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Salvation Army Bell Ringers Drafted in the War on Christmas?

Salvation Army Bell Ringers Drafted in the War on Christmas?

Most of us have heard the old Christmas musical standard Silver Bells (inspired by the sound of Salvation Army bell ringers) with its jingling refrain, “…it’s Christmastime in the city.”  But maybe the “new sound” of an American Christmas may be more appropriately described as the roar of canon fire … or at least the static of endless bickering.

There’s a lot of battle lingo being tossed around in the news already this holiday season: the War on Christmas, Occupy Christmas, not to mention the ever-present Salvation Army and their bell-ringing bucket brigade fight against poverty.

The latest skirmish in this vein is the uproar over a recent corporate decision made by midwestern retailer Mills Fleet Farm. Fleet Farm’s co-president, Stewart Mills Jr., anounced the company would donate funds directly to the Salvation Army in lieu of allowing bell-ringers to collect at their stores. The decision (made primarily to prevent their legal obligation to allow other solicitors onto their property) was then quickly and apologetically overturned as “unfortunate” and “wrong” after a flurry of media coverage. The change of policy was not further explained, but in financially difficult times, bad PR can prove costly.

Other retailers are heeding the Christmas war cry of politically agressive conservative groups such as The American Family Association and the Liberty Counsel, each of which maintains a “naughty and nice” list of U.S. retail businesses who do or do not use the word “Christmas” in their advertising, in order to pressure companies to toe the conservative Christian line. Walgreen’s recent decision to use Christmas-specific phrasing  (rather than generic references to “holidays”), was declared as a War on Christmas public relations and media victory by right-wing conservative groups.

At a time when many Christians (such as myself) are preparing to comemmorate the birth of our proclaimed Prince of Peace, the religious right once again takes its own bizarre twist on the Holy Christian Scripture for the militant rhetoric of its political crusade.

Related Care2 Articles:

Morning Mix: War on Christmas Starts Early Due to Tree Tax

It’s Buy Nothing Day: #OCCUPYXMAS

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Photo credit: Angela Braun

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54 comments

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7:32AM PST on Dec 7, 2011

The "Salvation Army" pft! I'd never give a nickel to religious militants.

8:57PM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Read the article and the post but yours Maryanne E made me stop, think and smile. Your short post summed up the true holiday spirit. Soooo, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Blessed Solstice and Merry Yule! In other words, Happy Holidays!

I would like to add one last thing and it is something from my favorite movie. Mankind should be our business and not just at Christmas but every single day.




9:51AM PST on Dec 2, 2011

With all the extremely serious things going on globally, we Americans waste our precious time bickering over what is politically correct or incorrect for the Holidays.

I grew up celebrating Christmas and not Xmas. And, we always spoke, heard, wrote and read Merry Christmas and seldom Happy Holidays. We are in the process of losing the Arctic as we know it, glaciers, and a countless number of living species, and yet we are focused more on many insignificant issues. With each American citizen fighting for his or her individual rights, including the non-American ones who should not have ANY rights whatsoever, I feel America has gotten extremely petty in most of its political arenas and is losing sight of THE REAL ISSUES OF CONCERN!

Oh, by the way, I hope all of you “Have a Very Merry Christmas!”

9:51PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

It's the biggest commercial holiday of the year! What's holy about that?

8:37PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

The one thing I think about most at this time of year is SPRING!!!

8:30PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

War on Christmas.. what a bunch of BS.

5:14PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

Maryanne E.

that is offensive to the Jack Chick and WBC style xians. that is why they hate happy holidays. because it's about everyone else. December=Christmas season. Those fools think people worship Santa and Christmas trees and tell people Rudolf is a character that is old as dirt.(let everyone know rudolf is the true god of gimmicy holiday marketing in America! i forget how he gets in the public domain)

5:09PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

Christmas is based off the Pagan holiday yule, The church just put their own twist into it so they can convert the pagans who did not want to lose their holidays, there is no proof on when Jesus was born to it is technically wrong to call it Christmas, i still do. I will celebrate modern Christmas with my christian family but my fiance and i will be celebrating Yule, Have a wonderful winter solstice everyone

2:33PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Blessed Solstice and Merry Yule! In other words, Happy Holidays!

Even if the religion might be in the minority, many of these are older than Christmas itself. Nothing wrong in including everyone, is there?

1:16PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

The "Mall" would not be the "Mall" without the Red Bellringers. As long as they don't take away"Santa" and "Rudolf" all is not lost. Or is this next???

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