Linggo, Disyembre 18, 2005

Christmas Wars Come To Wal-Mar

    A group of religious protesters demonstrated outside a Wal-Mart superstore Saturday, hoping to turn away customers by calling attention to the retailer's decision to use "happy holidays" rather than "merry Christmas" in its seasonal advertising.

    But even shoppers who agreed with the protesters weren't willing to interrupt their quest for holiday deals.

    "I believe in Christ, and I don't like the use of 'xmas' or the use of 'happy holidays,'" said Steven Van Noy, 39, as he left the store loaded down with packages. "The bottom line is that they had what I needed at Wal-Mart, so I went to Wal-Mart to buy it."

    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.

What is Wal-Mart supposed to do, pretend that Jews and others who don't believe in Christ's birth don't exist and pander to that small segment of insecure Christians who must have "Merry Christmas" plastered on every building and said by every employee? Non-Christians do live in America and the sooner these insecure Christians realize that, the happier they'll be.

This "War on Christmas" is largely the invention of the Fox News Channel, certain lectures at the Heritage Foundation, lawyers such as those at the Alliance Defense Fund, and advocacy groups such as the American Family Association who even maintains a list of evil secularist companies. This is a season for all the above to rattle the tin cup, flex some political muscle, and turn the spotlight toward themselves. There is no grand liberal war on Christmas. I can go outside and tell people "Merry Christmas" without being thrown out of a store or out of a public place. Most towns in this nation will put up a nativity scene will very little if any fuss. The police will not arrest me if I try to go to midnight mass on Christmas.

The reason why certain business don't say "Merry Christmas" and say "Happy Holidays" is because they want the money of people who celebrate Christmas and people who don't care whether or not you say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays". Those people outnumber the easily offended and insecure members of the religious right. What these insecure Christians don't realize is that America is a live and let live country. If you are so offended that a business doesn't say "Merry Christmas", don't patronize them, that's your right. However, don't ruin this season for Christians who are more secure in their faith and those who don't even acknowledge Christ.

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