For a couple of years, self-proclaimed “pastor” David Grisham Jr. did everything he could to ruin Christmas for unsuspecting children. He went up to the line of kids waiting to take a picture with Santa at a Texas mall and told them Santa didn’t exist, their parents were the ones putting presents under the trees, and Jesus Christ was the real reason for the season. He did the same thing at a store in Alaska the year after that.
In 2010, as part of his group Repent Amarillo, Grisham published a now-deleted video of Santa getting shot by a firing squad.
So what’s he doing for Halloween?
It almost seems anti-climactic but Grisham is still trying to ruin Halloween the only way he knows how: By making sure people think about Jesus. He wants his online “congregation” to walk into those pop-up “Spirit Halloween” stores and drop Gospel tracks in costume bags and decoration boxes. Because that’ll show all those people participating in a Pagan ritual! (I guess they’re not familiar with the origins of Christmas and Easter…)
He even offered tips for people who want to participate:
1. Do not go inside wearing Christian clothing. Do this undercover so as not to draw attention to yourselves.
2. Do not put your church information on the tracts. This will get you nasty phone calls and emails if you do.
3. Do not hang out as a group inside while doing this. If you go in a group, split up while inside the store so as not to be as noticeable and you can cover more area and be quicker.
4. Spend no more than 30 minutes inside each store. Remember, you can go back and do it again several times before Halloween. This helps you keep a lower profile.
5. If you have a large enough group, you can assign one person to keep an eye on the store employees and if they get suspicious you can distract them with a question about their products or pricing. Have this person communicate with the other team members by text message. Being on your phone is not at all suspicious in today’s culture.
6. If you get caught just leave peacefully and immediately. And do not reveal what you’ve been doing.
7. Enjoy yourself. This is really fun to do.
If your idea of “fun” is leaving unwanted reading material in places where no one will take your tracts seriously, then you have bigger problems than Halloween. At least Creationist Ken Ham is only encouraging Christians to give away fake “million-dollar” bills to trick-or-treaters. You can skip their houses if you want to. But Grisham doesn’t want to take the chance that people might not see his garbage, so he’s placing it in merchandise.
That, by the way, is still a form of vandalism. No store should have to deal with petty criminals adding their own messages to various products. Ultimately, it’s the store’s employees who will have to deal with the angry phone calls. What Grisham is doing is disrespectful to those employees, and it’s disrespectful to customers who just want to have a good time without his delusion getting in the way. (Can you imagine what the Religious Right would say if Planned Parenthood tried something like this…?)
If you can’t even give away your religious nonsense voluntarily, if you have to force it into people’s hands when they’re not expecting it, maybe that’s a sign there’s something wrong with your faith. Or at least something very, very wrong with its messengers.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)