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It's just not Christmas without a boycott
November 17, 2009 6:56 AM   Subscribe

Seems a little early, but the American Family Association is gearing up for another round of Yuletide boycotting. You can check the "naughty or nice list for retailers to avoid. (Warning: AFA site is obnoxious- watch out for auto-play video). We’ve previously discussed AFA boycotts of Hallmark and Ford, which may or may not have had any impact. I guess even the "War on Christmas" isn’t immune to a little Christmas Creep.
posted by Shohn (137 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Warning: AFA site is obnoxious

FTFY
posted by jock@law at 6:59 AM on November 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


I hate that there is even a link to AFA from metafilter... I'm not going to read the crap, I'm not going to click the link..
posted by HuronBob at 7:02 AM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ah, the annual conflation of religion, politics, capitalism and nationalism. It's beginning to look a lot like the Winter Solstice!
posted by DU at 7:04 AM on November 17, 2009 [11 favorites]


Every year I am absolutely amazed that the same people who complain about companies not saying "Christmas" enough are the same exact people who complain about the over-commercialization of Christmas. If you consider December 25th to be a sacred and holy day, you do not need to have that acknowledged by the Gap.
posted by jrossi4r at 7:05 AM on November 17, 2009 [45 favorites]


People, I'm not nearly depressed enough yet for it to be The Holiday Season again. I need time to set up a whole snowy, boozy mies en scene with screaming and backstabbing and maybe a truck with a dead body in it or something. It's the least you can do.
posted by The Whelk at 7:11 AM on November 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


Boycott the Olive Garden? Why, nothing is more Chrismas than the Olive Garden. Srsly?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 7:13 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Agreed, Jrossi4r. If these people were really big on keeping Christmas as a religious holiday, they would be glad that the secular world is calling it the "holiday season." That would mean they get more say in defining Christmas as the birth of Christ, rather than just an ambiguous day to purchase lots of gifts. And it's not like anyone ever converted to Christianity because they were so struck by the austere beauty of the Sears Christmas Wish Book.

As for why this happens every year, I suspect it comes down to groups like AFA and Focus on the Family trying to get attention and membership from people who are so fanatically right wing they get in a fit over this kind of thing. This then gives them the power to lobby on things they actually find important later. And, of course, John Gibson gets to sell some books.

It's a typical game of the neoconservatives saying "Christian America is always right and good, we're constantly under attack, and we need to fight the good fight!"
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:19 AM on November 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


They're right. There's not enough of Christ in Christmas. So this year, I'm donating all I own, selling enough to buy a donkey so my wife can ride while I walk back to the town of my birth. We don't have a kid on the way, so we'll pack up our cats for some semblance of authenticity. We'll stay in a parking lot behind a hotel, and be truly appreciative for what a time we live in, and I won't be looking for any wise men with lavish gifts, because that wasn't why Joseph and Mary traveled to that manger. No pine tree covered in lights and baubles, no feast for my family, just me, my wife, and our cats. After this holy day passes, I will return to work and earn enough money to own a car, a place to live, and so much more, and be all the more thankful for it.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:22 AM on November 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


If these people were really big on keeping Christmas as a religious holiday, they would be glad that the secular world is calling it the "holiday season."

I can't really speak to their true motives, which are probably far more nefarious than homophobic laws and Xmas pimping (and probably involve pentagrams drawn on the floor in goat's blood), but it's not so much any idea of the substance of Christmas but more just raising a lot of hackles so they can keep donations flowing in.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:23 AM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


What pisses me off more than the bizarre conflation of "the birth of our savior" and "buying lots of stuff" is that for these idiots it doesn't even compute that there are people who do not celebrate their holiday and appreciate being acknowledged and included.

As the previously linked Stewart Lee put it so well "[political correctness is] an often clumsy negotiation towards a kind of more formerly inclusive language."
posted by uri at 7:25 AM on November 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


Great, before the page even finishes loading, they manage to make me mad. They called global warming a "new religion to threaten Christianity."

If there's so much as a concept or theory that isn't Christian, it scares these people. I bet they'd get mad if you talked to them about new developments in nanotechnology (THIS ISN'T THE COUNTRY I GREW UP IN! CARBON SHOULDN'T ACT THAT WAY!).
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:26 AM on November 17, 2009 [11 favorites]


Fake outrage is fake. To me this is more God Hates Fags bloviating. They're not trying to be religious, they're trying to get attention and stir up controversy and get more eyeballs to the rest of their messages. Knights of Columbus work this angle this time of the year too. It sort of bums me out because as much as I'm the OG (Original Grinch) in some ways, the majority of people who celebrate Christmas do it with love in their hearts and inclusivity in their message and these people just make everyone sad and uncomfortable. What Burhanistan said, basically.
posted by jessamyn at 7:26 AM on November 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


You can check the "naughty or nice list for retailers to avoid.

Or, as the AFA might ask, WWJS? (Where Would Jesus Shop?)
posted by Tin Man at 7:26 AM on November 17, 2009


I'd like a bumper sticker that reads: Keep the Saturn in Saturnalia!
posted by DU at 7:27 AM on November 17, 2009 [20 favorites]


Did someone say Christmas creep?
posted by uncleozzy at 7:28 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Churches who focus their congregations on perceived "evils" such the Happy Holidays nonsense can use that to direct attention away from the "evils" practiced by their own parish leadership.

I am from a Catholic background, and local churches are always decorated to the nines, sometimes with 9-10 HUGE trees and lights on 24/7, etc. Instead of attending to the funds used to buy those trees and those gold candles and wreaths and flowers and plants and so forth, and how those could be used to feed the poor or help the homeless in the cold, people can safely believe that it is Sears or The Gap or whoever that is REALLY destroying the meaning of Christmas.
posted by bunnycup at 7:29 AM on November 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


When you're in love, everyday is Christmas!
posted by Postroad at 7:29 AM on November 17, 2009


I'd like a bumper sticker that reads: Keep the Saturn in Saturnalia!

How did you know I was about to say this?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by fuq at 7:32 AM on November 17, 2009


Every year, they complain that saying "Happy Holidays!" is an act of war.

