You hear some strange things when you sit in a newsroom for hours on end. Like charges being pressed against a six-year-old boy for kissing a girl's hand in class, for instance.
Strange doesn't quite do the concept justice…absurd sounds more concrete.
What I heard yesterday took the cake for the week. The coverage replayed over and over again on CNN during the day; and when I looked at Fox News last night, it was there too.
A young black boy had shown up to school dressed as Santa Claus and had been ridiculed by his teacher because "Santa Claus is white." The boy went home crushed but didn't tell his parents about it. They heard about the incident from another parent. And yesterday our national news stations broadcasted coverage of the issue, with incensed debates, expert interviews, historical research, the works, over this one question: Is Santa Claus considered black or white?
I was a little bit indignant about this yesterday. I think the teacher was wrong. But, I mean, adults—scholars, professionals, you name it—arguing, on national television, over a guy whose return address they should have established before launching into the Santa Debate—and, while they were at it, gathered some primary-source material about what he had to say about the debacle in the first place…?
In the midst of this, the newscasters introduced the question of Jesus Christ's skin color as well…I mean, as long as the topic of Joy-givers and skin color was hot. I applauded the fact that they even mentioned the name on national television. But at the same time, the debate felt utterly pointless. Does it really matter to Christ what color He is? Or the color of that young schoolboy is? Or the color of the red-suited Gift-giver—or the three emissaries of Bible fame who started the whole tradition?
Way to ruin the spirit of Christmas.
This morning I read something that answered the question. A message that could extinguish the nation's indignity—that of the offended, the offenders, the 3rd party debaters and we 3rd party observers alike—in a snap if they understood it.
"And he [Christ] denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female. And he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God…." (2 Nephi 26:33)
Or, for those more schooled in/comfortable with the Holy Bible, the words of Paul: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galations 3:28)
I don't know, would the scriptures count as primary or secondary sources?
I don't think Christ even cares what color people think He is. Whatever He looks like, He loves and wants utmost happiness for every child—and adult—on earth, regardless of religion, creed or color. That is His business; not political correctness. That is our business too—not debate about trivia that does no real good for anyone when all is finally said and done.
So, kids, dress up as Santa Claus if you want; if he saw you, he'd hug you regardless of your color, your background, your mental abilities, your political leanings, etc. And adults—stop it. Stop hurling political barbs at the innocence of childhood. Learn from the children—and from the interaction of Christ with them. Jesus Christ puts no stipulation on who is allowed to seek happiness from Him. God is no respecter of persons.
I doubt that Santa Claus—who, too, is all about the happiness of children—is either.