Saint Chad’s Progressive Episcopal Church


Office of the Canon: the Right Reverend Dr. Dale Owens


Fontana By the Sea



Sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent



Our text for today is from Frosty the Snowman.

I must warn you that what follow is shocking, Glenn-Beck-head-exploding shocking.

Global warming denialists have a front man and his name is Frosty.  I do not speak merely to you today as your pastor here at Saint Chad’s. I speak to you as a man and as a citizen of the world.

Emails stolen from Fox News reveal the horrifying truth: Frosty the Snowman has an agenda and it is the destruction of this planet.

Frosty has been preparing your kids to accept global warming and view it as part of the circle of life and death.

It is no accident his name has six letters and it is no coincidence that he looks like Al Gore. He was created by big business as mock-Gore, a fat buffoon whose only job is to melt away and disappear, good intentions destroyed by the heat of the battle.

The end of Frosty spells out the direction the oil companies, the vast right wing conspiracy, and Joe Carter want to do to the underfunded and brave scientists of this country.

They want us, but especially our children, to see the death of snowpeople as normal. They want children to be sanguine when they see a snowchild melt.

None dare call it conspiracy, but I will call it a snow job.

For today’s sermon I will do a slow read of the song Frosty the Snow Man and try to apply rigorous textual analysis to this seminal song.  I will bring the terrifying results to you now.
Frosty

The Snowman

Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul,

The opening of the song has a spare style reminiscent of the first line of the Iliad. We sing of the soul of a man made out of snow, but are left with more questions than answers.

What is meant by soul? Why jolly? Why happy?

We need not guess, the first line reveals the truth to us. Frosty is happy, because like deer and moose in the Party of Palin, Frosty is on this earth to die.

Frosty is, of course, a snowman. No snowwomen need apply in the crazy world of freepers, tea-baggers, and con-men that run thsi nation.

Already we have in the first line a foreshadowing of the sad ending. We read, “Frosty  . . . was” and the wise know that this will not end well.

“Frosty . . . was .  . . “

Let it sink into your heart.

What happened to this jolly, happy, soul? We are told only that he was and in that single word our ambition is tapped out and we made passive on-lookers in the death of Frosty and the death of our planet.
With a corncob pipe and a button nose

Already Frosty is being objectified and made acceptable to a culture that is ready to name a being “snowman” when snowman is not his name.

He smokes. Big Tobacco has a hand in the creation of Frosty and this should prove to anyone with a mind that Frosty is a creation of the right wing media.


He has a button for a nose! He is an object of fun .  . . one of the poor using a hand-me down



And two eyes made out of coal.

And now we get to the real point of the song. Frosty is allowed to see only with the very tool of his destruction: coal, the prime creator of global-warming green house gas.

Does Frosty object as any sane snowbeing would do? No. Frosty uses the coal and teaches children that even if it kills you coal must be used. We will be blind without coal the song implies.

And if it kills Frosty to use coal?

Laugh and look the other way with your own eyes made dim by the money from Big Coal.
Frosty the snowman is a fairy tale, they say,

Have you ever read an actual fairy tale that tells you it is a fairy tale? This is a tip-off to an astroturf Christmas song.
He was made of snow but the children
Know how he came to life one day.

Creationism comes to the public in many ways and this is not the least dangerous. Frosty does not evolve like every other living thing, Frosty just “comes to life.” Fundamentalist America is around every Christmas corner waiting to infect the children, so many of them their own, with this nonsense.
There must have been some magic in that
Old silk hat they found.

It is the hat of a plutocrat that is magical, not the hat of a farmer or a mechanic. Frosty lives only when touched by the magic of “free” enterprise. His eyes of coal light up when his head is touched by a silk hat that so many children singing the song will never be rich enough to experience.

How many silk hats are to be found in the trash of your neighborhood?
For when they placed it on his head
He began to dance around.

Frosty exists to serve his creator. Like some latter day Bo-jangles he cavorts for his paying audience and they applaud. They have made him and so if he dies, they will not care. The right slowly teaches your child to exert “dominion” over nature with their silk hat, corn-cob pipes, and coal.

Nature screams, but the children clap their hand and call in dancing.
O, Frosty the snowman
Was alive as he could be,
And the children say he could laugh
And play just the same as you and me.

He is the “same as you and me” but he lacks the rights of you and me. Instead, this living being serves only as someone to “laugh” and “play.” Who is with Frosty at night when the children leave and he thinks sad thoughts? Who will cry with Frosty?

Frosty weep not.
Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Look at Frosty go.

The latent violence, always present on the tea-bagging right, comes out in this stanza. Frosty has no legs, but the children mock is monopodal movements.

Ha! Ha! Ha!
Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Over the hills of snow.

But where is grandmother’s house? Grandmother is gone in this “fairy tale” . . . destroyed by social services cuts of the previous administration.
Frosty the snowman knew
The sun was hot that day,

Here the global warming denialists reach their real message. Why is a winter day hot? “The sun, the sun,” they simper.

Fools.

What does the sun have to do with global warming? Even a simpleton knows that global warming is caused by humans emitting carbon dioxide! There is a certain easy plausibility to the “sun theory” . . . a “God did it” for the creationist right. Science, however, has shown that the sun itself is a product of green house gas emissions.
So he said, “Let’s run and
We’ll have some fun
Now before I melt away.”

Don’t recycle children! Don’t try to save my life! Don’t listen to the other scarier round man who warns you of the dangers of all this heat! Run! Have fun!

And then we die.
Down to the village,

Frosty will spread the word that global warming can be fun to our cities. He is a television evangelist of the apocalypse.
With a broomstick in his hand,
Running here and there all
Around the square saying,
Catch me if you can.

A symbol of woman’s power, the broomstick, is appropriated by the male Frosty. He is elusive to the children and more than a bit cruel. The warmth grows, but they are chasing Frosty and never notice it.
He led them down the streets of town
Right to the traffic cop.
And he only paused a moment when
He heard him holler “Stop!”

Frosty refuses to listen to the authorities . . . the global warming scientists who shout a desperate “Stop!” to the man of snow. He pauses a “moment” as if to consider their warnings, but then continues his careless destruction of self and our planet.
For Frosty the snow man
Had to hurry on his way,
But he waved goodbye saying,
“Don’t you cry,

We are forbidden to cry as Frosty dies. Global warming is not sad. The polar bears like dying. The ice cap enjoys melting.

Don’t cry children. Don’t listen to nasty Mr. Gore.

Don’t save Frosty, he was born to die, just like a baby seal.
I’ll be back again some day.”

And so Frosty gives us an eschatology of hope, but none in the here and now. It is all Frosties in the sky by and by.
Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Look at Frosty go.
Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Over the hills of snow.

Good-bye Frosty? May the members of the progressive community do whatever it takes this Holiday season to save Frosty and not just make mindless noises as the snow melts and he goes.

If the cost to our culture is high, let us pay it or our children’s children will not see the snowbeings we have seen.

Amen.

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