The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

Wal-Mart Recants Lies about Pagan Origin of Christmas

November 15, 2005 | 32 Comments

Bentonville, Arizona, November 15, 2005
Special to The Raving Atheist

Facing a boycott launched by the Catholic League, Wal-Mart has retracted a series of malicious falsehood it had recently begun spreading regarding the origins of Christmas holiday traditions.

The controversy ignited after the giant retailer received a complaint that it had replaced “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays” as its official seasonal greeting. In response, a Wal-Mart customer service representative sent an e-mail asserting that the Christmas celebration was “an ancient tradition that has its roots in Siberian shamanism.” The employee also stated that “christmas’ red and white are actually a representation of of the aminita mascera mushroom . . . Santa is also borrowed from the Caucuses, mistletoe from the Celts, yule log from the Goths, the time from the Visigoth and the tree from the worship of Baal.”

According to Catholic League President William Donohue, Wal-Mart later issued an apology and “withdrew its insane statement regarding the origins of Christmas.” In a press release issued yesterday, Wal-Mart assured its shoppers that “Jesus was born under a snow-covered pine tree in Bethlehem, surrounded by presents wrapped in red and white paper, and greeted by chants of ‘Merry Christmas’ from Santa and his elves.” Wal-Mart further urged its customers to continue their orgy of consumerist gluttony in commemoration of the infant savior, hinting that they could find a great deal on Cardinal’s Professional Texas Hold’em Poker Set in Aisle five.

Comments

32 Responses to “Wal-Mart Recants Lies about Pagan Origin of Christmas”

  1. cloudywithachanceofcheeseburgers
    November 15th, 2005 @ 1:35 am

    Wal-mart forgot to add how mistlethoe is actually a symbol of chastity that unmarried Nazerenes used when they had to stay at inn’s… Also that Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer actually was the one who rescued Jesus from hell after his crucification — after meeting him in the manger, of course. In fact, some Gnostic texts show that Rudolph’s red-nose was among the infant saviors first miracles.

  2. allan
    November 15th, 2005 @ 7:00 am

    As you can see I am no Atheist, but I love your piece.

    Christmas as a holiday is a commercial success, but it has little to do with Jesus.

    It would be easier for you to argue against us, and for us to present our side, if all this emotional claptrap were removed.

    Allan

  3. MBains
    November 15th, 2005 @ 9:04 am

    I bought the beautiful “Baby Jesus Rolling with Reindeer” comforter for those long, cold winter nights alone with my Bible.

    (… and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s from aisle 5 …)

  4. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    November 15th, 2005 @ 9:16 am

    The ironic thing about the Catholic League’s original complaint:

    “Go to its website and search for Hanukkah and up come 200 items. Click on Kwanzaa and up come 77. Click on Christmas, and here’s what you get: ‘We’ve brought you to our ‘Holiday’ page based on your search.’ In other words, Wal-Mart is practicing discrimination.”

    …is that the discrimination is pro-Christmas, not anti. Wal-Mart put an exception in their search engine specifically for “Christmas” and not for “Hanukkah”, “Kwanzaa”, etc. because they thought the former was more important than those other weirdo holidays, which get the same generic search results you get if you search for “deodorant” or “Garth Brooks” … Oops, I take that back, Garth Brooks gets his own special search result page.

    And it looks like now, thanks to the Catholic League, that exception was removed and Catholics instead get to see such traditional, Jesus-related items as the Barbie Commemorative Holiday 2005 Doll. Well, I suppose Catholics could dress Barbie up as the Madonna and venerate her.

  5. IrnBru001
    November 15th, 2005 @ 9:45 am

    umm but wasn’t its original statement the correct one???

  6. Dada Saves
    November 15th, 2005 @ 9:45 am

    “This is a sweet victory for the Catholic League, Christians in general, and people of all faiths.”

    I for one am going to boycott Sprawl-Mart until they reaffirm that Christmas colors come from the fly agaric mushroom.

