I don’t want this whole blog to turn into a running account on the “War on Christmas.” I want organizations who aren’t kowtowing to whiny Christians to feel supported, but I don’t want to make it seem like anybody really cares about these issues. I certainly won’t be calling for any boycotts of stores that happen to use “Christmas,” though I would suggest that it’s worthwhile to support stores that are willing to be more inclusive in their language.
All these arguments about Christian symbols are about inclusivity. It’s not about attacking Christianity; it’s about deprivileging Christianity—in other words, taking it down from its pedestal and making sure it doesn’t have an unfair dominance over our culture.
One organization who is proudly being inclusive this holiday season is Gap Inc., including Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. Of course, the embittered American Family Association is calling for a boycott of these stores. I’d like to share some of their email to demonstrate just how convoluted their commitment to Christ makes them sound.
First, they do not hide the fact that the goal of this campaign is to “put Christ back in Christmas.” I’d offer that no one has suggested Christmas is not about Christ. I expect no shortage of manger displays in my community and I’m pretty sure just about every church will still recount that absurd shepherd/angel/virgin/manger/kings story and pretend it’s original. Despite the commercialization and other customs that have sprung up, I think it’s pretty clear to believers that Jesus is still the main deal. If not, then stop encouraging people to teach their kids about Santa Claus! Sheesh.
Second, they accuse companies like Gap Inc. for “censorship of the word ‘Christmas.'” In other words, they expect that multinational companies should specifically target their religious community. Well that’s not pretentious at all. I’m sure that in exchange, they’ll also be quite tolerant if all the grocery stores close for the month of Ramadan. It’s all about respecting beliefs, right?
The worst part of their whole campaign is just how blind they are to how absolutely unChristian they sound. Here’s a chunk of the email, and for once, the emphasis is not mine.
Last year, Gap issued this politically-correct statement to Christmas shoppers: “Gap recognizes that many traditions are celebrated throughout this season and we feel it is important to display holiday signage that is inclusive to everyone.”
Christmas is special because of Jesus. It’s not just a “winter holiday.” For millions of Americans the giving and receiving of gifts is in honor of the One who gave Himself. For the Gap to pretend that isn’t the foundation of the Christmas season is political correctness at best and religious bigotry at worst.
The Gap is censoring the word Christmas, pure and simple. Yet the company wants all the people who celebrate Christmas to do their shopping at its stores? Until Gap proves it recognizes Christmas by using it in their newspaper, radio, television advertising or in-store signage, the boycott will be promoted.
Do you see what they did right there? They assumed that the entire holiday season is only about them. What’s worse is the bizarre way they twist words. They try to paint “political correctness” as something negative and they try to portray Gap’s effort of being “inclusive” as “religious bigotry.” Do they even know what bigotry is? They’ve got it a little backwards:
bigotry: stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.
So… an organization that condemns stores for being inclusive and that takes umbrage for not being specifically catered to.
Who are the religious bigots here, AFA?
Anyways, I hear stripes are in this year. I wonder if there are some good sales at Old Navy?