Graham FordWelcomeYour Voice

Father Christmas – you’re fired!

While the modern culture of Christmas with its Father Christmas’s, heaps of presents most of which are tat, and too much to eat, is a relatively modern invention that does not have a lot to do with biblical Christianity, the religious festival of Christmas, bringing to mind the virgin birth of the Messiah, is an ancient Christian tradition and much loved throughout the world.

However, the myth of Father Christmas is loved by children everywhere, and in every town at this time of year, children can be seen queuing to see ‘Father Christmas’ in most towns in northern Europe and the USA.

Many men and fathers and grandfathers, volunteer to be Father Christmas in their local communities to spread a little Christmas cheer to the children. They do this because of their love of children.

Imagine, then, the shock of the news report that Father Christmas has been fired from the German town of Mühldorf. Peter Mück has been Father Christmas at the town’s annual Christkindlmarkt, or Christmas market, for over a generation, handing out sweets to local children.

The reason to be fired was because he shared a post on his Facebook page which read: Child marriage = child abuse.

So, let’s just think about that for a moment. A female child wants to grow up, and be physically ready for marriage before she gets married, and she wants to marry someone who will love and cherish her for her whole life, and whom she can love and respect. Instead she is forced to marry a man four times her age, who forces himself upon her without her wanting him, who sees her just as a way of stimulating and relieving his urges and who thinks the girl will be a convenient house slave.

The difference between this situation and child abuse is that girls who have been abused can leave their abusers when they grow up, whereas those who are married off cannot. So, child marriage does not equal child abuse: child marriage is much worse. To see that, just imagine what it must feel like to be that child.

In Afghanistan a few years ago an Imam arranged to marry a girl of eight years old. On her wedding night the old man could not get his member to penetrate her young vagina, so he took out his knife and widened it. After enjoying her he left her to die in a pool of her own blood. Now, are we still having difficulty seeing child marriage as child abuse?

Apparently so, for the mayor of Mühldorf, one Marianne Zollner of the Socialist Party (why, oh why, are they always Socialists?!) fired Peter Mück because his comment “in my view, does not respect the equality and dignity of all people, or our democratic values, and that this attitude was not compatible with the work of portraying Santa Claus.”

So, let me get this right, Mayor Zollner. To be qualified to be Santa Claus (Father Christmas), you need to support child marriage. For, either one is for marriage, or one is against it. There is no middle ground here. One cannot be slightly married any more than one can be slightly pregnant. The issue here is digital: it is either yes, or no.

I can imagine the advert for Peter Mück’s replacement:

‘WANTED. Volunteer Father Christmas. Must have big white bushy white beard, big red cloak with white fir trimmings, and be very good with children, so good in fact you are in favour of marrying them to old men to have sex with them. Those who are not in favour of child marriage need not apply.’

No. Please, children should be allowed to be children first. That is fundamental to who we are. Any ideology that does not permit this, and instead abuses children, forcing girls at a young age to be wives (or forcing boys at a young age to be soldiers and killers for that matter) is by any standard of humanity an abomination upon the culture of humanity.

The world needs to come to a clear agreement, and especially the West: child marriage should remain illegal and there must be no exceptions, for any reason. Any nation that permits it no longer deserves to remain a nation, it will split into those who look after their children and those who don’t. There can be no blurring of the line here, however much governments try. 

The Canaanites used to sacrifice their children to their ‘gods’ by fire. The result was God’s judgment and Israel was His means. When Israel started the practice, God’s judgment fell on them. Abusing children for so-called religious reasons is fundamentally no different: it is still a betrayal of the weak and innocent by the strong, who once themselves were children, so are without excuse. 

We are also without excuse if we allow this practice to continue in our countries. Children’s lives matter, because we all matter and we were all once children. 

How do we know we matter? 

‘Because Christ also suffered once for all on behalf of our sins, the righteous on behalf of the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God; having indeed been put to death in the flesh, but was given-life in the Spirit.’ (1 Peter 3:18, MLV)

If in your philosophy, worldview or religion you cannot find the reason you matter, you find it in Christ, for, contrary to secular humanist opinion, all religions are not, repeat not, the same.

Graham Ford

President – Jesus Christ for Muslims


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