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'War on Christmas' proves lucrative for the Religious Right.

Being naughty paid off for the Religious Right this year, with groups raking in tons of money by hyping phony claims of a "war on Christmas."

Several groups used claims of Christmas conflict to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, reported the Los Angeles Times and Religion News Service.

The American Family Association (AFA), for example, brought in more than half a million dollars selling buttons and magnets reading "Merry Christmas: It's Worth Saying." The Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty Counsel took in more than $300,000 hawking a "Help Save Christmas Action Pack."

The Alliance Defense Fund sold a similar kit for $29 a pop. It consisted of two buttons and a document called "The Memo that Saved Christmas," touted as legal advice for those who want more Christmas in public life.

As The Times noted, other fight-wing groups saw the money pouring in and jumped quickly on the holiday bandwagon. Soon an array of "save Christmas" paraphernalia was available, including "Christmas bracelets, tree ornaments and lapel pins intended to send a defiant message to those who would turn December into a multicultural mush of 'winter parties,' 'seasonal sales' and 'Happy Holidays' greetings."

One thing was missing, however: examples of government hostility toward Christmas. With so little to go on, most organizations were left to complain about language used by privately owned stores and businesses.

Strangely enough, none of these groups complained over the White House's 2006 holiday card, which did not once mention "Christmas."
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Title Annotation:PEOPLE & EVENTS
Publication:Church & State
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2007
Words:245
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