Karl Marx: “…Religion is the opiate of the masses…“
Let’s talk about children; examples are readymade and easy to understand… Children get lied to all the time…When I was in 10th my mom said that once I am thru’ with my 10th board life will be great… then came 12th and mom said that once I clear that life will be all hunky dory… after that it was college when once again mom repeated the time-tested line. I was always average when it came to studies and took it for granted that life wasn’t hunky dory for me afterwards as promised since I did not do well. I only realized during my masters that nobody’s life was hunky-dory, so to speak. And life still isn’t… but getting better everyday… 🙂
The absolute gold standard when it comes to lying to children is the father from the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes. When Calvin asks his dad how the garage door opener works, he explains that there’s a guy who lives inside the garage and is paid to open and close it, not unlike the guy who lives inside an ATM machine and mints money. When asked what causes a sunset, Dad explains that it’s actually the sun getting smaller and crashing into some of the western states (it does set in the west, after all). I’m a pretty creative guy, but I’ll have to work hard to live up to the standards set by Calvin’s father.
Of course, as any government or organized religion can tell you, the most important lies of all are ones that modify behavior and bend others to your will. If you can pull the wool, and by “wool” I mean “densely woven cloak of fairy tales” down over the eyes of the unthinking masses, you’ve won the day. In this spirit, we have Santa Claus.
Santa is one of the greatest and purest example of the behavior modification meme. If you’re a good boy or girl, Santa will reward you with toys on Christmas. Simple. And I’m sure you’re familiar with the rest of the mythology as well (workshop, elves, reindeers etc.)
Personally, I think the Santa story is a great chance to stretch your creative muscle and slap some discipline down on the youngster at the same time. Honestly, I don’t think the Santa mythology goes deep enough. My version of Santa will be an avenging angel who not only rewards the just, but punishes the wicked. Merely telling kids that they may not receive presents isn’t enough. You have to put fear into them.
Religion is something that should not be taken too seriously since its only aim is to make you more sociable. But over a period of time people have used it/manipulated it to further their own agenda… Sadly enough even the more educated fall into the same trap and at some point or other start arguing one way or the other… 🙂
Merry Chrismas to you all & Have a great year ahead!