Friend or Foe 2010 November 9, 2010

Friend or Foe 2010

Liberty Counsel is back with their annual list of where you shouldn’t be shopping this year because some stores dare use the phrase “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” in their advertising.

Have fun reading the 8th annual “Naughty & Nice list.”

This year, you better not waste your time on Best Buy:

Web site: No “Christmas” on home page and only one link “Guaranteed Christmas Delivery.” Consumer report that company spokeswoman, Dawn Bryant, announced they would not use “Christmas” in advertising but Thanksgiving weekend printed an advertisement that offered a Muslim holiday greeting “Happy Eid al-Adha.” In Store: Happy Holiday sign and decorated tree. [Cashier] mumbled “you too” response when consumer wished him “have a Merry Christmas.”

“You too”?! “YOU TOO”?! Must be Christian code for “Fuck off.”

At least Sam’s Club is ok:

Web site: “Still Need Delivery by Christmas?” displayed on home page. “Merry Christmas” gift card.

And that’s really what Christmas is all about: quick delivery.

Liberty Counsel demands that you make money off of the materialism of Christmas or else they’re going to call you a “Foe.”

Jesus must be rolling in his grave.

Or something like that.

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  • cat

    Congratulations on your award, Best Buy. Knowing that liberty council dislikes something is always a point in its favour.

  • Danny Wuvs Kittens

    I wonder how many of these fuckers called their recent church functions “fall festivals” to avoid offending the more conservative fundies.

  • Canadian Atheist, eh

    “Jesus must be rolling in his grave.”

    Funny. Or, more apt, climbing back up on the ole’ holiday crucifix.

  • Peterson, C.

    I like how acknowledging that there’s more than one important celebration in December is “censoring” Christmas. Is it assumed now that “Happy Holidays” no longer includes Christmas? Do stores that use a more inclusive greeting no longer sell Christmas paraphernalia?

    The whole thing is ridiculous.

  • Sean

    That’s so weird.

    A) This is rather tangential to what atheists usually think of as the “War on Christmas” which is about the gov’munt putting up nativity scenes ‘n such.

    B) Wouldn’t you expect these companies to be focused on the bottom line, not on religious ideology? I mean, if you have a Christmas section, isn’t that because you expect a lot of Christmas shoppers looking for specific items and you want to pander to them, not because you really like Christmas? (Heck, I’d put up a lot of Christmas stuff if I ran such a store.)

    C) Isn’t it actually rather horribly secular to expect all the Christmas stuff to go up now instead of in December (as if the holiday season was about an extended frenzy buying stuff rather than Babe Jeebus)? Why on Earth should sane people be saying “Merry Christmas” in November? Doesn’t “Happy Holidays” make sense when the next big holiday that everyone is going to celebrate is Thanksgiving and not Christmas?

    D) Can they actually rate companies on whether they make their staff (Christian or not) promote Christmas, under a site banner promoting “religious freedom”? With a straight face?

  • JD

    Ah yes, the time of the year when Christians revel in their materialism and pretend their pagan holiday rituals are in line with their belief system.

  • 1. Does the ‘Liberty’ Council not appreciate the irony in a Council dedicated to liberty telling people where they should and should not shop?

    2. Does this count as Marketplace rejection of Christianity? Retailers are rational actors in the marketplace. They intuitively recognize that a more inclusive message will mean larger profits. Therfore the invisible hand of the market that these people love to prattle on about has clearly spoken AGAINST Merry Christmas.

    3. Are these bozos really so insecure that they require constant reinforcement of their sky fairy beliefs, even from perfect strangers. Talk about losers.

  • Allyson

    So the Liberty Counsel [sic] advocates limited shopping options because they’re opposed to free speech.

    Got it.

  • Concerning Best Buy, good Christians shouldn’t be buying products anyway that utilize matter that has subatomic particles that orbit false idols (like nuclei or ferrous materials). They should stick to products where everything revolves around Jesus.

  • Raven

    Every year they do this, without the slightest hint of the irony that should be staring them in the face. There’s very little to say about it that hasn’t already been said.

  • Matt

    Christmas is a federal holiday. This became law under U.S. Grant. That puts it up there with Labor Day, M. L. King Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day. My family and I joyously celebrate the secular Christmas and all its traditions. May the blessing be.

