Note to the Denver Post editorial staff – before publishing an editorial, please take the time to verify the simple facts. Today’s piece in question began:
We’re perplexed by a boycott of Target Corp. organized by two Christian groups that are angry with the retailer for forcing its employees to wish customers “Happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
Especially because it isn’t true.
Unfortunately, the Post meant only that Target has no such policy. They didn’t point out that the boycott against Target has nothing to do with a policy regarding what employees can or cannot say. What a good reason to be perplexed!
The Post should be more careful about giving a misleading impression. Instead, they could have read what the American Family Association’s boycott against the retailer is all about from the source itself: “an effort to get Target to include ‘Christmas’ in their in-store promotions and retail advertising for next year’s (2006) season.”
Not a word about a policy dictating what employees can or cannot say. In fact, the AFA includes this note, something the Post would have been wise to read as well:
When you call Target, they will no doubt try to confuse you. You may be told their employees are free to greet people with a “Merry Christmas.” You may be told that they support the Salvation Army. You may be told many things in order to confuse you.
Therefore, ask this one simple basic question and don’t allow them to confuse you. “Do you use the term ‘Christmas’ in your in-store promotions developed by Target (not products you have for sale) and do you include the term ‘Christmas’ in your retail advertising?”
Now, the editors at the Post disagree with the AFA’s stance. That’s fine. Free speech and all. I would expect nothing less.
While going after the AFA for something it’s not promoting, the Post neglected to mention the group’s other concern vis-a-vis Target: the banning of the Salvation Army kettle. Now this is an undisputed fact, but the newspaper omitted it – probably due to space limitations. But it’s easier to make a punching dummy out of a conservative Christian-affiliated group for a reason it never gave than to take a stand on a real reason for the group’s boycott.
Incidentally, I have not signed the AFA’s petition and have never been a big person for boycotts. But more power to their group, I say. I think the vast majority of Americans – including many non-Christians – have a hard time seeing how a store using the word “Christmas” to describe the trees, ornaments, and decorations it sells creates an offensive or hostile atmosphere. I don’t have conniptions at the word “Hanukkah” or “Kwanzaa”. Mere acknowledgement of a holiday that most Americans celebrate seems like a common sense thing to do for stores & other institutions that do business here.
But did you see this story? Of all things, a Christian family that emigrated from Iraq to the United States is told by their suburban Detroit homeowners association to remove a nativity scene from their own front yard. I couldn’t say it any better than the 16-year-old who is outraged at what the association is doing to his family:
“Please remove your nativity scene? That’s the part that disturbs us. We have the lion (statue) and the Santa and Mrs. Claus and they specifically point out the nativity scene? That’s ridiculous. We refuse to take it down,” he said.
Merry Christmas to all!
John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us….”