Donald E. Westlake

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Alembé's picture
Donald E. Westlake

Reading an article this past week about the investigations of D. Trump, his minions and any associated nefarious conduct, I came across a quote, supposedly beloved by Catholics:

“In order to hold your faith intact, be sure it’s kept unsullied by fact.”

That’s quite an admission right there. Chasing down the source, it is the prolific American fiction writer Donald E. Westlake, 1933-2008 (1, 2).

In contrast, if faith is sullied by facts, DEW believed that the creator is under no such duress:

“The fictioneer labors under the constraint of plausibility; his inventions must stay within the capacity of the audience to accept and believe. God, of course, working with facts, faces no limitation.”

Whatever you think of those first two quotes, and there is much to discuss, I found his analysis of Santa Claus to be spot on and revealing an underlying truth:

“Santa Claus is a god. He’s no less a god than Ahura Mazda, or Odin, or Zeus. Think of the white beard, the chariot pulled through the air by a breed of animal which doesn’t ordinarily fly, the prayers (requests for gifts) which are annually mailed to him and which so baffle the Post Office, the specially-garbed priests in all the department stores. And don’t gods reflect their creators’ society? The Greeks had a hunting goddess, and gods of agriculture and war and love. What else would we have but a god of giving, of merchandising, and of consumption?”


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dogalmighty's picture
Nice...but proving theists

Nice...but proving theists are disingenuous, is not hard. Now santa? He is the "god de jour". He only exists when we need him to, but is totally awesome...unless he brings you socks.

bevis0405's picture
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gregorymiller's picture
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There is a lot of controversy

There is a lot of controversy about this statement, I have no comment on it

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