Monday, December 19, 2005


What we're up against, Part II

What we're up against, Part II. It's difficult to take these people seriously until one realizes just how serious they are about this stuff.
Controversy over the secularization of Christmas is nothing new, but this year religious groups are publicly taking on retailers who have decided to tone down the religious aspects of the holiday in their store decorations and promotional material.

In an online petition, the American Family Association recently gathered more than 500,000 signatures asking Target to include Christmas in its promotions. Stores such as Sears and Wal-Mart are facing boycotts.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Amy Wyatt said the company has made no effort to remove Christmas from its holiday ads. She said a promotion set to run from mid-November to early January was simply misunderstood: its slogan is "home for the holidays."
About 50 protesters took part in Saturday's demonstration, organized by religious leaders. Dick Otterstad of the Church of the Divide donned a Santa Claus costume and greeted shoppers with the message: Don't forget about the meaning of Christmas.

"It is insulting that Wal-Mart has chosen to ignore the reason for the season," Otterstad said. "Taking the word 'Christmas' out of the holiday implies there's something sinful about it. ... This is a part of our culture."
You're kidding me, right? This is the same AFA which recently boycotted Ford vehicles because they alleged that Ford advertised (in the AFA's eloquent verbiage, pandered) to the GLBT community. This Dick Otterstad character dresses in a SANTA CLAUS outfit and lectures shoppers on the meaning of Christmas? Why isn't he working in a food kitchen, or better, signing OTHERS up to do so? Where are the nativity scenes? Where is the message of shared sacrifice for common good, of peace and good will toward all? Nah, Christmas is about dressing as Santa Claus for Mr. Otterstad.

So the question goes out to moderate and party-regular Republicans everywhere - where do you stand in relation to these people? They want nothing less than an evangelical Christian theocracy, flying in the face of more than 200 years of American culture and jurisprudence on the issue of religious freedom. Whether or not you believe in Christ or Christmas or Santa Claus is not at issue, what is at issue is whether you believe in an inclusive society instead of an exclusive one, as Mr. Otterstad and his friends at the AFA seem to believe.

What'll it be?

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