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One Texas pastor followed in Ebenezer Scrooge's footsteps Saturday, unleashing a three-minute rant against St. Nick right in front of a group of children waiting to see the jolly old man.
David Grisham of Last Frontier Evangelism filmed himself over the weekend shouting to the unsuspecting kids at the Westgate Mall in Amarillo that Santa is not real and that Christmas is really about the birth of Jesus Christ.
"Kids, I want to tell you today that there is no such thing as Santa Claus," he told the children. "The Christmas season is about Jesus. Jesus was born 2,016 years ago. He was born in a manger in a small town called Bethlehem. And that’s the truth about Christmas."
While that may be true, the young children were caught up in the magic of Kris Kringle and, after all, it's up to the parents to decide when and how they talk to their own kids about who Santa is and the meaning behind Christmas.
But it didn't take long for a few frustrated fathers to step in and put Grisham in his place.
"Quit talking this mess, you understand me?" one dad said. "I've got my kids over there, we don't need you coming over here blabbing whatever it is you're blabbing."
The pastor accused the parents of teaching their children to "substitute" Santa Claus for faith in Jesus Christ and said they were committing a "sin" by "lying" about who St. Nick is.
But, before long, there was a wall of three fathers blocking Grisham from continuing his tirade against Santa. According to the Washington Times, Grisham claimed to have been "assaulted" by the dads who tried to get him to leave.
Though the footage has since been removed, Grisham's video had amassed more than 2.7 million views in the time it was up. The mall acknowledged the pastor's behavior in a statement to the Huffington Post on Sunday.
"We want everyone at our shopping center to have an enjoyable experience," the statement read. "All of the shoppers are expected to follow our code of conduct and will be asked to leave our premises if they don’t follow these rules."
As it turns out, Grisham has a history of taking bold stands on cultural issues. According to the Amarillo Globe-News, he previously called for a boycott of Houston because it elected a gay mayor, Annise Parker, and a year later launched a failed campaign to unseat her.