December 15, 2011

Barnes & Noble accused of “censoring Christmas”


Barnes & Noble (hidden behind Christmas tree) is against Christmas, says Christian group

“Don’t let the strains of ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ over the store’s audio system fool you. Barnes & Noble is ‘against’ Christmas” — or at least, so says conservative Christian group the American Family Association, reports Shandra Martinez in a Washington Post story. The AFA, explains Martinez, issues an annual “Naughty and Nice” list, “which rates retailers’ marketing campaigns on whether they properly recognize the holiday that celebrates Jesus‘ birth.”

So what did B&N do wrong? According to the Post report, “The litmus test is whether retailers use ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays’ in their ads. The latter is considered offensive because it takes away the focus on Jesus, according to the organization, which urges supporters to send a message to retailers by shopping elsewhere.”

Or, as the AFA explains on its website,

If a company’s ad has references to items associated with Christmas (trees, wreaths, lights, etc.), it was considered as an attempt to reach “Christmas” shoppers. If a company has items associated with Christmas, but did not use the word “Christmas,” then the company is considered as censoring “Christmas.”

And Jesus wept.


Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.