The American Family Association sends out a special "Action Alert" with false accusations.
Last week the Holy Grinches at the AFA launched their annual fatwa against retail outlets and corporations they claim are conspiring to take the "Christ" out of "Christmas." Their primary target this holiday season is Gap, Inc, a well-known clothing conglomerate whose subsidiaries include Old Navy and Banana Republic. On its website, the organization is calling for a two-month boycott over the Gap's failure to endorse Christianity in its seasonal advertising. Buddy Smith, executive assistant of the AFA, contends that the Gap "has refused to use the word Christmas in its television commercials, newspaper ads and in-store promotions despite tens of thousands of consumer requests to recognize Christmas." (Wow. Tens of thousands. That's like the whole population of Tupelo, Mississippi where AFA is based!) But as usual, the religious advocacy group distorts the facts and turns Truth into Playdough.
Dan Neil muses on the Los Angeles Times: Why attack Gap for not using the word "Christmas" in its advertising when in fact it does, and in a big way too? Surf on over to YouTube and watch Gap’s latest 30-second spot, titled “Go Ho Ho” ... The spot - which is in heavy rotation on network and cable TV - features a group of insanely athletic dancers leaping and twirling and stomp-cheering around a white log-cabin set. They chant, "Go Christmas, go Hanukkah, go Kwanzaa, go solstice. Do whatever you wannukkah and to all a cheery night." There it is, right up front, enjoying pride of place: the C-word. Meanwhile, both Old Navy and Gap sell Christmas-themed merchandise, such as Christmas boxer shorts, which I'm sure can only be removed in the sanctity of marriage. In other words, Gap Inc. has demonstrably not banned the use of the word from its advertising or stores. So how did AFA get this so wrong? Gap Inc. has been in the organization's War on Christmas cross hairs for a while now, and it may well be that the boycott was planned before Gap's holiday ads were released (phone and e-mail messages to the AFA were not returned.) ...It's unlikely the new Gap ads will placate the psalm-singers in Tupelo. After all, in the spirit of inclusiveness, Christmas is mentioned in the same breath as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and solstice. The winter solstice, as everyone knows, is a pagan celebration, so - viewed through a peculiarly warped lens - the Gap ad puts Christians on the same level as a bunch of blue-painted heathens dancing around a Yule log drinking mead out of a stag horn. How dare they! I call for a double boycott.
The AFA has in the past boycotted retailers like Sears and Target for their heathenish holiday promotions - although on its new 2009 "Naughty and Nice" list, these two companies have been Resurrected and returned to the "Nice" category. (Did Mr. Sears and Ms. Tar-jay mend their wicked ways? Or did they buckle under the pressure of tens of thousands?)
On the "Naughty" portion of the list, you'll find the businesses that AFA refers to as "Against Christmas," companies like Barnes & Noble, Radio Shack, Kroger, Staples, Olive Garden Restaurants, and - I kid you not - Victoria's Secret.
Now really. Victoria's Secret? How could a company that sells crotchless panties ever hope to land on the AFA's "Nice" list? What sort of advertising campaign could they possibly come up with to showcase the religiosity of Christmas? The Virgin Mary adorned in a peek-a-boo bra? Three studly Wise Men with huge boxes bearing gifts of gold ankle bracelets, frankincense, and garters? I fear Victoria's Secret will forever be consigned to the AFA's "Naughty" list. And as for Gap, Inc... well, I imagine they'll survive this current boycott. Disney did, you'll recall.