Friend or Foe 2008

Liberty Counsel, a Christian Right organization, has put out its 6th annual “Naughty and Nice list” (PDF)

Any business that uses the word “Christmas” is nice.

Any business that uses the word “holiday” is naughty. And evil. And must be defeated.

This year, you’re not supposed to shop at CostCo:

Web site does not appear to celebrate Christmas. References to “Christmas” are for the items named by the manufacturer.

But Wal-Mart is ok:

Web site: Home (Theater) for Christmas,” “Christmas Central” sections. Report: Local store is playing Christian Christmas carols.

Home Depot must not be shopped at:

Web site: Everything is red and green, but it’s the “Holiday Gift Center,” “Holiday Décor,” “Home for the Holidays,” “Holiday Trees.” No mention of Christmas except they will be closed.

But Linens ‘N Things is safe for Christians:

Web site: “Christmas Shop.”

What should atheists do?

We could only shop at the “naughty” places.

We could just go to the places with better discounts.

We could do more important things with our time than checking out a list of which stores are trying to be inclusive and which are trying to appeal only to Christians before spending our money.

  • What Would Professor Pat Pending Do?

    What should atheists do?

    1. Open up a store called “Baby Jesus’ Choice”.
    2. Use about a 400 percent markup on everything sold.
    3. ?
    4. PROFIT!

  • «bønez_brigade»

    We could decide to not celebrate any of that nonsense and just save our money.

    Then again, a Winter Solstice beer fest is always nice (and my godless posse has them annually).

  • PrimeNumbers

    Last year Wal-Mart told me to be “Bright this season”, or words to that effect.

    Christians should stop putting up Christmas trees because their Bible specifically prohibits it. Christmas trees are pagan and for Winter Solstice, which is, of course, the true meaning of Christmas – invade and hijack the local’s pagan holidays and call them your own.

  • Desert Son

    Hemant posted:

    Liberty Counsel,

    I really wish these organizations would be more honest in their naming conventions. The last thing hard line fundamentalist religious organizations are interested in is liberty. They are, at the essential level, all about submission to authority. One of the major religions even goes by a name that literally means “submission to god.”

    Hey, fundamentalists: stop with the liberty appellation appropriation, already!

    a Christian Right organization, has put out its 6th annual “Naughty and Nice list” (PDF)

    Any business that uses the word “Christmas” is nice.

    Any business that uses the word “holiday” is naughty. And evil. And must be defeated.

    Talk about the very definition of “too much idle time.”

    No kings,

    Robert

  • Polly

    We could decide to not celebrate any of that nonsense and just save our money.

    This is my dream. I want to be free of the compulsion to engage in mindless consumerism at the behest of manipulative sales tactics that have made their way into our culture.
    Unfortunately there is strong social stigma attached to abstaining from gift-giving and even if you tell people not to give you a gift, they still do, which in turn obligates you or makes you feel like a heel.

    On-topic: What utter bullshit. These are the same tiny brains that think donning flag-pins or not determines whether someone is qualified to be president.

  • Tracy

    Hey Polly, I agree with you there. I hate Christmas and the obligatory gift giving. I would prefer not to celebrate anything. But then I’m sure my parents (who are not even church goers) would flip.

    As for Walmart, I already boycott that place. I’m on a whole year of not shopping there! Go ME!

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    What should atheists do?

    Howabout ignoring stupid criterion like this altogether, and instead avoid shopping at the truly “naughty” stores, which would include those that use slave labor, sweat shops, and other unjust labor practices (not to mention environmentally destructive policies)?

    Ironically many of the stores on the Liberty Counsel’s “nice” list would probably end up on this kind of “naughty” list, as would most of the stores with the deepest discounts. Those discounts have to come out of someone’s pocket, and you can be sure it isn’t going to come from Wal-Mart’s shareholders or CEOs. Don’t shop “cheap” this holiday season, shop ethically.

  • http://www.function13online.com josh.f13

    Let’s all buy one small gift from one of the “naughty” stores and donate it to a charity.

    Specifically, a Christian charity like The Salvation Army.

  • TXatheist

    Has anyone else ever heard the day after Thanksgiving as “don’t shop” day? In our UU church the question was asked who had willingly not gone out that day to support consumerism and I was of the minority that didn’t raise their hand.

  • http://aboutkitty.blogspot.com/ Cat’s Staff

    If our atheist groups Cafe Press shop puts up a “Christmas Sale – Atheist T-Shirts 10% off” banner…do you think we will make the nice list?

