Our first argument to kick off the series will be a perennial favorite of mine: “Compare Santa Claus to Jesus.” This is rhetorically effective (heck, its a home run, nay a grand slam) because, well we all know that belief in Santa Claus is silly. He’s a fat, tipsy old man. (Yes, tipsy. Where do you think those rosy cheeks come from? The cold? Not. He’s got a bottle of vodka hidden in that sleigh of his.) What is more, everybody but Francis Church knows he’s just make believe. (Actually Francis Church knew this too. Read his letter to Virginia carefully and you’ll see. He turns “Santa Claus” into something much like “God” for some liberal theologians.) That means that if you believe in Santa Claus, you’re stoopid.
Hence, the first premise is now in place:
(1) Belief in Santa Claus is stoopid.
Next, there is the second premise:
(2) Belief in Jesus is evidentially as absurd as belief in Santa Claus.
Be careful about this premise however. Don’t try it out on a Christian historian, or a folklorist. And definitely don’t try it out on a Christian historian who moonlights studying folklore. They’ll eat you for lunch. In fact, your best bet is not to mention (2) at all and just go to the conclusion:
(3) Therefore, you’re stoopid if you believe in Jesus.
Now before your target can formulate a response you must begin to laugh and point. But not a pansy chortle. No, you need a belly laugh, a guffaw, a howl, the kind of laugh with tears running down your cheeks. And be sure to point too. There’s no comeback to a good ole’ laugh ‘n’ point.
And remember that when you’re done with Santa Claus you can draw upon additional resources including the Easter Bunny, leprechauns, pixies, flying bowls of pasta, and of course Elvis sitings.