Thursday, December 02, 2004

The brainwashing continues

The holy-rollin' fun never stops!

If ever you need a first-hand glimpse into how the religious right works, this e-mail is a pretty good start. Spotting all of the tricks used in this letter would make a pretty good drinking game, if it takes that sort of thing for you to get through life (miserable bastard)...

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.

Sad to say, if Target stores refuse to reverse their policy, thousands poor and needy will not have a very happy Christmas. Why? Because Target stores nationwide have banned the Salvation Army's red kettle campaign. They have told The Salvation Army's bell ringers, "You're no longer welcome here."

Target spokesperson Jennifer Hanson said that allowing the Salvation Army to collect funds as a mission of hope for the hungry, the homebound, and the helpless would violate their 'no solicitation' policy.

Target's new policy is opposite of that with community-minded giants like Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney's, and Big Lots. They believe the Salvation Army serves a critical need by offering kindness to a family in need.

"Last year, bell ringers raised about $8.8 million nationally outside Target stores," Major George Hood, Community Relations Secretary for the Salvation Army U.S.A.

Target's change adds pressure on the charity as it faces budget cuts from other sources and an increasing demand for services.

"We're going to lose 112 days of food service for the hungry because of [Target's] decision," Russ Russell, Salvation Army executive director for development told The Detroit News.

Because of Target's decision 6,000 people, including children, will be forced to go elsewhere to find help.

Please take this action [mindless sheep]:

Tell Target that you will be doing your Christmas shopping this year at Wal-Mart, J.C. Penny's, Big Lots or another store which cares about the poor and homeless. We know Target will block emails through the OneMillionDads email system, so your individual action is critical.

1. Call Target customer service toll-free at 1-800-440-0680, option 2, then option 2 at the next prompt.

2. Call your local Target store and speak with the manager. You can find the number in your local phone book, or through their Online Store Locator.

3. Here is additional contact information for Target:

Target Stores
Chairman Robert J. Ulrich
1000 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 304-6073
Fax: 612-696-3731

4. Finally, please forward this to your family and friends.
Thanks for caring.
Donald E. Wildmon, Chairman

I checked this one out, and the reason that Target stopped allowing the Salvation Army to ring its bells at the door is because of the inundation of non-profits that stormed Target wanting to do the same thing. I'd be willing to bet that a lot of these "non-profits" were groups just like Wildmon's. Groups like the above pitch fits about their Constitutional rights if they are banned from harassing people in public places; rather than deal with them, legislatures and companies are instead rolling back the rules to allow nobody to do anything.

It's for this precise reason that Louisiana drivers can no longer get specialty plates. Rather than face the shitstorm that came after a judge struck down the pro-life license plate, the DMV decided that they weren't going to allow ANY special plates anymore. This happened very recently, and I fear that it represents the direction of the immediate future. (What did I tell you?) Which, of course, is exactly what the holy rollers want; either they get their way, or everything else gets suppressed so that they don't feel singled out. Either way, they win.


Michael said...

I, for one, applaud Target's decision. I will continue to shop there. Wal-Mart and JC Penney both lost my business long ago, but this dreck is yet another reason not to shop with them.

The last couple of years it seems like the Salvation Army ringers have been getting a lot more snarky, ringing their damn bells obnoxiously loud anytime anyone walks past them, as if to reproach us for not dropping anything in the kettle.

Speaking of community values, I wonder if Mr. Wildmon is aware of the fact that anything you drop in the kettle outside your local Mall-Wart is not guaranteed to stay in the community where it's donated? At least if our local outfit is indicative of the organization as a whole, all profits from the local chapters get sent to a district office where they are reapportioned. Yet another bit of blue-state welfare to red states, it would seem.

I'm all for helping the poor and homeless. But I prefer to do it on my terms, and when I know that what I give will actually be put toward the purpose for which I gave it, in the community that needs it. Plus, since I have a Target Visa, a percentage of what I buy in the store (and anywhere else I use the card, though non-Target purchases count less) is sent back to the schools in my community. So it's a double winner.

gambitch said...

Side-note: If the Salvation Army are in need of huge amounts of funds they can phone our newly-elected President George W Bush's campaign managers. Apparently a report has surfaced stating his campaign raised so much money they failed to spend it all. Already $11.3m of that surplus (a familiar word?) has made its way back to the Republican Party as a donation from the Prez. And there's still some loose change in the war chest.

Murph said...

No personalized license plates? Guess I'm staying in L.A.

Ian McGibboney said...

Murph, you can still get personalized plates. But you should stay in L.A. anyway. It's getting weird here.

Jen said...

thank god. those fucking bell ringers are annoying, at best. there's one outside fred meyer's next to where i catch the bus home every day, and he sings off-key, loud christmas carols to anyone who walks by. i want to punch him in the face.

Ian McGibboney said...

They don't bother me so much, because at least they're doing something good. The principle bugs me, though, that the holy rollers are all indignant about it when they themselves only care when it involves a quasi-religious group or any affront on "family-friendly" mega-corporations.