  • Danny

    Here in new Zealand (and also Ireland where I’m actually from) “Merry Christmas” is widely said and the word Christmas is bandied about everywhere. However, and this is the important point, it’s become a secular holiday, practically devoid of all religious context. The whole Jesus bit of Christmas is gone – we treat it as a family & friends time of year; Very few people bother with the religious stuff any more (at last in my social circles).

    If these folks insist on the word Christmas being visible everywhere, they may find the same thing happens in the US (hope so guys!).

  • Jonas

    Concerning CompUSA and Amazon.com
    — What if I buy something from CompUSA by way of Amazon ?

    Oh the Devil comes in many disguises.

    Curse You Red Baron Devil Curse you and your kind. Curse the Evil that causes this unhappiness pious arrogance.

    Word of the Day: Hyponym.

    Don’t they know that Christmas is a Hyponym of Holiday?

  • So if I put Merry Christmas on a etsy site dedicated to selling blasphemy, am I naughty or nice?

    Or what if I put, “Have a happy holiday celebrating the birth of the Son of God.” I did not mention Christmas or Christ, and used the evil term — happy holiday.

  • Gregory Marshall

    So, basically, I can use their naughty list to find the places I will be shopping at and their nice list to find the places I won’t.

    Isn’t that nice how that works?

  • Does it strike anyone else as odd that about half of the companies on the “naughty list” are there for apparently not using the word “Christmas” enough?

  • Richard Wade

    The attitude of entitlement is so annoyingly juvenile. As if their religion deserves special mention over any other. Spoiled brats whining about not getting an extra cookie, and jealous about someone else getting a cookie at all.

    I’ll definitely be shopping at the stores on the “naughty” list. Nya nya nyaaaaaaa!

  • tim

    Wait? Target is on the good list? The same company that “hates” the Salvation Army so much that they banned them from the premises? (i’m using hate in the same token as Liberty Counsel would use it).

    Honestly I don’t understand some companies reluctance to recognize the various holidays between now and New Years. Christmas is largely secular (regardless of what Liberty Council says) and there is nothing wrong in acknowledging it – since its the main reason people are out at the malls.

  • adam

    Luckily since I work in a supermarket I don’t usually have to deal with this since people are generally
    In too big a hurry to get there food and get out to care

    At least not since that one woman asked me to pray to Jesus and not to Santa anyway

  • Rich Wilson

    Seriously. It’s freakin’ November. Can’t people at least wait until December before firing up ‘the war’?

    OMG, they don’t have pictures of Baby Jesus(tm) on their website year round! They HATE Baby Jesus(tm)!”

  • Clint

    The thing that came instantly to mind was “A Christmas Carol,” by Tom Lehrer:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSlpCBek1_M

  • Daniel

    Every year, I am saddened that I don’t see Catholic Churches demanding that we “Keep the mas(s) in Christmas”

    I am conflicted though. Boycott Best Buy for their election donations or support them for making the naughty list?

  • BlueRidgeLady

    I just have one idea reading that page- are Christians aware that the world doesn’t revolve around them and that there ARE other holidays around that time period?

    I find it hard to empathize with the “war on christmas” when I have to hear xmas songs/see deco any time I go buy anything..5 seconds after Halloween is over.

  • StarScream

    It’s hilarious that probably half of these people who get their knickers in a bunch over not using the word “Christmas” (or “CHRIST-mas” as the double-checked nice-listers do) are the type of fundamentalist Protestants that think Catholics are hell bound and serve that whore of Babylon, the pope. Yet they’d look at you with a faraway blank stare if you let them in on the etymology, “Christ’s Mass”. They’d probably mutter something about that not mattering even though it is an equivalent, even if equally puerile, semantic point about word usage that they are parading around.

    But hey, fundamentalists have coherent, informed, and logical beliefs? That’s expecting way too much.

  • ImaCrook

    SUH-WEET! Just changed to Sprint! The phone company of heathens!

  • @Clint, Thanks for the link. An oldie but goody.

  • Anna

    @ Clint – thanks for that link, very funny 🙂

    I find it heartening that many of these stores continue to say happy holidays, because they will say whatever the majority of shoppers want to hear and that means the majority of Americans don’t give a rip about it.

  • Woo hoo, Best Buy (who I sadly can’t afford; would so love to buy my daughter a good laptop for Xmas or even her birthday and Xmas combined) and CVS (which always has great trimmings and treats and I can actually walk to without my daughter’s knowledge though I’ll pay for it two days after) made the naughty list.