  • Cathy

    When I think of “naughty stores” I so do not think of Cosco.

    What should atheists do?
    We could only shop at the “naughty” places.

    Haha that cracked me up. Sex toys for everyone!

  • Richard Wade

    This us/them, friend/foe, good/evil tribal bullshit, telling folks where to shop and where not to shop and implying that adhering to their approved list indicates a person’s devotion is in my view no different from the tactics of the Taliban except in degree. What’s next, telling us what to eat and what to wear? How about what books to read and what books to avoid? Only the most sheepish of the sheep will follow this nonsensical list. They deserve the restrictions that they accept. Robert/Desert Son is right. The name Liberty Counsel is Orwellian.

  • mikespeir

    I do the Christmas thing even though I’m an atheist. My family are all believers, so I guess it’s kinda inevitable. However, I think one Christmas per decade would be about right.

  • Siamang

    I think the right wing should keep doing exactly what it’s been doing. It’s crap like this why democrats are handing the right wing their asses.

    Keep it up, culture warriors. You’re doing a terrific job. Whatever you do, don’t ever focus on the things that actually effect people’s lives. Like jobs, the economy, health, clean water/air.

    Bravo Bill O Reilly! I owe you one!

  • Larry Huffman

    This is completely assinine.

    The company I work for has always sent out cards at holiday time. My co-workers are all very devout christians…all of them…but me. hehe. And they would never do something puposely that was degrading to their faith.

    However, a couple of years ago, they decided that they needed to send “Happy Holiday” cards instead of “Merry Christmas”…you see, we are not an investment advisory firm for christians…we are just an nvestment advisory firm…and therefore our clients could be (and are) a wide variety of religions. Specifically, a lot of jewish clients. It was RIGHTFULLY determined by my very christian boss that pushing a religious holiday at someone not of that faith would be bad…especially if we then wanted that person’s business.

  • http://www.sagansuniverse.blogspot.com Stacy

    Do what we do. Drive by Christian neighbors houses playing the “South Park Christmas Album” out the windows on your way to CostCo and Target… The only big chain stores I like to shop at because they donate some of their profits to orgs. that support causes I believe in. I suggest you shop Target this season, I even hear a rumor they give money to the charity that supports Planned Parenthood. I even go there for snacks and toilet paper now… Screw Wal Mart with their guns in the back and Chistian Music CDs in the front!

  • http://notreallyalice.wordpress.com Alice

    What should atheists do? We should donate to the Atheist Bus Campaign, for goodness sake :)

    As for gifts, you could always donate to charity in the other person’s name. I’m doing Kiva gift cards this year.

  • Chas

    I think Mike Clausen has the right idea:

    Howabout ignoring stupid criterion like this altogether, and instead avoid shopping at the truly “naughty” stores, which would include those that use slave labor, sweat shops, and other unjust labor practices (not to mention environmentally destructive policies)?

    I think that will be a nice way to blunt the inevitable emails we’ll get with this list attached.

  • Michael

    I hate this ‘holiday season’ crap. It’s just a name, and it’s name is Christmas. It’s a time for some family members to get together, have a bbq in the normally overwhelming heat, drink way too much, and have a big argument. And that’s about it. Changing it’s name doesn’t change what it is. And it certainly isn’t a winter solstice celebration for half of the planet …

    ‘holiday season’ is just PC madness. It doesn’t even make sense for you northern hemisphere lot – don’t you all have your holidays in summer when it’s pleasant outside? Not in the middle of your terribly extreme winters?

  • TheDeadEye

    Christmas nowadays is a secular holiday. What exactly does Santa, elves, reindeer, presents, egg nog and a decorated tree have to do with any religion? Unless you place a manger under the tree or say grace at the dinner table, it’s completely irreligious. I’d make the same case for Easter…

  • Polly

    Not in the middle of your terribly extreme winters?

    Actually, the holidays are pretty evenly spread out over the year.

    Thanksgiving is about 1 month before Xmas in the USA. Nice and giftless. That’s the only holiday where I get 2 days off, guaranteed, instead of 1 day.

    Plus, Hannukah is also around this time. I don’t know if it counts, but Halloween is also around the Holiday season, October 31.

    Right on Mike Clawson.

    Screw Wal Mart with their guns in the back and Chistian Music CDs in the front!

    Yeah, I hate most Xian music, too. Makes me wanna buy more guns.

  • Kc

    How fucking petty.

