Right-wing conservative Christian organization American Family Association (AFA) is urging Christians nationwide to participate in a two month boycott of San Francisco-based clothing retail giant Gap Inc., according to several national news media. The movement is based largely on Gap’s executive advertising decision to remove the word “Christmas” from their holiday ad campaigns, both in print and broadcast form. The boycott will include each of Gap’s subsidiaries: Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime (online retailer) and Athleta.
The AFA, along with the so-called Christian legal group Liberty Counsel, has planned and executed countless similar campaigns during past holiday seasons, including one against international department store chain Sears.
In its e-mail newsletter, the AFA argued “Christmas is special because of Jesus. 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.”
The official website of the AFA boasts an American flag image reconstructed to reflect their message. Typed within each of the flags white stripes is the phrase “Boycott Gap Inc. this Christmas.”
By selecting the link entitled “Take Action Now,” the user is instantly connected to a company press release, summarizing the campaign. The summary ends with an opportunity for visitors to sign the Boycott Gap Pledge, by which the AFA will regularly update Gap on the number of participating protestors.
Website visitors can also link to a printable Boycott Gap “pass along” sheet, which can be distributed to “friends, family and Sunday school members,” according to the official release.
Unfortunately, such a boycott may not be seen as the wisest of approaches by many Christians, church leaders and other religious organizations.
In his July 2008 sermon series “You Asked for It”, Newspring Church Senior Pastor Perry Noble candidly spoke of Christians who hop on “boycott bandwagons” and stated that, “God did not call us to condemn secular organizations for acting like secular organizations. God forgive the church for selling out to a political agenda instead of preaching Jesus.”
He added, “If God did not send Jesus into the world to condemn it [John 3:17], then he sure didn’t send self-centered, self-righteous, arrogant Christians to condemn it either. We are not called to fight the world. We’re called to reach the world. It’s not us against them. It’s us for them.”
Despite opposition from certain sects of Christians and pan-denominational groups, it seems the AFA is content to continue with its mission and is urging participators to “ask Gap to reconsider its policy of censoring Christmas in promotional material” The AFA also suggests that you “Let them know that until you see Christmas in their advertising, you will boycott them.”
The end result of this annual campaign awaits to be seen.
©2009 Joshua D. Givens & The Underground Christian E-Magazine
For more news, feature articles and commentary on pop culture from a Christian perspective, visit The Underground at: www.theundergroundsite.com.
This article was originally published here:http://theundergroundsite.com/index.php/2009/11/gap-inc-censoring-christmas-christians-urged-to-boycott/