Christmas Debate: The Arguments Over the Wording of the Holiday Season

Many conservative groups are up in arms about the perception that stores are not giving proper recognition to the word “Christmas” when it comes to their advertising. And the boycott seems to be their weapon of choice. Never mind that the real doctrine of Christianity has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. It is a holiday melded together from ancient pagan traditions, that the church “borrowed” to give a sense of legitimacy to their faith among the masses. That is fact, and to not recognize it as such is folly. The claims of a holiday to honor the birth of Jesus by mass rushing Black Friday sales and spending your family into mountains of credit card debt don’t honor the memory of Christ at all. “What Would Jesus Do?” I can’t say, except that I doubt he would be so concerned with spending.

In response to the perceived injustice wrought by the so-called “Christmas Haters” action groups sprang to life to defend their day. One of the most troubling was the boycott call against retail giant Wal-Mart, began on November 10th. It was began in response to an internet searcher not being satisfied with the number of hits the word “Christmas” got them on the Wal-Mart website. The searcher apparently sent an email to Wal-Mart, and got a response from an associate describing the retail giant as a world wide company that had to acknowledge many viewpoints. He correctly explained many of the pagan roots of Christmas, an act that got him fired the next day. The call for boycott was lifted, as Wal-Mart caved in to most of the concerns of the boycott call. The company explained that the fired employee was a temp, and the views were in no way those of Wa-Mart, and so forth…..what one has to wonder is why a temporary so out of line with the views of Wal-Mart would be placed in a position to respond to customer emails. That such a quick response happened shows the growing influence of the Radical Right.

Target stores was also the “target” of a boycott because of dissatisfaction concerning holiday advertising. The American Family Association claimed that Target didn’t use “Christmas” nearly enough in ads and store signs. They stated that “When you take away ‘Christmas’ and replace it with a generic term like ‘holiday,’ you take away the very essence of what is being celebrated.” Once again, the retailer caved in. It shouldn’t matter what anyone calls their own holiday, but to threaten boycott because they don’t call it what you want them to is silly. To bully organizations with your numbers if they don’t subscribe to your particular point of view is wrong.

As is the case whenever there is a hot button issue, there are many who are willing to take up the cause in an inflammatory manner. One such example comes from FOX News anchor John Gibson, whose book “The War on Christmas” came out just in time to inflame the debate, and to sell alot of books. And another FOX News pundit, Bill O’Rielly, claims that the “War” on Christmas is part of a “secular progressive agenda” that also includes “legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage”…..a little paranoid, eh Bill? In closing, does it really matter? Let everyone have their own religious holidays. Make the Federal day non-sectarian and secular. And allow everyone to have a “Happy Holiday.”

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