    Of all the things in the world to be angry about, they choose THIS!?

  • http://brentcliffe.blogspot.com Alex

    I’m relatively indifferent to the Xmas vs. Holidays issue. However, since I’m not big on Xmas, I tend to avoid going to stores (other than book stores and grocery stores) or watching television (those puerile Xmas commercials make me sick) from now until 12:01 a.m. on December 26th when it all, magically, disappears.

  • Sabazinus

    Funny, Linen’s N Things is going out of business…perhaps being on this list just pushed them over the edge.

  • Luther

    Has anyone else ever heard the day after Thanksgiving as “don’t shop” day?

    Ah, “Black Friday.” I work in retail, and trust me, everyone is better off staying away from anything that involves fiscal transactions on that day; it’s a damn war zone in department stores, especially since X-mas brings out the worst in people.

    I have to be at work at 3 am that morning, and I don’t get off until the store closes at midnight!

  • Jen

    Reading through the responses, I thought Mike Clawson’s was the best- I am all for shopping ethically- but I also love Cathy’s idea.

    I kind of love Christmas, actually. The songs, the Black Friday craziness, the enforced cheerfulness, the lights, the trees. Having said that, I don’t decorate, I haven’t put up a tree in years, I haven’t been caroling since Girl Scouts, and my family does nothing on Christmas Eve because we just don’t care, as a group, to see each other two days in a row. But I love when other people do all that stuff. And Christmas food. And gifts. I enjoy seeing what weird shit people think I want.

  • http://gaytheistagenda.lavenderliberal.com/ Buffy

    Apparently you’re only allowed to acknowledge their holiday (and you *must* acknowledge it or you’re an anti-Christian bigot). Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years Day, etc…what are they? Nobody cares about them. /sarcasm

  • http://travelfork.blogspot.com/ Sabayon

    So good Christian men now have to spend their money on interior design instead of power tools?

    Also, seriously, even if you are Christian there are two holidays you celebrate within a 8-day period (Christmas and New Years), three if you’re British or Australian (Boxing Day). Christians have been wishing each other Happy Holidays for ages, and it goes back to when people still used to get the whole week off work and so would not see each other until both holidays were completed. Conclusion: people are stupid.

  • http://falterer.blogspot.com Falterer

    I don’t object to Christmas being called “Christmas” any more than I object to Easter being called “Easter” (after an Anglo-Saxon pagan goddess) or Halloween being called “Halloween” (after an old term meaning “eve of All Saints’ Day”). The term is part of our culture and history, and it’ll be around for a while.

    Of course, this year will be the first Christmas I participate in. :)

  • Luther Weeks

    What worries me:

    A Wal-Mart “Holiday Special Armaments Sale”, so the “Liberty Lovers” can take down the evil “Holiday” stores. With a free coupon for an “Atheist Bus Blaster”.

  • https://www.google.com/reader/shared/03285257443185929989 Scotty B

    To be consistent, they should also be concerned when stores don’t have sections for Hannukah, Saturnalia, Solstice, Cephalopodmas, Festivus, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa…(others?)
    Fortunately, many stores appear to support the Pastafarian “Holidays” season.

  • http://www.otmatheist.com hoverFrog

    During the 1640s celebrating Christmas was banned in England as a “popish and often sinful celebration of Christmas”. I hope Liberty Counsel are aware of how they are supporting popishness and encouraging the sin of greed. Why even so far as to allow for “giving liberty to carnal and sensual delights”.

    Liberty Counsel and those they support are clearly the tools of the devil. Or possibly just tools.

    As an aside which stores are supporting Winter-een-Mas in January?

  • http://frodology.blogspot.com Frodo Saves

    What does a Christian who wants to do a bit of repair around the home at Christmas do then? Sorry, no dry wall for you! Home Depot is naughty. But you can get some duct tape from WalMart. Go nuts!

  • noodleguy

    What should atheists do?

    1. Open up a store called “Baby Jesus’ Choice”.
    2. Use about a 400 percent markup on everything sold.
    3. ?
    4. PROFIT!

    Epic win, dude. Epic win.

  • http://www.nicest-girl.com Izzib3th

    Uhm…. Home Depot is owned by Wal-Mart… aren’t they?

  • outlaw torn

    Has anyone else ever heard the day after Thanksgiving as “don’t shop” day?

    What you’re thinking of is Buy Nothing Day. Started up in Canada, it’s moved onto the international scene.

    Check out the website and spread the info to all your friends:

    http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/bnd


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