From Ford to O'Reilly; From the John Birch Society to the AFA; Welcome to the 'War on Christmas'
Bill Berkowitz printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Nov 28, 2014 at 11:23:28 AM EST
The "War on Christmas" is becoming as American as police shootings of unarmed Black men, drones striking weddings in Afghanistan and the revolving door at the Defense Department. While Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and the American Family Association may be some of the 21st century's chief promulgators of the "War on Christmas," interestingly enough, it was the far-right John Birch Society that followed in the footsteps of Henry Ford, who, Daniel Denvir wrote in Politico last year, "was an avid proponent of the idea that someone - or more precisely, some group - was waging a war on Christmas."
According to Wikipedia:

"In 1959, they [the John Birch Society] released a pamphlet called 'There Goes Christmas,' in which they claimed that there was a new communist plot to 'take the Christ out of Christmas' by replacing Christmas decorations with United Nations iconography. The Society claimed this was part of a larger push to stamp out religion altogether and cede US sovereignty to the UN. They urged their members to boycott any stores with 'inappropriate decorations.'"

While the good folks at Fox News have led "War on Christmas" hectoring over the past ten years or so, it is the American Family Association, with its annual "Naughty and Nice" list, that is doing some of the heaviest lifting and mobilizing its troops for the battlefield.

The American Family Association, a long-time Christian conservative multimillion-dollar lobbying group founded by the Rev. Donald Wildmon, feels that the best way of "keeping Christ in Christmas" is to make sure that retailers "embrace Christmas in their seasonal shopping campaigns," Charisma News' Deborah Hamilton recently reported.

The AFA, known for launching boycotts against gay-positive businesses, movies and television programs it deems blasphemous, risqué or racy, and any other hot-button issue it can garner financial contributions from its supporters, is no slouch when it come to the "War on Christmas."

Here's AFA President Tim Wildmon (Donald's son) cutting to the heart of the matter:

"There are concerted efforts in our country to eliminate 'Christmas' because the word itself is a reminder of Jesus Christ. Those who hate Christ want to eradicate anything that reminds Americans of Christianity. That is why it is important to remind companies to keep the word 'Christmas' alive. AFA wants to keep Christ in Christmas and Christmas in America."

Every year, to "keep Christ in Christmas and Christmas in America," the AFA compiles an annual "Naughty or Nice" list, which mentions the good guys and then drills down on those companies not "keeping the Christ in Christmas."

"Keeping the Christ in Christmas" has nothing to do with companies providing a living wage and decent benefits for its workers; it has nothing to do with companies not gouging its customers; and it has nothing to do with encouraging companies to plow a portion of its profits into charitable endeavors.

Rather, it's all about making sure that retailers use the word Christmas in its promotional activities and marketing efforts.

This year's "Nice" retailers, number about 45, and include: Lowe's, Sears, Hobby Lobby, Walmart and

"Marginal" outlets (there are 13 of them), include:, Bath & Body Works, Best Buy, CVS Pharmacy, Radio Shack, Safeway and Starbucks.

According to Charisma News, "The 11 retailers on the 'Naughty' list may use 'Christmas' sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as companies, do not recognize it. These include: Barnes & Noble, Family Dollar, Foot Locker, Limited Brands, Maurice's, Office Depot, Office Max, PetSmart, Staples, Supervalu and Victoria's Secret."

(I'm not in marketing, although I did take a course called Principles of Salesmanship in Junior College many years ago, but if I was advising Victoria's Secret, I'd sure as heck order the marketing team to Christmas-ize all promotional efforts. What could be more of a hoot than having the AFA forced to include VS on their "Nice" list.)

In mid-November, the AFA announced that PetSmart would be a target of a one-month AFA boycott. "PetSmart has ignored the pleas of its shoppers and AFA for years and doesn't deserve your business," Wildmon said. "As consumers, let's tell PetSmart that we won't be doing any Christmas shopping for Fido and Fluffy in its stores this year."

In two previous years, 2007 and 2011, PetSmart rebuffed efforts by the AFA to bully them. "Soon after AFA sent the PetSmart Action Alert to its one million-plus friends and supporters last week, PetSmart sent a promotional email to its own consumer list, using the word 'Christmas,' but PetSmart's newfound 'Christmas' spirit appears relegated to this one email and a small gift labeled 'Merry Christmas' in a television commercial, with no indication of any real change on the part of the retailer," Charisma News reported.

In essence, PetSmart is not responding Christmas-y enough for the self-righteous AFA.

