Patron saint of—everything

Today we call him Santa Claus, but the real St. Nicholas (AD 270-December 6, 346) was a wealthy Greek businessman whose devotion made him Bishop of Myra. He was known for many miracles, and as a Defender of the Faith against the Arian heresy. Most of all, he is remembered for his anonymous works of charity. In particular, he would leave money and gifts in the shoes left out to dry at night by poor parishioners. Over time, shoes were replaced in folklore by stockings.

One legend concerns a fellow businessman and friend who suddenly lost his fortune. The friend had three preteen daughters, and the loss meant his daughters would not have dowries and might never find a respectable husbands. They might have resorted to prostitution.

Instead, St. Nicholas secretly left each of them enough money for a decent dowry to marry as they came of age. His friend suspected the donor may have been Nicholas and was determined to find out for sure. When the final daughter became eligible for marriage, Nicholas protected his anonymity by dropping the dowry late one night down the chimney. Another tradition born!

Although the story is about being saved from prostitution by an act of charity (not by state coercion), nevertheless sex workers have for centuries celebrated jolly St. Nicholas as a patron saint. There is an actual sex worker who became a saint, Empress Theodora (AD 500-548), but that is another story.

St. Nicholas is so popular that many countries have adopted him and embellished his legend with a reindeer sleigh, full white beard, red costume, and with a list of who’s naughty or nice. Who has been naughty or nice in 2016?

St. Nicholas is also the patron saint of Russia. No doubt the Western elites, politicians and mainstream media who promoted vicious, one-sided attacks on Russia will get lumps of coal in their stockings this year. President-designate Trump doesn’t need charity, but I suspect St. Nicholas will be praying he will help bring about a detente with President Putin and a balanced approach to our relations with the only other nuclear superpower.

Newly elected Democratic senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Kamala Harris deserve only coal for their shameless use of sex trafficking myths to advance their political careers. They both abandoned the actual needs of working women to pander to ignorance and fear by embracing the neo-feminist, anti-male ideology of victimization.

St. Nicholas is also the patron saint of commerce. Commerce has been hobbled by regulations, cronyism and artificial barriers to entry like occupational licenses. Pray to St. Nicholas to free businesspeople to serve their customers instead of government bureaucrats!

Children also enjoy the love and protection of St. Nicholas. Surely those in the Nevada Legislature who abandoned their right to educational choice in the special legislative session and instead taxed tourists to pay for a multi-billionaire’s sport stadium do not deserve Nicholas’s blessing. Instead, I suspect blessings will be bestowed on the parents of free-range children who allow them to exercise the freedom to learn responsibility and judgment instead of being sheltered and repressed by overweening parents and other busybody adults.

St Nicholas is the patron saint of Amsterdam. Amsterdam is the foremost pioneer of drug decriminalization as well as legalized prostitution. In 2016, Nevada and nine other states followed Amsterdam’s example of marijuana legalization. May St. Nicholas bestow blessings on those who understand that prohibition only makes things worse, and that government arrests for peacefully selling or buying unapproved drugs or consensual services is evil and counterproductive.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Happy New Year!