I want to talk to the zealous for a second. I know you have no reason to listen to me, but I want to help, seriously.
If you are religious, I don’t care if you are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Shinto, do not threaten us with Santa Claus. While I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain that, I recognize that not everyone thinks of Santa like I do, so I will elaborate.
Often, when the religious are approaching their non-religious partners in humanity (heathens, atheists, brights, whatever you feel like calling them), they try to posture the conversation as if they are just trying to help save us. I understand that to you, let’s use Christians for the sake of audience, Hell is a scary and real thing. You think that those who do wrong will go there, and burn for eternity (and boy how long eternity is). So it may be frustrating when atheists shrug this off, they may even laugh, chortle maybe. It makes us seem like children, laughing before we ride our bikes into traffic.
To me, and to any other atheist, the threat of divine damnation is the threat of coal in our stockings. You are telling me that a giant bearded man, who knows all, and wishes me absolute well, has fashioned a childish torture to teach me a lesson for not listening to him. I ask you, any theist, do you fear coal in your stockings?
Of course you don’t. You realize that Santa is an ideal created to manipulate others (in this case, innocent children, but lets not get into why that is disturbing), you realize that the only person who would be shoving coal into stockings would be particularly cruel human beings who also don’t believe this ideal is real, and you know for a fact that the North Pole is an ice field that has never served as the HQ of any judgmental White guys.
I imagine you understand by now. It doesn’t even just apply to the threat of Hell, any treatise that includes the strength, persuasion, or love, of your deities, is Santa Claus. You will know him, for Allah is the one true god? Santa Claus. In heaven you will kneel before the awe of YHWH? Santa Claus. All are one in Brahman? All are one in Santa Claus.
It doesn’t matter how true, how perfect, how enlightening, or how inspiring you think your particular divinity is, it is no more impressive to the atheist than a 5 year old’s drawing of the fat man in red.
Do not tell me ‘you will realize when X happens’, because your after-death wonderland where everyone will learn the ultimate lesson about how you were so correct about that religion you devoted so much of your time to, it is Santa Claus. Everyone who isn’t part of your same religion (and many that are), see it as childish, hilarious, and the furthest thing from true.
Say you are the evangelical type, still want to spread your religion to those you think you can help, what are you to do? Try using the facts of the material realm. I swear, if mormons came to your door telling you about strong community support, and excellent education and leadership programs for kids, they wouldn’t get doors slammed in their face all day.
Instead they stick their foot in your door, and threaten you with Santa Claus.