Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group Demands Burlington Coat Factory CHRISTMAS HARDER!

Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group Demands Burlington Coat Factory CHRISTMAS HARDER!

Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel

It actually seemed like it was going to be a relatively quiet War on Christmas this year — the Christians seemed to be happy with their Starbucks cups, and increased online shopping meant fewer salespeople to berate for saying "Happy Holidays" — but then Tucker Carlson had to go and claim that whoever set fire to the Fox Christmas tree was doing a hate crime to Christians, so I guess we're doing this. Again.

And as usual, the Liberty Counsel — an anti-gay litigation non-profit best known for having represented former Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis, led by professional hatemonger Mat Staver — kicked off the War on Christmas Season by releasing its annual "Naughty and Nice List."

Oh joy.

On the "Nice" list are companies that incorporate Christmas into their advertising, store display and store merchandise, with extra credit for nativity scenes and other things that give them that "We live in a theocracy where everyone is legally required to be a Christian" tingle.

Bealls department store, for instance, got high marks for being clear that their decorative pillows were decorative CHRISTMAS pillows, not to be used for any other purpose.

The Bealls’ website has many items that say “Merry Christmas” or are labeled as Christmas decorations, including things like ornaments, decorative pillows and clothing. Call Bealls at 800-569-9038 to thank them for celebrating Christmas!

Unsurprisingly, Hobby Lobby also won their approval, having a sufficient number of things that say "Merry Christmas" on them and also many nativity scenes — but also probably because they took out a whole ass newspaper ad this year explaining how, actually, America is supposed to be a theocracy.

Staying true to their Christian values, Hobby Lobby celebrates Christmas in the best way. Their homepage prominently advertises Christmas products and they carry many products printed with “Merry Christmas.” Many other items are actually labeled as “Christmas” decorations and there is a large selection of Nativity scenes. Contact Hobby Lobby or call them at 800-888-0321 to say thank you for celebrating Christmas!

Of course, even some companies that made the Nice list had room for improvement. For instance, not enough designated Christmas merchandise at American Eagle Outfitters, which apparently still exists and is selling the exact same clothes they sold my sophomore year of high school.

While there are not many Christmas-themed items on the American Eagle website, the term “Christmas” is used often in their product titles and descriptions. Give American Eagle a call at 888-232-4535 to encourage them to carry more Christmas-themed items or email them. About 70 percent of shoppers prefer greetings of “Merry Christmas” over “Happy Holidays” by retail stores according to a Rasmussen Poll.

The Liberty Counsel apparently did not have an opinion on whatever it is that Aeropostale is doing.

Sears — there are 26 Sears stores still in existence — made it onto the Nice list, but there was some concern about the Nativity scene selection.

Sears does not use the word “Christmas” to label their categories on the website as much as other stores, although they do have a “Christmas” section under the “Seasonal” items tab. However, there are very few Nativity scenes to choose from and few things that say “Merry Christmas.” Overall, Christmas is mentioned but the word and references to Christ could stand to be more prominent. Contact Sears on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to encourage them to step up their Christmas game.

Look, Mat Staver — Sears is just trying to get by right now. Times are tough! One would imagine they don't have a very large selection of anything, never mind a large selection of Nativity scenes. They don't need people calling them to "step up their Christmas game," they're depressed enough as it is!

Then there was the naughty list. This is a list of stores that the Liberty Counsel pretends is oppressing them and other Christians by not stocking enough specifically Christmas-themed merchandise, or by saying "Holiday" instead of Christmas, thereby acknowledging that there are in fact other holidays around this time. Apparently everyone is supposed to pretend Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and New Year's don't exist in order to make Mat Staver and friends feel special.

They are super mad at Burlington Coat Factory, which is not offering enough Bible-based outerwear this season.

