Right-Wingers Won’t Shop The Gap Until Ads Spotlight Jesus

spring awakeningINTELLIGENCE GAP: The American Family Association has announced they will put their boycott of the Gap on hold for the weekend … because “a Gap official has reported to the pro-family group that it will unveil a new Christmas-themed commercial this weekend. “ Bet you didn’t even know this whole thing was happening to begin with, yeah?

Well, here’s how it started: On November 11th, the American Family Association announced a Gap Inc boycott because for years Gap has ignored the AFA’s request to reognize Christmas in its ads.

Last year, Gap issued this politically-correct statement to Christmas shoppers: “Gap recognizes that many traditions are celebrated throughout this season and we feel it is important to display holiday signage that is inclusive to everyone.”

Christmas is special because of Jesus. It’s not just a “winter holiday.” For millions of Americans the giving and receiving of gifts is in honor of the One who gave Himself. For the Gap to pretend that isn’t the foundation of the Christmas season is political correctness at best and religious bigotry at worst. The Gap is censoring the word Christmas, pure and simple.

“I interpret Gap’s decision as a warning sign to Christians to get out there and tell people about Jesus Christ,” writes the exec. assistant to the president of the AFA. That’s fucking scary.

However, as Dan Neil of the LA Times pointed out — they’re wrong! Gap does highlight Christmas, like all over its boxer shorts?

Anyhow, The Virgin Mary is such a f*cking stage Mom, it’d seem.

INTERN ARMIES: One area of the job market continues to boom — UNPAID INTERNSHIPS! That’s right, all ye ingrates, the unpaid internship market is a’flutter! In boom times, companies with too much work for existing employees — yet not enough work to justify another hire — may have turned to temporary workers. But with the economy still in the doldrums, companies again are opting for unpaid or low-paid internships to get the extra work done. The article cites a company that charges $799 to place clients in unpaid internships. ““A company gets as much from an intern as the intern gets from the company — if it’s a good internship.” (@nytimes)

146486_ca-glee_ALS_GLEE: Is Glee anti-Christian? This author heard her pastor say so and goes on to make a good case against him, by highlighting encouraging things like the episode where they all had to move around in wheelchairs. The fact that Glee is about a club full of misfits already makes it ripe gospel ground; Jesus was not likely to be sitting at the cool kids’ table in the cafeteria. (@time)

SAN FRANCISCO: Entertainment Commission Becomes Powerful Force: Terrance Alan, a member of San Francisco’s Entertainment Commission, was granted day-to-day control over “the rowdy popular clubs that, owners estimate, represent $1 billion of the city’s $8 billion in annual tourist revenue.” 57-year-old Mr. Alan’s resumè includes starring in low-budget gay porn, owning strip joints and teaching handicapped children. “Mr. Alan’s muscle is being viewed warily by many who wonder how the commission will use its new power.” (@nytimes)

SAME SEX MARRIAGE: In Australia, senator says Gay Marriage is Like Incest: “A bloke cannot marry his brother; it is not right,” Fielding is reported saying in The Age. “A woman cannot marry their sister; it is not right. A bloke cannot marry a bloke because it is not right, and a female cannot marry a female because it is not right. I don’t support this.” (@samesame)

SHOPPING: I used to wish my life was more like a J-Crew catalog but obviously I was confused about alot of  things back then. Dear Santa, have you seen the December JCrew? Have you ever tried this, St. Nick? Going out it lots of cute layers instead of a coat? Does it work for you? Really? Are you warm enough? Can you still move your arms? Huh. (@jezebel)

PUNKED: Sarah Palin gets totally punked by a Canadian comedian asking about socialized medicine and how to get health care out of Canada.

Riese is the 38-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2836 articles for us.

43 Comments

  1. I actually work for Gap Inc, and I got chewed out the other day by a customer. We now have Christmas music in our rotation, and some of it is semi religious, and feature the birth of Christ for our sins and other religious Christmas themes. One of the customers felt it was “too religious” and my manager and I got an earful. AFA can suck it.

    • Yeah I worked at Banana during the holiday season and there was, as I recall and will never forget as it is stuck in my head forever (along with the music I enjoyed for three years of waitressing at the macaroni grill during Christmas, when we were all required to wear Christmas-themed ties regardless of our religious affiliation), there was plenty of religious stuff up in there and on the shelves.

