Friday, December 12, 2008


My blog buddy cb wrote this funny yet poignant post regarding the use of Christmas and Christian references in the Corporate world. Please read it, as it will set the tone for this post.

My friend Wendy forwarded to me the following email from those narrow-minded neanderthals at the AFA:

"Please help us get this information into the hands of as many people as possible by forwarding it to your entire e-mail list of family and friends.
Costco says 'No' to Christmas...literally

December 2, 2008

Dear Friend,

Costco has 520 stores nationwide. But you will not find "Christmas" in a single store. That's because Costco says it will not use the term "Christmas" on its website or in its stores. Instead, Costco is telling customers it purposely chooses to use the generic "holiday" verbiage. You know, they stock holiday gifts, not Christmas gifts.

Last week, a customer wrote to Costco and asked this direct question – "Does Costco use the word 'Christmas' in your store advertising or on any signs anywhere in your stores during the Christmas season? That's a pretty simple question, yes or no."

Kory Rosacrans, staff manager for Costco replied, "I guess the answer would be No." Rosacrans said, "Costco does not advertise on television, on radio or in print like other retailers. We only advertise by mailings and e-mail messages sent directly to our members who have paid for the privilege of shopping with us."

Costco wants you to do your "Christmas" shopping with them, while refusing to recognize that Christmas even exists.

Send your e-mail to Costco. Let Costco know that you will exercise "your privilege" of shopping only at stores that recognize Christmas. Remind Costco that their competitors are vying for your business too, and you will shop accordingly.

Thank you for caring enough to get involved. If you feel our efforts are worthy of support, would you consider making a small tax-deductible contribution to help us continue?

Donald E. Wildmon
Founder and Chairman
American Family Association"

Two observations:
1. Mr Wildmon inaccurately claims that "Costco refuses to recognize that Christmas even exists". The store is not denying the existence of Christmas, but rather, it simply uses a nondenominational term that doesn't exclude shoppers who may be Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, and Atheist.
2. Notice how Mr Wildmon doesn't miss an opportunity to ask for a donation. Now, there's a businessman!

When you click on the link in AFA's email to send an email to Costco, the web form is prepopulated with the following text:
"Dear President Sinegal:

I was shocked by your company's response to a customer, saying Costco refuses to use the term "Christmas" in store advertising and promotions. I am shopping only at stores that do not ban Christmas in their stores and promotions.

Please count me as one who will NOT be shopping at Costco this "Christmas" season. And, I'm telling my friends about your company's decision."

However, the text is editable, so I changed it and sent this instead:
"Dear President Sinegal:

I was pleased with your company's decision not to use the term "Christmas" in store advertising and promotions. Since this America, where religious freedom is guaranteed, it is important to remember that Christians aren't the only ones shopping and celebrating. Christmas isn't the only holiday that occurs at this time of year, so I applaud Costco's decision to use nondenomination references instead.

Please pay no attention to those narrow-minded people who may claim they are "shopping only at stores that do not ban Christmas in their stores and promotions". Those people are ignorant and should be ignored.

Please count me as one who WILL be shopping at Costco this "holiday" season. And, I'm telling my friends about your company's decision. I write a blog that is read by approximately 1,500 people each week."

Now, I have nothing against Christians or Christmas. Some of my best friends and family are Christians who celebrate Christmas! But I do have something against people and groups like AFA who want to force their religion on everyone else. They get 'righteously indignant' that some retailers decide not to use the word Christmas. Their indignation would seem appropriate if a Christian church made this decision, but a retail chain?

Here's a little reminder for AFA all the rest of Americans: Churches are in the business of spreading religious ideology. Retailers are not. Retailers are in the business of selling stuff to people, regardless of their religious beliefs or non-belief. So don't get upset with a retailer for using language that is inclusive of all its shoppers.

I swear, things like this just make me want to slap some people.

Crush du Jour: Johann Urb


Anonymous said...

My goodness, the War on Christmas, sponsored by Fox News, is still going strong isn't it!

What a silly letter. You were right to change it to reflect inclusivity,

Java said...

Don Wildmon makes my bowels ache.

Seth said...

AFA is pretty pathetic, to say the least.

However, good that you changed the text of your email to something positive.... BUT.....

..... I have a pretty strong feeling that Mr. Sinegal will just set up an email filter to trash everything coming from AFA email addresses, and/or just basically "shut down" his email temporarily.

AND... if you check the mail link (on the side of the page where it lists his address etc, the mail actually goes to and not directly to the busy CEO/President.

So, somehow I think the whole thing is a moote point - but AFA DOES get YOUR email address to send you lots of (Christian goodness) spam!!

Sorry, just me geeking out.


Chris said...

Jesus was probably born in June... Christmas is really a pagen holiday--these guys seriously need to take a 'lude and relax.

There are people losing their jobs and their homes; entire families are being destroyed and they're worried about semantics?

Anonymous said...

If you read my blog you'll note that I go off on the AFA quite frequently. I love being subversive and using their web app to voice support for issues that they oppose.

Joie Mayfield said...

I think we've all had enough of the religious right putting their foot into the door of every social action. Prop 8 is coming to mind.

Thanks for helping us all look out to the wishes of all Americans during this Holiday season. :)

tornwordo said...

Here's a business idea: Start the AFA store - just like the giant walmart but everything is Jesus centric. Jesus soap and born again chicken meat. All the whackos can shop there.