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October 7, 2009

The AFA's War on the War on Christmas

It's October, which means that the 'I can't believe they're showing holiday ads already' holiday ads should start appearing about five minutes ago. It also means that it's that time of year when some conservatives start to get all up in arms about the imaginary "war on Christmas". I just read a truly moving and inspiring action alert along those lines from the American Family Association, and I just had to share it and comment on it for you.

One company says 'Yes' to Christmas, and one says 'No'

A few years ago American Family Association noticed a trend among major corporations (which profit from Christmas sales) not wanting to recognize Christmas. Since that time we have been making the public aware of these companies while applauding those companies which are not making the "politically correct" decision to censor the word "Christmas."

We are pleased to see the Sears company is already offering a "Christmas Club" on its website. You may recall, AFA asked our supporters to contact Sears three years ago when it too was avoiding the word and Sears responding positively. Thank Sears the next time you visit one of their stores.

Well known retailer The Gap, on the other hand, has clearly indicated it WILL NOT use the term "Christmas" in any of its promotional advertising again this year. AFA has repeatedly contacted The Gap and spokesmen say they "don't want to offend anyone" by using the word Christmas. The Gap also owns Old Navy and Banana Republic.
Yes, the fact that some stores choose to use a general holiday greeting that applies to everyone is a horrible nightmare. Sometimes when I'm out shopping for gifts and someone in a store wishes me "happy holidays", I find myself losing my moral and spiritual bearings and beginning to question who I am as a person and reevaluating the meaning of life, and then I have to get a lemonade from Auntie Anne's and sit on a bench outside of Socks Appeal until I feel better. It's a challenging experience.
We want you to stand with us and other Christians in proclaiming that Christmas is special, not just any winter holiday. And the gift buying that Americans do for one another is because of Christmas. People don't exchange gifts on Thanksgiving or New Year's Day.
They're right about one thing. Christmas is special...to Christians. Yes, Christians are a majority in this country, but that doesn't automatically make Christmas better or more special than Yule, Diwali, Hanukkah, or any of the other "just any winter holiday" holidays are to the people of other faiths who celebrate them. (And the reason that Christmas is a special celebration isn't really supposed to have anything to do with buying gifts, unless you're talking frankincense and myrrh.) Oh, and another newsflash for the AFA - some of those "just any" holidays involve exchanging gifts too.

Here's how you can take a stand for Christmas. AFA is making available an attractive button and sticker that carry this thought-provoking, Gospel-focused message: "God's Gift: Merry Christmas."

Purchase enough buttons for each member of your church and enough glossy stickers for each family to have one to go on their automobiles. Urge your fellow members to wear their buttons and display the glossy stickers during the entire Christmas season.

I'm asking individuals like you in thousands of communities across the nation to head up this project in their local churches. Your willingness to underwrite the cost for your church and enthusiastically promote this project is the key to making an impact in your area.

Order your pack of 10 buttons today, or, sponsor your entire church by choosing a Large or Small Church Packet or the NEW Display Box of 250 buttons. And, we will include FREE SHIPPING on all Christmas buttons and stickers. Click here to order.
Here's how you can take a stand...by buying lots of our Christmas crap! Yes, give as much money as you can to the AFA this holiday season. It's the only thing that could possibly make Jesus feel better about those fuckers at the Gap saying "happy holidays".

This "thought-provoking message" is certainly provoking some thoughts for me. They're about what Jesus would care about and focus his attention on if he were to pay a visit to America today. I don't think it would involve hanging out at the mall or complaining about ad campaigns. I was also thinking...what happens if you feel this very important calling from the AFA God and decide to "underwrite the cost" of buttons and stickers for your whole church, but then you show up and find out that Bob, Carol, Ted, and Alice fell for the same shameless email alert felt the same spark of divine inspiration? Awkward.

Also, I just have to say that in addition to being silly, these stickers are weird looking. I'm offended on God's behalf by the AFA's weak graphic design skills. And lots of people, Christians included, should be offended by the "message" of this action alert.


Scandalous Housewife said...

I'm going to be double-ly pissed if I walk into the Gap and they say 'Happy Holiday, Humanoid', instead of 'Smokin' Hot Cougar Lady'.

Lawrence said...


Well, I guess the "dumb thing" that I said will live forever in infamy on this blog. But I enjoy evilslutopia nonetheless.

However, whatever you may think of me or the argument I made last year, please, for the love of God, understand how much I loathe the AFA. If my internet reading habits were to have an arch-nemesis, well, I wouldn't go so far as to call them my Dr. Doom, but certainly they'd qualify as my Lex Luthor or some character like that. The AFA has kept me alternating between typist's rage and reader's hilarity for many years.

So maybe I am a "dumb guy", but I'm not one of THOSE dumb guys at the AFA.


PMS Rhino said...

The only thing that makes me wish I still worked in retail. Always wanted to go in and during every specific winter holiday use that at work. Moving from Happy Hanukkah to Kwanzaa and so on (just to annoy the DM, I hated that man to the very core, sexist pig). The short span I did work retail I never really thought about it and generally the winter shopping season is so hellish I couldn't care two shits about wishing people a merry fucking anything, lol, other than a merry get the fuck out of my store.

And yes, that button/stick is a terrible design. My dad made better homemade buttons last Christmas that were to the same effect. Maybe AFA should hire my dad. When I first saw that button I honestly thought the manger scene was a hooded rogue or something, lol. And then I remembered it was supposed to be a Christmas thing and was like "Wait, what do rogues have to do with Christmas?"

Meg said...

Most of the secular aspects of Christmas were lifted from the Roman festival of Saturnalia. Christianity wasn't an integral part of the winter holiday back then, and it's not now. It's a generic winter holiday, and the details change as the culture changes. Gift giving, though, has been a part of winter festivals long before Christianity. Same goes for the tradition of tomfoolery, which the "war on Christmas" whiners are kind enough to preserve for us. :)

I wonder if the button designer knows that Photoshop lets you customize your gradients? Or maybe that is the customized version, and he's just never actually seen ribbon IRL. Either way, wow.