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Eric Hovind: What’s the Difference Between God & Santa?

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Eric Hovind’s “challenge”

I was tipped off about the new charges by PZ

Here’s the indictment info

Also there’s this

Sort-of transcript:

Eric Hovind is son to convicted criminal-slash-young earth creationist Kent Hovind, currently serving 10 years in the penitentiary for tax fraud. Kent set a high standard for his family in terms of blatant stupidity, but Eric is trying his best to keep up. Last week he published this “challenge” to atheists, in which he didn’t really so much challenge us as he did accidentally point out that there is no substantial difference between God and Santa Claus.

Eric wondered why atheists protest the Christian god but don’t protest Santa, because Santa only pretends to know when you’re being bad or good, Santa doesn’t answer kids’ prayers, Santa doesn’t exist. Wait, did I say prayers? I meant letters. Letters.

What Eric doesn’t know and didn’t bother to find out is that there ARE plenty of atheists who protest Santa. Some have made entire careers of it. They agree with you, that lying to kids about Santa is just as damaging as lying to them about God.

I’m not one of those atheists, because I happen to think lying to kids about Santa is, as Eric so ably demonstrated, the perfect way for them to realize that adults lie about all sorts of things, including giant ideas that can change your entire outlook on your life.

Realizing that your parents, the adults you trust most in this world, can lie or just be wrong about something that big is the first step toward realizing that an entire society can be wrong about God.

Maybe Eric’s parents didn’t lie to him about Santa, so he never learned how devious they could be. I wonder if he learned it at his parents’ trial for tax fraud? Maybe when Kent gets out of jail next year they can have a good long talk about it. Oh, unless the most recent charges against him prove true, in which case he’ll go back to jail for even longer for continuing to try to defraud the government.

But hey, let’s definitely keep focusing on Santa protests.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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13 Comments

  1. October 28, 2014 at 3:07 pm —

    Rebecca Watson,

    Santas is not real? OMG you destroyed my life!!! I have nothing left to live for!!! Aaaahhhhh! ;)

  2. October 28, 2014 at 3:12 pm —

    That was such an Apologetics 101 fail that even Ken Hamm facepalmed.

  3. October 28, 2014 at 3:35 pm —

    Ooh! North Pole, Alaska!

    Jon Ronson had a great (if somewhat depressing) chapter about North Pole, Alaska and the child slave laborers forced to answer all the letters to Santa in the September Skepchick Book Club selection, Lost at Sea”

  4. October 28, 2014 at 8:21 pm —

    The Grounded Parents went back and forth in our inaugural season on the usefulness of the Santa story.

    http://groundedparents.com/2013/12/25/santa-is-dead/

    http://groundedparents.com/2013/12/25/in-defense-of-santa-claus-and-unicorn-poop/

    http://groundedparents.com/2013/12/25/a-wolf-in-santas-clothing/

    And I’m sure we’ll have more to say as the War on Christmas season commences!

  5. October 28, 2014 at 9:49 pm —

    KITTY!

  6. October 29, 2014 at 11:24 am —

    You know what? When belief in Santa is used as an excuse to limit my rights to bodily integrity or to force other women to veil themselves under threat of pain or death, I’ll protest Santa. Otherwise, the comparison is facile.

    Also, Hovind accuses atheists of being hypocrites about 5 seconds after saying that it’s okay to protest those “other” religions but not the “true” Christianity. I mean. “Irony” is not like goldy but for iron.

  7. October 29, 2014 at 2:37 pm —

    I’m so glad I live in a culture where this isn’t an issue. Young kids know Santa is real, because he comes in person to give out a few presents. Bigger kids know Santa is actually their uncle, because they recognise the boots, and figure out that it’s too much of a coincidence that he’s just happened to have been in the bathroom the exact time Santa shows up for several years running. Well, maybe not that last part, noticing anything other than Santa arriving is a bit too much to ask of them. But they figure it out fairly young, and parents aren’t tempted to lie to them all that much to keep the non-existence of Santa a secret.

  8. October 30, 2014 at 1:11 pm —

    For some reason I want to write a letter to Eric Hovind insisting that Santa is real, that I’ve been getting presents since childhood, and that I have children that I constantly shame for imaginary slights that have offended Santa. I’ll include a few unnecessary details defending both my moral record and the authenticity of my Santa visits.

  9. October 30, 2014 at 2:45 pm —

    When one of my awesome nieces had just turned 3 (birthday in early December), she and her little sister were raising a commotion running around the house. My brother told them “If you two don’t stop it, I’m going to call Santa and tell him to skip this house.” She replied “That would be impossible.” He said “What do you mean?” She, figuring she needed to use smaller words,
    said “You would be unable to do it.” “Why not?” She thought a bit and said,
    “Well, you could do it, but it would be like talking to a doll.”

    She needs to talk to Eric Hovind.

  10. November 14, 2014 at 11:56 am —

    yeah because believing in santa requires an ideology that promotes misogyny

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