This year, let's show them a real war. Let's break into Christmas tree farms and decorate them with Stars of David! We'll bring Kwanza Cakes to church bake sales! We'll make stop-motion films with wooden figurines about the Scientology creation story! We'll put the God Delusion to music and play it on Top 40 stations non-stop! And we'll fix nativity scenes so that they honor all religions, including Mormonism, Agnosticism, and Raelianism!
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:34 AM on November 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


For a while I was on the AFA email list, just so I could get information any of their stupid little boycotts and action plans. I also liked to vote in their polls, always voting against the intolerant fundie position even though I was horribly outnumbered: "Do you believe that gay marriage should be allowed even if it threatens the sanctity of Godly marriage? No: 98.5%. Unsure/Undecided: 1% Yes: 0.5%"

It became too annoying, though, when every other day I'd be reading about some commercial that revealed the evil homosexual agenda or how some school somewhere allowed gay people to be treated like humans or whatever. They are such a small-minded and pathetic bunch of hatemongers. There's absolutely nothing Christ-like about any of them, and they make me actually wish that Hell was a real place so that they could contemplate the banal evil they propagate for all eternity.
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:38 AM on November 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


Dear residents of the United States,

You are hereby banned from being outraged about anything Christmas related until AFTER THANKSGIVING. Seriously, not one goddamn word until I've had my turkey drumstick.
posted by dortmunder at 7:41 AM on November 17, 2009 [16 favorites]


OH NOES! MCDONALD'S DOESN'T USE THE WORD "CHRISTMAS!!1!!

Christians world-wide renounce their faith. Fresh heathens dance around bonfires of burning crosses. Juvenile Delinquents toss rock-hard Egg McMuffins through stained-glass windows. Mothers sacrifice their babies in front of golden statues of Ronald McDonald. Blood and barbecue sauce run down the streets in rivers.

"If only we had listened!" sobs McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner. "If only we had listened to the AFA!"
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:43 AM on November 17, 2009 [16 favorites]


For a while I was on the AFA email list...

When I got married, my aunt sent us a big package of their junk. We tossed it. This is the same aunt that, when her mother (my grandmother) died, somehow managed to not pass along the two and only two realtively minor, non-valuable things I wanted from her estate. "They got lost" was her excuse. And also, when my mother, the aunt's sister died a couple weeks ago, we got a card and no funeral attendance.

What does the F in AFA stand for again? Hypocrite?
posted by DU at 7:44 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


This year, let's show them a real war.

Hell yah, they think the Prince Of Peace is enough to stop the raging hordes of Olympus or the hammer of Thor? We've already completely taken over the iconography, I say we take it back. No Christmas Trees without Baldur! Lo Lo Bacchus in the house ready to throw down with the other Harvest Gods! Bring it on Great Reindeer! Go for the eyes Corn Cat! The eyes!
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 AM on November 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


Fake outrage is fake. To me this is more God Hates Fags bloviating.

FWIW, the God Hates Fags guys, aka the members of the Westboro Baptist Church, are not fake - I don't want to link to them or start a thread about them, but information about them is easily found. They are pretty much a self-contained cult, but they are not putting on a show for the culture wars for the sake of some PAC money. Well, not that kind of show anyway.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:46 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Doesn't it seem like the War on Christmas starts earlier every year?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:48 AM on November 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


Winnipeg boasts a program called Christmas LITE (Local investment toward employment) that runs a campaign every year to remind people of the "true spirit of Christmas" and to think of others. Here's an article (sorry, pdf): http://www.cedworks.com/files/pdf/papers/MW090420.pdf

We are "Social Democrats" up here, socialists, really - so we can be expected to ruin Christmas for everybody else, I guess...
posted by sporb at 7:49 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


We get the same kind of stupid trolling from Christians about this time of year too, but it's often weirdly restricted to town Christmas lights. I hate to tell the AFA this, but we still call it Christmas here (I can't recall anybody ever saying "Happy Holidays!") despite being increasingly dechristianized, After all, it's just a bloody word. They might like that my city has a huge sign saying "Happy Christmas!" in the center of town, but I'm sure they would be less pleased to see the "Merry Eid!" and "Happy Chanukah!" signs below it.
posted by Sova at 7:49 AM on November 17, 2009


I like how the AFA types have turned "Merry Christmas" into an utterance of exclusionary smug hatefulness.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:51 AM on November 17, 2009 [18 favorites]


They might like that my city has a huge sign saying "Happy Christmas!"

You may hear from Neptune, though. "Keep the Mer in Merry Christmas!"
posted by DU at 7:54 AM on November 17, 2009


MetaFilter: THIS ISN'T THE COUNTRY I GREW UP IN! CARBON SHOULDN'T ACT THAT WAY!
posted by bakerina at 7:55 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Strange... every time I see a company using Christmas in its November advertising, I ponder the contortions needed to take a dump through their mailbox...
posted by twine42 at 8:04 AM on November 17, 2009



For a while I was on the AFA email list, just so I could get information any of their stupid little boycotts and action plans.


I did this too, and every time they sent out an alert asking you to contact a senator or business to speak out against some issue -- using their pre-written contact form, of course -- I'd write to that person and speak out in favor of the issue, and also remind the recipient that a lot of the mail he or she was getting from the AFA people were pre-written form letters that took no time, effort, or thought to send, and which shouldn't count as individual responses.

But yeah, after a few months of that, you just get depressed and move on to a new hobby.
posted by hermitosis at 8:08 AM on November 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


DU: I'd like a bumper sticker that reads: Keep the Saturn in Saturnalia!

You can get the bumper sticker and join the Facebook group while you're at it. Io, Saturnalia!
posted by autopilot at 8:10 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


The LATimes link seems to have died. Anyone got a different url for it?

Or, as the AFA might ask, WWJS? (Where Would Jesus Shop?)
posted by Tin Man at 3:26 PM on November 17 [+] [!]


Yeah, Jesus was a great bloke and all, but I doubt the selfish bastard bought anyone presents on his birthday. He was too busy snorting blow off hookers tits and complaining that the shops were all shut...
posted by twine42 at 8:12 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Any company that the AFA doesn't like is alright with me.

