Saturday, December 23, 2006

Best Buy Bans "Merry Christmas"

So what are you giving for Christmas? I know what I WON'T be giving or getting. There will be no gadgets or toys in my stocking from Best Buy this year and I won't be purchasing any presents from there.

As you may have heard, the elecronics store chain has banned the expression "Merry Christmas" in all of their stores. It's one thing to make a corporate decision to choose to use "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" in all advertising and signage. Its another thing to say you will fire any employee who is heard to wish someone a "Merry Christmas". In my mind that is NOT being sensitive to the fact that there are many people of many faiths who may not observe Christmas. Being that hard line against Christmas just smacks of bashing Christ.

So, no matter how good the deals are, we won't be doing business there this year. I'm off to Tri-Cities for the day, and ordinarily that might have included a wander through the store to see what goodies they had to offer. However, based on this, I'll be going elsewhere this year.

Based on this I am beginning to think I understand a bit better why someone would avoid going to a Dixie Chicks concert based soley on political statements the singers made or why they might avoid Michael Crichton novels due to disapproval of his retaliatory behavior. We vote every time we spend our dollars. Who we vote for really does matter. It's one thing to recognize we all have differences and tolerate disagreements. But supporting individuals or businesses who contradict my core values is something I just don't want to do. That's why in our retirement accounts I will not own any funds that carry shares of Phillip Morris (even though they have a higher rate of return) and back in the nasty days of Apartheid I did some careful research of our retirement accounts to be sure I wasn't funding that monstrostity in any way.

Yeah, I can do business with people who think, believe and live different from me. But there comes a point where it is important to me to stand up and be counted for what I know to be true.

So where is your line in the sand?


Jaquandor said...

It doesn't really say that they're firing anyone who says "Merry Christmas", but that their official company advertising thrust is "Happy Holidays". Are they firing people? If they were, I'd certainly agree that they should be shunned. (Which would be a pain, since I just dropped fifty bucks there last night!)

Anonymous said...

I am not abig fan of the boycot. It never seems to take away from the statement trying to be made unless you hit the news with it. Of courseit probably has to be a slow news day. This should not offend Christians. After all, the cross if foolishness to the world. The fact that our country is exercising it's secular motives should not surpise anyone.

papa herman said...

Happy Holidays is okay by me... because I realize that the word Holidays actually means Holy Days.

With that said, my problem with Best Buys, according to the article cited, is the reason behind it... that they feel saying Merry Christmas is disrespectful... that attitude is disrespectful. And it seems to me that it negates saying "Happy Holy-days."

Because which Holydays are currently underway? Hanukkah? Well Hanukkah ends at sunset today (12/23).

The 40 year old created celebration known as Kwanzaa? Kwanzaa which doesn't starts until 12/26 and the days of Kwanzaa celebrate African Heritage; so the question is: does heritage qualify as a Holy-day??? Though they focus on various ethical principals, calling it a Holy-day would be a stretch.

So if they are all worried about it, Best Buys could say "Merry Christmas" after sunset today and not offend anyone. But apparently their PC police did not do their homework.

I will not be joining any anti-Best Buys boycotts...
rather, I just see this as a sad commentary on the times.


Belladonna said...

Just as a point of clarification…..

My distaste with Best Buy was NOT based on the article I linked….that was just something I found to lend credibility to what I was claiming about their position. What started this whole thing was a television report my husband heard saying that the head of Best Buy had threatened to fire any employee who said “Merry Christmas.” Now, I admit I did not hear this report personally. But my husband has a fair amount of credibility in my book. So when he told me about it we had a rather lengthy conversation about it. We talked about how each of us individually feel about the role of secularism and what it means to be respectful of all in a multicultural society. What it came down to, for me, was that creating that sort of workplace threat just feels mean spirited to me.

I have no problem whatsoever with them choosing “Happy Holidays” as their corporate greetings. I would not be offended if they ignored Christmas all together, or if they chose to honor a different tradition. But the idea of them identifying the words “Merry Christmas” as blameworthy enough for termination just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. THAT is why I am not choosing to go there. It just feels too mean.

However, I do not consider myself to be participating in any formal boycott. I am not suggesting others should not shop there. Best Buy is a large corporation, so I have absolutely no illusions that my puny decision will have ANY bearing on them.

It does, however, have a rather important impact on ME. It’s my way of saying to MYSELF more than to anyone else …. “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Now, please understand, I do NOT think that Jesus Christ cares one whit whether I shop at Best Buy or not. I do NOT think it makes me a better person or a better Christian to avoid this store. I do not think the OUTWARD ACTION of where I do or don’t shop even makes a blip on the moral map of the universe.

However, my outward actions are symbolic of my internal commitment and THAT, in my mind, does matter rather a lot. To me, the most important part of this whole decision was thinking about it, mulling over what was important , choosing a course of action that reflected my feelings, and then following through.

It’s like fasting. On certain days of the week, or during specific times of the year, my Orthodox brothers and sisters “Fast”. For them, that generally means no meat, no milk products, no alcohol, and a few other don’ts. However, different people fast differently. Some people abstain from all sexual activity during the fasts. Some don’t. Some people avoid other things. Some eat quite a lot, but just restrict what sort of things they will eat. Others only eat enough to keep from getting ill, and then only eat very simple, bland, plain things. Each person has their own fast that they discuss with their Spiritual Father (generally the priest of their congregation) which is tailored to suit that individual’s ability and needs. One person is not more or less pious because he does or does not eat bread during the fast. It’s a highly personal choice to reflect an inward turning away from what the body wants, subjugating physical desires to spiritual growth.

For me, avoiding Best Buy is simply a turning away from something I consider mean. It is my way of saying I don’t want to be a part of meanness. I’m not trying to change THEM. I’m trying to change ME. Rather than saying “oh well, that’s just the way the world is” and then going on in to buy the latest gizmo (and anyone who knows me well knows how I DO love my gizmos!) this is my way of saying….no, I don’t want to be a part of that.

Does that make sense?

Jettboy said...

Well, you can go there and say Merry Christmas to all the empoyees with a wink and a nod - then don't buy anything. If it really bothers you then you can see who feels the same in your area and picket with Merry Christmas to ALL signs in the parking lot. I have never done anything like that, but it sounds fun.

Paul said...

I would recommend that you actually telephone Best Buy and get their official position on the subject rather than basing your opinions on something you heard somewhere.

Here's a newsflash: the media is biased. There is no such thing as neutral reportage. So, the news report your husband heard may have been exaggerated. Or, he may have misuderstood something that was said.

Happens all the time.

Paul said...

I'm sorry for the double post. I hit publish before I was ready. I wanted to make it clear that I am not defending Best Buy, because I do not know their official position either. Lacking first hand information, I will neither support, nor condemn them.

Pondering Pig said...

Merry Christmas, dear Belle. For a poisonous plant, you are one healthy and positive chick.
As for my line in the sand, I'm afraid I left it on a beach in California, along with my old love letters.

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