Sunday, March 9, 2014

The southern Ontario animal rights community has a new scapegoat

Last summer, the southern Ontario animal rights community was rocked by serious accusations against one of our own. This man was accused of serious crimes, including rape; if this is indeed the case, the crime(s) should be reported to the authorities to be investigated, tried, and punished. Instead, a small group of activists appointed themselves judge and jury, deciding behind closed doors that this man must be guilty and should be ostracized; they responded with fury to requests that the police be notified, and were unwilling to explain how they determined this man's guilt.

Now, something similar is happening, although the accused and possibly the accusers this time are different people.
A person (or group of people) has organized an online cyberbullying campaign against another local animal rights activist. These people are arguing that since this activist has made videos and online comments about sex that they disapprove of, he should be banned from all animal rights activism.

First they started a Facebook group, ostensibly to “out” vegans who have done bad things, but which is focused almost exclusively on this one person. Now they have started a petition to have Vegan Outreach ban this activist from distributing their leaflets.

Now, I am not one of these people who thinks that all animal rights activists have to agree with each other and we should never criticize another activist. I became involved in animal rights to help animals, not animal rights activists, and if someone is promoting something that harms animals, such as so-called “humane meat”, I will certainly call them out on it even if they self-identify as an animal rights activist. I think it is important to discuss which strategies are most effective.

However, this campaign against this one man has gone far beyond a healthy discussion.

  • They demanded he remove all the Facebook posts and videos they disapproved of, yet when he did delete some of them, they reposted screenshots they had taken of them. If these people are concerned about his videos and posts turning away non-vegans, why are they archiving and reposting them?
  • They repeatedly make false, indeed libellous, accusations that this man is a pedophile, promotes bestiality, and thinks it's okay to murder people, despite the fact that he has repeatedly explicitly said that he is opposed to all of these. Although this activist is an atheist, he seems to subscribe to a “hate the sin, love the sinner” philosophy, which these people are sadly twisting. In their paranoia, they interpret a brief childhood experiment, quickly ended and regretted, as a sign of lifelong deviance which can never ever be forgiven (the experiment was one many people have probably attempted and harmed no one). One video, which explained that masturbation is normal and okay, is being misrepresented as being an attempt to “teach children to masturbate” (as if they need to be taught); the activist removed the video after people said that this material should be left to professional sex educators, but the haters keep their distorted interpretation alive online.
  • They make personal attacks based on his age and employment history (he devotes most of his time to unpaid activism), which have nothing to do with improving his activist work.
  • When this activist apologizes (sometimes unnecessarily, I think), they refuse to accept his apologies. It is clear there is nothing he can say or do that will end their campaign; they just want to vent their hate and ostracize him.
  • Now they are trying to stop him from distributing Vegan Outreach leaflets. This doesn't make sense, unless their goal is to dramatically reduce the number of people reading VO leaflets (but then why just target this one person?).

The irony is this one activist is one of the most prolific Vegan Outreach leafletters, and has probably done more to help animals than all his critics combined.

It seems to me that this campaign is not motivated by a sincere desire to help animals, since just about anything you could do would help more animals than spending hours obsessing over one activist. Might I suggest donating to a sanctuary, such as Cedar Row, or distributing leaflets from Vegan Outreach or another animal advocacy group, or organizing an information table in your community, or protesting against a practice which actually harms animals, such as meat eating. I think rather it is either the result of some kind of personal grudge against the activist, or due to general anxiety about sex. Lots of people are uncomfortable talking about sex and that's fine, but the rest of us aren't. You have no right to censor everyone to try to make us conform to your vision of sexuality (or asexuality, perhaps), especially when you can very easily ignore this one activist's postings and videos about sex by not following him on Facebook, and not watching his videos (the ones about sex are easily identified by their titles).

Some of the critics may be survivors of sexual abuse who find discussions of sex triggering. I would encourage anyone in this category to get help in overcoming the trauma you have experienced. I am sorry that you suffered abuse, however campaigning against an innocent man will not help anyone.

As for the activist involved, I think he should stop apologizing in cases where he has done nothing wrong, block commenters who are unreasonable and abusive, and get back to his activism and art. (Also if he ever wants a new career he could consider training as a sex educator, since he is one of a very small proportion of the population who is comfortable with public speaking and is comfortable talking about sex.)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

West Hollywood bans the sale of fur. So?

Yesterday West Hollywood's "fur ban" went into effect, to the delight of some animal advocates. However, a closer look at the "fur ban" shows that it's not such a big deal.

