Friday, November 11, 2005

Will someone please shut this guy up?

Bill Donahue of the Catholic League, self-appointed defender of Catholics everywhere, is at it again, this time taking Wal-Mart to task (and getting an "apology") for using the greeting "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" in its December advertising. Bill frothed at the mouth over an email from "Kirby," a Wal-Mart employee who wrote:

"Walmart is a world wide organization and must remain conscious of this. The majority of the world still has different practices other than 'christmas' which is an ancient tradition that has its roots in Siberian shamanism. The colors associated with ‘christmas’ red and white are actually a representation of the aminita mascera mushroom. Santa is also borrowed from the Caucuses, mistletoe from the Celts, yule log from the Goths, the time from the Visigoth and the tree from the worship of Baal. It is a wide wide world.”

As funny (and inaccurate) as the email is, Bill's argument, basically that Christians make up the vast majority of Wal-Mart customers and so Wal-Mart should forget about everyone else, is even dumber, as if Wal-Mart ever used "Christmas" in an advert for evangelical purposes.

In fact, if big Bill was really concerned about the integrity of Christmas, he should insist that retailers the world over stop using "Christmas" in their advertising! The very last company I want associated with Christmas is Wal-Mart, a company that has singlehandedly degraded working conditions, shifted good blue-collar jobs from the U.S. to sweatshops overseas, and decimated local economies all in the name of low prices.

So, Bill, if you really want to defend Jesus, how about opposing all the ways he gets used to drive conspicuous consumption in this "holiday season," instead of "defending" Christians from every perceived slight. We're pretty tough, you know.


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