specifically states that the Old Testament is not supposed to be taken literally. Science and faith are to be taken hand in hand - they support each other. We believe in evolution, although with some firm differences (ex. Adam and Eve were our first parents) and as for the time - six days is not supposed to actually mean six days. I think your views are interesting, but I believe you should do a little more research.

on Apr. 14 2016 at 4:23 pm
ShellyToll SILVER, Rathdrum, Idaho
8 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If they don't like you for being yourself, be yourself even more" Taylor Swift

Thank you for writing this. You would think that with the new scientific evidence most people come to the same conclusion as you did. People created religion as a means to help them understand things they couldn't. I think you're right though, wanting to believe and believing are two different things. I'm pretty sure most 'Christians' these days only want to believe because they are afraid of death and want to think they serve a higher purpose.

on Aug. 31 2015 at 12:48 am
Lucy-Agnes PLATINUM, Clarksville, Ohio
22 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world." - Justice Antonin Scalia

Oh, this article makes me so sad! I sense that you really are looking for the truth, and I wish I could answer all your questions because they really are very good ones. I will say this: God's ways are higher than our ways, and although sometimes it seems like science, suffering, and other things have disproved the existence of God, really they support it. For example, maybe people did evolve from animals. But if they did, it was through God's design. And if you think about it, having a God smart enough to create the world through orderly processes like that is a lot more clever than a god who throws things together by snapping His fingers, wouldn't you think? And as for suffering - suffering is a tough one, but it is the result of sin, mankind rebelling against God. And God can bring good out of suffering. Please, keep reading and searching for the truth. It's out there, and if you keep looking I'm sure you'll find it. I'll pray for you.

on Jan. 20 2015 at 4:52 pm
PTsaxplayer GOLD, Boiling Springs, South Carolina
14 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I am as old as I've ever been, but I'm as young as I'll ever be." -Robert O'Neill

Jesus was not part of God he is fully God and fully man

on Jan. 20 2015 at 4:49 pm
PTsaxplayer GOLD, Boiling Springs, South Carolina
14 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I am as old as I've ever been, but I'm as young as I'll ever be." -Robert O'Neill

Hey man first off I just wanted to say you did a great job on your article (Obviously or it wouldn't have made it into the magazine.) I myself am a Christian and I respect your religious views however I do have a few key points that I think that you may have over looked. First off you ask, "If God existed, why wouldn't everyone worship the same one?" You used a few other religions as and example one of them being Hinuism. The Hindu's believe that you must be born into Hinduism in order to be able to practice their "religion" otherwise you are not a true Hindu which brings me to this point- Religion is the biggest lie that has ever been told not because of what it often references but who made the reference. Religion itself has been made up by man over thousands of years. Even the "Mormon" religion has just appeared in the past few hundred years. So my answer to your question is that there is a God we just aren't listening to him. The next point I would like to touch on is creation. How did it come to be? Yes the bible does say that God created everything in just six days and on the seventh day he rested (Genesis 1:1-31) However what the bible is not specific on is what a day truely is to God after all on before he created day and night in the sense that we know it God created the heavens and the earth and even on the rest of the days who is to say how long each day is to God. Now I do have a great respect for science but what students in public schools nowdays are taught is what is commonly known as the "Big bang theory" which is basically where all the elements that there already were at the time exploded creating everything we know and love. Science also teaches us about evolution now Im going to go back to my point that we do not know what a day is to God thus God could have very easily have used evolution however Mr. Darwin has taught us about Adaptation vs. Evolution. So if we truely were created with evolution then why in the past Thousand years have we not seen monkeys evolve into humans or new species being created. Are we so stupid that we have missed this? Now back to evolution another problem I do have is this even if evolution is real science can not truely predict whether it was the Chicken or the egg that came first which when we think on a molecular level of things where did elements and atoms come from? And if science tells us that they were already there then who is to say that God hasn't always been there as well. Now as for when you asked why God allows bad things to happen to good people I cannot answer because honestly I do not know but let me ask you this if you are so worried about third world countries then how many times have you ever given any small or large amount of money to their cause. Maybe God is allowing this to happen to show us pain so that we may open up our eyes to the reality of things that we have caused. If you will remember the bible teaches us that we have a choice on what we want to believe and what we do. Just remember "With every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." -Isaac Newton

Zoey24 SILVER said...
on Dec. 5 2014 at 8:01 am
Zoey24 SILVER, Williamsport,, Pennsylvania
5 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
If we judge each other we won't ever have time to love each other!

i'm not going to do what other Christian believers do; im not going to shove this at you. God's word is news, we are to share it not to shove it. Over time the belief that God is real began to fade and that is because more religions gradually came into life. You can not let the things of the world hinder your faith in God. If God isnt real, then how did you get here? How did science come about? God is the answer. Don't stop believing.

on Aug. 9 2014 at 11:44 pm
JesusandHisLawyers SILVER, Austin, Texas
7 articles 0 photos 99 comments

Favorite Quote:
"who the fuck has a favorite personal quote what does that even mean" - me, just now.