The "ban" means that wearing apparel made from animal skins with the fur, wool, or hair still attached cannot be sold in West Hollywood.

Other items made from fur which are not used for wearing apparel are not banned.

Animal skins from which the hair has been removed (i.e. leather, suede) are not banned.

People in West Hollywood are still allowed to wear fur, they just can't sell it.

Retailers who disregard the ban will have to pay a small fine ($250 to $850).

Really, this "ban" is so narrow in its reach I am reminded of Gary Francione's satirical "No Factory-Farmed Small Fish Friday".

So, how is this a win for animals? Will the number of animals killed be affected at all?

At best, some retailers who sell fur will have to relocate their businesses—although some may decide they'd rather pay the fines.

People in West Hollywood who want to buy fur can easily do so, by travelling to a neighbouring city or by shopping onine, although I wonder how much of a demand for fur clothing there ever was in West Hollywood, when they never have snow and their average January low is a mild 9°C.

West Hollywood City Council says on their page about the ban that the ban will "raise awareness" about cruelty to animals and is consistent with their "reputation as a Cruelty Free Zone for animals".

To me, this ordinance is just a way for people in West Hollywood to feel good about being allegedly cruelty free, without having to make any of the significant lifestyle changes (i.e., becoming vegan) that truly being cruelty free would involve. I don't oppose the fur "ban", but I do think it is too narrow in scope to be worth celebrating. I also wonder how much money Last Chance for Animals spent on this campaign, and how many animals could have been saved by putting that money into vegan advocacy, or an animal sanctuary?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"Accountability" continued: the fundamental flaw?

I've been doing a lot of thinking since I wrote about an accountability process a few days ago, and I think I may have figured out the fundamental difficulty: the process is attempting to do two important, necessary, and worthwhile, but sometimes contradictory things, i.e.

  • Provide support to people who have survived sexual assault.
  • Investigate and punish sexual assault.

There is some overlap, obviously, between the two, but other cases where what is most supportive for the survivor is not what is needed to investigate the crime and determine a fair consequence.

Supporting survivors

In supporting survivors, we should listen nonjudgementally, and let them decide how much they are comfortable disclosing. Having already suffered a terrible violation, the last thing they need is someone else telling them what to do, or indeed pressuring them to do anything. It is essential that survivors be able to decide for themselves who they want to tell, and how much they want to tell.

In particular, supporters should avoid saying anything that implies that the survivor somehow caused or should have been able to stop the assault. Rape is always wrong, no matter where it happens, what the victim was wearing (or not wearing), how much the victim was drinking, what the victim's sexual history was, etc.

In supporting survivors, we believe their stories, however much or little they choose to tell. We do not ask the assailant for their side of the story.

It should always be the survivors' decision if they want to pursue charges or not. Supporters should accept the survivors' preferences.

Investigating and punishing sexual assault

In investigating an assault, however, it is necessary to ask survivors to relate their experiences in detail, regardless of the survivors' feelings. Some survivors may want and need to tell their story, but others will want to try not to think about it. Even those who do want to talk about it would probably rather discuss it with a trusted family member, friend, or therapist, rather than an unfamiliar police officer. Because a successful investigation relies on as much information as possible, investigators will have to ask many intrusive, detailed, deeply personal questions of the survivor.

As part of an investigation, it is also helpful, sometimes crucial, for survivors to have a medical examination in which medical professionals may examine all areas of the body for signs of injury (if any), and collect any traces the assailant may have left—bodily fluids, hair, skin cells, etc. This information can be crucial in identifying the assailant and in proving that the assault took place. Even with the most sensitive and caring medical professionals, this is likely to be a stressful process. Survivors may also have to report any consensual sexual encounters they had recently, so that traces left behind from those will not be confused with traces from the assailant. This results in further loss of privacy.

If a possible assailant is identified, the investigators will have to question that person as well. If the accused proclaims innocence, this could lead to further questioning of the victim to determine whose version of events is consistent with the evidence. This further questioning, and knowing that the person who assaulted them (or whom they believe assaulted them) is denying the crime, and possibly accusing them of lying or worse, is a further source of stress.

Only after a thorough investigation is conducted, however, can a just punishment be determined. A fair punishment considers not only the impact of the assault on the victim, but any factors affecting the assailant's behaviour and potential for rehabilitation.

