Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Misfire Across the Bow

The American Family Association has fired the first salvo in the imaginary "War on Christmas".

From the latest AFA e-mail
Mrs. Fields has become the first company to ban Christmas from their products and promotion for this year.

When Diane H. of Michigan called Mrs. Fields and asked to speak with a supervisor in customer service about why they banned Christmas, the supervisor told Diane that they do not offer anything with Merry Christmas because they don't want to offend anyone.
The only problem is, they made the whole crisis up.

Mrs. Fields has never "banned" Christmas. They are not banning christmas this year. Their site has always shown christmas cookies (in the appropriate season) as it does now.

A whole lot of hoopla about "oooh! they put it back on their website because we made it public! " and how they "scrambled" in response to this expose! Lots of blog sites urging 'good christians' to boycott Mrs. Fields. Lots of smoke, but the fire isn't there, people. The corporation of Mrs. Fields did not even consider banning all things christmas.

If the AFA is so concerned that Christmas is being marginlized, maybe they should spend some time worrying about the bizarre and rather frightening commercialization of Christmas instead. I know very few people who celebrate the religious meaning of Christmas, instead it's an excuse to decorate, bake cookies, put up a tree, give presents, and otherwise celebrate (all traditions from other religions, btw). For many people, Christmas is a very important religious holiday, and they are free to celebrate it in any way the want to. But they're pretty thin-skinned if the fact that not everyone in the US is required to wish them Merry Christmas sends them into a tizzy.

Me? I'm not ready to start the whole holiday things yet. I find the insistent, pushy, and commercial forces of the holidays to be pretty wearing, myself. Walmart already has Christmas stuff out -- and on sale -- and vows to keep lowering prices until Christmas actually arrives. Our local Lowe's had trees and lights up in September. I'm already seeing pre-christmas sale ads. Well, if Christmas is simply a commercial holiday for consumer excess, I suppose that's fine. But to argue that a company who offers Happy Holidays is somehow "oppressing" Christians really is a specious argument -- and drives my tolerance for that sort of crap down pretty low.

But, it does rev up "the base" and get them all riled up about how the "others" are not respecting their beliefs and continues to feed into the idea that somehow, christianity is "threatened", so their crusade to gain more political and social power is successful.. I'm not seeing it. I don't want to live in the theocracy that the AFA apparently wants, and I have seen zero evidence that christians are being prevented from practicing their religion. They just can't make the rest of us practice it. How hard is that to understand?

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