“Kids, I want to tell you today, there is no such thing as Santa Claus.”
That’s how a controversial Santa Claus video made by Amarillo Pastor David Grisham started over the weekend.
Now, the Pastor is getting death threats.
Grisham posted the video Saturday after telling kids at Westgate Mall that Santa Claus does not exist.
He got into a heated debate with several parents at the time.
Since Grisham posted the video,three million (M) people have watched it while tens of thousands more have shared it.
Grisham made the announcement while kids were in line to see Santa.
He told them and anyone who would listen that Jesus is the only reason for the season and Santa is not real.
After a few minutes, a few people approached Grisham telling him to knock it off.
He claims he was assaulted by at least one person and threatened by many more.
“I’ve had hundreds of threats of violence as a result of this and I’ve had dozens of death threats.” Grisham said. “One guy even threatened to stab me in the neck to keep me from preaching. That was just one that came to mind I thought it was funny. This is not my first rodeo with death threats”
Grisham is no stranger to controversy.
He’s made headlines in the past for staging a mock execution of Santa Claus at a firing range.
He also planned a public burning of a Quran several years ago but, that was thwarted when someone stole the Muslim holy book from him before he could set it on fire.
Grisham also ran for mayor of Amarillo in 2011, finishing last out of a field of 12 candidates.
Grisham says he had no idea the video would cause this kind of uproar and certainly didn’t think it would go viral.
Grisham signed over the rights to the video to a company called Viral Hog.
They specialize in buying viral videos, then charging a licensing fee for its use.