The accountability process

In supporting survivors, a noble and essential task, it becomes impossible to conduct a thorough investigation. It also becomes impossible to determine a fair punishment for the crime. This, I believe, is the fatal flaw in CARA's proposed accountability process; it attempts to perform two different and incompatible tasks.

As activist groups, we can and should support survivors but we are not qualified to investigate and punish crimes. Attempting to investigate an assault can undermine our support of a survivor. Without an investigation, we cannot determine a fair punishment, and because of the seriousness of rape and other sexual assault, punishments that fit the crime are impossible for activist groups to (legally) implement.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A critical look at an "accountability process"

Recently, the "accountability team" of a local-ish animal rights group has caused weeks of havoc over their attempts to punish a local activist whom they claim is guilty of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. Other than claiming that a dozen women have come forward (to the animal rights group, not the police), they give no evidence for the alleged crimes. This activist, an intelligent and dedicated man who has volunteered hundreds if not thousands of hours over the last 10 years for the animals, is now being ostracized, and anyone who asks about the unknown process by which his alleged guilt was determined is accused of not caring about the unidentified "survivors" and women's safety.

Since this group has not been at all transparent about their approach, I did research online in an attempt to learn about "accountability processes", and discovered taking risks: implementing grassroots accountability strategies1 by Alisa Bierria, Onion Carillo, Eboni Colbert, Xandra Ibarra, Theryn Kigmavasud'Vashi, and Shale Maulana. I don't know if the local group used this approach or not, but since a number of activist organizations have linked to this paper some people are doing this so I think it is worth a look at the benefits and risks of this approach.

Bierria et al claim (without giving evidence) that the notion that survivors of sexual assault need professional assistance from trained professionals such as law enforcement and medical staff is somehow alienating to survivors of assault. Instead they advocate relying on family and friends. Obviously the support of family and friends is wonderful (if you have it), but can your family and friends collect and analyze a rapist's DNA to conclusively identify him? Are they qualified to advise on the risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases? Can they treat serious injuries? Do they know the nuances of the legal system so that the survivor can decide about pressing charges? Are they trained psychotherapists with experience helping survivors heal from trauma?

Contrary to Bierria et al, I think that qualified professional help is essential to anyone who has suffered a serious crime. I believe that it trivializes the seriousness of rape and other forms of sexual assault to claim that merely getting the support of family and friends is sufficient. Even if these informal supporters do have the specialized knowledge to be helpful, they are unable to prevent the perpetrator from committing future crimes against other people.

CARA's accountability principles

1. Recognize the humanity of everyone involved.

They urge that while the process may be angry and confrontational to the "aggressor" (as they call the accused) it should not be dehumanizing. It's not clear to me what the hell they mean by this, especially when as will be clear they do not allow accused people any opportunity to respond to accusations apart from admitting guilt and complying with demands. Their language ("aggressor" rather than "accused") shows a presumption of guilt.

2. Prioritize the self-determination of the survivor

While survivors do need and deserve our support, putting them in charge of deciding what is a fair process and what the outcome should be creates a system which is highly vulnerable to abuse.

A popular statistic is that only x% of rape accusations are false, where x is very low. However this statistic (which is impossible to accurately determine) refers to the proportion of rapes reported to police which are false. Reporting a rape to police is incredibly stressful, as the survivor will have to recount all the horrible details of what happened to strangers, who to do their jobs must ask all kinds of detailed questions as part of their investigation. (Also, some police offers are jerks who imply that the victim did something to cause the crime, which is a terrible thing to do to anyone. Only rapists are responsible for rape.) Because of this, and because false claims to police will result in legal penalties, almost no one will falsely report a rape to the police.

However, under this "accountability" principle, there is no disincentive to stop people from falsely reporting rape (except their own consciences). In the accountability system, the accuser need not go into detail about what happened or provide any evidence at all, and the accuser gets to decide what the punishment will be. So while well intentioned, this system is vulnerable to abuse by people who want to hurt others with false accusations.

3. Identify a simultaneous plan for safety and support for the survivor as well as others in the community

Once again, this section assumes that the accused is guilty. The focus is on planning responses to defend against the "aggressor" or "abuser", with some mention also of providing emotional support to the accuser and any other survivors in the abuse, who may be triggered by the process. A glaring omission is that these principles provide zero protection for anyone who may be falsely accused.