I especially like their outrage about the Gap. Makes me happy to be wearing a pay of their shorts.
posted by birdherder at 8:14 AM on November 17, 2009


I got an outraged email last year from one of these types complaining in all caps and many exclamation points about how the museum where I work had DARED to use the word holidays instead of Christmas and we were evil secularists and this was all WRONG and he would never return, etc., etc. My boss, who frazzles easily, became all concerned. I sent him back a polite email pointing out that the usage he was objecting to was a listing on the website for our holiday hours - which included Thanksgiving and New Years Day and thus just using Christmas wouldn't exactly have worked, unless Jesus was big into turkey in utero and hangovers directly after his birth.

Oddly enough, we never heard anything back. Then we figured out that he lives about 300 miles away and so was unlikely to be a regular museum visitor; apparently going around searching for the hated word holiday and firing off angry letters with no coherent point is what he does with his spare time. Thanks, AFA, I have no doubt but that he is one of your own.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:16 AM on November 17, 2009 [11 favorites]


One of the more depressing aspects of this garbage is that, at some point in the season, one of your local news channels is going to run some pre-packaged "news story" about this in order to fill time. That, or run a story about some local minister's "personal crusade" to put Christ back in Christmas. Complete with well-rehearsed AFA talking points.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:20 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Metafilter could really use a feud with the AFA. Let's add a big HAPPY HOLIDAY'S banner to the top of the page.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:27 AM on November 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


Disclaimer: I was born on Christmas. No, I don't get twice as many presents. Yes, it does get old when people ask if it gets old getting asked about it.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:37 AM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Keep Más in Christmas!
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:38 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Personally, I'm bothered by the attempt to pretend that Christmas is about Christ. It's a cultural institution that mixes up gift-giving and seeing family with the faintest veneer of pseudo-religious excuses. The (mutually contradictory) nativity stories have almost no theological importance in themselves, and Christian churches just play it up because it's popular. The basis of the holiday is not in a Christian feast at all, the feast day was stuck at the winter solstice as part of the attempts to appropriate pagan religious holidays so that the Church could pretend that the populace had really sincerely converted, and not just gone along with the Christianity that had been pushed upon them. The entire disingenuous affair was revived primarily for the commercial purpose of selling more junk.

As an atheist I celebrate Christmas as a cultural holiday that has no religious aspects at all. It seems to me that the Christian crusade to put Christmas at maximum saturation level is at odds with the idea of "Christ back in Christmas."
posted by graymouser at 8:38 AM on November 17, 2009 [13 favorites]


Let's put the "X" back in Xmas.
posted by Floydd at 8:41 AM on November 17, 2009


I got a phone call from an AFA person who was running a push poll once. (My sister had given them my name- I'm still not sure I've forgiven her for that.)

*RING*

Me: "Hello?"

AFAdrone: "Hi we were given your name blahblahblah and she thinks you're concerned about the levels of sex and violence on TV as we are"

Me: "I am pretty concerned, actually."

AFAdrone: "Oh, that's great! What would you say the level of your concern is?"

Me.: "Well, I'd have to say I'm very concerned that there is not nearly enough of either sex or violence on television. I need more gore."

AFAdrone: *sputtering*

Me: *says something pretty rude and hangs up*

posted by pjern at 8:42 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Aw man, I hope nobody lets them know that WhiteHouseChristmas.com changed their name to WhiteHouseHolidays.com.
posted by Otis at 8:45 AM on November 17, 2009


And this, from the AFA site, is perhaps the silliest thing I have ever read:

"If a company has items associated with Christmas, but did not use the word 'Christmas,' then the company is considered as censoring 'Christmas.'"
posted by Otis at 8:49 AM on November 17, 2009


Also from the AFA site:

We believe that God has communicated absolute truth to man through nature and the Bible, and that all men everywhere and at all times are subject to His authority.

You know, sometimes you read something that makes you so outraged on so many levels that you feel like your brain is chasing its own tail. I hate The Gap/Old Navy, but this whole "boycott" almost makes me reconsider.
posted by Go Banana at 8:55 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know, the puritan founding fathers, following in the footsteps of the great joykiller Cromwell, banned Christmas in the colonies they controlled.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:00 AM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Well, you know who else declared WAR on Christmas ...
posted by philip-random at 9:05 AM on November 17, 2009


Let's add a big HAPPY HOLIDAY'S banner to the top of the page.

I declare war on apostrophe abuse.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:07 AM on November 17, 2009


You know, sometimes you read something that makes you so outraged on so many levels that you feel like your brain is chasing its own tail. I hate The Gap/Old Navy, but this whole "boycott" almost makes me reconsider.

Oh yeah. Stuff like this makes me want to go buy all my Christmas presents at these stores, instead of making them from stuff I've got lying around as I usually do.
posted by orange swan at 9:10 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


When "If a company has items associated with Christmas, but did not use the word "Christmas," then the company is considered as censoring "Christmas."" is your definition of censoring, you know that the war is long lost.
posted by salishsea at 9:11 AM on November 17, 2009


Consumerism: putting the "i" back in Christmas.
posted by salishsea at 9:12 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hang on...one more thing. With this list the AFA actually sanctions the comercialization of Christmas, right? I mean I hate to point out endless internal contradictions, but that seems like a fish too big not to shoot.
posted by salishsea at 9:13 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


This almost makes me wish the Calvinist Puritans, who steadfastly refused to celebrate Christmas, had remained more influential in American culture than the foot-washing snake-handling evangelicals who sponsor this sort of nonsense.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:22 AM on November 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Fuck these people.
posted by Ratio at 9:39 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, it must suck balls to live in a fanatically religious country.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:55 AM on November 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


I've been on their mailing list just for fun, ever since I used their site to sent Hallmark a message to say, "Hey! THANKS for making civil union congratulatory cards for The Gays!" (I loved using the AFA's bandwidth for that.

Today, after the barrage of War On Christmas crap, I got a message about this movie "Not Evil Just Wrong" and how amazing it is. And I quote:

The film drives home the realities of that extremism. "Turn off your lights. Turn off your heat when you get cold. Turn off your air when you get hot," one man on the street says. "And then think about that."

Not Evil Just Wrong warns Americans that their jobs, modest lifestyles and dreams for their children are at stake. Industries that rely on fossil fuels will be crippled if the government imposes job-killing regulations on an economy already mired in recession. Small towns in the heartland, like Vevay, Ind., will become bastions of unemployment and poverty. Breadwinners like Tim McElhany in Vevay will lose their jobs -- and will have to start borrowing money again just to buy bread for their families.


