December 21, 2007

Flavors of Fundamentalism II: American Family Association Decries the Sins of Old Navy

Meanwhile, a bit closer to home, the American Family Association is off on another Christian Consumer Crusade, this time against those Satanists at Old Navy. Granted, I've never bought anything there myself because I don't care for their stuff, but implying that Old Navy is anti-Christian simply because they don't use the word "Christmas" enough for Don Wildmon's tastes is a bit of a stretch. Still:

Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic are owned by the same company. And all three boycott Christmas. At these stores, Christmas isn't allowed because a handful of non-Christians are offended. Old Navy doesn't want to offend non-Christians. But they sure don't worry about offending Christians.

They will take your money, but they will not recognize Christmas.

Old Navy doesn't sell Christmas gifts. They sell "holiday" gifts. They don't close their stores on Christmas. They close on "holiday." They don't observe "Christmas morning," they observe "holiday morning." They don't wish customers a "Merry Christmas." They wish them a "happy holiday." Old Navy boycotts Christmas.

Old Navy has been boycotting Christmas for years. And despite thousands and thousands of requests to recognize Christmas, they refuse to do so. In fact, Old Navy is so adamant about boycotting Christmas that they have blocked incoming e-mails requesting they recognize Christmas.

When an Old Navy store manager was asked if the word "Christmas" was used in his store, he answered: "We have a lot of Christmas gifts in our stores, but the word 'Christmas' is not used here. Everything is 'holiday.'"

Old Navy even makes a joke of Christmas by offering video greetings called "Happy Chrismukkah."

— Source: AFA Action Alert, 12/20/07

Oh, the horror! Those swine at Old Navy are wishing people a happy holiday, and some fundamentalists find this offensive — even though there's nothing at all anywhere in their own religious texts that mention a holiday called "Christmas" or even specify the date of Christ's birth. I find the admonition that it's OK to offend others but not to offend said fundamentalists particularly revealing of the attitude of these people that other religions don't deserve the same consideration as their own.

It's even more revealing that combining the Christian "Christmas" with the Jewish "Hanukkah" into one word, "Chrismukkah," should be such a terrible sin in the eyes of the AFA leadership. How dare Old Navy besmirch AFA's pure, white holiday by combining its name with that of a holiday observed by those filthy heathen Jews! Hanukkah isn't a real holiday celebrated by real Americans, and clearly cannot be on par with something with the word "Christ" in it. Tragedy and blasphemy! The fact that this proposed boycott, along with just about everything else about Christmas in the modern world, is centered on consumerism and money eludes AFA entirely, I suppose. Money, in other words, isn't contaminating to their ideology — Judaism certainly is. Ah, American fundamentalism, you've got to love it. There's always money involved.

Old Navy probably will have a lousy holiday season. So will other retailers; retailers of every stripe have already experienced disappointing sales leading up to the holiday shopping season and are offering deep discounts in hopes of luring in last-minute shoppers. We're in the midst of a credit crunch, inflation across the boards and rising energy costs that are simply leaving most Americans with less money to spend on holiday gifts. I have no doubt, however, that if and when Old Navy reports a disappointing Xmas, the AFA will trumpet the effectiveness of its call for a boycott.

On the other hand, I have been thinking about buying a pair of checkered fleece pants with reindeer on them. Maybe I should make the trip to Old Navy and get some cheap crap!

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