Thursday, December 01, 2005


Secular humanist retailers: "Bah humbug!"

It appears the American Family Association has joined in the militant campaign to save Christmas from the pagan God-haters, whose ranks now appear to include most major retailers. AFA, which is best known for its efforts to keep dirty language off network TV, now believes God will vanish into a poof of smoke and disappear because JCPenney won't put the word Christmas in its circulars. AFA cites a survey of Sunday newspapers that yielded only one circular from Belk's that mentioned the word Christmas. Admittedly they only looked at two papers, but they claim this as proof that we've turned our backs on God.

Indeed they may be onto something here. I jumped onto the Sunday Saver website, which links to store circulars, and found that only Family Dollar and Circuit City actually used the word Christmas in their ads. For the record, Target insists that it acknowledges Christmas in a letter here that AFA cites as some sort of proof that its campaign works, even though Target says it never stopped using the word Christmas. With so few stores invoking the name of Christmas, I'm not sure these boycotters will have a lot choice in where to shop. Does this mean that they'll be hypocrites if they shop at one of these merchants the same way I've been told Barbra Streisand is a hypocrite for living in a wooden house?

So finally we have the one and only issue that has sent right-wingers into a fit of rage against corporate America. Apparently, conservatives are fine with Wal-Mart mistreating employees and encouraging the deindustrailization of our great nation. But when Wal-Mart omits the word Chritsmas from its ads, that's a true outrage!

Let me say again that I do see these folks' point. AFA points out that these stores really depend on Christmas shoppers, yet treat the holiday as the "C-word." Have we really gotten so PC and fearful of offending folks that stores refuse to say "Merry Christmas" or even simply "Christmas Sale?" With Christmas as such a secular celebration anymore, why should anyone be offended by this alleged Christian holiday. I know many Christians would be upset with me for this, but Christmas has become so commercialized and frenzied that I see it as completely divorced from the birth of Christ. It's wildly popular in Japan, for crying out loud. Therefore, nobody should feel threatened by this very secular holidays.

On the other hand, this denial of the word Christmas really isn't anything new. Stores have been saying "Happy Holidays" for years, and I always took it as a reference to the holdiay season - Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year together - not as a denial of Jesus Christ as savior and lord. A Kmart ad proclaiming "Happy Holidays" is no threat to God or his people and should in no way diminish your enjoyment of Christmas. If it does, you should probably examine your rage and get on with celebrating the holiday however you best see fit.

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