Now, I am not in any way biased by the fact that asshole"filmmaker" Phelim McAleer barged into the conference that my boss had spent years organizing and hogged the mike, in front of thoughtful professionals who had paid several hundred dollars to be there, just to tell Al Gore how polar bears are doing just fine. No, certainly not.

But of all of the whackadoo little things that they could focus on, they want people to keep fucking up God's green earth, the beautiful thing that Our Father gave to us and would hopefully like us to take good care of in honor of Him?

Who are the crazy people here, again?
posted by Madamina at 10:00 AM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I was hoping somebody would copy AFA's Naughty/Nice lists into this thread so I wouldn't have to give web traffic to these Xtian Jihadists, but I'm doing it myself...

Companies FOR "Christmas" (do they understand the delicious irony of their use of quotes here?)
updated 11-10-09
Amazon.com
Bass Pro Shops
Bath & Body Works
Bed Bath & Beyond
Belk
Big Lots
Cabella's>br />Collective Brands (sic)
Costco
Dollar Tree
Family Dollar
Dollar General
H.E.B. Stores
Hallmark
Hobby Lobby
Home Depot
JC Penney
Kmart
Lowe's
Macy's
Meijer
Menard's
Michael's Stores
Neiman Marcus
Petsmart
QVC
Rite Aid
Sears
Super D Drug Stores
Target
Toys R Us
Walgreens
Wal-Mart/Sam's Club

Companies marginalizing "Christmas"
updated 11-10-09
Best Buy
Hy-Vee Stores
Kohl's
Safeway

Companies against "Christmas"
updated 11-10-09
Advance Auto Parts
Aldi
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Braum's Ice Cream
CVS Pharmacy
Dick's Sporting Goods
Gap Stores
Harris Teeter Stores
Home Shopping Network
Kroger
Limited Brands
McDonald's
Nordstrom
Office Depot
Olive Garden
Outback Steakhouse
Publix
Radio Shack
Staples
SUPERVALU
Victoria's Secret

This isn't going to give me a good reason to go to McDonald's (if the return of McRib didn't lure me back, nothing will), but if I avoid doing business with Amazon.com or Costco because of their pandering to the intolerant, I suspect I'll be financially better off by January.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:02 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks, AFA, but I prefer to make my shopping decisions based on even crazier ideas like who's damaging the local economy more by underselling local merchants with inferior-quality goods brought in from underpaid overseas factory workers.

Not that Jesus would have cared about any of that crap.
posted by mkultra at 10:21 AM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


If a company's ad has references to items associated with Christmas (trees, wreaths, lights, etc.), it was considered as an attempt to reach "Christmas" shoppers.

I wish AFA would end their terrible war on Advent!
posted by Pollomacho at 10:36 AM on November 17, 2009


I'm so torn. I find the AFA ridiculous.

I also hate the new Gap commercials. The dancing is jerky and weird and I can't figure out what holidays they are naming in their little song.

Maybe I'll just support some of the other Naughty retailers.
Who wants a McRib for Christmas?
posted by mmmbacon at 10:42 AM on November 17, 2009


The last link in this post is from the University of Montana's student newspaper, the Kaimin.

The Kaimin just isn't what it used to be. It's glory days were back in the mid 1960's:

In the mid-1960s, the Kaimin, under controversial editor David Rorvik, printed divisive editorials promoting pot smoking on UM’s Oval and the use of birth control by Catholics, to name just a few. The publication became so notorious that newspapers across the state, and even Gov. Tim Babcock, attacked its views.

Indeed, the David Rorvik mentioned above is none other than the author of In His Image: The Cloning of a Man, one of the more audacious literary hoaxes of the 20th century.
posted by Tube at 10:45 AM on November 17, 2009


From the Boycott GAP campaign:

"King Herod also tried to take Christ out of Christmas thousands of years ago, but it cannot be done."


Uh I may not be a Christian but even I know that this is a problematic statement for a variety of reasons.

It's like saying the British were against Presidents Day! OH GOD HEAD EXPLODING.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 10:48 AM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


This must be the first boycott list I've ever seen in which Wal-Mart was considered to be on the good side.
posted by pick_the_flowers at 10:56 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, it must suck balls to live in a fanatically religious country.
posted by five fresh fish



Well when you put it like that . . . yes. Yes it does. Sometimes it's not so bad, but when it's bad it's really really bad.
posted by nola at 10:59 AM on November 17, 2009


All of this makes much more sense when you realize that modern Evangelicalism is not so much oriented around Jesus of Nazareth but rather a religion devoted to the worship of American cultural trappings.

This is why they can say, with a perfectly straight face, that God is mostly concerned with 1) Gays, 2) Abortion and 3) Christmas while two of those three are barely mentioned in the Bible and the third didn't exist in it's current form until roughly 1700 or so years after the NT was written.
posted by Avenger at 11:03 AM on November 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Thanks for the LA Times link--it points out the contradiction of using religion to sell a bunch of junk that many here have pointed out.

"It would be easy to get sidetracked into debating the merits of the War on Christmas. Why, for example, is the phrase "Happy holidays" so insufferable to Christian fundamentalists, but not the vulgar, surfeiting exploitation of Christ's name to sell smokeless ashtrays, dessert toppings, Droid phones and trampolines? I'm not a theologian but I think the Gospels are pretty clear that Jesus was no fan of merchants."
posted by feste at 11:07 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Man, it must suck balls to live in a fanatically religious country.

For the most part, its easily avoided as long as you don't turn on the "news" which treats the war on Christmas as an opportunity in shit-stirring. I can't remember the last time I met someone who actually cared.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:10 AM on November 17, 2009


FWIW, the God Hates Fags guys, aka the members of the Westboro Baptist Church, are not fake - I don't want to link to them or start a thread about them, but information about them is easily found. They are pretty much a self-contained cult, but they are not putting on a show for the culture wars for the sake of some PAC money. Well, not that kind of show anyway.

This.

The really, really, really creepy thing about this group? They have a theology. Like, a defined set of ideas behind their hatred. I study theology, and I wept when I read Fred Phelps Systematic Theology. His hatred is coupled with an argument. I don't know how to deal with that.

/derail.
posted by jefficator at 11:11 AM on November 17, 2009


Hey...remember when the Southern Baptist Convention led such a successful boycott of Disney following "Gay Day" at DisneyWorld that Disney was forced to close its parks, shutter its operations, and cease to exist entirely?
posted by jefficator at 11:12 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wonder how they'd rank CocaCola?

