American Family Association/Christian Action League
November 21, 2015
Have you ever wondered which stores recognize Christmas and which are like Scrooge?
As the 2015 Christmas shopping season starts full swing, the American Family Association (AFA) has prepared it’s Naughty or Nice retailer list. AFA has taken the top 100 national retailers and reviewed their websites, media advertising and in-store signage to help you know which companies are Christmas friendly.
There are secular forces in America that hate Christmas because the word itself is a reminder of Jesus Christ. They want to eradicate anything that reminds people of Christianity. That is why it is important to remind governments and companies to keep the word Christmas alive. AFA wishes to keep Christ in Christmas and Christmas in America.
AFA reviewed up to nine areas to determine if a company is “Christmas-friendly.” Print media (newspaper inserts), broadcast media (radio/television), website and personal visits to stores helped determine retailer’s ratings. If a company’s ad had references to items associated with Christmas (trees, wreaths, lights, etc.), it was considered as an attempt to reach Christmas shoppers.
According to Ed Vitagliano, AFA’s executive vice president, AFA has been arguing for eight years that there is a “War on Christmas.”
Vitagliano says criticisms aimed at AFA’s campaign have mostly come from “left-leaning members of the media or people who simply hated everything the ministry did anyway.”
A New York Times op-ed piece in 2013 by Gail Collins derided AFA and others for embracing ‘a seasonal victimhood’ that she said was meant to force stores to link corporate greed with the birth of Jesus Christ.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Vitagliano, “[a] good smear is quicker and cheaper than actually trying to understand us.”
Vitagliano said that Christians on both the evangelical left and right had also been critical of AFA’s fight to protect Christmas. However, “AFA’s efforts in this arena have never existed in a vacuum,” he argues.
He writes, “The ministry holds three propositions in tandem: (1) There has been an intentional effort for over 100 years to secularize the U.S. (2) The war on Christmas does exist, and it has been part of this wider effort. (3) The attempt to secularize the nation is bad for America and ultimately threatens the very existence of the Republic.”
Vitagliano contends humanists have made tremendous strides in the removal of Christian influence in law, restricted the influence of Christians in the culture, removed Christian symbols from the public square, as well as restrained Christian practice in the public arena.
“AFA has always believed the war on Christmas should be viewed in this context,” he said.
“The War on Christmas is real,” said Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “If certain people and forces have their way, if they win by turning Christmas into simply a winter-solstice, if they win by gutting the holiday of its spiritual significance, we will be subject to lose much more than Christmas,” he added.
“The Christian Action League is a fellow soldier in the fight to defend Christmas. We urge our supporters to speak up for Christ in Christmas – to do their shopping judiciously – choosing to support those stores that honor the meaning of the holiday as opposed to those that don’t. It’s about a lot more than Christmas,” Dr. Creech said.
The Christian Action League is North Carolina’s affiliate of the American Family Association.
This year, six companies earned AFA’s highest “Five Star” rating by promoting and celebrating Christmas on an exceptional basis.