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Santa-Claus-is-watching theology is bad theology, and I make no apologies if I ruffle some feathers. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard a parent (often a mother but not always) say something like this: Look Jimmy, stop it now (Jimmy keeps being naughty, pulling tins off the shelf in the supermarket, or poking his sister in the eye, or picking his nose in public or something much worse (yes, picking his nose and THEN poking his sister in the eye .....yuck). Mum or Dad then resorts to Santa-Claus-is-watching theology. Look, Jimmy (Jimmy doesn’t look). Father Christmas is watching you, and if you don’t stop being a bad boy now then he won’t give you any Christmas presents! Jimmy’s face goes a bit pale. Frightened, he cries.

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