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Pastor's ad prompts debate over spending for holidays [Dec. 15th, 2004|10:17 am]
Chaz Meyers
A pastor's newspaper ad urging Christians to spend their money at retailers who wish them a "Merry Christmas" - and not the more generic "Happy Holidays" - has meant a little less good will this Christmas season.


"Why not simply require stores owned by Jews to put a gold star in their ads and on their storefronts?" Melnyk wrote in a letter to the editor published the next day. "Wooden and his church have put away their anti-homosexual rhetoric for the holidays so they can focus their discrimination on non-Christians. Who will be next?"


Mmmmm.. holiday cheer. Tastes like burning.

Real update soon! Or not! I promise!

[User Picture]From: approachmdnight
2004-12-15 07:50 am (UTC)
I actually agree with him to an extent. That's just because I don't like political correctness really. I mean there's a significant population who doesn't celebrate Halloween, yet we still see ads for "Halloween" and not "Whatever holiday you celebrate on Oct 31!"

I'm not particularly religious, though I was raised Christian, so maybe it's just my perspective. Still, as someone who isn't religious, the word "Christmas" doesn't offend me at all. It's not like the guy is expecting people to put up a manger scene and have the cashiers read off the Ten Commandments.

To me, and probably most people in America, Christmas means getting together with family and exchanging gifts. Since it is celebrated by so many people, it is odd that stores have to mince words and pretend it doesn't exist. Do people really get that offended?

Reading the rest of the article, the guy does seem messed up though. I didn't know tolerance for gays and lesbians is a bad thing. :P

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[User Picture]From: cpm
2004-12-15 08:24 am (UTC)
I don't care about political correctness. However, I disliked the guy's attitude and his hypocracy.

Out of one end of his mouth, he was saying that we need to bring the Christ back in Christmas. That's fine. The two ways to approach that goal are to either eliminate the commercialism of the holiday or give the commercialism a seperate holiday.

The first is not going to happen because commercialism, suprisingly enough, is currently more powerful than religion. But that's a rant for a different comment.

The second is practical, and is partially done. Even though 95% of the people still exchange gifts on the alleged birthday of Christ, a good portion of those people do not attend mass. Even though they call is "Christmas", what they are really celebrating are "the holidays". "The holidays" is the holiday of commercialism and gift giving. Continuing to mislabel this holiday as Christmas will not bring more people into the churches. If anything, this mislabeling will water down the Christmas brand even more.

With the motive of putting the Christ back in Christmas, I don't see what this fellow is trying to do by insisting that stores wish people "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays". Stores selling Christmas merchandise are about as far from Christ as you can get, regardless of the jingle they use.

At the same time, this message does sound like it would be offensive towards folks celebrating "the holidays" who happen to celebrate "the holidays" (in the commercial sense) through Hanukkah or Quanza. What, stores don't want their business anymore?

Furthermore, how would this fellow react if someone submitted an ad saying "Don't buy from stores that say Merry Christmas. Only buy from stores that say Happy Hanukkah?
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[User Picture]From: approachmdnight
2004-12-15 08:46 am (UTC)
Yeah you're right, he really doesn't make sense. I wonder where the whole idea of gift giving on Christmas came from in the first place. The whole tree/family/gifts thing isn't going to have its name change anytime soon, though. Maybe the churches would do better renaming the Jesus part to "The birth of Christ" or something, since the image people get of Christmas really has nothing to do with that.

Even though 95% of the people still exchange gifts on the alleged birthday of Christ, a good portion of those people do not attend mass.

Have you BEEN to a Catholic church on Christmas? :P Christmas and Easter Christians have those places packed solid, standing room only.

I don't know how he would react to an ad like the one you mention, but I really wouldn't care. In fact I'd rather a store show the holiday of the owners than "The Holidays", even if it wasn't the holiday I celebrate. It shows that they have some culture other than the please-everyone corporate culture. I think I'm mature enough not to get offended by someone's religion.

Happy holidays Mr. Chaz. :)
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[User Picture]From: duckssaymip
2004-12-17 12:23 pm (UTC)
Ok, I'm sorry, but I have to disagree. The culture of stores IS a "please-everyone corporate culture" - that's the point. That's how you keep customers in a country that has such a high level of diversity. Storeowners don't go around saying "Merry Christmas" because they don't want to piss off the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, and other non-Christian customers who put the bread in their pockets. And honestly, I think it's a good thing. There are enough bad feelings between ethnic and religious groups in this country already. I only see the accentuation of very public images of differentiation as creating more tumult than we already have.
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[User Picture]From: duckssaymip
2004-12-17 12:14 pm (UTC)
Kwanza. It is spelled Kwanza. *shakes head in disbelief*
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