Published December 8, 2005
Last year Target stores became the Scrooge of 2004 and told the Salvation Army that they could no longer have their red kettles available to collect money for benevolent purposes. Consequently, the Salvation Army indicated that Target’s decision was a devastating blow to their “Sharing is Caring” campaign because Target locations produced an estimated $9 million in donations the previous year.
This Christmas season Wal-Mart got off to a bad start with the Catholic League and a multitude of others when a woman complained that the store was replacing “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays” and then got the following outrageous email response from Wal-Mart’s Customer Service:
“Wal-Mart is a worldwide organization and must remain conscious of this. The majority of the world still has different practices other than ‘christmas’ which is an ancient tradition that has its roots in Siberian shamanism. The colors associated with ‘christmas’ red and white are actually a representation of the aminita mascera mushroom. Santa is also borrowed from the Caucuses, mistletoe from the Celts, yule log from the Goths, the time from the Visigoth and the tree from the worship of Baal. It is a wide, wide world.”
To their credit Wal-Mart issued an apology, withdrew “its insane statement” on the origins of Christmas, revised its Christmas-discriminating website and fired the employee who sent the email.
Two years ago Manuel Zamorano, a California media consultant, grew weary of seeing Christmas disappear from our culture and founded the Committee to Save Merry Christmas. Last year he launched an attack on Federated Department Stores (parent company of Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and others), declaring, “Your company actively solicits our patronage and purchasing of gifts for the Christmas celebration, and now refuses to acknowledge Christmas in your stores.”
Macy’s Herald Square store in New York City is the symbolic heart of U.S. retailing and is known as the “world’s largest store.” It was the setting for the 1947 holiday film, Miracle on 34th Street. However, the store substituted generic phrases such as “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” in place of the traditional “Merry Christmas,” suggesting that the phrases they are using embrace “all of the various religious, secular and ethnic celebrations” in November and December.
A spokesman for Federated Department Stores stated, “These expressions of goodwill are more reflective of the multicultural society in which we live today.”
Bill O’Reilly, FOX News personality has said, “All over the country, Christmas is taking flak, (and) all of this anti-Christmas stuff is absurd. But the real reason it’s happening has little to do with Christmas and everything to do with organized religion.”
Reilly added, “Secular progressives realize that America as it is now will never approve of gay marriage, partial birth abortion, euthanasia, legalized drugs, income redistribution through taxation, and many other progressive visions because of religious opposition. But if the secularists can destroy religion in the public arena, the brave new progressive world is a possibility.”
It appears that the devil has a cleverly designed plan to take over America, a country with the resources to evangelize the world. The removal of Christmas from the landscape is only a small part of the total plan, but the enemy is working his plan exceedingly well and the church is not putting up much of a fight.
Several years ago World Magazine published an article entitled “How the West was lost” and stated, “A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. ...To defend oneself, one must also be ready to die; there is little such readiness in a society raised in the cult of material well-being. Nothing is left, then, but concessions, attempts to gain time, and betrayal.”
Changing “Merry Christmas” to “Season’s Greetings” may not seem too significant today, but what will be the next step in the onslaught of secularism? If we do not take a stand against the relentless march of this godless philosophy the day will come when preachers will have their sermons monitored and censored.
In November Ake Green, a Swedish pastor, faced imprisonment for preaching a sermon on what the Bible says about homosexual behavior. This happened in a “developed” Western country and the entire case was televised live in Sweden; Parliament stopped their session to watch the proceedings. The American Civil Liberties Union carefully observed this case, because it is doing everything in its power to use international law as a precedent in the courts of the U.S. Last week, Green was acquitted, but many believe the outcome could have been quite different.
Take note: “Happy Holidays” is no substitute for “Merry Christmas.”
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