  2. Seeing as how I’m both gay and a Christian, I was a little disappointed in today’s post. And while I love love love Autostraddle and am in no way accusing, the tone of today’s post just made me a little sad. It seems like there is a lot of making fun of Jesus/Christianity and I hope that no religion (not just Christianity) or its leaders would be mocked. And I’m just throwing this out there: I don’t think there is anything wrong with telling people about Jesus. I wouldn’t feel offended if a person of another religion talked to me about their religion. If someone wanted to talk to me about Muhammad or anyone else I would be fine with that. I know that you guys were not intentionally bashing Christians or anything like that; however, I just feel like this post and some of the others regarding this particular religion are insensitive. I think there are some personal biases going on, and while I respect everyone’s right to disagree, I just didn’t expect it to show up as vividly in this publication. It is very hard to be gay in a Christian community, and sometimes I find it to be difficult to be Christian in the LGBT community. Much love to you guys, and I respect you; just wanted to share my feelings :)

    Also, not every Christian is right-winged, and not every right winger is Christian. Thanks for listening/reading!

    • from one gay christian to another, i didn’t get that impression from this post at all. if you’re reacting to the statement “that is fucking scary,” i read that as a reaction to the AFA’s weird logic leap from the gap’s statement of religious inclusivity (which wasn’t denying the religious significance of christmas to christians, just recognizing that different faiths celebrate during the holidays) to “christmas is about jesus though!” to “ignoring jesus means the gap is challenging us to tell people about jesus!” the fact that the author made that leap completely missed the point of the gap’s statement, which was not that christmas isn’t about jesus, but rather that not everyone celebrates christmas. being inclusive of all faiths doesn’t mean denying christianity, unless the person making that accusation assumes that christianity should be at the centre of everything. also that piece was directly followed by the piece about glee, which touched on a different, more inclusive interpretation of christianity.

      • I appreciate your comment, and I understand where you are coming from; however, I am entitled to disagree with you. There is no need to try and prove your case. I realize that I’m probably not the only Christian who reads autostraddle and that some would not be bothered by this article or other articles that might perhaps rub me the wrong way. As I stated before, I am not offended, I just felt the tone was insensitive. This has nothing to do with how I feel about the AFA or the Gap for that matter. In my opinion, Christmas is Christmas.. that is just what it is called, and to call it something besides its actual name is silly. If you want to make a commercial about Hanukkah or Kwanzaa as well, that is perfectly wonderful to me. I don’t think you have to go around screaming “Jesus is Lord” in every commercial I just think it is weird to not recognize a widely celebrated holiday by its actual name, but the AFA and the Gap were not even the issue to me. Saying things such as “the virgin Mary is such a f*cking stage mom” to me is insensitive, and I’m not even Catholic. And associating advocating the word Christmas, right wing conservatives, and Christianity is not necessarily a fair grouping. As I said, I don’t even care about the AFA and I love the gap, I just feel that sometimes Autostraddle writes in a way that could be considered insensitive to Christians, at least in my opinion. And it is just that… an opinion. There is no right or wrong here. I just wanted to share how I was feeling, but I understand and respect your point of view and appreciating you bringing your view to the mix.

        • The AFA is a right-wing, Christian organization. That’s what it is. That wasn’t a conclusion we drew. That’s how they identify. We know not all Christians are right-wing, obvs, I guess I assumed that was obvious. We have plenty of Christian readers and team members/interns.
          .
          I believe in G-d and I am religious. I think most of the gay, feminist, or liberal blogs I read all day are atheist in tone and I’ve always prided us on being more inclusive than that, a “safe space.” They express opinions about G-d I disagree with, but that’s fine, I appreciate the challenge and I also don’t identify with extremists so I don’t feel offended when extremists are addressed, I think extremists are funny. Comedy is rarely sensitive, but I do want AS to feel like a safe space for people of all faiths and therefore I am going to have to think about this a bit more before I respond in full.
          .
          But let me just say this: the G-d I believe in, and the Jesus I’ve read about and studied do not believe that faith should invest so heavily in the marketplace. The G-d I believe in doesn’t think Christmas is about socks, or whether or not a certain corporation acknowledges the birth of Christ when selling you its pea-coats. There’s so many other things worth focusing on & standing behind, rather than petulantly withholding our credit cards from a corporation for an ad campaign, especially when there’s many better reasons to withhold — like that many retailers rely on child labor in foreign countries to produce their wares.
          Extreme groups like this don’t do more middle or liberal Christians any favors with these sorts of distractions. The G-d I believe in is more concerned about charity, humility, and kindness during the holiday season, and would rather see organizations claiming to act in His name, or to preach in His name, to do so from a pure & charitable place which emphasizes sacrifice and togetherness, not a place so deeply vested in capitalism and the excessive commodification of the real joy & love that Christ’s birth, as I understand it, was intended to inspire.