Burlington made the Naughty list this year, featuring “Hot Holiday Deals” and gift cards emphasizing “Happy Holidays.” In addition, they lack any emphasis on gift giving for the season and severe lack of Christmas advertising with biblical meaning. Each ad or marketing concept starts strong with Christmas-themed products but loses meaning through emphasis on giving and receiving. Call Burlington at 855- 355-2875 to graciously request a purposeful Christmas theme in their stores.

Good lord — imagine working in the Burlington Coat Factory customer service center and not only having to deal with actual customers and their problems all day, but then having to listen to some weird old bigot yell at you to make the stores more Christmassy. That is just cruel.

The Liberty Counsel was also quite peeved at Dick's Sporting Goods for not centering Christ in their seasonal marketing plan.

With no reference to “Christmas” and less than a handful of “holiday” references within product associations and advertisements, this sporting goods store remains on our Naughty List. It uses generic Christmas colors in design yet lacks any reference to the Reason for the season. This sports store ignores the most important Gift of Christmas. Contact Dick’s at 877-846-9997 to encourage the organization to include Christ in their “Christmas” seasonal marketing plan.

It's not clear what they would want to see here, given that it is a sporting goods store. Maybe they want them to put something like this up in their golfing department?

Jesus watching a dude play golf

Also on the Naughty List is The Limited.

The Limited is about winter and gift giving, but any Christmas reference is vague. Call them at 877-737-7544 and tell them that you will be shopping where Christmas is celebrated and named.

Perhaps this is because The Limited shut down all of its stores in 2017 and no longer exists as a retailer. They are still a brand, however, exclusively distributed by Belk Department Stores — which was actually on the "nice" list this year.

Belk’s website uses the word “Christmas” often when labeling products. There are several Nativity scene decorations and those that have “Merry Christmas” on them. However, only a few of the garlands and trees were actually labeled “Christmas” greenery. Overall, Belk does a good job of celebrating the season. Contact Belk or call them at 866-235-5443 to congratulate them for getting into the Christmas spirit!


My own favorite stores — TJ Maxx and Marshall's — made the naughty list as well.

With no reference to “Christmas” and only a handful of “holiday” references within product associations and advertisements, this department store remains on our Naughty List. “Christmas” is not found at TJ Maxx or any of its sister companies Marshalls, Sierra Trading Co., Homesense and HomeGoods. Call 800-926-6299 to encourage TJ Maxx to open their arms to customers who celebrate Christmas.

The thing is, if you actually go into Marshall's or TJ Maxx [or HomeGoods! A place your Editrix loves!], they're brimming with Christmas crap and have been since well before Thanksgiving. Hell, they had Christmas outfits for sale a couple months ago, even, which I remember because my sister had to talk me down from buying a miniskirt with Christmas bows all over it and garland at the bottom that I thought was very Fran Fine (neither of us are Christian, sure, but that doesn't mean we can't appreciate a festive ensemble). I guess they don't have giant displays labeled "Christmas Crap," but they don't do that for any holiday. Jeez.

Lord & Taylor made the Naughty List because Not Enough Nativity.

Lord and Taylor are praised for their 5th street holiday window and incorporate the “Christmas” language into their products and marketing. However, the company, like many others, falls short of portraying what the Christmas season is about. Their reindeers and printed Santas hide the love of the Nativity and reason for gift giving. Contact Lord and Taylor at 800-223-7440 to politely request an authentic Christmas theme.

Is nothing good enough for these people? How many nativity scenes do they need? Are they afraid that if they are not tripping over Wise Men for the whole of December they will forget their own religion? It's not hard to find a damn Nativity scene if you can Google. Of course, this isn't for them. It's for people who aren't Christians and who aren't going to be buying any damn Nativity scenes. They want shops to use their advertising and store displays to make us all feel othered, so they can feel special.

The real victims/heroes in all of this, however, are the customer service representatives who are going to be forced to listen to these assholes and their ridiculous complaints or even their ridiculous compliments, which are probably equally annoying. We salute you and are thinking of you this holiday season.

[Liberty Counsel]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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