Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas, GAP and the AFA



I posted recently on the American Family Association's action alert calling for a boycott of GAP stores because of their very limited use of the word Christmas in seasonal advertising.

Now GAP stores have created an in-your-face ad that does include the word Christmas and the AFA (unhappy with how GAP is using the word) is asking if the boycott should be halted - or not.

Here are the lyrics in the GAP ad in the video above:
Two, four, six, eight, 'tis the time to liberate
Go Christmas, Go Hanukkah, Go Kwanza, Go Solstice.
Go classic tree, go plastic tree,
go plant a tree, go without a tree,

You 86 the rules, you do what just feels right.
Happy do-whatever-you-wanukkah, and to all a cheery night.
I'd be happy if all retailers refrained from using religious vocabulary (of any stripe) for promotional and commercial purposes. (But you gotta love the choreography in the ad!)

I shop in a store for big and tall men and a few years ago, just before Christmas, I noticed that there were no Christmas decorations in the store. I asked a salesperson about and she said it was "on orders from corporate." She was Jewish and knew that I was a Catholic priest - an interesting conversation followed since she wanted the Christmas decorations back and I was pleased by their absence!

-ConcordPastor

3 comments:

Concord Carpenter said...

Definetley well done!

Ken said...

I really couldn't believe the text of this when I first heard it. Can you imagine the outcry if it had said "You 86 the rules, you do what just feels right.
Happy do-whatever-you-do-Ramadama, and to all a cheery night."?

I must be getting old and cranky, but I just can't handle the whole insane political correctness thing at this time of year. 80+% of the country self identifies as Christian. The traditions of the holiday so dominate the culture that every retail company begins trying to sell us intollerant Christians beginning in September. But god forbid (pun intended) that someone honor the religon behind the event, even with the most superficial use of name of the holiday they are so quick to profit from.

It seems that the culture, including the supposedly more tolerant minority religions and atheists, will not be happy until they have used some crazy, reverse descrimination sensitivity to justify the removal of all evidence of Christianity from our country, government, or public discourse.

I'll never understand the open hostility to Christian tradition nor why our holidays have to be ripped down in order to honor all religons. Why not just honor everyone, and stop making anyone feel bad about talking about their beliefs.

Sorry for the rant Father, but since you brought it up....

ConcordPastor said...

Thanks for your response, Ken - as always it was thoughtful and reasoned.
But don't miss the whole story here. To begin with, GAP was not using any Christmas references in its "seasonal" advertising. What you see in the video is the GAP's response to the AFA's action alert, calling on the GAP to use Christmas in their ad campaign. As I wrote, my preference would be to avoid using any religious vocabulary for commercial and promotional purposes.
I'm not quick to give Madison Ave a pass and assume its honoring religion by trading on our beliefs.

Bottom line, Ken: I think you and I are coming from pretty much the same place, but we see the outcome here from different perspectives.