Have A Whiny Christmas

Ken AshfordGodstuffLeave a Comment

GrinchesLooks like the family values folks are going to make this yuletide holiday miserable for everyone.

First, there’s Jerry Falwell, who has a team of 750 lawyers ready to litigate the pants off of anybody who expresses secular thoughts during Christmas. ("What would Jesus do?"  Subpoena your ass!!!)

Then there’s the boycott-crazy American Family Association, choosing now to boycott Target for, among other things, NOT saying "Merry Christmas" (but saying instead "Happy Holidays" or "Season’s Greetings" or something like that).  Aside from the fact that Target has no such policy, the AFA is destined to fail in its boycott, as it usually does:

As a rule, the AFA boycotts are counterproductive. A few months ago, for example, the group announced it was ending its nine-year boycott of Disney. A grand total of zero of the AFA’s demands had been met and the company enjoyed a surge in profits after the boycott began (though the two were no doubt unrelated). A few months later, the group went after Ford Motor Company, which didn’t seem particularly concerned.

This followed similar recent efforts by the AFA against Crest toothpaste, Volkswagen, Tide detergent, Clorox bleach, Pampers, MTV, Abercrombie & Fitch, K-Mart, Burger King, American Airlines and S.C. Johnson & Son, makers of Windex, Ziploc, Pledge, Glade, and Edge. Late last year, the AFA also went after the movie "Shark Tale," because the group believed the movie was designed to brainwash children into accepting gay rights. Not a single AFA target has ever caved to the group’s demands.

Still, whether Falwell and the AFA are successful or not is hardly the issue.  I find such overt politicization of Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah to be embarrassing and insulting.  Good will toward all men?  Not according to those zealots, who keep playing the "victim" because businesses won’t run up to the pulpit and engage in proselytizing.

Steve Benen is exactly right:

[T]he right’s perceived "war against Christmas" is getting pretty tiresome. Fox News’ John Gibson has a bizarre book out, while and Bill O’Reilly, Charles Krauthammer, and the truly silly Committee to Save Merry Christmas will probably enjoy the holiday season by whining a lot.

And what’s truly annoying is to hear complainers lose sight of those who really suffer. Last year, armed police broke up a Christmas Mass at an underground Catholic church in eastern China, arresting the priest, demolishing a makeshift pulpit and scattering two thousand worshippers. Around the same time, some seasonal temp at the mall wished Bill O’Reilly a generic "Happy Holidays" and he felt like a victim.

A little perspective, people.