A Grinch Named Grisham: Texas Minister Abuses Parents and Children Waiting To See Santa

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-8-52-34-amThe_Grinch_(That_Stole_Christmas)There are times when one almost wishes that Santa had more of an edge in dealing with the most naughty amongst us.  If he did, Pastor Dave Grisham would be at the top of the list for a Santa beat down.  The whacked out evangelical minister decided that it was not enough for him to preach in his own ministry against the concept of Santa.  Instead, he went to the mall in Amarillo, Texas where he filmed himself (below) yelling at children how there is no Santa and their parents are lying to them.  It is a disgusting display as Grisham dismisses the right of parents to make such decisions for their children.

Grisham captures himself yelling “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 . . . Parents, y’all need to stop lying to your children and telling them that Santa is real, when in fact, he’s not.”  As parents intervened, he continued to yell “Kids, there is no Santa! Santa’s not real!”

Grisham is part of some group called  the “Last Frontier Evangelism.” Apparently, there is no concept of decency, parental rights, or child abuse on the last frontier.

 

The interesting question (beyond the fact that there are nut cases like Grisham wandering the streets) is whether there are criminal or civil repercussions for such conduct.  Protests are not allowed in malls under “time, place, and manner” restrictions allowed under the first amendment.  Thus, he can be asked to leave.  More importantly, he could be accused of public disturbance.    Under Texas law, the standard is fairly generalized:

Sec. 42.01. DISORDERLY CONDUCT. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly:

(1) uses abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place, and the language by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace;

(2) makes an offensive gesture or display in a public place, and the gesture or display tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace;

(3) creates, by chemical means, a noxious and unreasonable odor in a public place;

(4) abuses or threatens a person in a public place in an obviously offensive manner;

(5) makes unreasonable noise in a public place other than a sport shooting range, as defined by Section 250.001, Local Government Code, or in or near a private residence that he has no right to occupy;

(6) fights with another in a public place;

(7) discharges a firearm in a public place other than a public road or a sport shooting range, as defined by Section 250.001, Local Government Code;

(8) displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm;

(9) discharges a firearm on or across a public road;

(10) exposes his anus or genitals in a public place and is reckless about whether another may be present who will be offended or alarmed by his act; or

(11) for a lewd or unlawful purpose

One would have to define this as “abusive” language, a difficult issue since it is based on religious speech that is normally protected.  The mall has the right to ask him to leave and bring a charge of trespass if he does not.

The parents could presumably sue for intentional infliction of emotional distress but once again it is a stretch.  The tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress requires (1) the defendant must act intentionally or recklessly; (2) the defendant’s conduct must be extreme and outrageous; and (3) the conduct must be the cause (4) of severe emotional distress. … Restatement (Second) of Torts section 46 cmt. h (1965).  This was clearly reckless conduct and would be viewed as “extreme and outrageous” conduct. It may have caused emotional distress though he could claim that he was telling the truth and that kids face such realities in life.  It would also be difficult to establish damages.

The result is that there are not very good options for dealing with people like Grisham. Fortunately, decency alone is enough to prevent the vast majority of human beings from doing something like this stunt.  One can only hope that some “night before Christmas” Grisham will hear “such a clatter” that he springs “from the bed to see what was the matter.”  Ideally, he will find Dasher and Blitzen and a “chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf” waiting for him while swinging a sack of coal. . . leaving the good preacher with “visions of sugar-plums danc[ing] in his head.”

In the meantime, any kids encountering Grisham’s Grinch-like performance should just tell him “You’re the king of sinful sots; Your heart’s a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots, Mr. Grisham; You’re a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce! :

44 thoughts on “A Grinch Named Grisham: Texas Minister Abuses Parents and Children Waiting To See Santa

  1. “citizens ought to be tolerant enough to listen to a 3 minute speech.

    I disagree.
    Free speech does not mean I have to listen to the speaker.
    He deserves only mockery.

    • Mockery can be a suitable response, but some here advocate criminal prosecution, and I have read others who believe that a violent response is warranted. These are just words and words are a sufficient response.

  2. I am surprised that there is not one comment supportive of free speech.

    I have no problem with a person making a 3 minute speech about how parents should not lie to their children. The man believes for whatever reason that people lying to their children about Santa Claus being real is a bad thing. He is apparently offended that these people line up in a mall to advance their charade. We should be tolerant enough to let the man express his opinion. He wasn’t forcing anyone to do anything. He did not even ask people to get out of line. He simply expressed his opinion.

    Granted, the mall is not considered a public forum for First Amendment purposes, but citizens ought to be tolerant enough to listen to a 3 minute speech.

    • “Granted, the mall is not considered a public forum for First Amendment purposes, but citizens ought to be tolerant enough to listen to a 3 minute speech.”

