When faith denies art

OK, I love Jesus and generally applaud others able to employ art as the means of conveying their own love for the “newborn king.”


Now where did I leave my keys?

After all, one needn’t travel to the Sistine Chapel to see sacred themes expertly applied.

But sometimes an artist’s devotion goes horribly wrong, and goes wrong over and over again, as in the case of the theme of Santa Claus kneeling in prayer over the baby Jesus.

I mean, are such paintings and figurines supposed to be equating Santa Claus with one of the magi, or perhaps God himself?

I’m a big fan of jolly old Saint Nicholas and am not in the least vexed by the spirit of gleeful commercialism that accompanies Christmas. Similarly, I’m no stranger to disturbing devotional art.


The left-handed guitar on the grave is a dead giveaway.

But Santa as eternal being attending the birth of the Lord is too treacly, infantile and, possibly, heretical to take.

I’d just as soon see the baby Jesus PhotoShopped onto the cover of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” that is, if that weren’t already too busy proving the death of Paul McCartney.

At any rate, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas or even some joyous, nondenominational winter time off. New year’s coming!

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