    Bummed to see amazon (remembering to link from here once in a while though I forget a lot, sorry Hemant) and Target on. I have pissed off the letter carrier mightily by doing a lot of shopping at amazon. I hope Target isn’t also going to cave on the obnoxious Salvation Army santas. Well, I’ll have to try and offset it by remembering to access through Hemant’s link and support an Atheist blog.

  • So had to put that on my wall, for what it’s worth, to tip friends off to who’s caving into the haters this year and should thus be avoided.

    Too bad, I already bought the grandson’s Xmas present (How to Train Your Dragon with a matching action figure) from Amazon. Should have gone to Best Buy.

  • Do these people not have anything better to do?

    I mean, I have a LOT of time to fill, but even I would never think to compile a list of where people mustn’t eat because of scripture on the wrappers (basically because there’re only, like, 3 places).

  • Ouigui

    I’m shocked that Hobby Lobby only earned one check mark rather than two. This is the store that puts Bible references on their ad circulars, after all.

  • Sheryl1

    Silly you.

    Didn’t you know Jesus ascended bodily to sit at the right hand of God on a puffy white cloud? No grave to speak of…

  • When will these people grow up and get a life? So, according to them, their god is more concerned with the promotion of a holiday that’s been absorbed into secular consumerism, than he is about the economy recovering? I wonder how they expect people to give tithe when the (hypothetical) local Radio Shack can’t afford to employ their unemployed church-members. I wonder how far they take this. Do they boycott Coka Cola because of the inclusion of Santa Claus on it’s cans, rather than Jesus Christ?

  • Lesilu

    I can kinda see the point people are making about the secularization of Christmas, but I don’t see why one couldn’t take many of good traditions and traits of Christmas and move it to winter solstice. It’s hard to tell if Christmas became so mainstream it’s lost its meaning or if it’s sort of like putting sugar in medicine to make it go down easier.

    This “War on Christmas” crap and the behaviors of shoppers during November-January always got on my nerves when I worked in retail some years back. I don’t understand the victimization mindset some Christians have about Christmas at all–it’s everywhere, unavoidable. And not only is “Happy Holidays” inclusive of people of just about every religion or worldview, but the several other holidays they’ll likely be celebrating. It’s much easier to say “happy holidays” than “happy Thanksgiving, merry Christmas, and have a great New Year’s” and then correcting yourself for the Jewish/Muslim/Atheist/what-have-you customer.

    While on the subject, I hope that those told “Merry Christmas”, instead of the grumpy “I’m an atheist” I hear too many fellow atheists mumble before hobbling away in a Scrooge-like fashion, everyone comes up with a more positive response. Like, smiling, say “Thanks, but I’m an atheist! Happy holidays!” then prancing away while doing jazz fingers. Something like that.

  • slingshot

    While on the subject, I hope that those told “Merry Christmas”, instead of the grumpy “I’m an atheist” I hear too many fellow atheists mumble before hobbling away in a Scrooge-like fashion, everyone comes up with a more positive response.

    Oh please. Most atheists I know just say Merry Christams back, and even celebrate Christmas. I always say “Happy Hanukkah” when it’s said to me. It makes ppl pause about their assumptions of everyone celebrating Christmas. My (atheist) family celebrates Hanukkah with my side of the family, and Christmas with my partner’s side.

  • @Rich Wilson

    “Seriously. It’s freakin’ November. Can’t people at least wait until December before firing up ‘the war’?”

    THIS!

    And could we wait until December to put up the Christmas merch? PLEASE?

  • more space there for the rest of us!

  • Lauren

    Be careful who you say “Happy Holidays” to.. they’re judging you.

  • Don Rose

    Useful list……. for exactly the opposite reason that they think people will use it.

  • Martin

    I love what they say about GAP/Banana Republic

    “~ Banana Republic – A Gap, Inc. brand. Web site: No mention of “Christmas.” Gap “Go Ho Ho” TV Commercial: Lighthearted but mentions several unrelated holidays. Company does not promote “Christmas” in stores or other advertisements.”