4. Carefully consider the potential consequences of your strategy

Some consequences mentioned are risks to the safety and privacy of the "survivor" and organizers, threats to the "aggressor", providing the "aggressor" with a platform to "justify the abusive behavior [sic]". Again, the assumption of guilt. Also, the idea that people accused of wrongdoing have no right to give their side of the story.

5. Organize collectively

Bierria et al say that having a group of people working on the process will improve thinking as more people's experiences and perspectives can be involved, and will prevent burnout. Seems reasonable, but there is a risk that the group will be dominated by unqualified or biased people.

6. Make sure everyone in the accountability-seeking group is on the same page with their political analysis of sexual violence

So much for drawing on a variety of perspectives. People who seek some kind of evidence for the accusations are to be excluded. The legal principle of "Innocent until proven guilty" is explicitly rejected.

Also, Bierria et al's understanding of rape and other sexual violence seems to assume that only women are victims.

7. Be clear and specific about what your group wants from the aggressor in terms of accountability

Bierria et al state that the "aggressor" should be given an opportunity for "redemption" even though the rage of the accuser and allies may make them want to inflict long-term suffering. Suggestions include counselling for the accused, an admission of guilt, a public or private apology, and restrictions on the accused's involvement in the group.

While redemption is better than eternal punishment, again it is assumed that the accused is guilty and must acquiesce to the accuser(s)' demands.

8. Let the aggressor know your analysis and your demands

Again, the assumption of guilt and the bias which allows no response from the accused other than what the accuser's demand. They say that "[p]ublic shaming may be a tool that makes sense for your group" but is not enough to hold the accused accountable. I agree that if the crime actually took place, there should be serious legal consequences, but of course this is not what Bierria et al mean.

9. Consider help from the aggressor's friends, family, and people close to her [sic]

Again the assumption of guilt. While accusers are entitled to the support of family and friends, people who have been accused (perhaps falsely) can expect attempts to turn their families and friends against them, to increase pressure to comply with the accusers' demands.

10. Prepare to be engaged in the process for the long haul

Even if the accused complies with all the demands, the accusers are counselled to "arrange for long term follow through to decrease the chances of future relapse". What this means and how people who may have no knowledge of rehabilitating criminals can do this is not explained. And again, the accused is assumed guilty and punishment will continue even if all the groups' demands are met.


Bierria et al say that any criticism of the process should not be considered seriously as it is just a manifestation of rape culture (as if there is no possibility of an accountability group doing something wrong).

Bierria et al then give three examples of communities responding to "sexual violence" with accountability processes.

Accountability scenarios

Scenario 1

Dan was an anti-racism activist, who was well-known and popular. Four young women came to CARA with complaints about him. The incidents which they described as "sexual harassment" were:

  • Dan took people whom he mentored to strip clubs.
  • Dan asked drunk young women whom he mentored to have sex.
  • Dan had conversations in the organizing space about the size of women's genitals and how it relates to their ethnicity.

In the workplace, the second would be considered sexual harassment, the first and third are ambiguous (in the workplace).

However, volunteer activist groups are not workplaces. Activists don't have to worry about losing their source of income if they refuse to have sex with someone, even a mentor, or if they object to certain topics of discussion. While employees cannot freely consent to sex or sexual discussions with an employer, activist groups are more like friends with common interests working toward a shared goal. Many people will get involved in activism partly as a way of meeting compatible partners, so asking another activist to have sex is not inappropriate unless they are underage or either person is in a monogamous relationship. Also, many people are comfortable with going to strip clubs and talking about sexual subjects with their friends.

There is no indication that Dan coerced anyone into going to a strip club or having sex, or that he continued sexual discussions after being asked to stop. If no one had objected to any of this, he probably assumed that the group he was working with shared a sex-positive culture which respects the sexual rights and freedoms of consenting adults.

Some people are uncomfortable with talking about sex, and that is certainly their right and one possible valid perspective. However, it is not reasonable for them to assume that everyone shares or should share their values. They certainly have the right to speak up, to say "I don't want to go there", "I don't want to have sex with you", "I don't want to talk about that." But only if the unwanted behaviour continued after they communicated their feelings would it constitute harassment.

As sex therapist Marty Klein writes, unwanted sexual attention is not sexual harassment.2 "[I]f the recipient of a non-pressuring, non-institutional, friendly OR clueless sexual invitation isn’t grown up enough, she (or he) will feel assaulted." However, feeling uncomfortable or offended does not mean anyone has done anything wrong. Adults make sexual invitations to other adults all the time; if we didn't, everyone would be celibate and humans would go extinct. No one can predict with certainty who will accept or reject an invitation. Occasionally getting unwanted advances in a social setting is just part of life, but it is not harassment unless it persists after they have been clearly rejected.

