The other evening my favorite radio talk show host, Chris Core (on WMAL and WMAL.com), discussed the Wal-Mart decision to remove references to Christmas from its internal and external promotions. It seems a lady wrote to Wal-Mart and complained that “Merry Christmas” had become “Happy Holidays.” She received a bizarre reply from a Wal-Mart employee claiming that Christmas basically was a holiday borrowed from pagan tradition and nothing about Christmas really was authentic. The Wal-Mart communication stated that Wal-Mart is an international company which does business in some places where shoppers are not Christians. Moreover, some shoppers in this country buy gifts for Hanukkah and Kwanza and Wal-Mart doesn’t want them to feel uncomfortable. Wal-Mart pointed out that it closes its stores on Christmas (which is a legal holiday, by the way).
The Catholic League for Civil and Religious Liberty sent the Wal-Mart employee’s communication to Wal-Mart Public Relations because the League thought this reply was the work of some demented employee. Wal-Mart issued an apology for insulting Christians, fired the employee who wrote the reply and revised its policies and its website. As a result the Catholic League called off its proposed Wal-Mart boycott.
Core, with whom I most often agree, said the Wal-Mart policy was not enough of a provocation to justify a boycott. Core said he was disappointed in Wal-Mart but if he could buy a product cheaper there he still would shop at Wal-Mart.
That precisely is the problem. We Christians have permitted the enemies of Christmas to eliminate this Holy Day from the public square. A Rabbi told me that he makes it a point to wish “Merry Christmas” to Christians he knows because he understands that if Christmas is not publicly acknowledged neither will be the Jewish Holy Days, which are treated like Christmas.
Let us face it, the enemies of Christmas have gone so far that people now avoid wishing their co-workers, their friends and neighbors, even in some cases fellow parishioners, a Merry Christmas. They are embarrassed to proudly declare that they are Christians. They wouldn’t want to offend anyone, would they? This is political correctness gone mad.