Right-Wing American Family Association Misfires in the War on Christmas
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It’s not even Thanksgiving, but the American Family Association (AFA) has already taken up arms in the War on Christmas. On Nov. 11, the right-wing organization announced that it was urging its followers to boycott Gap Inc. (Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy) from now until Christmas Day because the company refuses to say the word “Christmas”:
For years, 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 and in spite of repeated requests from AFA to do the same.
Last year, Gap issued this politically-correct statement to Christmas shoppers: “Gap recognizes that many traditions are celebrated throughout this season and we feel it is important to display holiday signage that is inclusive to everyone.”
Christmas is special because of Jesus. It’s not just a “winter holiday.” For millions of Americans the giving and receiving of gifts is in honor of the One who gave Himself. For the Gap to pretend that isn’t the foundation of the Christmas season is political correctness at best and religious bigotry at worst. The Gap is censoring the word Christmas, pure and simple.
AFA’s first shot in the war is a misfire, as Dan Neil of the LA Times points out today. In one of the first lines of Gap’s new holiday ad, the actors yell, “Go Christmas!” (as well as “Go Hanukkah! Go Kwanzaa! Go Solstice!”) Watch it:
ThinkProgress also checked out the websites of Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy and quickly found several items that feature Christmas items including several Christmas books, a pair of boxer shorts that says “Christmas” in several languages and pajama pants that also have “Christmas” written on them.
“The big loser here is the AFA,” writes Neil. “The annual War-on-Christmas drumbeat is absolutely not about defending the sacredness of Christmas. It is instead — transparently — marketing, a ratings gambit for Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, and for the AFA, the centerpiece of its annual fundraising. This year, thanks to Gap, the AFA fumbled its boycott ball and in the process managed to look both intolerant and out of touch.”
Amanda Terkel is Deputy Research Director at the Center for American Progress and serves as Deputy Editor for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress.