(by Susan Jones, Nov. 29, 2005, CNSNews.com) – A conservative group is circulating a petition condemning major retailers that have “banned Christmas” by replacing the word “Christmas” with “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings.”
The American Family Association said it gathered advertising inserts from 11 different companies that were placed in two southern newspapers (the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and Memphis Commercial Appeal) on Nov. 27. Combined, the inserts totaled 280 pages.
Of the 11 companies, only one — McRae’s/Belks — had a reference to “Christmas,” AFA said. The other 10 companies did not mention “Christmas” a single time, but the term “holiday” was used by those 10 companies a total of 59 times.
The companies that failed to mention Christmas a single time in their 260 pages of insert promotions were Target, Kroger, Office Max, Walgreens, Sears, Staples, Lowe’s, J.C. Penney, Dell and Best Buy, AFA said.
“Ask these companies why they banned ‘Christmas’ in their in-store promotions and retail advertising and they will tell you they didn’t want to offend anyone. They mean, of course, anyone except Christians,” AFA Founder and Chairman Don Wildmon said in a message to supporters.
“These retailers are willing to use Christmas to secure about 20 percent of their yearly sales, but they absolutely refuse to mention the Reason for the season,” he said.
Wildmon said his group is writing to every national retailer, asking them to call Christmas by its rightful name. A million signatures on AFA’s petition would encourage retailers to “take notice,” Wildmon said.
“If we will stick together and take action, next year we will see scores of retailers recognizing ‘Christmas’ as a Christian holy day instead of a secular ‘holiday,'” he concluded.
The petition reads as follows:
I am offended by the move to ban “Christmas” by major retailers. I care enough to take into consideration the actions of any company which bans “Christmas” when I do my shopping. If they don’t care if they offend me by failing to recognize the Reason for the season, there are other companies that do with whom I can do business.
Another group, the Family Research Council, said it, too, wants to “push back against the grinches who are stealing Christmas.”
The FRC noted that Boston’s Mayor and Parks Commissioner has agreed to call Beantown’s “holiday tree” a Christmas tree this year.
On the West Coast, the mayor of Encinitas, Calif., “braved criticism from the politically correct crowd,” by renaming his city’s holiday parade a Christmas parade.
The FRC said it wants to hear from any city or town where the “politically correct crowd” is “taking away cherished Christmas traditions.”
Reprinted here with permission from CNSNews.com. Visit the website at www.cnsnews.com.
1. What does the American Family Association’s petition condemn major retailers for doing?
2. List the stores that omitted the word “Christmas” in their advertisements. How many times did these stores use the word “holiday” in their ads?
3. What reason will these companies give for banning the word “Christmas” from their advertising and in their stores?
4. What percentage of these companies’ yearly sales come from Christmas shopping?
5. What is the AFA calling on people who celebrate Christmas to do? What does the AFA want these companies to do? What will you do?
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