Wal-Mart Wishes Boycotters a Happy Holiday
By George Anderson
‘Tis the season to boycott retailers and this year it’s Wal-Mart’s turn.
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has launched a boycott of Wal-Mart for its use of the term “Happy Holidays” in its seasonal promotion rather than “Merry Christmas.” The group contends Wal-Mart discriminates against Christmas.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said in a released statement: “Here is why I am asking the leaders of 126 religious organizations that span seven religious communities to boycott Wal-Mart. Go to its website and search for Hanukkah and up come 200 items. Click on Kwanzaa and up come 77. Click on Christmas, and here’s what you get: ‘We’ve brought you to our “Holiday” page based on your search.’ In other words, Wal-Mart is practicing discrimination.”
Dan Fogleman, senior manager, public relations, Wal-Mart, said, “As a retailer, we recognize some of our customers may be shopping for Chanukah or Kwanza gifts during this time of year and we certainly want these customers in our stores and to feel welcome, just as we do those buying for Christmas. As an employer, we recognize the significance of the Christmas holiday among our family of associates… and close our stores in observance, the only day during the year that we are closed.”
Mr. Donohue said, “It’s nice to know that Wal-Mart is closed on a federal holiday.”
The brouhaha over Wal-Mart’s alleged discrimination against Christmas resulted from a response from a customer service representative when a customer objected to the “Happy Holidays” language.
The temporary worker, only identified as Kirby, offered this response: “Walmart is a world wide organization and must remain conscious of this. The majority of the world still has different practices other than ‘christmas’ which is an ancient tradition that has its roots in Siberian shamanism. The colors associated with ‘christmas,’ red and white, are actually a representation of the aminita mascera mushroom. Santa is also borrowed from the Caucuses, mistletoe from the Celts, yule log from the Goths, the time from the Visigoth and the tree from the worship of Baal. It is a wide, wide world.”
Mr. Donohue said Wal-Mart needs to fulfill three conditions to set things right with him and others who feel as he does. “We want a) an apology for insulting Christians by effectively banning Christmas and b) a withdrawal of its insane statement regarding the origins of Christmas and c) a revision on its website.”
Wal-Mart’s intention to stand by its position brought this response from Mr. Donohue: “I hope you’re (Wal-Mart) ready for our next move. Don’t forget, we have the next six weeks to pull out all the stops, and we will.”
Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on Wal-Mart’s position on the language it uses to describe the holiday season and its corporate response
to the criticism it has received over the issue? Will the boycott be settled amicably and, if not, will it have any noticeable impact on Wal-Mart’s sales? –
George Anderson – Moderator
- WAL-MART BANS CHRISTMAS: BOYCOTT LAUNCHED – Catholic League
for Religious and Civil Rights
- WAL-MART HAS BEEN PUT ON NOTICE – Catholic League for Religious
and Civil Rights
- Wal-Mart Defends ‘Happy Holidays’ Approach – The Associated Press/Forbes.com
- Wal-Mart faces boycott for ‘banning’ Christmas – WorldNetDaily