    Doesn’t mention Christmas???
    Lyrics: 2, 4, 6, 8 Tis tha time to liberate Go christmas Go Hanuka Go Kwansa Go solsitic Go Classic tree Go plastic tree Go plant a tree Go without a tree You 86 the rules you do what just feels right and we do whatever we want-a-ka And to all A cheerie night.

    mentions several unrelated holiday, umm sorry that other celebrations fall at the SAME EXACT TIME!!! mind you half of these celebrations were what Christians based their Christmas on in the first place when they plagarized… I mean invented, I mean discovered it….

  • stogoe

    And could we wait until December to put up the Christmas merch? PLEASE?

    The only christmas merch I’ve seen out is the candy, which is okay by me until they start putting out Thanksgiving-themed candies.

    But then again I’m not a shopper, so…

    @tim:

    Christmas is largely secular (regardless of what Liberty Council says) and there is nothing wrong in acknowledging it – since its the main reason people are out at the malls.

    The War-on-Christmassers have turned “Merry Christmas” into a shibboleth. If you say “Merry Christmas” they think that means you support their war against non-christian winter celebrations.

  • captsam

    it would seem they could wait until after thanks giving to come out with such an absurd list.

  • pansies4me

    Sigh. I was depressed for a week a few years back when my best friend, who doesn’t even go to church mind you, was irate that her granddaughter’s school had a winter party instead of a Christmas party. She actually said that kids who weren’t from Christian families should stay home so they didn’t “ruin it for everybody else”. I pointed out how hurt those kids would be and she didn’t care at all. She is normally a very kind and loving person, so my head almost exploded. And yes, she knows I’m an atheist and loves me more than anything. I’m hoping she was just in a really bad mood that day…

  • walkamungus

    Check out the “Nondenominational” wrapping paper at ThinkGeek…

    Geeky Wrapping Paper

    A pretty good place to shop for all kinds of geeky–or non-theist–stuff.

  • Tyler

    I’m not really sure why everyone’s getting on Liberty Counsel’s case. They’re a Christian organization and they’re simply telling you what companies, to this point, have and have not mentioned Christias. I didn’t see anything that told me where to shop and where to not shop. I mean, maybe I missed that part but it didn’t stick out to me. I just never understood why people get upset when a Christian organization promotes people or companies that are in agreement with their beliefs.

  • sf

    This reminds me.

    An acquaintance was once going on about the Merry Christmas thing and how she celebrated Christmas, so she was going to say “Merry Christmas” to everyone because it’s what she celebrated, so why shouldn’t she, etc.etc.etc.

    After she stopped ranting my husband quietly replied, “So do you go around telling everyone else Happy Birthday on your birthday?”

    “No,” she replied, “that’s not the same!”

    “Why not?”

    She didn’t know quite how to respond, so she wandered off in a huff.

    I think it’s a pretty damn good analogy myself.

  • Mihangel apYrs

    One of the devoutest Christians I knew put up his tree on Xmas eve! because that was when Xmas started litugically (midnight actually, but he had to get to bed to sleep before his kids woke him at 4am!

    And as we all know, Xmas was moved to 25 Dec to fall in line with the pagan festivals of solstice: saturnalia, Yule, etc

  • Whit

    “Thanks, but I’m an atheist! Happy holidays!” then prancing away while doing jazz fingers. Something like that.

    This is fantastic, just saying. ^^

  • Heidi

    @Tyler:

    The part you appear to have missed:

    If retailers choose to profit from Christmas while pretending it does not exist, then we will patronize their competitors.

    It’s the last line.

  • Pither

    “No matter how you celebrate the holidays, I’m wishing you a Merry Christmas!” – Stephen Colbert

  • Kelv

    I wonder sometimes how those Americans wrapped up in “Merry Christmas”/”Happy Holidays” arguments must view those of us in the rest of the Western world unashamedly celebrating Christmas with no such hang-ups; the Christmas that for most here in Europe is the entirely secular festival all about family, fun, food and telly celebrated by atheists and God-believers alike.

  • Nordog

    “An acquaintance was once going on about the Merry Christmas thing and how she celebrated Christmas, so she was going to say “Merry Christmas” to everyone because it’s what she celebrated, so why shouldn’t she, etc.etc.etc.

    After she stopped ranting my husband quietly replied, “So do you go around telling everyone else Happy Birthday on your birthday?”

    “No,” she replied, “that’s not the same!”

    “Why not?”

    This is actually very funny, and your husband’s response very apt.