Why do theists think that patronizing and condescending people is somehow charming and loving. Stay away from articles you KNOW that you will disagree with if you can't handle somebody having differing opinions.

on Mar. 31 2014 at 9:28 pm
cosmos4242 GOLD, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania
11 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
I don't know where I'm going but I promise it won't be boring." -David Bowie

As an atheist I  really can relate to the bit at the end about occasionally still saying a prayer at night.  While I no longer pray, I do wonder sometimes.  After spending six years at Catholic school, I still get a little afraid of hell every once in a while.  But only a little bit!    I've talked to some of my non religious friends about this who used to belong to religious communities and they too have experienced it.  Old habits die hard, I suppose.  

mlpisfun said...
on Mar. 20 2014 at 7:26 pm
People belive in diffferent gods because not eveyone has the same veiws on what a god is. Like some buddists they worship some big human guy Some people see animals as    gods and some worship statues That doesnt mean threr isnt a god And I am not trying to offend anyone but america is getting more and more unrelligious, I know a good amount of things about the bible I would say more than the average catholic adult (im not catholic and theirr not the only type of christian) And i think that is something to be proud of but my friends just tell me to stop being such a smary even though they asked me for my input by the way I dont know why those words are  in bold and idk how to fix it

on Feb. 13 2014 at 10:45 pm
Zaraclaylime DIAMOND, Chicago, Illinois
75 articles 2 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
So I suppose my simple advice is: Love your life. I only say that because your life is what you have to give.
-Tom Hiddleston

I agree with Lovethislife. Why don't you research religion as well? Try learning by yourself instead of being taught. You'll find that it actually is the truth. Give God another chance! He's waiting for you with open arms.

chari GOLD said...
on Jan. 21 2014 at 10:29 pm
chari GOLD, Saint Charles, Illinois
19 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you judge people, you have no time to love them. -Mother Teresa

I appreciate you expressing your point of view. Please know, though, that someone IS listening to your prayers. He is the one who created you (and the world), loves you,  and died for you. Science, unfortunately, doesn't have all the answers. Do you really think that science can explain morality and the human body? Do you really believe that the human body and the entire perfection of the universe was created by "evolutionary chance"? . I know that God loves you more than anything. I know that you may have doubts about his goodness. It's human evilness that has corrupted the world. Why would God allow this, you may ask? I don't know. But I do know that He knows what is best, and sometimes we don;t undertand his ways. If there is one thing I could wishe for though, it's that you would give God a second chance. God bless you. 

rheame said...
on Oct. 17 2013 at 6:53 am
rheame, Anand, Other
0 articles 0 photos 64 comments

Favorite Quote:
turn a mess into a lesson

a test into testimony

a trial into triumph
and a victim into champion

yes. even i too dont believe in a particular God but ya i do believe in a power,a power which controls everything .i am not sure if it exists but i somehow have full faith on it.It gives me comfort and assurance thinking that some one , up there  is watching me with love and helping me.

on Sep. 24 2013 at 12:46 pm
AnInkling SILVER, Castle Rock, Colorado
6 articles 0 photos 110 comments

Favorite Quote:
“This is your life. Is it everything you dreamed that it would be, when the world was younger and you had everything to lose?” Switchfoot
“Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?” Galatians 4:16

Hey! I enjoyed reading your article, and you have some very good questions, and I would like to show you what I have seen in regards to them if you don't mind, too much. And please, I don't want to "force" any belief on you, I just want you to see some facts which the science books are hiding. I think that everyone deserve to see all the cards but it is up to you to decide.   First you said that God, who supposedly created the earth in 7 days, 6,000 years ago, does not fit with science since science says that the earth is billions of years old. Well, macro-evolutionists cames up with those dates because of a simple assumption: all life evolved, so it must have taken billions of year to do it. They had no proof for their assumption to start out, so they began looking for it, and they found carbon dating. Carbon dating is a method that measures the decay of carbon in an artifact (can be anything that contains carbon) and then it dates the object based on how much of the carbon has decayed. However, there is a problem: the decay of carbon has no actual pattern and changes based on the sustance it is in, the cilmate, and the conditions. So their billions of year which they came up with are very unreliable at the best.   The other good point you made was that God only revealed Himself to "half the globe". True, in the old Testiment, God was solely amoung the Jewish people who lived in the Middle East. However, even in the time of Abraham, God was thinking about showing Himself to the whole world. He promised Abraham that, "all the nations of the earth would be bless through him..." (Genesis 12). When Jesus came (through the line of Abraham), God planned to reveal Himself to all the nations, and now we practically have it today.    You see, the Christian God supposedly knows everything and can do anything. So is it really that much that God sped up gravity? Or the speed of light? And since He supposedly knows everything, then couldn't He work it out that those who He already knew would not believe in Him even if they were raised in a Christian home, lived during the time that God was revealing Himself just to the Jews?  I think that it all fits which the description of God from the Bible, but really what you have to choose is do you believe in a God like that? And that is up to you. I hope this has helped some of your questions and sorry for the long post.

