A conservative pro-family group is urging Christians to boycott Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic from now until December 25 for "censoring" the word Christmas in its ad commercials and promotions.
The American Family Association said that despite "tens of thousands of consumer requests to recognize Christmas" and requests by the organization, San Francisco-based Gap Inc. has refused to use the word.
"Christmas is special because of Jesus," maintains AFA in its e-mail newsletter. "It's not just a 'winter holiday.' For millions of Americans the giving and receiving of gifts is in honor of the One who gave Himself.
"For the Gap to pretend that isn't the foundation of the Christmas season is political correctness at best and religious bigotry at worst."
AFA joins Christian legal group Liberty Counsel in defending the use of the word Christmas for the celebrations that take place at the end of each year.
Earlier this month, Liberty Counsel launched its annual "Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign" that pledges to be a "Friend" to those who recognize Christmas and a "Foe" to those who censor it. The campaign offers free legal assistance to anyone who faces criticism for celebrating Christmas.
"Over the past few years the 'Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign' has successfully put the 'grinches' on the run," commented Mathew D. Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law.
"This year millions of Americans will join us to help save Christmas," he said. "If a government entity censors Christmas in violation of the Constitution, then we will first seek to educate but, if necessary, we will litigate. If retailers choose to profit from Christmas while pretending it does not exist, then we will patronize their competitors."
Liberty Counsel also publishes a "Naughty or Nice" list, which categorizes retailers who either censor ("Naughty") or recognize ("Nice") Christmas.
The Christian legal group has handled numerous cases concerning Christmas, including those that involved nativity scenes on public property, school officials who censored religious words from Christmas carols, and companies that renamed Christmas trees "holiday trees."
The "Naughty & Nice List" can be found on the Liberty Counsel Web site: www.lc.org