But I played the game for many years. As the oldest of five, I have two sisters who are more than twelve years younger than I. It was enjoyable to join in the ruse until I left for college.
The next big question I pondered was “Who is God?”
As I later realized, much of the Santa Claus myth unconsciously infiltrated my first answer to this question. God “knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.” My visual image of God was a bearded, slimmed- down old white man who had powers much greater than the alleged Santa Claus.
My college theology classes were all about Christianity. We never studied other world religions. Christianity grew up in the West. It was heavily influenced by Roman order and Greek logic. I later learned Buddhism came of age in the East, where the focus was more on experience and relationships. To risk the danger of oversimplification, I am now pondering how the more right brain Buddhism can be helpful to the more left brain domination of Catholic theology.
A book that is inspiring me is “Without Buddha, I Could Not Be a Christian” by Paul Knitter. Knitter, trained as a Catholic theologian, taught theology for thirty years at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He describes himself as a Buddhist Christian. Notice the noun is Christian. Yet studying Buddhism and talking with Buddhist friends has enriched his Christianity.