on Apr. 3 2013 at 9:30 pm
monochromatic BRONZE, Alexandria, Virginia
3 articles 0 photos 84 comments

Favorite Quote:
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
C. S. Lewis

I have a question: what makes you believe that the Genesis creation story is a myth? logically and reasonably. true, the Bible is not technically a science or history book, but the funny thing is: everything in the Bible besides supernatural occurences can be proven scientifically and found historically.

on Apr. 3 2013 at 5:14 pm
AcrossTheUniverse BRONZE, Hondo, Texas
2 articles 0 photos 61 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Go confidentally in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've always imagined." -Thoreau

I'm glad you researched the story of Santa Claus and I apologize that the other evolution/creation sotry could not be found. Anyway... You're missing the point. Many people mistake the Bible for a science textbook or a history textbook, which it's not. The Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit to communicate the message of God's existence and plan for salvation for all of humanity. Genesis is a myth but conveys the universal truth that God created everything and created humanity in His own image. The order does not matter; the names of the humans don't matter; point is, God formed the entire universe ex nihilo and granted humanity a special place in creation.

on Apr. 2 2013 at 7:32 pm
monochromatic BRONZE, Alexandria, Virginia
3 articles 0 photos 84 comments

Favorite Quote:
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
C. S. Lewis

if God didn't create the universe the way He said He did, then isn't He a liar? And the Bible claims to be written by men inspired by God. Also, the Bible claims to be completely true. Also, the Bible claims that God's Word shall never fail - it will always be avilable to some part of the world, which means He wanted us to have what was written, which would be unlikely if the scholors just made stuff up. Logically, the Bible is either really God's word and what He meant to be written, or God and His followers who wrote the Bible aren't for real and the Bible holds no meaning whatsoever. Why would Genesis be a myth? the Bible presents it as truth and gives no reason to believe otherwise. Science gives no reason to believe otherwise either - just the opposite - the literal creation record matches up with science very accurately. It's almost as if God knew what He was talking about when He had Moses write Genesis in his later years.    btw, the Bible was written over a much longer time span then just in David's time, though David did write part of the Bible.  I looked up triple R's story of Creation, but I wasn't exactly sure what I was looking for. Santa Claus, owever was quite nteresting. the jolly coca cola Santa Claus that kids believe in today has origins in not only St. Nicholas, but also the Norse god Odin, the Celt's Holly King, Befana - the Christmas-time gift-giving Roman goddess, a Dutch legend of Sinterklaas, Denmark's Christmas time gift-giver Tomte or Nisse, the book the Night Before Christmas, and finally a Coca Cola ad. Probably the reason that one myth received so much input was Saturnalia, a lawless holiday that later was changed to Christmas. Many countries and religions liked to celebrate it, and Santa as well as gift giving were tied up in it, resulting in the conglomeration we know today.

on Apr. 2 2013 at 6:00 pm
AcrossTheUniverse BRONZE, Hondo, Texas
2 articles 0 photos 61 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Go confidentally in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've always imagined." -Thoreau

You quote saints. You are awesome. philosophy and theology are married!

on Apr. 2 2013 at 5:58 pm
AcrossTheUniverse BRONZE, Hondo, Texas
2 articles 0 photos 61 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Go confidentally in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've always imagined." -Thoreau

TE MUCHO GUSTO!!! Wonderfully explained!

on Apr. 2 2013 at 5:56 pm
AcrossTheUniverse BRONZE, Hondo, Texas
2 articles 0 photos 61 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Go confidentally in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've always imagined." -Thoreau

How does a religious book contradict the existence of something it professes? O.o How do you know miracles don't happen? Explaining the Trinity is difficult because primarily IT CAN'T FULLY BE EXPLAINED (otherwise it wouldn't be a mystery). Jesus is the Son of God and actually part of God himself (for you linguistic folks that's homoousian). God has adopted humanity as heirs (hence "children") to the promise of eternal life/Resurrection.




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