The American Family Association isn't alone in warning folks about the "War on Christmas." This year, Kirk Cameron, best known for playing Mike Seaver on the '80s mega-hit Growing Pains and now making a name for himself in fundamentalist Christian circles, recently released "A film espousing fundamentalist Christian dogma called Saving Christmas, which argues that trampling people to death for doorbuster sales is the best way to celebrate the birth of Jesus," Matt Saccaro recently wrote at

The "War on Christmas" will not end soon. There's too much anger to stoke; too many grievances to unleash. We'll leave you with the immortal words of Pat Buchanan, one of America's heroic culture warriors:

"What we are witnessing here [with the secularization of Christmas] are hate crimes against Christianity - the manifestations, the symptoms of a sickness of the soul, a disease a Vatican diplomat correctly calls 'Christianophobia,' the fear and loathing of all things Christian, coupled with a fanatic will to expunge from the public life of the West all reminders that ours was once a Christian civilization and America once a Christian country."

Happy Holidays!

Oddly, I seem to remember more emphasis on the religious nature of the feeling of gratitude in the Thanksgiving holiday back in the 60s, when I was a kid. We would list items to be thankful for, and topping the list was our families. Pets, friends, food, a roof over our heads, and school were also on the list (I was looking over some ancient papers saved by my Mom, and found one of these school essays). Church sermons encouraged us to make an accounting of the year and be thankful.

Now Thanksgiving is a mad commercial scramble, and retail employees are not given the day off to be with their families. People seem to be grateful mostly for the sales, and then for the parade and football.

by NancyP on Tue Dec 02, 2014 at 11:18:19 AM EST

I can't imagine focusing long enough to research; much less write this kind of article. You've outdone yourself with this material. This is great content.

by asad on Sat Dec 05, 2020 at 03:22:46 PM EST

This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I'm definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. Thank you so much. Keep up the good works.

by asad on Sat Dec 05, 2020 at 04:30:39 PM EST

Nice to be visiting your blog once more, it has been months for me. Well this article that ive been waited for therefore long. i want this article to finish my assignment within the faculty, and it has same topic together with your article. Thanks, nice share. business-directory-org

by asad on Sat Dec 05, 2020 at 04:47:05 PM EST

Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though.

by asad on Sat Dec 05, 2020 at 05:41:13 PM EST

You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers. how to care for oak furniture

by asad on Sun Dec 06, 2020 at 02:08:54 PM EST

Your article has piqued a lot of positive interest. I can see why since you have done such a good job of making it interesting. bt phonebook

by asad on Sun Dec 06, 2020 at 02:44:46 PM EST

Good post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I'd be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Appreciate it! Wyandanch community advocate

by asad on Wed Dec 09, 2020 at 10:29:18 AM EST

Great article with excellent idea!Thank you for such a valuable article. I really appreciate for this great information.. find us here

by asad on Wed Dec 09, 2020 at 01:55:28 PM EST

Really a great addition. I have read this marvelous post. Thanks for sharing information about it. I really like that. Thanks so lot for your convene.

by asad on Wed Dec 09, 2020 at 02:23:19 PM EST

Thank you for some other informative website. The place else may just I get that kind of information written in such a perfect method? I have a venture that I am simply now running on, and I've been at the glance out for such info. kick start a new business

by asad on Wed Dec 09, 2020 at 02:54:28 PM EST

This is a brilliant blog! I'm very happy with the comments!..

by asad on Wed Dec 09, 2020 at 03:29:42 PM EST

howdy, your websites are really good. I appreciate your work. sti myths debunked

by asad on Wed Dec 09, 2020 at 04:12:25 PM EST

I got what you mean , thanks for posting .Woh I am happy to find this website through google. Removing Vinyl Stickers

by asad on Wed Dec 09, 2020 at 04:34:04 PM EST

Nice to be visiting your blog once more, it has been months for me. Well this article that ive been waited for therefore long. i want this article to finish my assignment within the faculty, and it has same topic together with your article. Thanks, nice share. best garden sites

by asad on Wed Dec 09, 2020 at 04:59:35 PM EST

Thanks a lot for sharing this excellent info! I am looking forward to seeing more posts by you as soon as possible! I have judged that you do not compromise on quality. First Directory

by asad on Wed Dec 09, 2020 at 05:33:09 PM EST

I admire this article for the well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so involved in this material that I couldn't stop reading. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thank you so much. Long Island hot steam disinfection services

by asad on Thu Dec 10, 2020 at 01:38:33 PM EST

It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commentators here! Michael Telvi

