Officials for Lowe’s stores have renewed a commitment to sell “Christmas” decorations and “Christmas” trees this year after the American Family Association issued an alert to constituents the company’s catalog called them “family” trees.

Randy Sharp, the AFA director of special projects, contacted Lowe’s spokesman Chris Ahearn, and got the following response:

Catalog page showing Lowe’s sale on ‘family’ trees

“Let me reiterate my apology that we had an advertising error that created a stir,” Ahearn said.

He said the corporation’s formal response was that the nationwide chain “is proudly committed to selling Christmas trees this year, as it has done for more than 60 years.”

The company said the posting of an ad for “family” trees” was an error in publication that “was not caught before the publication was distributed.”

“Lowe’s … is disappointed in the breakdown in the proofing process,” the company said.

The company recommitted to referring to Christmas trees as Christmas trees in television and magazine ads as well as advertising flyers.

The AFA’s alert had advised constituents that Lowes, “in an effort to avoid the use of the term ‘Christmas tree,’ … has renamed their Christmas trees and are now calling them ‘Family trees.'”

The term appeared in the company’s 2007 holiday catalog, which has 56 pages of Christmas gifts and hundreds of gift items, the AFA said.

“The ads mentioning ‘Christmas’ cover only 12 square inches of the 5,236 square inches available,” the alert said.

“Lowe’s even has one of their Family trees turned upside down on a stand. We are not sure what the significance of that is,” the AFA said.

“An on-line search of Lowe’s does reference some ‘Christmas’ items. In fact, a word search of their website gives the exact same number 174 of the word ‘Christmas’ as it does the word ‘holiday.’ Most of the items mentioning Christmas appear to use the promotional line given by the manufacturer,” the AFA said.

Another AFA alert just days earlier convinced officials at a Florida senior living center to resume allowing “holiday” ornaments bearing a representation of the Nativity, Jesus, an angel or other religious symbols.

“I am pleased to report that the Plant City Living Center’s recent newsletter regarding holiday decoration policies has been rescinded,” said a statement issued by a spokesman concerning the issue at the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development facility.

“The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guarantees the rights of citizens to display religious symbols in public. We support that guarantee,” the statement added.

“I want to take this opportunity to reiterate to you … that Plant City Living Center respects the religious beliefs of all of its residents. In furtherance of that policy, Plant City Living Center allows residents to decorate their apartments and the exterior areas of their apartments in any manner they choose,” the statement from the center said.

The issue arose recently at the center in Plant City, Fla., where 85-year-old Mrs. Arnold was told that federal law now prohibits her from displaying anything that references religion – words, decorations and the like – in the common area of her apartment building, a HUD facility.

The AFA noted the federal government has become increasingly active in banning Christianity from the public square, citing the National Park Service’s efforts to conceal the words “Laus Deo,” which is Latin for “Praise Be to God” at the Washington Monument, and the move by a Veterans Administration official to ban the script of a flag-folding ceremony that mentions “Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” and “Father, Son and Holy Ghost” at 100 national cemeteries.

However, “both of these were rescinded after AFA supporters sent e-mails to proper authorities,” the AFA said. In the case of the Washington Monument dispute, Park Service officials told WND they got 26,000 e-mails in a morning.

WND also reported earlier government officials in Fort Collins, Colo., are considering new regulations for Christmas decorations that appear to ban red and green lights because they are too religious.

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