I have been wanting to comment on this for the last couple of weeks — at least since Macy’s reprinted it in an ad in the 11/9/2008 St. Louis Post-Dispatch — but perhaps it is good that I waited until my more sarcastic side was feeling less provoked.
Personally, I have always found the famous “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus” response from the Sun’s editor back in 1897 to be very annoying. Here is a little girl whose friends are trying to enlighten her, and the newspaper goes and mucks up the truth for her. (Wiki entry, here; text online, here.)
Admittedly, I am surely stirred to some extent in my feelings of animus by my conviction that Christians shouldn’t keep Christmas, but I do believe that it is also the content of the essay, itself. For example, consider this passage, where — after mentioning that believing in fairies is a pretty good idea, too — the editor writes:
“Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there.”
Now, while I will grant the truth of the logic that failing to see fairies dancing on the lawn is, indeed, not proof that they are not there, I do take issue with the intent of the comment, especially in relation to discussing questions of proof and existence with a child. After all, the following statement is just as rational:
“Did you ever see hideous and horrifying monsters hiding under your bed waiting for just the right moment to sneak out while you sleep and devour you in the middle of the night? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there.”
So — yes, Virginia, there are monsters under your bed.
Whew! It feels good to get that off my chest…