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Queer Talk: Holiday Traditions – ‘War on Christmas’ and Salvation Army Vouchers

You know the “holidays” are drawing near when the American Family Association begins the annual “war on Christmas” warnings, and when you see the vouchers (to be dropped into the kettle) protesting the Salvation Army’s anti-LGBT position.

First, the mythical “war” story, beginning with AFA warning:

Scrooge Alert: Boycott Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic this Christmas

AFA is calling for a limited two-month boycott of Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, the three stores owned by San Francisco-based Gap Inc., over the company’s censorship of the word ‘Christmas.’ …

Need proof? Go to www.gap.com or www.oldnavy.com and type ‘Christmas’ in the search bar. As of today, the websites bring up zero results. In fact, Old Navy’s site gives an error message. …

Gap and Old Navy are censoring the word Christmas, pure and simple. Yet the company wants all the people who celebrate Christmas to do their shopping at their stores. Until Gap proves it recognizes Christmas by using it in their newspaper, radio and television advertising or in-store signage, the boycott will be promoted.

For a couple of months, anyway. Then apparently it’s okay to spend your money with Gap Inc.

Jeremy Hooper, at Good As You, noticed something else.

But who still isn’t using the word ‘Christmas’? Yup, that’s right-the AFA’s beloved Chick-fil-A. One finds lots of mentions of ‘gift shopping’.

…and those ‘holiday shakes’ are still there …

for everyone on your ‘holiday wish list’ … .

But just try to find the word ‘Christmas’ or even a reference to something like Santa or jingling bells in any of the company’s promotional materials. You won’t. In fact, the only references to Christmas on the entire website come in the form of personal stories that customers have shared with the company.

Actually, I found one other, in the “operating hours” section — they’re closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Sundays. I agree with Hooper when he emphasizes that he’s not “picking on Chick-fil-A,” and “fully understand why they would use the more inclusive ‘holiday.’” It’s AFA that needs to check their boycotting list, at least twice.

And about the Salvation Army vouchers, from John Aravosis, Give Salvation Army anti-gay bigots vouchers instead of money:

Salvation Army Has Been Advocating Against Gays for 40 Years …

The Salvation Army considers itself an evangelical Christian church – i.e., a religious right church – and therefore says it has the right to discriminate against gays (who the Salvation Army says should be celibate for life). And that’s their right, to be religious right bigots – and it’s our right not to give our Christmas donations to religious right activists.

Along with Aravosis, I don’t know who first created the “vouchers,” though I do remember seeing them years ago. The idea is to drop them in the kettle, or bucket, instead of cash, as a way, hopefully, to do some educating.

I’d be quite happy to read about any holiday traditions you’d like to share. No queer connection required.

(Salvation Army Voucher via AmericaBlogGay)

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5 Responses to Queer Talk: Holiday Traditions – ‘War on Christmas’ and Salvation Army Vouchers

  1. secularhumanizinevoluter December 8, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    Riiiiight…war on Christmas…BWAHAHAHAHA!

  2. jdwincu December 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    I’m doing the vouchers with a handwritten note I’m giving them a little more time to knock off the bigotry and craziness and paper clipping a little money to it. I couldn’t quite go cold turkey yet. I know, I’m a wimp.

    • Joyce Arnold December 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

      I know quite a few people who do it this way, jd, a kind of “carrot and stick” approach. Years ago I saw it used by someone — the voucher with whatever money attached — who handed it to the “bell ringer,” saying something like: “I want to support the actual help Salvation Army gives to people, but I also want them to know the actual hurt they cause others.” What was really interesting was that the guy ringing the bell stopped ringing, in order to read the voucher, and the woman who handed it to him took the bell and rang it for him while he read. They ended up having a short, respectful conversation, with the bell ringer concluding, “I’ll think about it some more.”

    • Cujo359 December 8, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

      I think that’s a good way to make them think about it, jdwincu. People who are customers (or in this case, donors) rate more highly than people who aren’t with an entity that needs money. If the SA knows they’ll lose actual, real donor money this issue becomes more important.

  3. mjsmith December 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    ” …But just try to find the word ‘Christmas’ or even a reference to something like Santa or jingling bells in any of the company’s promotional materials. You won’t. In fact, the only references to Christmas on the entire website come in the form of personal stories that customers have shared with the company. ”

    I enjoy the Starbuck’s “Christmas Blend” every year.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
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