  7. DamnRight
    November 15th, 2005 @ 10:12 am

    So, Christians claim the bible is truth because they can show real history attached to some of the stories… but, when history conflict with their fantasies, history must be denied… so, why not also assert that Santa is real & living in your heart too?…

  8. Lily
    November 15th, 2005 @ 10:38 am

    The “explanation” offered by the Wal-Mart employee has as much to do with history as green cheese has to do with the composition of the moon. Christmas has enough fanatastic elements without making up a completely bogus “history” of its origins.

    I, for one, could do without the commercialisation of the holiday (holy day), so won’t be shopping at Walmart in any case.

  9. cloudywithachanceofcheeseburgers
    November 15th, 2005 @ 11:07 am

    Just a head’s up: great diary on DailyKos about growing up in a “Santa-ist” society (really an analogy to describe growing up atheist).

    link: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/11/15/12016/649

  10. Anonymous
    November 15th, 2005 @ 12:01 pm

    “It would be easier for you to argue against us, and for us to present our side, if all this emotional claptrap were removed.”

    That’s the smartest thing I’ve heard a theist say in a long long time.

  11. Dawn Eden
    November 15th, 2005 @ 1:02 pm

    Why don’t you atheists put your money where your mouth is? I don’t see anyone starting a collection to feed poor Kirby.

  12. Mookie
    November 15th, 2005 @ 1:22 pm

    I bet people go to Wal-Mart more often than they do to church. I bet they spend more time there, and do more worshipping than they do at church. One day they’ll have little chapels in the stores, so one can worship and shop. They’ll call it “worshopping”.

  13. qedpro
    November 15th, 2005 @ 1:29 pm

    “It would be easier for you to argue against us, and for us to present our side, if all this emotional claptrap were removed.”

    that would imply that theist argue using reason and logic. they don’t. they argue by screaming loud and repeating bullshit over and over and over and over……..

    All we ask for is facts, since you can provide none, there’s nothing to talk about.

  14. Mort Coyle
    November 15th, 2005 @ 1:47 pm

    That’s very funny! You wacky heathen, you.

  15. a different tim
    November 15th, 2005 @ 2:20 pm

    Of course santa isn’t red and white because of the amanita mushroom.

    he’s red and white because of an early coca-cola marketing campaign.

    in Victorian times, he was usually green.

    http://www.fortunecity.com/millennium/hibiscus/121/cokesanta.html

  16. Sportin' Life
    November 15th, 2005 @ 2:37 pm

    William Donahue is a dangerous totalitarian bigot, just in case you didn’t know.

  17. Sportin' Life
    November 15th, 2005 @ 2:37 pm

    William Donahue is a dangerous totalitarian bigot, just in case you didn’t know.

  18. Sportin' Life
    November 15th, 2005 @ 2:37 pm

    William Donahue is a dangerous totalitarian bigot, just in case you didn’t know.

  19. Sportin' Life
    November 15th, 2005 @ 2:37 pm

    William Donahue is a dangerous totalitarian bigot, just in case you didn’t know.

  20. Lily
    November 15th, 2005 @ 2:59 pm

    Actually, as a collector of vintage postcards from 1898-1915 or so, I can tell you that Santa is variously depicted in all sorts of colors with brown being very common, green pretty much so. I think red was Nast’s choice; certainly he is the one who made our version famous (Santa was a lot skinnier pre-Nast).

    William Donahue is not a dangerous totalitarian bigot. He is a typical Boston Irishman with a heart of gold and a mouth the size of Nevada. He loves the Church, particularly the immigrant versions that one still finds in Massachusetts.

  21. Nigel Pond
    November 15th, 2005 @ 4:02 pm

    To quote the Guiness adverts: “Brilliant”!!

  22. benjamin
    November 15th, 2005 @ 4:08 pm

    I searched for “Christmas” on the walmart search engine, and didn’t get to a christmas or holiday specific site. It is sad that someone lost their job for speaking so many truths. Perhaps they should be rewarded.

  23. Sportin' Life
    November 15th, 2005 @ 4:47 pm

    William Donahue is not a dangerous totalitarian bigot. He is a typical Boston Irishman.

    Tomato, tom-ah-to.

  24. Sportin' Life
    November 15th, 2005 @ 4:47 pm

    William Donahue is not a dangerous totalitarian bigot. He is a typical Boston Irishman.