On the one side, CocaCola invented Santa (as we see him today), and he's undeniably an icon of Christmas. On the other hand, that Coke Santa seems to do a lot more Coke drinkin, gift givin and sleigh ridin than he does bible studyin.

Maybe they just didn't want to mention the competition; let's face it, when it comes to Christmas most people think Santa, not Jesus.
posted by pick_the_flowers at 11:14 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Once the AFA helped me find the phone number to my friend's hair salon. Their anti-choice boycott webpage was the first hit when I googled the salon name. So, thanks AFA, you helped me get a great haircut which led to the funding of Planned Parenthood.

I do need some new t-shirts, so I guess it's either The Gap or Nordstroms that will be getting my business!
posted by vespabelle at 11:16 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, it must suck balls to live in a fanatically religious country.

Honestly? I don't think anywhere near as many balls are being sucked as will be when we *cease* to be a fanatically religious country. That's what concerns me more. As long as the loonies on the fringes can cling to the comfort of their "majority" status, they can relegate themselves to inane little battles like opposing the war on Christmas.

But once the rest of the country has had enough and told them to stuff it? That's when I worry we'll start seeing actual violence.

And one more point: I wish the instigators of this crap were self-aware enough to recognize that MOST companies said "Merry Christmas!" until they started promoting this "war". Once the battle-lines were drawn, the rest of the companies felt obliged to take up sides. If the crazies had just left well-enough alone they would probably find that most companies still promoted their holiday of choice anyway.
posted by jefficator at 11:17 AM on November 17, 2009


Five Fresh Fish, sometimes you get a little numb to it all. But then sometimes you start talking to a group of friends about a neat article about biology you read in a science magazine, and then one goes wide eyed and says, "You believe in evolution!?"

And suddenly, all the pain, confusion, and anger you've been putting up all comes rushing back.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:21 AM on November 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Man, it must suck balls to live in a fanatically religious country.

Yeah, 'cause we have a total monopoly on wing-nuts down here.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:24 AM on November 17, 2009


This must be the first boycott list I've ever seen in which Wal-Mart was considered to be on the good side.

Interestingly, just landed in my "everybody's advertising goes here" emailbox was one from WalMart (don't judge me!) promoting their EXCLUSIVE DVD, "Dreamworks' Merry Madagascar". This might be enough to remove it from the "nice" list. MERRY MADAGASCAR?!? Wrong on multiple levels, but only $5 with free shipping...
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:26 AM on November 17, 2009


Capitalists For Christ.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:31 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


You guys, I just checked ConAgra, and it turns out that they are giving out food to the hungry at something called the "Holiday Lights Special" in Omaha, Nebraska, which takes place from November 20th, to January 10th. I don't know about you, but to me that sounds like it should be called the CHRISTMAS LIGHTS festival, to remove all doubt that it's actually meant for some other UNNATURAL holiday.

I can tell you one thing: My family will not be having Slim Jims or Hebrew National Frankfurters at our Christmas Dinner. THANKS FOR NOTHING, CONASSHOLES!
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:33 AM on November 17, 2009


Let's put the "X" back in Xmas.

Let's Put the X in Sex

Man, it must suck balls to live in a fanatically religious country.

...

For the most part, its easily avoided as long as you don't turn on the "news"


In God We Trust ... One Nation Under God
posted by mrgrimm at 11:41 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


hums quietly "Do they know it's Christmas time at all..."
posted by fixedgear at 11:43 AM on November 17, 2009


Just to freak these people out, I think atheists, agnostics, and people of non-Christian faiths should celebrate December 25th, but instead call it "Holiday," and declare it to be "A good day to spend time with friends and family and to speed up the economy by buying each other gifts." They could also go caroling, but instead just sing pop songs they happen to like.

It would be just like Christmas, but everything would start with Holiday. Bonus points if you say these kind of things in one of the "nice" businesses:

"Oh look, you're under the Holiday tree clipping. We should kiss."
"I have a Holiday present for you, why not put it under your Holiday tree?"
"Get your nice clothes on, we need to get to the Holiday Eve service at the mosque."

And of course, the grand joke is that people without a religion often DO celebrate Christmas, if only for cultural reasons, as Christmas is so commercialized and far removed from the birth of Christ. If you've got no faith, how's that to stop you from having a fun holiday where you exchange gifts with your friends? After all, even if you don't consider yourself Irish, you can still go drinking on St. Patrick's day.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:43 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Not Evil Just Wrong warns Americans that their jobs, modest lifestyles and dreams for their children are at stake.

Modest lifestyles? Americans? What on earth can be considered "modest" about the average American lifestyle? Isn't one of America's myths its supposedly better-than-everyone standard of living?

There is absolutely nothing modest about the Christmas gift-purchasing orgy, at any rate. If the AFA actually gave a shit about the religiousity of Christmas, it certainly wouldn't be publishing a list of retailers: it would be publishing a list of food banks and strongly encouraging its members to wholly skip the gift giving this year.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:45 AM on November 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


I just think it's ironic that we're discussing America's Taliban using Hanukkah colors.
posted by dejah420 at 12:02 PM on November 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure what you are on about here FFF (genuinely, not in the snarky ironic way). Are you saying that orgiastic holiday consumerism is confined to the borders of the USA? Or that these loonies are somehow representative of more than a minority? That that minority is also a strictly USisan (oh, yes, I threw out that term) thing? None of that? Some of that?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:06 PM on November 17, 2009


Modest lifestyles? Americans? What on earth can be considered "modest" about the average American lifestyle?

There are dozens and dozens of countries that undergo the bacchanalian gift buying orgies every year. It's not confined to the US, although the US is probably the only place where stampedes are a holiday tradition.

As for consumption, please don't mindlessly bash the US without understanding that consumption is problematic in virtually every developed country.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:11 PM on November 17, 2009


What on earth can be considered "modest" about the average American lifestyle?

Why are you doing this? Can you just go to MeTa and post "GRARGRAR AMERIKA" if you just want to pick a fight? I think it'd safe to say that everyone in this thread thinks that these people are crazy [which does sort of make it seema little LOLXIANS for my tastes personally] and that over the top mindless consumerism isn't really the best part of the holiday season. Again, I agree with Burhanistan, you'll see this in every capitalistic country, including your own.
posted by jessamyn at 12:16 PM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's not confined to the US, although the US is probably the only place where stampedes are a holiday tradition.

