Sunday, December 12, 2010

The War On Christmas Stockings

Via Right Wing Watch we are linked to a tale from Calgary, of how the local Salvation Army "Captain," one Pam Goodyear, has summarily banned from the donation barrel anything that she thinks smacks of witchcraft or the occult. Twilight, Harry Potter, ouija boards, even something as simple as a rabbit's foot - all kaput!

Now, the scandal is not that the Salvation Army - aka "Sally Ann" - would not like these things included in the thousands of gift bags they prepare each year. That comes as no surprise. (And, in fact, it's only in Calgary that this applies - by no means is it a nationwide policy of the SA.) What is at issue is the fate of the unwanted donation items:
The toys and stuff Goodyear bans is supposedly given to other agencies. However, there are conflicting reports online that a Calgary Sally Ann staff member told a volunteer to toss wizardry, vampire and werewolf themed stuff and that the Calgary Sally Ann didn’t pass them to other agencies to distribute.
Where it gets really interesting is in the comments on the original story. Apart from one or two posts simply stating that the items SA would prefer not to include should be made absolutely clear up front, so that toys that some not-so-holier-than-thou kids might enjoy will find welcome homes rather than being scrapped, it's become a mini Bible-thumping hoedown that would do Bill War-on-Christmas O'Reilly proud!

Here are a few [sic. throughout] examples:
Its not “what they think” its what God has revealed in scripture and that is that the occult powers are real and we have to in no uncertain terms avoid and abstain from sorcery. And it is not wise to promote this abomination to young impressionable children. You want to impress your kind go ahead but who are you to dictate how Christians are to raise their children? Hey! why dont you go tell a high ranking freemason or another occultist like a Satanist that their majick is fictional. Mark down what happens to you every day after this in your journal, if you think it is wise.

It’s a sad day when someone has to defend her efforts to not be party to the corruption of children through the occult and the giving of toys and literature that confuses evil with good. How far we have fallen! It’s also a sad comment on the strength of the Christian witness in our world when people at large don’t even realize why these things are not appropriate to be given to a Christian organization, any more than say pornography would be!

You all did get that “right”? ” Christmas” and not BlackMass or any other occult ‘holi’day or celebration that Witches and Warlocks celebrate. ‘Salvation’ Army not Hells’ Army (witch by the way incorporates atheism). [Ed. Note - I'm sure that spelling of "which" as "witch" is completely coincidental...]

Witchcraft is a whole different matter – its not just about practicing white, or whatever ‘ colour’ witches, its about ‘wrong spirits’ and you don’t mess with wrong spirits END OF STORY.
Got to put this in the same category with the Oklahoma legislator who wouldn't participate in a state "holiday parade" because the terminology was, shall we say, festival-neutral, daring to acknowledge that, no, it's not just Christmas at this time of year. It's also Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule/Solstice, and the other more ancient celebrations they themselves co-opted and built on. All Northern Hemisphere cultures and sects have, and have had, some kind of a "hey, the light is returning after all!" event around this time of the year. Reducing it down to any single creed is, from my point of view, just sloganeering. Also, downright Grinchy.

SA doesn't want to hawk Potter or werewolves? Entirely fair. Want nativity pageants at your church or parochial school? Welcome to it - knock yourselves out. Insist that Wiccans celebrate Black Mass and kowtow to Satan? I'll argue with you from a much more informed perspective, but I'm pretty sure it will be pointless and I'll have to leave you to your blessed ignorance in the end.

But let's agree to live side-by-side with other people who might be different from ourselves, and let's agree that it's OK. Peace on Earth, remember? This is a time of gathering and goodwill for people from all walks of life and all flavors of belief, including no belief in a higher power at all.

Proselytize elsewhere and in another season. Give the thumping a "holiday." Or, if you must insist, a "Christmas."

Also, for the record? My reason for not supporting the SA is that the institution as a whole has a history of anti-homosexual bigotry as well as monetary support in that direction. I don't want my pennies supporting that, despite the other good work I am sure they do.

And if you wonder what I think of this post chronicled at FSTDT recently:
Wiccan [sic.] should have their kids taken away. Anyone who isn’t raising their children in a Christian home should have their children taken away, it is mental, emotional and spiritual abuse.
I invite you to try, Thumpers. Bet you run pretty fast in the other direction the moment you get the notion that I'm "looking at you funny."

1 comment:

Count Istvan said...

So if one of my presents contained the Frank Sinatra song witchcraft would this send me to hell?

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