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November 10, 2005

Wal-Mart bans Christmas?!?

From WorldNetDaily...

...the controversy was sparked when a woman recently complained to Wal-Mart that the store was replacing its "Merry Christmas" greeting with "Happy Holidays."

The League says the woman received an e-mail response from a customer-service representative, reading exactly as follows:

Walmart is a world wide organization and must remain conscious of this. The majority of the world still has different practices other than "christmas" which is an ancient tradition that has its roots in Siberian shamanism. The colors associated with "christmas" red and white are actually a representation of of [sic] the aminita mascera mushroom. Santa is also borrowed from the Caucuses, mistletoe from the Celts, yule log from the Goths, the time from the Visigoth and the tree from the worship of Baal. It is a wide wide world.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue speculated the writer of that e-mail was perhaps drunk, so he sent the response to Dan Fogelman in Wal-Mart's public-relations department.

Donohue received back a response from Fogelman, who wrote in part:

As a retailer, we recognize some of our customers may be shopping for Chanukah or Kwanzaa gifts during this time of year and we certainly want these customers in our stores and to feel welcome, just as we do those buying for Christmas. As an employer, we recognize the significance of the Christmas holiday among our family of associates ... and close our stores in observance, the only day during the year that we are closed.

"It's nice to know that Wal-Mart is closed on a federal holiday," explains Donohue, who says he's asking the leaders of 126 religious organizations spanning seven religious communities to boycott the retail giant.

I followed what the author of the story did and went to the Wal-Mart web site. For “Hanukkah” you get 200 items in their search. For “Chanukkah you get three. For “Kwanzaa” you get 77. When you try “Christmas” you get sent to the “Holiday” part of their Garden & Patio section.

Just to be a little more thorough I tried the word “nativity” and got 81 items. Then I tried the word “Santa” and got 2,043 items. When I tried “Rudolph” I got a listing of 614 items. Apparently they've got their priorities a little out of whack. That would make me wonder if those same priorities are applied to pricing and quality. I'm aslo very disappointed that Wal-mart would hire some to rspond to letters who is apparently so ignorant of history as well as rude. Even more astonishingly is that their PR people seem to be oblivious to how offnsive the initial response was.

You can let Wal-Mart know what you think of their attitude as well as what your response will be—here or you can call them at 1-800-925-6278.

Posted by Danny Carlton at November 10, 2005 06:30 AM

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Tracked on November 10, 2005 11:33 AM

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