      In general I think you have made excellent points regarding freedom of speech. However I think this case can be distinguished in two ways:

      1) from the article we can infer the pastor was disrupting the proceedings between the (fake) Santa and the children and their parents. They have speech rights too. In this case it was the pastor who was disrupting.
      2) I don’t think anyone has a speech right or any other right to present a message to children that is not in accordance with the wishes of their parents. The pastor was not only expressing his belief to the parents, he was also interfering with the parents message to their children. That is not tolerable.

      The pastor has a right to find a venue and express his view to the adults in the community. He does not have a right to shout down the interaction between (fake) Santa’s and the children who enjoy taking to him.

      • When I was a kid, my parents raised my siblings and me not to believe in Santa. Back in the day, my mother would ask me things like “if Santa was real, then why would he not bring food to the starving kids in Bangladesh?”

        Of course, I repeated this to all and sundry, including neighbor kids whose parents did the whole Santa thing.

        Should I have been charged as a delinquent for thwarting the wishes of my friends’ parents?

        • andrea – Santa’s job is to bring presents to those who have been nice and punish those who have been naughty. He has no part in crop rotation. Your mother was wrong.

          • “Santa’s job is to bring presents to those who have been nice and punish those who have been naughty. He has no part in crop rotation. ”

            I get the part about Sants’s job.

            But how can you be so confident about Santa’s interest in crop rotation. Considering the short growing season at the pole, Santa might be an avid student of agronomy and the best way to provide vegetables during the long winter months. Lets face it, even the best reindeer stew can get pretty boring after the second or third month.

            Maybe you have some inside information?

            • bfm – my point was that during the sleigh ride on Xmas Eve, there is no time for crop rotation. There might be the occasional deposit of reindeer manure though. Right now there is no place for crops at the North Pole.

  3. Well, let me take a different track on this post. This idiot lives in Amarillo. I had one of the best steak dinners I ever ate in Amarillo. I always look for the positive.

  4. While I agree with his sentiment that Santa is not real, and if asked by my kids if he is real or not I will tell them the truth that he is not, I strongly disagree with his method of telling the truth by telling another lie that Jesus is the reason for the season. Jesus (as the son of god anyway, his actual existence as a person is still debated but evidence points toward his never existing) is no more real than Santa. Christianity merely superimposed its holiday on top of already existing holidays celebrating the winter solstice. Therefore, the reason for the season is the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth’s axis to the ecliptic.

    • KCFleming – we have no proof that Homer existed and he probably didn’t. However, we have lots of proof that Alexander the Great existed.

    • Where? My understanding is that most, if not all, historical accounts of a “Jesus” actually existing were added to manuscripts at a much later date to give the appearance of a real “Jesus”. These forgeries were then passed off by the church as real and proof that “Jesus” actually existed. As far as I know, all unaltered records of the time mysteriously leave out any mention of a “Jesus”. I guess this would be explained by the church as another way god is testing our faith. I am not saying a “Jesus” did not exist because he could have somehow slipped through the cracks of record keeping, but I do deny that he was the son of god since, well, god does not exist, therefore god could not have had a son.

      • Jeff – besides Joseph, who wrote a History of the Jews, and mentions Jesus, my understanding is that there are a couple of mentions. Been a long time since I studied that area. Did read Josephus though. Very interesting history.

      • Josephus was a Judaic historian, taken prisoner by Rome (Nero). Nero forced Josephus to document the story of Rome, including 70 AD when Nero burned the last Judaic Temple (none since built to replace it). From Wiki’s “Josephus_On_Jesus” page: “…In Book II, Chapter 23.20 of his Church History, Eusebius mentions Josephus’ reference to the death of James and the sufferings that befell those who killed him. In this reference Eusebius writes: ‘These things happened to the Jews to avenge James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus, that is called the Christ.’ ”

        It is appropriate to view Josephus as among if not the most accurate historian for that age and area. He would be true to his people, the “Ioudaios” (now wrongly interpreted “Jew”), but of course his Roman captives would see to the overall accuracy of his writings.

        At that time Rome was sworn enemy of the small but growing cult of Jesus’ followers. “Christian” appears twice in the NT, both times as a term of hate and derision, never as a term of glory as employed commonly now in the West.

        Rome fostered and promoted every form and pagan religion as long as it was expressed in PUBLIC. Conversely, as specified by Plato prior, every form of PRIVATE religion was a felonious cult, punished by murder. Plato’s Law also commanded persons who knew of PRIVATE religious cult must inform Rome (fink), or also suffer pain of death.

        “Conventicle” defines any private group of religious practice. Why would Rome kill “Christian” and any other groups who practiced conventicle? Because such groups weaken the social fabric established and grown and made strong by public cult. Rome’s war against the Christian cult can be summarized as a war against conventicle. Conventicle is the first alert to Rome that something was amiss. Rome would later bring such persons to trial and ask them if to acknowledge Ceasar as God. The cult member would say he has only one God, Christ and the Father, followed immediately by the death penalty. If they did not practice conventicle, if they worshiped the public god of Dianna, they’d never be bused and go through life unharmed.

