Monday, December 05, 2005

Conservatives and Christmas

It's often pointed out that Christian conservative groups sure do complain a lot given that the government reflects their will so readily. Here's more stupidity along the same lines from a NY Times Op Ed piece:
The American Family Association is leading a boycott of Target for not using the words "Merry Christmas" in its advertising. (Target denies it has an anti-Merry-Christmas policy.) The Catholic League boycotted Wal-Mart in part over the way its Web site treated searches for "Christmas." Bill O'Reilly, the Fox anchor who last year started a "Christmas Under Siege" campaign, has a chart on his Web site of stores that use the phrase "Happy Holidays," along with a poll that asks, "Will you shop at stores that do not say 'Merry Christmas'?"

This campaign - which is being hyped on Fox and conservative talk radio - is an odd one. Christmas remains ubiquitous, and with its celebrators in control of the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court and every state supreme court and legislature, it hardly lacks for powerful supporters. There is also something perverse, when Christians are being jailed for discussing the Bible in Saudi Arabia and slaughtered in Sudan, about spending so much energy on stores that sell "holiday trees."

What is less obvious, though, is that Christmas's self-proclaimed defenders are rewriting the holiday's history. They claim that the "traditional" American Christmas is under attack by what John Gibson, another Fox anchor, calls "professional atheists" and "Christian haters." But America has a complicated history with Christmas, going back to the Puritans, who despised it. What the boycotters are doing is not defending America's Christmas traditions, but creating a new version of the holiday that fits a political agenda.

2 Comments:

>>>>>> Blogger Daedalus said...

AFA was successful in getting Ford to pull its advertising from gay magazines, so who knows how this will affect Target?

12/06/2005 4:28 PM  
>>>>>> Blogger TJ Thompson said...

I'm conservative and Christian (LDS to be more precise) and I have no problem with any holiday celebratory phrase. If someone said "Happy Hanukkah" to me, I'd take it in a good way because to a Jewish person, that's a nice thing to say. I think people need to consider the source of these statements and then realize that saying "Happy holidays" is a nice gesture to everyone. And for the people that complain about the retailers who use "Merry Christmas," they too need to realize that's a nice gesture from a Christian, not a method of trying to convert every shopper to Christianity.

- TJ Thompson
http://tjthompson.blogspot.com

2/14/2006 5:55 PM  

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