          • look, like I said… I love autostraddle and I’m not offended. I don’t even want to get into all the capitalism/corporate/marketplace involvement in religion/holidays argument. I’m just saying that statements such as the one about the virgin mary being a fucking stage mom and the AFA being a stage mom to Jesus is IN MY OPINION insensitive. I’m not saying it’s fact or that anyone did anything wrong. If you don’t and if anyone else doesn’t agree, that is F-I-N-E. I totally get it, and I’m not asking you or anyone else to change anything. I have always appreciated that Autostraddle encourages people to share their feelings, and I thought that is exactly what I was doing; however, now it feels like their is an argument ensuing and that I am being discredited. I just wanted to throw out my singular humble opinion. I love you guys, really. I do think it’s silly to not call Christmas – Christmas. I recognize the complicated nature of Christmas as a result of different religious affiliations during this time. I celebrate Easter, and regardless of the commercialized nature of certain holidays, I recognize Easter as a religious holiday, and if someone was trying to change the name because they celebrated something different on Easter because they were not in fact Christian, I would acknowledge their right to do so, but I would expect that the name of the holiday not change for those of us who do. And although humor is not always sensitive, as you have stated, that doesn’t mean that something as meaningful as a person’s religion should be the butt of the joke. Not to mention, that if it were perhaps a different religion being poked fun at, I feel that certain respect and precautions would be extended that perhaps have not been here. I don’t want to argue about “the God I believe in”. I respect your right to believe in anything you want, and as I have repeatedly said, I have no problems and/or praise for either the Gap or the AFA. Nor do I fault Autostraddle in anyway.

          • I understand! we’re not upset! And i know that it’s just your feeling and i know that you still love us — YOU BETTER! but we don’t ask for your feelings so they can exist in a vacuum, we like feelings ’cause then we can all talk it out. I’m attempting to clarify b/c I feel that this AFA story isn’t necessarily one that deserves our sensitivity, and I want to be sure that we’re clear here so that you know where we were coming from when we wrote this.
            .
            It is my personal policy to not take shots at Christianity on the whole, and I never have. But we will criticize — and yes, make fun of — extremist groups on Autostraddle and I want to be sure that you know, and that any Christian reading this knows, that we’re not taking a shot at you or your beliefs. Not at all. So basically I am defending us by attempting to explain that what we are making fun of here has nothing to do with your beliefs, does that make sense?
            .
            The American Family Association’s goal is to eliminate the distinction between church and state and to “motivate and equip citizens to reform our culture to reflect Biblical truth on which it was founded. We believe that God has communicated absolute truth to man through nature and the Bible, and that all men everywhere and at all times are subject to His authority. Therefore, a culture based on Biblical truth best serves the well-being of our country as evidenced by the vision of our forefathers as set forth in the Declaration of Independence.”
            .
            This matters because these are our rights on the line. And i think it’s especially important for gay Christians to make a distinction between their faith and groups that use this faith to promote hatred and encourage bigotry. I’m all for “each to his own,” but the AFA isn’t. They want to impose their beliefs upon everyone, and we can’t stand for it.
            .
            The AFA is leading a campaign against the hate crimes bill, which it calls the “thought crimes” bill.
            .
            Opposes the Employee Non-Discrimination Act.
            .
            The AFA spoke out against Obama’s HRC speech.
            .
            The AFA is currently pouring money and resources into researching “gay agenda” friendly companies and is currently boycotting:
            – Pepsi for featuring a gay character in a UK commercial.
            – Ford for “sponsoring the most homosexuality on TV,” by advertising on “shows that were most supportive of the homosexual lifestyle – such as Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and Ugly Betty on ABC; and ER and The Office on NBC.”