Oh, the holidays.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:20 PM on November 17, 2009


For the most part, its easily avoided as long as you don't turn on the "news" which treats the war on Christmas as an opportunity in shit-stirring. I can't remember the last time I met someone who actually cared.

You've never heard of the any of the executive, legislative or judicial branches? Huh.
posted by DU at 12:20 PM on November 17, 2009


With this list the AFA actually sanctions the comercialization of Christmas, right? I mean I hate to point out endless internal contradictions, but that seems like a fish too big not to shoot.

Earlier this year, a group of people gathered around the big bronze statue of the charging bull they have down near Wall Street, to hold a prayer vigil on behalf of the faltering economy. Several pictures were taken of a crowd of people clustered around the bull, stretching out their arms to lay hands on it as they fervently prayed.

So far as I know, the people holding the vigil were the ONLY ones who missed the irony of having a bunch of Christians standing around and praying to a golden calf.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:26 PM on November 17, 2009 [25 favorites]


This webcast on their site is so much concentrated stupid. It has a comments board, but I'm not suggesting anyone TROLL IT.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:26 PM on November 17, 2009


That list makes me glad I pre-ordered a Nook instead of a Kindle. New promotion for the holidays, B&N:

Nook, the Jesus-hater's e-book reader. Free copy of The God Delusion!
posted by Huck500 at 12:29 PM on November 17, 2009


GRARGRAR AMERIKA is going to be my sockpuppet's user name when I win usernumber 100000.
posted by everichon at 12:29 PM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


consumption is problematic in virtually every developed country

I don't think consumption has been so closely tied to an organized religion at any other point in recorded human existence. The American form of Christianity is definitely making history, here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:55 PM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Heh -- I really wanted to find a picture and article about the praying-to-a-golden-calf thing I mentioned above. I'd forgotten it was the 700 club that organized this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:06 PM on November 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


I don't think consumption has been so closely tied to an organized religion at any other point in recorded human existence.

For the record, whenever someone makes such an absolute statement as this it sets off my uncontrollable pedant brain implant and sends me off to search for examples of massive ritual sacrifice and religious excess. To save us all time and effort, I'm just going to post a picture of the Vatican and a link to an article about the Gadhimai Festival.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:27 PM on November 17, 2009


EmpressCallipygos, what a great comment!

As for me, what I enjoyed most about the AFA site (first time there) was the helpful color coding system, so reminiscent of the Homeland Security Advisory approach
posted by bearwife at 1:29 PM on November 17, 2009


The fuck? It's the American Family Association, is it not? It makes no sense whatsoever to drag other countries into it. It is utterly irrelevant that Canadians also participate in a senseless orgy of consumerism this time of year. Give your heads a shake: this isn't GRARAMERIKKA, it's GRARHYPOCRITICALAFAIDIOTS.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:48 PM on November 17, 2009


DU: You've never heard of the any of the executive, legislative or judicial branches? Huh.

Well, the judicial and legislative branch don't do anything on this issue beyond the annual and purely symbolic proclamation saying "we like Christmas," the judicial branch appears to be unwilling to upset any applecarts on this issue.

So what we are left with is a few batshit blowhards on both sides of the debate yelling about this or that symbolic and perceived slight to their religious sensibilities. While most of us will just smile, wave, and either give to the Salvation Army ringer or not. It's not a big deal either way, and I've yet to see someone blow up because I've said "Merry Christmas," "Happy Holidays," or "and you have a nice day ma'am."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:55 PM on November 17, 2009


I think this says it all...

Don't blame me. I'm allowed to be a cynic. I don't "get" Xmas. I don't "get" birthdays either, but my birthday is 3 days before Xmas. I'd celebrate the solstice, but that was my dad's birthday...
posted by twine42 at 1:59 PM on November 17, 2009


sorry...
posted by twine42 at 2:04 PM on November 17, 2009


Here's a classic Xmas tune from within the house.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:26 PM on November 17, 2009


I'm amazed that American Apparel isn't on the "against" list. One would think that would be their default position.

Now I want to see Dov Charney do the creepiest, perviest Christmas print campaign with languid nubile elves wearing red and green striped tights and creatively placed tinsel all over the back of my local alternative weekly. And I want it to say "Merry Christmas" in big letters across the bottom of the page. Oooh, I feel dirty just thinking about it.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:38 PM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Americans Frothing Anally.
posted by metagnathous at 3:09 PM on November 17, 2009


Let's put Christ back in Christmas.

(And back in your favorite Christmas songs.)
posted by Opposite George at 4:07 PM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


The fuck? It's the American Family Association, is it not? It makes no sense whatsoever to drag other countries into it. It is utterly irrelevant that Canadians also participate in a senseless orgy of consumerism this time of year.

You do have a tendency, however, to sit outside the US and make [nelson-laugh.wav] noises in MetaFilter threads about issues which involve on the US. I think that is what people are reacting to, more than anything else.
posted by hippybear at 4:41 PM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wish the instigators of this crap were self-aware enough to recognize that MOST companies said "Merry Christmas!" until they started promoting this "war". Once the battle-lines were drawn, the rest of the companies felt obliged to take up sides. If the crazies had just left well-enough alone they would probably find that most companies still promoted their holiday of choice anyway.

I think this is probably true. So, I worked in retail for awhile. Despite the fact that pretty much the entire staff of the store I worked in were fundamentalist Christians, we didn't have any official policy on what we were supposed to say to customers, and I used both "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" pretty indiscriminately without giving much thought to which one I used. Then one day I'm handing a lady her bags and I say, "Merry Christmas!" to her, and she launches into this rant, thanking me for saying "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays," and how absolutely awful it is that no one is allowed to say "Merry Christmas" anymore, and it's all the fault of those darn PC-Nazis and blahblahblah....this went on for a very, very long time.
Well, damned if I was going to be one of those people. I said "Happy Holidays" from that day on.
posted by naoko at 5:35 PM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Then one day I'm handing a lady her bags and I say, "Merry Christmas!" to her, and she launches into this rant

Now, see... I've launched into the exact opposite of that rant.