    Tomato, tom-ah-to.

  25. Sportin' Life
    November 15th, 2005 @ 4:47 pm

    William Donahue is not a dangerous totalitarian bigot. He is a typical Boston Irishman.

    Tomato, tom-ah-to.

  26. Sportin' Life
    November 15th, 2005 @ 4:47 pm

    William Donahue is not a dangerous totalitarian bigot. He is a typical Boston Irishman.

    Tomato, tom-ah-to.

  27. The Raving Atheist
    November 15th, 2005 @ 7:04 pm

    Why don’t you atheists put your money where your mouth is? I don’t see anyone starting a collection to feed poor Kirby.

    How soon they forget. Dawn, don’t you remember how my generous my readers were to this atheist after she was persecuted by her school for protesting the hate-pledge?

  28. Sam Peabody
    November 15th, 2005 @ 8:07 pm

    By the way, Bentonville is in Arkansas. The postal abbreviation for Arizona is AZ NOT AR.
    Duh.

  29. Francois Tremblay
    November 15th, 2005 @ 10:24 pm

    What’s with the attack against consumeurism ? Does Raving Atheist have something against people buying things they want ? Or does he just want to slander Wal-Mart ?

  30. hermesten
    November 16th, 2005 @ 11:25 am

    Who in his right mind wouldn’t attack “consumerism?” Albert J. Nock attacked consumerism. Even right-wing Christians, free-market libertarians, and conservatives can be against materialism, not just lefties and communists. Buying what you want is one thing, but what intelligent human being, concerned with his humanity, wants to be reduced to an object of production and consumption?

    And what’s wrong with attacking Wal-Mart? Someone needs to do it. You don’t actually believe that Wal-Mart is some kind of “free-market” success story do you? Some people these days are making a pretty good case that in the long-run, Wal-Mart is bad for America.

  31. The Wrightwing
    November 18th, 2005 @ 9:31 pm

    Wal-mart christmas controversy

    This had me going for about two sentences:
    Facing a boycott launched by the Catholic League, Wal-Mart has retracted a series of malicious falsehood it had recently begun spreading regarding the origins of Christmas holiday traditions.

  32. Heil Mary
    November 21st, 2005 @ 7:23 pm

    You might appreciate my angry email to Catholic League: “I overheard on the radio that a family member of Wal-Mart’s fired Kirby would be getting an abortion due to Kirby’s loss of income. I haven’t been able to track this down, but I’m sure the legion of economic hardships caused by Catholic League’s notorious thin skin intolerance for other religions has caused many abortions in the past. Kirby was mostly correct in pointing out how Christianity has borrowed benign traditions from older religions. I hope he sues you for your Nazi contempt of the truth and his HUMAN RIGHTS! Victims of Catholic Church abuse are globally uniting for a UN truth commission on the church’s “prolife” PEDOPHILE ban on safe motherhood and 2,000 years of religious, ethnic, and gender cleansing. If you were truly Christian, instead of a Scrooge bloviator for mother killing pedophiles and looksist playboy wife dumpers like Deal Hudson, you would protest Wal-Mart’s abusive labor practices instead of its ecumenical holiday greetings. When the media tells the truth about anti-safe motherhood Paul VI’s deliberate funding of the Nazi Croatian Catholic Ustashi slaughter of 500,000 “infidel abortionist” Christian Orthodox Serbs, and about the smelly, often lethal, bladder and bowel childbirth tears (fistulas) that inspired phony misogynist clergy celibacy and Hudson’s adultery, nations will sensibly outlaw unchristian Catholicism. Forcing women into early graves so their orphans can be trafficked is satanic. Christ never condemned the RU-468-like Jerusalem weed his women followers harvested because it spared them the living death and shame of fistula divorces. Moreover, He saw how birth control foiled the evil designs of pedophiles. His Father put 450 contraceptive marriage-saving/pedophile-foiling plants on earth, including the coffee you serve in your office! By your own terms, you are an abortionist.”

  • Basic Assumptions

    First, there is a God.

    Continue Reading...

  • Search

  • Quote of the Day

    • Fifty Random Links

      See them all on the links page.

      • No Blogroll Links