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Santa Claus Crucified to Protest Commercialism of Christmas

OK – here’s a post that should get some interesting responses.  In Bremerton, Washington, a man has registered his protest of the commercialization of Christmas by crucifying Santa.  According to Art Conrad, “Santa has been perverted from who he started out to be.  Now he’s the person being used by corporations to get us to buy more stuff.” So Art nailed a fifteen-foot high crucifix in his front yard.  So before you respond, think about this:

1.    No question, it’s poor taste to do something this blatant in the sight of kids.  Stupid move Art.

2.    However, beyond the location, the guy’s got a point.  In a museum, the piece might have been applauded for its message.

3.    It’s also an interesting case of a provoking message getting some press.  Its made national news thanks to Associated Press. And the crucifix – and message – has probably been seen by millions of people.   Is that a good thing?  Should we go to this kind of effort?

4.    Finally – does this help the message or hurt it?  In other words – does the use of such a violent and shocking image make Art’s point more clearly, or does it create enemies?  Did the message accomplish Art’s goal?  Or did it make him look like a nut?

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5 Comments

  1. It's pretty much a twist on the shock art done a few years back that caused the ire of the Christian Community because it desecrated a crucifix.

    It got media attention, because the media loves this kind of provocative statement and controversy.

    I don't think it works in reverse though quite as well.

    The person making the statement according to the article specifically says he is not making a religious statement.  He's using religious symbolism though (2 of them) and he is making a moral statement, so his protests aside, it appears he may just be someone with a twisted sense of humon who hit a chord and got his message out.

    It hit a chord though.  Perhaps the Church should be looking for ways to make some of the same statement in a more positive manner? 

  2. I guess Art Conrad could have carried the metaphor even farther by also crucifying Ebenezer Scrooge and The Grinch, one on the left and other on the right. And at the foot of the crosses, standing vigil, there would be Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer, the various Misfit Toys, the elf who wanted to be a dentist, Rankin-Bass's Burl Ives snowman, and the very misunderstood Abominable Snowman.

    One could really go to town with this.

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