Theology for the Future
The Trinity is one of the most powerful concepts of Christian thought. In a nutshell, the Trinity is the representation of the one Supreme God in three distinct parts. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each manifestation has its own role to play, but are all part of the same whole. Just like you have a voice, a mind, and a physical body. These things are completely separate, yet they are all completely you.
The Christian Trinity is similar to other ancient traditions that present human beings as a combination of mind, body, and spirit. But ancient traditions, Christian, Pagan, or otherwise, do not have the same traction they once did. There must be a more accessible way to get the same message across.
So God the Father, the Mind, can be transformed into an even more familiar figure. Fundamentalists might balk, but when people think of a wise, all-knowing fatherly figure with a white beard, who sees everything and dispenses justice, they don’t think of God. They think of Santa Claus.
Santa Claus, the Father, watches over all. He knows our every move and deed, both good and bad. The good he rewards with presents every year. To the bad, he gives a stern warning.
When we die, the good are allowed to live with Santa in his great hall at the North Pole. There will be drinking and revelry, stockings full of candy, and endless time to play in the snow or with toys. When the good die and are called to Santa, every day is Christmas.
When the bad die, they are made to work in Santa’s hellish workshop, until they have paid off their debt to the Universe. And then, after labor, they get to join the party, too. Santa would never deny Christmas to anyone, not even Darth Vader, Hitler, or Lex Luthor. But they’re gonna have to make a lot of toys.
How do we know what is good or bad? For that, we need guidance. All knowing as he is, Santa can’t hold everyone’s hand through every moral dilemma. He doesn’t have time. But Jesus has lots of time. And he likes holding hands!
In this trinity, Jesus fills the role of Holy Spirit. Traditionally, Jesus has always been a teacher. He shows the path to righteousness, and helps people get there. Jesus understand the human heart, and with empathy, gentleness, and love can nudge us in the right direction. That little voice in your head that says, “do this, its good,” or, “don’t do that, its bad,” is the voice of the Holy Spirit. It is Jesus telling you what’s up. And you’d better listen, if you want to avoid Santa’s wrath.
Rewards in the afterlife, or even at the end of the year, are very abstract. The power of evil in the world is obvious and terrifying. There has to be some power that can combat wrong with right. Someone who is so strong in body and conviction that he is invincible. And that someone is Superman, the Son (of Krypton)
Superman doesn’t need any tricks or schemes. He always wins, because he is Good. If you ever find yourself fighting Superman, then you are fighting on the wrong side.
Of course, there are a lot of people that have a problem with Superman. Most of them can be summed up in a single sentence.
No, Superman is not realistic. But why would you want Him to be? When you are in despair or facing injustice, you don’t want reality. You want to cry to the skies for help. Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew someone was listening with super-hearing? Someone who cares, with laser-eyes and super-strength?
The thing about Superman is, even if he had no powers, he would still come to your aid. And he would still win. Because he is Good.
Superman is the Champion of Humanity. No threat is too small for him too take on, and no price is too high to pay to defeat the villains. If it was up to Superman, he would just be bumbling Clark Kent all the time, but He pretends to be cooler than He is. People need someone cool to look up to. Superman was sent from far away to protect us and show us how to live. It was a mission given to Him by his Father, in an enchanted fortress at top of the world.
Santa the Father, Jesus the Spirit, and Superman the Son of Krypton: A new trinity for the future.
And I know it’s weird to write about Santa in April. I am allowed to write about Santa whenever I want. Because I am an American.