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Disabled Santas and queer nutcrackers

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Did not Target learn from this year’s Pride Month debacle which was pushing “tuck-friendly” swimsuits for children? Or from the flap that developed in 2016 when Target unveiled its transgender bathroom policy.

“Well, Target officials clearly haven’t learned their lesson. Rather than pivoting after the backlash, the boycotts, and plummeting sales, they have decided to
continue swimming upstream,” writes Sarah Holliday over at The Stream. “To most people’s surprise, Target has leaned into the very agenda that caused its demise, hiring a ‘Senior LGBTQIA+ Segmentation Strategist and Pride Lead,’ whose very job is to woke-ify the aisles.”

Even Santa Claus is being caught up in the woke vortex. The ancient elf is used to being pulled in a gift-ladened sleigh through the dark starry sky Christmas Eve not pushed in a wheelchair up a handicapped ramp.

I’m disabled. I don’t want to see Santa in a wheelchair. He doesn’t have to be in a power scooter to relate to me. I want to see him able-bodied — walking, running, skipping, jumping and leaping to bring joy to children — and the young-at-heart — around the world, or simply humbly kneeling in silent homage at the Crèche. He needs his full strength to be able to carry all those packages, handle the reindeers sleigh reins, and shimmy down millions of chimneys.

I don’t need Santa to identify with me. I need to relate to him. I want to be walking and leaping and praising God. I don’t need Jolly Old Saint Nick being sidelined by a wheelchair. That does not edify me, nor should it.

Instead I look toward Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (who has been in a wheelchair since 1984); and Joni Eareckson Tada (who has been in a wheelchair since 1967) for inspiration and encouragement in dealing with severe disability. Not Kris Kringle. Let Santa be Santa. He is not a disability advocate for social change.

I also don’t want to see everything from soup to nuts packaging be designed with rainbow colors or featuring a Pride flag. And the Pride rainbow does not reflect the glorious rainbow that God first put in the sky as His visible promise in the clouds to never flood the earth again.

The imitation Pride rainbow consists of the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. God’s true rainbow’s colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Bible scholars say that six is the number of imperfection while seven is the number of perfection. The Pride rainbow has six colors; God’s rainbow has seven.

In the United States about 7.2% of the population identify somewhere along the LGBTQ spectrum. That goes from a low 1.7% for my father’s generation — the Silent Generation oldsters; 2.7% for my generation — the Baby Boomers; 3.3% for my son’s Gen Xers; 11.2% for his daughters’ Millennial Generation; and a whopping 19.7% for his grandchildren’s Gen Zers.

Also in the United States Christians were 63% of the population in 2021; 75% in 2015; 70.6% in 2014; 78% in 2012; 81.6% in 2001; and 85% in 1990. As there is a steady decline in religious affiliation, there is a corresponding increase in LGBTQ involvement.

Yet, thankfully, there are still more Christians in America — and the world — than the growing LGBTQ crowd.

In 2022 the US population was 334,287,557. There were approximately 23,996,000 who identified as LGBTQ. On the other hand, there are 209,971,000 Christians. Meaning that Christians outnumber the LGBTQ crowd by 8.75 times — 875%.

But it is the Christian who is silenced. It is a Christian who is told we may not publicly display objects of faith. We may not live our faith walk in the public square. Such things are for Sunday morning only or behind closed locked doors. But even then police have been known to break up Bible studies and prayer meetings.

Recently Wauwatosa, Wisconsin banned city employees from using Christmas-themed or any religious objects in decorating for the upcoming holy season on city property. The Manger was out. The Wiseman would not arrive. The Bethlehem Star would not shine. Baby Jesus is not welcome.

City employees were told to use neutral and inclusive decorations focusing on winter themes instead incorporating such innocuous things as snowflakes and snow people (snowmen would be sexist). Non Christmassy neutral colors — blue, white and purple — were suggested to celebrate the season without favoring any particular faith belief system “to create a welcoming and inclusive environment” for the winter season. Apparently red and green are too associated with Christmas to be used. After all, Santa wears red and evergreen trees — fir, spruce and balsam — are naturally green.

Not only would Christmas decorations be banished but Hanukkah items also. No menorah or dreidels. The Jewish Festival of Lights celebrates the miracle of the one-day supply of oil miraculously lasting eight days to keep the Temple menorah lit. The story is told in the apocryphal books of The Maccabees.

The non-Christmas theme decorations directive was issued because someone complained.

The reaction and blowback was swift. It didn’t take long for the Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit law firm which defends religious freedom and conservative values, to step in.

“The Christmas holiday ban violates the U.S. Constitution by showing hostility toward Christianity,” Liberty Counsel told the City of Wauwatosa. “The First Amendment does not permit the city to eliminate Christmas holiday symbols or expression in a misguided attempt to be ‘inclusive’ by eliminating all traditional elements of expression regarding a federally and state recognized holiday.”

The City of Wauwatosa backed down. The directive was lifted.

But, heaven forbid a cross should be erected and visible from the highway, or a Ten Commandments plaque be put up in a judge’s chambers, or Nativity be built on the town square. Then, all hell breaks loose. Those symbols of religion must be taken down. Now! Someone is offended. Someone thinks it’s unseemly. Someone doesn’t believe and objects to religion being rammed down their throat.

Well, I object to the Pride agenda being rammed down my throat at every turn — Pride displays … Pride month … Pride parades. Rainbow color decorations for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Or for secular holidays such as New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and Veterans Day. Even Juneteenth and Halloween don’t escape from being painted with the Pride brush.

But if I, or any Christian objects, we are labeled as homophobes, biased, uncharitable, and prejudiced. The LGBTQ persons are the new “untouchables.” No one can touch their agenda, no one can touch their lifestyle, no one can “misgender” them, no one can touch their colorful displays without being tarred and feathered.

Christians are arrested and hauled into court. They are forced to pay huge fines and face the loss of their very livelihoods. Christians are bullied and their lives threatened.

I’m offended every time I see sacred objects, even secular things be turned into another Pride calling card.

It galls me to see Jesus depicted with a rainbow halo. Or Jesus has two daddies, and Jesus has two mommies nativity scenes. It’s blasphemous!

Or the Pride flag flying at Ely Cathedral in England or hung from the American Embassy to the Holy See in Rome. I cringe when I see a priest wearing a rainbow stole or chasuble and a bishop wearing a rainbow cope with matching mitre. Remember Katherine Jeffers Schori’s matched sets? She had several.

I’m offended when everything has to be presented with as many intersectional markers as possible — a black Santa Claus in a wheelchair ticks two boxes. If he turns out to be gay and in a same-sex marriage — all the better — check two more intersectional boxes. Even better than that a transgender drag queen Santa in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

It’s sick!

I’m glad that reaction to Wauwatosa’s design to stamp out any sort of Christmas imagery was met with swift backlash.

Chances are even that this year Target’s disabled Santa would be barred from entering City Hall because he wears red and he is a secular symbol of Christmas.

Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline.

Disabled Santas and queer nutcrackers
Target misses the target with DIE Christmas stocking stuffers

By Mary Ann Mueller
VOL Special Correspondent
November 22, 2022

Is no one normal anymore?

Must Santa be presented as being wheelchair-bound to relate to children. Must the Nutcracker be draped in Pride colors to be meaningful?

This year Target’s LGBTQ Christmas lineup includes such items including a nutcracker holding a Progress Pride flag and wearing a Pride hat.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Friday, December 22, 2023


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