However, Bierria et al do not agree with me. They and the accusers insisted that Dan was guilty of "serious" sexual harassment. People who disagreed with them were accusing of discrediting women and being unsupportive. CARA decided that it was unsafe for Dan to work with young people. (The description of the alleged harassment does not mention the ages of the people involved.)

While many disagreed with CARA's claims that Dan's behaviour was "sexualized violence", they continued to influence group members and eventually Dan resigned from his mentorship rôle as a mentor.

Bierria et al bemoan that he still has not been held accountable, even though they got their demand that he no longer work with young people. They may be examples of absexuals, from the prefix "ab-" meaning "away from". Absexuals are people who seek to impose their vision of correct sexuality on others. As Carol Queen writes, "The crusading absexuals are fundamentally nonconsensual, for their goal is to impose their standards of sexuality on the rest of society."3

It is ironic that some progressives who are vocal in their opposition to homophobic absexuals don't recognize that their own condemnation of the sexual preferences of other consenting adults is the same phenomenon.

Scenario 2

A man called Lou was said to have sexually assaulted two women, encouraging them to get drunk and then forcing them to have sex against their will. If this happened, it was clearly rape and should have been reported to the police.

Instead, one of the accusers and her friends confronted Lou. He initially apologized, but later backtracked and justified his actions. A local alternative music group responded by creating posters naming Lou, repeating their accusations, criticizing a local paper for glamourizing the excessive drinking at Lou's parties, and calling for a boycott of the club where Lou worked.

Lou responded by threatening to sue for libel. The group wasn't expecting this (what were they expecting, realistically?) but continued organizing anonymously.

The group prepared a statement stating their beliefs that the legal system is not an effective source of justice and demanding that that the accused make a public apology (again the assumption of guilt), get counselling, and inform all future partners and friends about his alleged crimes.

Despite his threats, Lou did not actually sue the group. He ignored them until a boycott of the club he worked at began to be effective. He then asked the group to enter into mediation with him. The group refused, they were convinced of their analysis and inflexible on their demands. They were not able to agree to a meeting.

Ultimately the group gave up on Lou and directed their efforts to raising awareness about sexual violence. This is important and worthwhile work, but if Lou actually is a rapist he is still at large and free to assault other women.

I don't see how this outcome can be considered better than having Lou legally charged with rape.

Scenario 3

A young woman reported that while out of town at a conference she was sexually assaulted by Juan, another man in the same Chicano activist group as her. Other women also said they were sexually assaulted by Juan. (The nature of the assault is not specified.)

They told the leaders of their activist group. The leaders talked to Juan but he faced no real consequences.

Their community had had problems with the police so they did not trust the criminal justice system. Instead the women asked that Juan no longer hold leadership positions, that he get counselling, and that the organization give workshops on ending sexualized violence. All of their demands were met within two months.


In their conclusions, Bierria et al affirm that because victims of violence often come from people who routinely experience discrimination (women, people of colour, people with disabilities, queers, and young people), CARA leans towards believing every report of sexual abuse.

Bierria et al claim that their approach to responding to (accusations of) sexualized violence will cause "upheaval and hurt" but is also "vital, deeply liberatory, meaningful, and movement building." Ironically, they feel their approach which assumes the accused's guilt is more just than the legal system, in which all evidence is (ideally) considered by impartial third parties.

To me, it seems more likely that this kind of biased approach, which is vulnerable to exploitation by false accusers, doesn't build communities, it divides them. And any system in which the guilt of the accused is assumed based on a pro-survivor philosophy rather than determined through objective examination of the facts cannot lead to justice.


  1. Bierria, Alisa, Onion Carillo, Eboni Colbert, Xandra Ibarra, Theryn Kigmavasud'Vashi, and Shale Maulana, who are a collective of women of colour from CARA (Communities Against Rape and Abuse). "taking risks: implementing grassroots accountability strategies". Retrieved from http://www.transformativejustice.eu/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Taking-Risks.-CARA.pdf on September 7, 2013.
  2. Klein, Marty. "Sexual Harassment or Unwanted Sexual Attention?" in the Sexual Intelligence blog, retrieved from http://sexualintelligence.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/sexual-harassment-or-unwanted-sexual-attention/ on September 7, 2013.
  3. Queen, Carol. "Dirty Pictures, Heavy Breathing, Moral Outrage and the New Absexuality", pp. 30-38. (Quote on p. 38). In Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture. Pittsburgh: Cleis Press, 2002.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Anorexia, orthorexia, and raw-foodism--connected?

