Using “Christmas” for its sales and promotions during this season is appropriate, and good, but it doesn’t redeem Wal-Mart’s sudden lurch to the left when it joined the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, according to one of the biggest pro-family groups in the United States.
“Wal-Mart should remember that the majority of people in this country do not support things like same-sex marriage, and don’t want the company giving money to groups that do support it,” American Family Association Chairman Donald E. Wildmon said. “Shopping at retailers other than Wal-Mart might remind the company of that fact.”
His group applauded Wal-Mart’s announcement this week that it had decided to restore “Christmas” to the holidays, in its advertising, in store greetings, and other venues. The company a year ago had steadfastly stuck with “Happy Holidays,” which ignored the reason for the season.
Another corporate branch, Sam’s Club, confirmed in August, just days after the AFA launched a campaign encouraging officials there to return “Christmas” to its “holiday” events too, that it would highlight the Christian event in publications.
“Holiday” items in Sam’s Club magazine advertisement for Christmas
“In our upcoming December/January 06 Source Magazine we plan to reference specific holidays such as Christmas and others, as we have in the past,” the company has announced on its website.
The company’s August/September issue included one page of Christmas items, but they were listed as “holiday” items instead, according to the AFA’s Randy Sharp, who told WND the campaign produced 218,000 e-mails to the company and uncounted telephone calls.
“We’re going to continue to monitor companies,” Sharp said at that time. “We’re making our list and checking it twice, and we’re going to let folks know who’s naughty or nice.”
He also said Wal-Mart had been contacted then, too, and a petition regarding Sam Walton’s company generated about 700,000 signatures.
Now three months later, Wal-Mart’s decision has been made known, and it will be joining other retailers such as Kohl’s Corp. and Macy’s whose officials already had made their announcements.
The Wal-Mart decision did result from the public boycotts, officials said.
“We learned a lesson from that. Merry Christmas is now part of the vocabulary here at Wal-Mart,” said Wal-Mart spokeswoman Linda Blakley.
In the past, both Sears and Target had been targeted with temporary AFA-suggested boycotts because of their lack of recognition for the season. Both campaigns later were dropped, but not until nearly three-quarters of a million people signed onto the boycott of Target.
Concerned Women for America also worked on the issue last season, compiling three lists of businesses, categorized by their recognition of Christmas as the “reason for the season.”
Last year, stores were dubbed “nice” for “honoring the reason for the season” and “scrooges,” for having “removed the mention of Christmas from their business.”
“Somewhat naughty” straddled the middle, and included Wal-Mart.
In its defense, SAM’S CLUB earlier had said that it tried to “take a very thoughtful approach to the words we choose in communicating” with the 47 million customers it has.
While restoring “Christmas” is good, the AFA also said it recently had discovered Wal-Mart was kicking back five percent of sales to a homosexual community center in Washington, D.C., whenever customers purchased Wal-Mart products through the center’s website.
So a targeted boycott is being authorized by AFA. The group wants its supporters to agree to shop elsewhere on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, and is asking people to sign an online petition to that affect at www.afa.net.
The days immediately after Thanksgiving are being targeted by AFA, as well as several others who will be protesting Wal-Mart’s “gay” agenda this year, because they typically are the biggest shopping days of the entire year.
The other protests are smaller, but targeted to specific Wal-Mart stores. They are being assembled by Janet Baird, an Ohio woman who resigned her long-term position with the corporation because of the homosexual interests Wal-Mart chose to support.
But she said she felt strongly that she needed to not be in that environment any longer. “I got God backing me. That’s where I stand on it,” she told WND in an interview.
It was during an interview with WND in August Wal-Mart spokesman Bob McAdam said, “It is correct that we have a dialogue with the (gay chamber). This is just what businesses do.”
Baird said Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton was such a moral man, “he wouldn’t even allow music to be sold in his stores if it had bad language.”
Baird now has announced plans to launch a series of protests in front of Wal-Marts in her part of the country to let others know of the corporation’s agenda.
“As Christians we have to take a stand and get the word out because most people are not aware of what is happening,” she said.
A second worker saw Baird’s testimony on WND, and after talking with her, decided to join her movement. Karin Laginess, of Auberndale, Fla., told WND that it was as if “God hit me” when she saw the earlier WND report about Baird.
Baird heard the shocking new plans that WND had reported directly from the mega-corporation’s international headquarters: that the company is, in fact, contributing to the financial and moral agenda of the NGLCC.
But Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., said the problem is that the homosexual business group isn’t just that. While the NGLCC “professes to promote the ‘interests of the LGBT business community,’ this is not all they have done,” he said.
He said the group recently described efforts to defend traditional marriage as an attempt to “write discrimination into the Constitution …” and it has advocated attaching a pro-homosexual “hate crimes” amendment to legislation intended to protect children from violent sex offenders.
AFA boycotts in the past have proven effective, even though the organization doesn’t take credit for all of the impacts. An example is the Ford Motor Company which more than a year ago embraced the “gay” community in its advertising and programs.
The AFA and dozens of other Christian groups joined in a boycott, and since then Ford has lost hundreds of millions of dollars, laid off tens of thousands of workers and is trying to regroup and stabilize.