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December 26, 2005

AFA: no bible-beater Christmas shopping next year

Posted in: Uncategorized

“Such an effort will remind all of us, including retailers, what Christmas is all about. I very much believe that you will see retailers get on board promoting Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. If they miss us shopping next Christmas, maybe they will respect us more.

– Don Wildmon, American Family Association chairman, Donald Wildmon


“I certainly understand Tim Wildmon’s concern to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. But I fail to see how that (not buying gifts) would bring back the essence of Christmas. And I don’t think it would affect retailers. Besides, that’s part of the joy of Christmas — to give someone a gift to show your appreciation for them.”

–Mathew Staver, president of Liberty Counsel

God, this is laughable – the evangelical Christmas wars for next year are heating up, between the talking heads of the bible beaters. Don and Tim Wildmon clearly don’t think their “Christ in Christmas” campaign was enough this year. Next year’s plan is to make sure their Kool-Aid drinkers don’t shop at ANY retailers. Of course they aren’t really committed enough to the cause, since they say it’s OK to buy gifts for kids. Yeah, if they really want to get back to what Christmas is all about, tear up Dick and Jane’s wish list, put those kids on their nutcase knees and just read from the bible to celebrate the magic of the “reason for the season.” (SFGate):

If grown-ups really want to express their appreciation for someone through a Christmas gift, Wildmon suggests that they either make something themselves or give a gift of their time. He wants folks to focus on Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ, not as the day before the after-Christmas sales begin.

“We want people to get back to what Christmas should be about,” Wildmon said.

That was the stated goal of campaigns this fall aimed at keeping Christmas — in word and symbol — in the public square, whether by ensuring that children could sing carols in school or that retailers hung signs that said “Merry Christmas,” instead of something neutered of religious references such as “Happy holidays.”

Spearheaded largely by evangelical Christian legal and religious organizations, the campaign got a huge amount of media attention — even if critics did find it hollow at the core. “As a propaganda and fund-raising campaign for the religious right, it was very successful this year,” said Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “As far as pinpointing an actual problem, the problem doesn’t exist. It’s being used to divide Americans and create a cultural war.”

The altruistic effort proposed for next year by the American Family Association is about more than good deeds: The Merry Christmas Project is an attempt to flash the economic power of Christian shoppers.


Jan LaRue, legal counsel with Concerned Women for America, another major conservative player in the Christmas campaign, said that while the idea of contributing to the needy was noble, “I don’t know if it has to be linked to punishing retailers. A lot of believers, Christians and Jews, own small businesses that would be punished by the loss of income during the Christmas season.”

Edward Fox, a marketing professor at Southern Methodist University, said there wasn’t much of a track record of Christian buying power — the exception being the evangelical outpouring for Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” that turned the film into a blockbuster last year. There are 14 to 16 million evangelical Christian adults in the United States, according to the Barna Group, a California firm that studies the Christian market. “If Christians decided to band together on this, it would be an interesting test,” Fox said.

…The Christmas war fighters are united behind one idea: They’re all going to do it again next year.

The end times must be near for these folks, if they are ratcheting up the holy war with this sort of stupidity. Perhaps the unstable wingers with eat each other by the end of next year.


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