            I could keep going but this website is making me insane! so i have to stop. but do you know what i mean? or no. it’s okay. We can hug later in emoticons.
            .
            Manilalaaaa puddddngngggggggg

          • aw, group hug. Yes, that does make sense. And thank you for clarifying. I want to be clear that I do not support the AFA.

            The statement you highlighted gives me emotional indigestion. I do agree with them regarding absolute truth. I do believe that there is a definitive right and wrong; however, I believe that my conscience plays as much a role in my differentiating right and wrong as does the Bible. I read the Bible and I believe the Bible, but where I believe the AFA is making a HUGE mistake is that there are different interpretations of the Bible. Of course I think the AFA’s stance is ridiculous on ENDA and the hate crimes bill, and it is even more disheartening that they use the Bible to back and fuel their hatred. I guess that is what can be so hurtful to me. The Bible is so often used to defend hatred (especially towards the LGBT community) and the Christians who do this have created this stereotype that hurts the rest of the Christians who are in no way like this. I understand the gay community has been severely abused by these hateful views and it devastates me that it is being done in the name of someone and something that is so important to me and so opposite to that kind of bigotry. I guess it’s just hard to find the line between being rightfully defensive and overly sensitive because it is difficult to be a gay Christian because of the stereotypes that anti-gay Christians have provoked.

            In my experience, It is just so often that a gay person has to defend homosexuality in the face of religion and likewise that Christians end up needing to defend a religion that supposedly condemns their homosexuality. I don’t blame people for being wary of Christians as a result of the discrimination they have endured at the hands of the extremists. I guess, sometimes I just feel like the rest of the Christians out there end up paying the price is all. And I still think it’s silly to not call Christmas.. Christmas, but thank you for your respectful comments and for the intelligent discussion. AS + MP = BFF (not in a creepy way).

        • oh, i wasn’t trying to prove you wrong, manilla, i was just offering my own reading of the piece. not because i think you’re wrong, just because i do think that the autostraddle writers generally try to be as respectful and inclusive as possible. i actually recall writing a similar comment to yours recently (about not all christians being right-wing conservatives, etc.), because sometimes it seems like the only side of christianity that makes the news is the crazy side.

          • How do we change that? We’re sort of the messenger here, so maybe we need new delivery-people? i’m definitely open to it, if anyone wants to give us info or write us a story about positive things that are happening locally with churches w/r/t sex ed, women’s rights, same-sex civil rights/inclusion, etc. in their religious communities. We report on all the positive stuff that we get, but with the crazy side leading the fight against our civil rights in the US, those stories to tend to pop up on our radar more often.
            .
            So suggestions for other stories we could tell are welcome. :-)

          • I would be more than happy to look into doing something like that, although I think you guys pretty much “have your finger in the v-hole” of women’s rights as Liz Feldman would say. Honestly I think the best way to change things is person to person. While I think media is a great way to enlighten, I believe personal relationships are the best way to confront stereotypes.

            I went to Christian college and almost got kicked out for causing a big ole gay stir because I would write papers on the psychological damage of the ex-gay movement and when given free topic for speeches would try to confront certain beliefs by arguing a Biblical basis for marriage equality or debunk the Bible’s so-called condemnation of homosexuality. (Meanwhile, I tried to do this while staying in the closet HA! because I would have been expelled) Anyway, I almost got expelled but you wouldn’t believe the joy I got when a few people would talk to me after class about how they had never thought about homosexuality from that point of view before, or they would admit that they couldn’t believe how little they had actually known about what the Bible does and DOESN’T say about it. Some even would start crying and come out to me and tell me how difficult their experience had been at this particular university. The majority of the responses were extremely hateful, but nothing compares to the conversations I had when people would tell me that what I had done had made them change their mind about the gays or had at least confronted some stereotypes.

            Person to person. Also, it is only a matter of time until generations that have certain beliefs engrained into their psyche die off and the fewer people there will be who will try to indoctrinate kids at a young age.

