With the very notable exception of Suge Knight, obese men in red suits are very infrequently described as badass. But when you scratch beneath his jolly exterior, Santa Claus is one of the most epically badass men to ever roam the globe. To be clear, we’re not talking about the Santa Claus that Coca Cola invented and Tim Allen perfected, but rather the real man, the actual Saint Nikolaos of Myra who inspired the holiday icon.
Because before he was a massive jerk to Rudolph, jolly old Saint Nick was a jolly old badass. How badass?
He punched a guy…during a religious debate
Outside of the time Jesus went rage tornado on those money changers in the temple, religious icons are not usually known for their violent tantrums. But since St. Nick’s body was merely an overburdened vessel for his giant, steel testicles, he ignored both the letter and the spirit of his religion by slapping a heretic during a philosophical disagreement. (via St. Nicholas Center)
Arius, from Egypt, was teaching that Jesus the Son was not equal to God the Father…As Arius vigorously continued, Nicholas became more and more agitated. Finally, he could no longer bear what he believed was essential being attacked. The outraged Nicholas got up, crossed the room, and slapped Arius across the face.
That’s right, Saint Nick didn’t debate Arius with reasoned words or targeted body shaming; he just slapped the guy. Granted this story might be part-legend (committed to the annals of history with a painting), and substituting fists for words is almost always the tactic of assholes and/or bros from Boston, but Saint Nick’s heretic slap still has to be one of the most badass actions ever performed by a saint.
It’s right up there with the guy who gut-stabbed a dragon; that was pretty metal, too.