        True followers of Christ, then and now, are the first to separate religion and the State. “Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s” means exactly that. But they could not give Ceasar homage as God.

        So what happened? How did US soldiers in uniform come to paint Christian crosses on bombs to kill Muslims? I’ll tell you what happened. Constantine happened, and then the “church” embraced him.

        The Roman Emperor Constantine’s (4th C AD) alleged “conversion” to Christianity inverted the entire order in the West. Here’s the form, compressed in time. One night Rome went to sleep, knowing that Christians were fed to the lions, while Rome blessed every form of pagan public religion (often, when Rome conquered a nation, Rome would import that region’s pagan religion and add it to the current Roman pantheon of public religions). At midnight, Constantine converted to Christianity, and we invert the form above. The ONLY acceptable religion is Christ, and everyone not bending the knee to Christ is immediately beheaded. The Pope jumped into the sack w/Constantine, both scratching each others back.

        The order of the private cult following Christ died that night. The order of public observance of Christ took the place of all the public pagan religions.

        And thus it has been ever more.

        The error of this pathetic excuse of a Pastor is his belief that he is rightly and publicly enforcing his version of Christ on unbelieving non-members of the Pastor’s cult. The “Pastor” has a public religious group where should be a private cult group. (The Bible also specifies that members of each local cult are to nominate “Elders/Pastors,” but that never stops Pastors from self-proclaiming their status.)

        Whenever someone describes a sin of the Pope or the Catholic Church, realize that their worst current sin is to not acknowledge their error when they jumped in the sack with Constantine. When Constantine proclaimed his desire to join the Christian cult, rather than join Rome, the cult should have said to Constantine, “Come be fed to the lions with us!”

        BTW, in Latin, P stands for modern “C,” and X stands for modern “H,” CH being the first two letters of Christ, as in Jesus. Visit a Catholic Church and you’ll often see the P w/elongated stem and an X at the bottom. Constantine’s first use of “PX” was as a tall metal staff, leading his troops into battle to conquer Rome’s enemies. Gettin’ some o’that Christ Superpower to kill his enemies!

        • Joseph Jones wrote: “Nero forced Josephus to document the story of Rome, including 70 AD when Nero burned the last Judaic Temple (none since built to replace it).”

          Your history is a bit off here. Nero died in 68 A.D. Vespasian was emperor when the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. by Vespasian’s son Titus.

          Joseph Jones wrote: “The error of this pathetic excuse of a Pastor is his belief that he is rightly and publicly enforcing his version of Christ on unbelieving non-members of the Pastor’s cult. The “Pastor” has a public religious group where should be a private cult group.”

          Your error is in forcing religion to be a private cult group.

          Look, if the man thinks the wrath of God is going to be poured out upon these other Christians who lie to their children about Santa Claus, and he sees them all lining up for their children to sit on Santa’s lap, what harm is caused by him speaking to the issue at this time? Nobody is hurt, nor is he obstructing anybody from going about their business and doing whatever they want to do. To muzzle people and restrain them from their inalienable right to express themselves is where the real harm happens in a civilized society. Muzzled people often form private cult groups like the KKK and plan harm against others in society. It would be much better to be tolerant and patient and let an exchange of words settle the matter.

  5. There is no more proof that Jesus existed than proof that there is a Santa. Both Christianity and Santa are commercial enterprises that weigh heavily on their adherents from time to time. The only difference is that most if not all kids eventually arrive at a logical conclusion regarding Santa and embrace the concept of celebrating giving as well as getting. Santa is perhaps more true to the origin of celebrating this moment at the darkest time of the year, akin to ‘The Order of Good Cheer’ and other straight forward celebrations.

    Unfortunately some believers lose touch with the concept of religion and celebration and go off the beam. There’s a lot of that going on.

  6. I know I am being a stickler for the truth here, but Jesus was born 2020 years ago. Just goes to show you how much this minister knows about Xmas. And we all know that Dec 25 is not the date of the birth of Jesus, he was born in the spring sometime. And Santa is real because NORAD tracks his sleigh every year. They would do that if he was not real.

  7. “Instead, he went to the mall in Amarillo, Texas where he filmed himself (below) yelling at children how there is no Santa and their parents are lying to them. ”

    Is there some right to be present in a shopping mall? Why couldn’t the mall management have mall security remove him for harassing other shoppers?

    New meaning for the term ‘war on Christmas’.

  8. Sure, scare the facts into the kids. That’ll set them off on a good path. Yeesh. Up here, I’d guess they’d call it disorderly conduct. A slap on the wrist, but the court of public opinion will also have their way with him. I suspect Pastor Scrooge had himself a couple Christmas cocktails that day.

  9. Lying is the stock and trade of “con-artists”, peddling everything to gullible believers once they have been brainwashed from infants to become life long suckers…….

    Need anyone mention a Chump named Trump???

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