"How presumptuous! You do realize that not everyone celebrates these holidays within the context of Christianity, right? What if I were Jewish? I'm not, but I'm not a Christian. You need to make your words less specific to a religion if you want to be a good retail clerk, because if you alienate people, they will stop coming into your store." Etc.

Don't know if I changed anyone's habits, but it's kind of fun to buck the dominant paradigm in a public place like that. God only knows what the others behind me in line thought. I try to keep my voice down, but I'm a loud talker to begin with...
posted by hippybear at 5:39 PM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


>
It's the Pringles.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:52 PM on November 17, 2009


Hey, I'm an atheist (and what a lonely atheist I was in that shop...) - I just hadn't ever given "Merry Christmas" much thought before. I think you're absolutely right, but I don't know if ranting and raving wins many people over.
posted by naoko at 6:14 PM on November 17, 2009


> I hate The Gap/Old Navy, but this whole "boycott" almost makes me reconsider.

Remember when the Baptists went after Disney? Man, talk about not knowing who to root for...
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:24 PM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


"How presumptuous! You do realize that not everyone celebrates these holidays within the context of Christianity, right? What if I were Jewish? I'm not, but I'm not a Christian. You need to make your words less specific to a religion if you want to be a good retail clerk, because if you alienate people, they will stop coming into your store."

Oh, for... Thank you for making every underpaid clerk in the service sector hate humanity. There's no fucking winning in this at all.

God only knows what the others behind me in line thought.

I...
posted by dirigibleman at 7:06 PM on November 17, 2009


There's no fucking winning in this at all.

Yes, there is. It's simple. Thank me for my custom, and let that be the end of it. There's no need to put "holiday" or "christmas" or anything else into a business transaction.
posted by hippybear at 7:09 PM on November 17, 2009


I just grin like I'm crazy and say "Thanks! Happy hannukah." and they eye me as if I persnally killed Jesus. Life's too short to be grouchy all of December. And I like Solstice, my swinger neighbors always have a bonfire.
posted by jessamyn at 7:10 PM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm fed up with this war against Christmas! I'm not letting a dirty hippie steal the holiday from Santa Claus.
posted by qvantamon at 8:00 PM on November 17, 2009


I'm not letting a dirty hippie steal the holiday from Santa Claus.

Santa Claus was just Jesus as an older man. Didn't you watch The DaVinci Claus Code?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:04 PM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Last year I was having my hair done before christmas. Two older ladies were in chairs near me saying how awful it is that you're not allowed to say "Merry Christmas" any more and how the pc people are absolutely ruining Christmas.

I acted shocked and horrified and told them that if anyone ever forbids them to say the word "Christmas" to get ahold of the ACLU which will defend their right to free speech all the way to the Supreme Court if need be. They both just stared at me when I asked them who, exactly, had told them that they were no longer allowed to use the "C" word.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:03 PM on November 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


The Fuck Christmas site is a few years old, but basically says all there needs to be said about the "war on Christmas." I wish more people would recognize the rumors of a "war on Christmas" as being xenophobic and anti-diversity. Who is leading this "war"? "A cabal of secularists, so-called humanists, trial lawyers, cultural relativists, and liberal, guilt-wracked Christians — not just Jewish people," says John Gibson.

A couple years ago, I worked retail during the holiday season. I saw a customer in my store wearing a button that read, "I CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS" so I went home and I made a bunch of buttons for my friends and I that said stuff like "I CELEBRATE CHANUKKAH" and "I CELEBRATE SCIENCE" (for my atheist friends) just for the hell of it.

I grew up in an Irish-Catholic family and later converted to Judaism. There's probably nothing more eye-opening than becoming a non-Christian in America. Christians have unearned and unacknowledged benefits in our society, and the "war on Christmas" is the way of some Christians to attempt to assert supremacy over others.
posted by autoclavicle at 10:30 PM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, there is. It's simple. Thank me for my custom, and let that be the end of it. There's no need to put "holiday" or "christmas" or anything else into a business transaction.

Or say "merry Christmas", or whatever you want, right? Are you for freedom of speech, or commercial secularism?
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 1:23 AM on November 18, 2009


Okay, I'll say what I said last year because I mean it even more.

First of all, they're being ridiculous as Holiday comes from "Holy Day" which you think would be all gravy to the AFA as it accents the fact that 1) there are multiple holidays we're talking about like the Feast of the Epiphany and 2) it shows that Christmas is in fact a holy day.

Second of all, I'm glad they're focusing on this. If there is any force much more powerful in America that the religious, it's profit. They're throwing themselves against a wall just as those patriotic Americans boycotting French goods back in 2003 did diddly-squat against them. This is the best thing they can be focusing on because it will do absolutely nothing. Fighting gays and abortion and things like that? They can do some damage there. Let them fight a meaningless battle against an implacable foe.

Finally, I like Christmas a lot. I'm not sure if I'm a Christian, but I just love the holiday. I even love the nativity stuff even if it's all made up. I wish people Merry Christmas not because I'm a smug jerk (which now-a-days people who utter that phrase tend to be), but due to the fact I love the holiday. I wish people happy All Saint's Day and Guy Fawkes Day and Winter Solstice. Let's face it: all of these days are just excuses for people celebrate, enjoy myth and history, and just have something to talk about. Christ's Mass is not only a rip-roaring good time, but satisfies all these wickets. So, yeah, bring Christmas on and get me some eggnog!

(I do love eggnog and am always sad that it doesn't sell year round.)
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:06 AM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh yeah, America is not in fact that religious. We like to think we're religious so we tend to do flashy and meaningless gestures like this. It's annoying, but ultimately tolerable. Sure it's no French Revolution Cult of Reason here, but I kinda like the weird quirkiness to it all.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:09 AM on November 18, 2009


You know I remember fondly when I was in college leaving for the holidays. I remember hugging my orthodox roommate and wishing him a very Happy Channukah. And he wished me a very Merry Christmas. We both sincerely wished the neo-pagan girl across the hall a happy solistice. No irony, no sublimated anger. Everything was very pleasant and legitimate.

"How presumptuous! You do realize that not everyone celebrates these holidays within the context of Christianity, right? What if I were Jewish? I'm not, but I'm not a Christian. You need to make your words less specific to a religion if you want to be a good retail clerk, because if you alienate people, they will stop coming into your store." Etc.

