All this week I’ve been pondering if I should write a little blog post about a fictional character called “Billy the Black-Friday Bandit.” What I wanted to do was to make a parallel between real, godly, historical people and how, over centuries, their legacy not only becomes all-but-lost, but completely defamatory.
If I had enough time and wits about me I was going to turn Billy Graham, one of the most respected evangelicals of the century and, arguably, one of the greatest evangelists in all of history, into Billy the Black-Friday Bandit. You can see the logical progression: Whereas BG brought the Good News of Salvation to the masses, BBFB would bring the good news of great savings to the masses! BBFB would sneak into people’s homes and slip flyers for “Black Friday” sales under everyone’s bedroom doors. How exciting! It’s a pleasant fiction for the whole family!!
This is the same thing that has been done to Nicholas of Myra who would probably completely lose his friggin’ mind if he found out what his legacy actually ended up being: Santa Claus.
Maybe we all need those trading cards that Mike was talking about!
Peter Enns has a really good, short post about rediscovering the historical Nicholas over here.