The DSM-5 is changing the diagnostic criteria for eating disorders (ED). Amenorrhea is no longer required as there are many exceptions among ED women, and this criterion is useless for assessing males. The focus is now on behaviour which results in being significantly underweight, rather than a deliberate attempt to lose weight or fear of being fat.

I think this means that some people with "orthorexia", a term coined by Steven Bratman for people who are so preoccupied with "healthy" eating that it interferes with their lives, could now be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa if they are significantly underweight.

For example, Kate Finn died of malnutrition eating an inadequate raw foods diet.

Finn described feeling that she needed to go on "cleansing" diets and even fasts although she was seriously underweight.

In people with a genetic predisposition, starvation makes them feel more alert and energetic. While everyone around them can see they are disturbingly thin, they feel perfectly healthy. Thus well-meaning attempts to improve health through low calorie diets or fasting can actually trigger anorexia. Unfortunately part of the nature of the illness is not recognizing it is an illness.

One study found that 30% of raw foodist women suffer from amenorrhea (they stop menstruating). The researchers concluded "The consumption of a raw food diet is associated with a high loss of body weight. Since many raw food dieters exhibited underweight and amenorrhea, a very strict raw food diet cannot be recommended on a long-term basis." While some raw foodists are concerned about their weight loss and amenorrhea, others are deeply in denial, even insisting that menstruation is a sign of ill health.

I'm posting this not to criticize anyone, but because it saddens me that some good people in the vegan community seem to be endangering their health.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What does this poster mean?

[Photo: poster reads: JOIN LIAR-MEDIA-4-HARPER! Happy Twin Towers Day 911 FUN CELEBRATE Fascism's VICTORY OVER LIBERALsm [sic]... HItLER WIN WW2 FINALLY! SLAVERY FOR ALL! ENJOY]Saw this weird poster on the Danforth near Coxwell. Click to enlarge, or mouse over to read text. What does it mean? Ideas, anyone?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

American Family Association demands special treatment for Christians

The American Family Association is planning a boycott of a major retailer in the US which does not use the word "Christmas" in their displays during the holiday season.

For some reason the action alert they emailed is not posted on their site, so I'm reproducing it here:

Would you be willing to boycott stores that refuse to use the word 'Christmas'?

AFA will call for a boycott of a national retailer this Christmas

October 9, 2009

Dear ##my#name###,

Christians celebrate Christmas as the birthday of Christ. It's a federal holiday and has always held a special place in the hearts of Americans. Yet there are those companies which feel that a public recognition of the birthday of Christ is not appropriate. Why? Because a few people may be offended!

In early November, AFA will choose at least one national retailer and ask you to boycott it until it begins recognizing Christmas in its "holiday" advertising. Will you let us know you will support our efforts by participating in the boycott?

Would you be willing to boycott retailers which refuse to allow the word Christmas to be displayed in their stores? Give us your answer.

Take Action!

Would you be willing to boycott stores which refuse to allow the word Christmas to be displayed in their stores?

Click Here to take our online poll now!

Christians can take a stand and proclaim to our communities that Christmas is not just a winter holiday focused on materialism, but a "holy day" when we celebrate the birth of our Savior. We can do it in a gentle and effective way by wearing the "God's Gift - Merry Christmas" button.

Thank you for caring enough to get involved. If you feel our efforts are worthy of support, would you consider making a small tax-deductible contribution to help us continue?

Sincerely,

Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association

Poor oppressed Christians. How horrible that stores selling products for people of many different beliefs are choosing inclusive "holiday" displays, which apply not only to Christmas but also Chanukah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, Yule, Winter Solstice, etc.?

The AFA accuses GLBT people of wanting "special" rights when they're merely seeking the same rights as cis straight people. Yet they have no problem with demanding that Christians get preferential treatment from retailers.

It's also interesting that they say their campaign is against materialism, so why are they hawking all kinds of "God's Gift: Merry Christmas" junk? (I noticed that although they call the prices "suggested donations", there is no way of making a smaller "donation". And judging by the prices of custom printed buttons (that's just the first site I found; no doubt if they shopped around they would pay even less), their donations don't just cover their costs but include a healthy profit. No wonder they rake in tens of millions of dollars every year.