This I find infantile. The need to buck the system all the time can get out of hand. Why search for reasons to be offended when people are simply attempting to be pleasant? Yes...I am aware that some employees are obliged to make a greeting of some kind. And yes, I recognize that you feel you are subverting a system on behalf of others who are powerless to do so. Yes, yes, yes, I get it. But why can't you just say "Thank you." If you need to say anything at all, a simple, "I don't celebrate Christmas, but I appreciate your good wishes anyway" will suffice. People can correct their own behavior when they realize they've made an misjudgment.
posted by jefficator at 7:42 AM on November 18, 2009


It's not confined to the US, although the US is probably the only place where stampedes are a holiday tradition.

...

Oh, the holidays.


...

Experts forecast the freak winter could continue past Chinese New Year, which will be celebrated mid-week, and said the cold and storms in areas unaccustomed to such weather was the country's worst natural disaster in decades.

Emergency crews were still struggling to restore power to parts of southern China blacked out for a week.

Mobilising the might of the state, China has deployed more than 300,000 troops and nearly 1.1 million militia and army reservists to get traffic moving and ensure power supplies, Xinhua reported.

In Chenzhou, a city of 4 million in the southern province of Hunan, which has been without electricity for nine days, shopkeepers huddled under blankets while cooks warmed their hands over their woks.


IMO, not a great comparison to Wal-Mart shoppers trampling employees for $29 DVD players.

Modern American Christmas makes Michael Jackson look positively organic.

Still true.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:50 AM on November 18, 2009


How presumptuous! You do realize that not everyone celebrates these holidays within the context of Christianity, right?

Clerk: Thanks! And have a nice day!

You: How presumptuous! Just who do you think you are to tell me what kind of day I should have?? I'll have a nice day when and if I decide to do so. You telling me what kind of day to have just makes me want to have an absolutely shitty day just to spite you!
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:34 AM on November 18, 2009


Clerk: Thanks! And have a nice day!

You: How presumptuous! Just who do you think you are to tell me what kind of day I should have?? I'll have a nice day when and if I decide to do so. You telling me what kind of day to have just makes me want to have an absolutely shitty day just to spite you!


Actually, this isn't too far off the mark of something that I experienced way back in my late teens when I was working as a gas station attendant. Someone came in and was checking out, and launched into one of those "you're a neutral stranger, I'm going to dump my troubles on you" speeches while I was ringing up her junk food and setting the gas pump to stop at the pre-pay amount. When the transaction was done, as I was handing her back her change, I said "well, I hope the rest of your night goes better." She spat venomously back at me, "Don't count on it. Why the fuck would you even think it would go better?"

I learned then and there that simply saying "Thank you" and maybe "Come again" is ALL a cashier clerk should say at the end of any purchase.

It's actually pretty hilarious to see MetaFilter people defending the pushing of religious expression within the workplace or commercial spaces. Speak out of both sides of y'all's mouths much?
posted by hippybear at 9:41 AM on November 18, 2009


Clerk: "Merry Christmas."
Me: "No thank-you."
Should get the point across in a hopefully not-too-obnoxious way.
posted by zoinks at 11:12 AM on November 18, 2009


Religious expression is great. I want people to express themselves, even in their workplaces. Religious Exclusion is usually the problem that many on here fight. I don't want people to feel ashamed of their beliefs (or lack thereof) any more than I want people to be ashamed of themselves. There's always the rule of being courteous (because at the workhouse, we need to be busy, and to be busy, you need to be comfortable), but within that bounds, I want religion to be something we can talk about normally and not be weird about. Damn Episcopalians and the "mustn't talk about religion at the dinner table" habits.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:20 AM on November 18, 2009


I cannot wait for the Black Friday doorbuster deals on myrrh. I am going to reclaim Christmas and revitalize the economy!
posted by Eideteker at 11:41 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


hippybear: It's actually pretty hilarious to see MetaFilter people defending the pushing of religious expression within the workplace or commercial spaces. Speak out of both sides of y'all's mouths much?

I don't see the conflict. While I don't practice a religion, I certainly don't begrudge others their practice. And I see phrases like, "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" to be among that multitude of little white lies that make up basic politeness cues in our culture, words that are pretty much meaningless except as signs of a more respectful register of language. "Thank you," "have a nice day," and "I'm sorry," are also often given without much in the way of sincerity.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:50 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Merry Fucking Christmas always works for me.
posted by philip-random at 11:57 AM on November 18, 2009


I just can't see any point in being rude to people who are wishing me to be happy, merry, or some other form of well-being.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:15 PM on November 18, 2009


The Gap wishes you a Happy Do-Whatever-You-Wanukah! A Very Merry Consumption Season, for everyone!
posted by filthy light thief at 12:50 PM on November 19, 2009


IMO, not a great comparison to Wal-Mart shoppers trampling employees for $29 DVD players.

True, it was a result of lazy citation on my part, but as anyone who's been to China around the New Year knows, stampedes and tramplings at train stations are just part of the holiday joy during spring festival time in China, throw in a freak snow storm and you get complete chaos. I believe the technical term is (Inner) Mongolian Cluster Fuck.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:15 AM on November 20, 2009


Stand For Christmas
Millions upon millions in our nation deeply value the great truths of Christmas and the holiday's inspiring place in American life and culture. We hope you will take a moment to "Stand for Christmas" by sharing feedback about your Christmas shopping experiences.

We're asking YOU to decide which retailers are "Christmas-friendly." They want your patronage and your gift-shopping dollars, but do they openly recognize Christmas?

Please post your rating and share your comments, which will go directly to retailers and appear on this site. Then, forward them to a friend!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:48 AM on December 8, 2009


I'm going to go one step further than Stand For Christmas and demand verification that Jesus loves a retailer before I give them my business.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:59 AM on December 8, 2009


As an atheist, I'm all for "Put the Christ back in Christmas." In fact, let's say that it really be taken in the spirit of the Christ story, and put charity back into Christmas. Enough of this mindless, greedy consumerism.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:45 AM on December 8, 2009


You know what is so super crazy about all of this "War on Christmas" bullshit is that the Calvinists and Anabaptists these fundamentalists derive their whack-o theology (as well as political inspiration) from actively tried to destroy Christmas.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:51 PM on December 8, 2009


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