Christmas Wars Prove Lucrative Fundraising Opportunity for Advocacy Groups
For Conservative Christian groups, this year's hot gift is a weapon for fighting back in the "War on Christmas," be it a button, a bumper sticker or a memo with advice to the troops.
The Mississippi-based American Family Association says it has sold more than 500,000 buttons and 125,000 bumper stickers bearing the slogan "Merry Christmas: It's Worth Saying."
The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal aid group that boasts a network of some 900 lawyers standing ready to "defend Christmas," says it has moved about 20,000 "Christmas packs." The packs, available for a suggested $29 donation, include a three-page legal memo and two lapel pins.
And Liberty Counsel, a conservative law firm affiliated with the Rev. Jerry Falwell, says it has distributed for free 16,000 legal memos on celebrating Christmas.
Leaders say demand for the goods—which are pitched online and through e-mail to supporters—is driven by what they view as a coordinated effort to secularize Christmas.
Alliance Defense Fund, American Family Association, James Dobson's Colorado-based Focus on the Family, and Concerned Women for America have banded together for a 2006 Christmas Project. Chief on its agenda is a list of "nice" retailers that use the word "Christmas" in their stores and catalogues and "naughty" ones that do not.
"It's a way to fight back against the secular progressives and promote the real meaning of Christmas," said Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association. "They make a statement to anyone who looks at them and reads them that the person wearing them wants to keep Christ in Christmas."
Because public debates over decorations and celebrations attract media attention, Christmas is a good time for Christian advocacy groups to ...