As in Jerry Falwell, who's on the warpath to save Christmas from all those hedonistic merchants.
See, they don't seem to have a problem with the overall commercialization of the season per se. After all, if you can't run down to your local big-box retailer to plunk down for the light-up snowman, life-size talking Santa, and a little nativity diorama, all for under $37.99 plus tax, where's the joy in the season?
Huh. So someone's full of shit here. Let's play devil's advocate for a second here, as it were, and say it's true -- why would Target take such a stance? In what way would such a blanket policy benefit the corporate bottom line?
Ooh! Ooh! Mista Kotta! I know! I know! Because more customers might be put off by the perceived Christianization than are expecting the perceived Christianization. That is the only scenario in which such a policy would be functionable, much less even desirable, for any corporation to enact.
Do I think that's the case? No. Then again, I'm much more inclined to believe the pencil-pushers at Target than the barking loons at the AFA, who usually spend their time counting doo-doo and pee-pee references on network TV. Salutations to them for broadening their horizons.
Target cares about one thing, and one thing only -- making more money for Target. Every company has this mission, and it is glorious in its simplicity. If the people who ran Target thought there was more money in it for them endorsing a given religion, they'd do it, and us secular heathens would just have to deal. Indeed, pretty much every other strip mall has some Christian book and knick-knack store or other scrunched between the Kinko's and the crappy wicker craft shop. Ever see any more than three people at a time in those things?
The truth is that, as religious as America comes off when polled on certain loaded questions, most people of faith prefer that faith to be personal to them. They practice it at home and at church. Where they intersect with the public is incidental; if a given place says or does things that offend their sensibilities, they just find somewhere else to satisfy their consumer need. Such is the magic of the free marketplace.
So Falwell and Wildmon may want to check the factuality of their premises. Can it be that they are basing all this on flawed assumptions? Can it be that this is merely an instance of manufactured controversy?
Amen to that. And as bizarre as it sounds that there are actually 500,000 people willing to subscribe to Falwell's weekly crackpottery, it's a drop in the bucket of 300 million citizens. Can it be that this is just another crock of shit to fleece the flock with?
Guess what, Jerry? You can't just hang your birthday cards up in public places either. Look, there is a nugget of truth to his complaint -- I certainly have no problem with Christmas carols in school and nativity scenes in the public square. I'm not sure who's actually bothered by bland, rote expressions of holiday spirit, but it ain't me, and obviously I'm pretty fiercely anti-religion. I would note for the record, though, that these are the same mutts that howl at the moon any time anything remotely ecumenical is done to reach out to Jews or Muslims in schools and public places.
If they were honest (you know, like it says to be in the Ten Commandments) they'd come clean and just say they want Christianity in the public square, not just the generic "religious expression". They don't want Muslims out in full force celebrating Eid al-Fitr, or Jews celebrating Chanukah in the town square. They want taxpayers to fund their public enclave. And they have acted in bad faith in the past with these things, using them as leverage to get more overt displays and expressions of faith in public offices and schools.
Wow, sounds like a real conspiracy there, fellas. Sure you're not just out to hump a few crappy books and get the rubes all whipped up about nothin'? Is this an indication that the "God Hates Fags" thing has already jumped the holy shark?