          • I feel like in Canada there’s way less religious tension, but here’s a link to a site which promotes open dialogue in Christianity. It’s from the United Church of Canada, but since it’s online I’m sure there’s people from the states who take part:

            http://www.wondercafe.ca

            I can’t remember at all where I heard this idea but it stuck out in my mind: The reason that there are stereotypes about certain religions/groups/etc. are because from every demographic there will be extremists. And the thing about extremists is that they’re EXTREME, so you’ll hear what they’re saying.

            So even as someone who’s not sure where they fit in with religion: I know that there’s alot of common sense and good initiative in religous communities, it’s just the people who use religion as a tool for their fucked up agendas who stand out (ie. AFA, Fred Phelps, Islamic terrorists, etc.)

            This is a little deep for my pre-drinking sesh so I’m going to head out now.

    • you know what’s funny? when i read this daily fix the first time, i thought, UGHHHHhhhh WHY DO WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT JESUS SO MUCH / ENOUGH ALREADY! b/c i’m an atheist and sometimes i just get sick to death of having to read about/hear about religion everywhere i go whaaaaaaaa. but then i went back and read it again and realized there were only two jesus stories in the whole fix, so i decided i’d overreacted and then i made dinner.

      what i’m trying to say is, we’re all such unique little snowflakes! one person’s ‘insensitive statement abt the virgin mary’ is another person’s ‘omg who cares stop talking about jesus’. the way we see the world is so special and different, isn’t it? i just love us all so much!

      i’m glad you guys got this all straightened out, btw. and speaking of The Gap, i need some new lounge pants like whoa.

  3. omg, mary walsh! when i was working at a magazine store in montreal a few years ago, she came in with this 20-something kid with long blond dreadlocks, and i knew it was her just from the sound of her voice! then she came to the cash and i was like (inwardly) omg, it’s marg delahunty. and that’s when i knew i was gay. just kidding – that’s just the first close encounter i’d ever had with a celebrity. well, canadian celebrity.

  4. the australian senator steve fielding is the only representative of the family first party, so that’s really all you need to know about that. he is totally irrelevant and the only reason why he gets any airtime is because the previous conservative government used to court him for his vote on seminal issues such as alcopop taxes or whatever. now he just busts out with brainwashed drivel, clearly.
    ..
    that whole GAP thing is infuriating to me. so much as political correctness can be annoying, surely accusing a company of being too politically correct is really going to get you places? so stupid.

    • Sorry, but i have to disagree with you about Steve Fielding. Yes, he is a total crackpot, but he holds the balance of power in the senate, making him quite important to parliamentary process. Also, lets not forget the woman campaigning for Family First who said that lesbians must be burnt at the stake. Family First opposes legal recognition for same-sex couples, access to adoption and IVF, as thinks women should get out of the workforce and back in the home. I agree that alot of people don’t take Steve Fielding very seriously, but the man has considerable power in the senate, and shouldn’t be dismissed so lightly, much as is would be nice to.

  5. Hi! I hope posting this doesn’t bother anyone/step over boundaries. Just figured I’d throw in some Old Testament, cause all the Bible talk. Spread some queer-cheer this time-a year. I always enjoy making my own interpretations, if yaknowwhatimean:
    —–
    “The soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his amour, and even his sword and his bow and his belt…”

  6. I recently saw an excellent documentary called Fish Out Of Water that is about LGBT faith, and I highly recommend it to anyone/everyone. It basically uses arguments and explanations from priest/preachers to help debunk the notions that the Bible condemns homosexuality, and it is filled with personal interviews on the subject. The creators of the movie are from Chicago, but soon they are taking it on the road, to colleges, town halls, etc. in places that don’t get film festivals (I saw it at the Reeling, the Chicago International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival) to show for free! The website is http://www.fishoutofwaterfilm.com/ and you can see when and where it is playing, sign up to buy the dvd, contact them to try and arrange a showing in your area, etc. They do have some money because they got some backing from Showtime, but not a lot, so it’s mostly grassroots

  7. I like socks from the Gap and Autostraddle and blonde, bourbon soaked gnomes (though I’ve never met one – I’m sure they are lovely). Also, I have to be honest…right wing Christians really scare me.

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