by asad on Thu Dec 10, 2020 at 02:08:49 PM EST

Your work is very good and I appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts. Thank you for sharing great information to us. starscream

by asad on Thu Dec 10, 2020 at 03:23:31 PM EST

Thank you for the update, very nice site.. Ayahuasca

by asad on Thu Dec 10, 2020 at 03:37:40 PM EST

The website is looking bit flashy and it catches the visitors eyes. Design is pretty simple and a good user friendly interface. Ofertas de empleo

by asad on Thu Dec 10, 2020 at 03:54:54 PM EST

Thanks for another wonderful post. Where else could anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? poker88

by asad on Thu Dec 10, 2020 at 05:12:30 PM EST

Thanks for picking out the time to discuss this, I feel great about it and love studying more on this topic. It is extremely helpful for me. Thanks for such a valuable help again. best air conditioning repair

by asad on Fri Dec 11, 2020 at 07:50:40 AM EST

An interesting dialogue is price comment. I feel that it is best to write more on this matter, it may not be a taboo topic however usually individuals are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers.

by asad on Fri Dec 11, 2020 at 09:32:04 AM EST

This was really an interesting topic and I kinda agree with what you have mentioned here!

by asad on Fri Dec 11, 2020 at 09:47:16 AM EST

It is a fantastic post - immense clear and easy to understand. I am also holding out for the sharks too that made me laugh. Advantages of tarmac driveways

by asad on Fri Dec 11, 2020 at 10:30:06 AM EST

Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information specially the last part I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck. homeandgarden

by asad on Fri Dec 11, 2020 at 02:31:16 PM EST

It is an excellent blog, I have ever seen. I found all the material on this blog utmost unique and well written. And, I have decided to visit it again and again. mylocalservices

by asad on Fri Dec 11, 2020 at 03:10:57 PM EST

I haven't any word to appreciate this post.....Really i am impressed from this post....the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us. remedy a slippery sealant

by asad on Fri Dec 11, 2020 at 03:38:32 PM EST

I appreciate this article for the well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so interested in this material that I couldn't stop reading. Your blog is really impressive. care quality commission

by asad on Fri Dec 11, 2020 at 04:03:45 PM EST

This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article. tipped

by asad on Fri Dec 11, 2020 at 04:30:42 PM EST

Great article with excellent idea!Thank you for such a valuable article. I really appreciate for this great information.. the best luxury chauffeur in London

by asad on Fri Dec 11, 2020 at 04:55:45 PM EST

Keep up the good work , I read few posts on this web site and I conceive that your blog is very interesting and has sets of fantastic information. luxury chauffeur service in London

by asad on Fri Dec 11, 2020 at 05:14:36 PM EST

Thanks for an interesting blog. What else may I get that sort of info written in such a perfect approach? I have an undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such info. London chauffeur service

by asad on Sat Dec 12, 2020 at 01:28:59 PM EST

I have read your blog it is very helpful for me. I want to say thanks to you. I have bookmark your site for future updates. abnewswire

by asad on Sat Dec 12, 2020 at 01:54:21 PM EST

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. abilogic

by asad on Sat Dec 12, 2020 at 02:47:30 PM EST

Interesting and amazing how your post is! It Is Useful and helpful for me That I like it very much, and I am looking forward to Hearing from your next.. what to consider when buying curtains

by asad on Sat Dec 12, 2020 at 03:29:00 PM EST

We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. ukbusinessdirectorypages

by asad on Sat Dec 12, 2020 at 03:55:28 PM EST

I am always looking for some free kinds of stuff over the internet. There are also some companies which give free samples. But after visiting your blog, I do not visit too many blogs. Thanks. smallbizpages

by asad on Sat Dec 12, 2020 at 04:21:51 PM EST

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. linkcentre

by asad on Sat Dec 12, 2020 at 04:49:53 PM EST

This is very interesting content! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your points and have come to the conclusion that you are right about many of them. You are great. ukbusinessdirectorylistings

by asad on Sat Dec 12, 2020 at 05:16:51 PM EST

I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i'm glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers wedding directory

by asad on Sat Dec 12, 2020 at 05:38:32 PM EST

Great post, and great website. Thanks for the information!

by asad on Sat Dec 12, 2020 at 05:58:55 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (324 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (165 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (96 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (84 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (95 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (121 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (98 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (71 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (222 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (53 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (145 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (172 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (49 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (50 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (202 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (212 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (82 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (157 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (139 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (136 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (128 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (139 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (119 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (168 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (131 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (69 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (184 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (73 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (103 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (98 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.