Monday, November 21, 2005

Merry Christmas, Or Else

Jerry Falwell stopped short of distributing Orwellian “Inform On Your Friends” posters to his minions. But just barely.

For his latest feat, Falwell has put public schools, retailers and other institutions on notice that, if they try to take the X out of Xmas this year, they’ll have to answer to a higher power: the American judicial system.

In other words, he’ll sue their asses.

On Falwell’s command, public schools, retail stores and government offices are now under surveillance. Falwell appealed to his flock to keep their eyes and ears open for what they don’t see and hear. “Season’s Greetings” and “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” won’t do.

Falwell has become a signatory to a new Liberty Counsel endeavor, which, in the spirit of the season, has been given the heartwarming name of the “Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign.” Another neocon lawyer group is running a similar crusade, the “Christmas Project.”

Falwell joined these efforts, in his words, to “resist bullying tactics of the ACLU and others who intimidate school and government officials by spreading misinformation about Christmas.”

Apparently, the ACLU is the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and Jerry’s not gonna take it anymore. He’s got lawyers, and he’s not afraid to use them.

Oddly, megastore Target, which has been under fire for allowing its pharmacists to opt out of filling prescriptions for the controversial Plan B contraceptive, is one of Falwell’s, er, targets. You’d think he’d be lauding them over that, but instead he’s got them in his sights over their alleged ban of the words “Merry Christmas” this year.

Falwell has received indirect support from screeching media figures like Bill O’Reilly, who recently blacklisted stores failing to use that phrase in their holiday promotions, and Ann Coulter, who’s made it known she says those words to everyone she meets just to piss off liberals.

It’s ironic that the neocon set, who earlier this year largely supported legislation by Congress against “frivolous” lawsuits, would wage or support campaigns like this. Left a scalpel inside someone’s head? Frivolous! Forgot to say “Merry Christmas?” See you in court!

Perhaps “hypocritical” is a better adjective.

Watch for the battle over holiday observance to begin soon in a courtroom near you. In the so-called culture war, there can be no peace on earth – even at Christmas.


LadyM said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Target caves into Falwell's bullying. I think they've already retracted their no soliciting policy that forbid the Salvation Army from collecting last year. They don't have the bells yet, but are allowing the "Are you a Florida registered" people to set up camp by the exit doors.

LadyM said...

Oops, I meant "Are you a Florida registered voter".

Pete Bogs said...

if it comes to a boycott of Target, and that boycott actually makes a dent in Target sales, I think the company may cave... Season's Greetings and Merry Christmas can co-exist side by side, but no one should go to court over something that ridiculous...

Paddys_Gal said...

Ho-ho-holy crap. The Religious Right strikes again.

Pete Bogs said...

yes, PG, those evangelicals are full of holy shit...

Dan said...

Y'know, 85% of Americans say they are Christian. While I don't think a suit over this makes any sense, neither does forbidding the use of any phrase with a religious reference in it. It's not only the 'Religious Right' that gets upset. It pisses me off thoroughly.