Merry Christmas, Now Die

By Dan Levin

Published December 22, 2006, issue of December 22, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Last year superstore chain Wal-Mart enraged religious conservatives by instructing employees to wish customers “Happy Holidays.” Well, ’tis the season to be jolly — Wal-Mart switched back to “Merry Christmas” and now Christian conservatives are happy.

This year it is liberals who are protesting — over Wal-Mart’s decision to stock on its shelves the Evangelical video game “Left Behind: Eternal Forces.” Based on the best-selling “Left Behind” books, the game’s plotline begins after the Rapture, in that den of sin known as New York City. The player is a member of the newly faithful who must convert or kill evil nonbelievers who are led by the leader of a United Nations-like organization, who, by the way, also happens to be the anti-Christ.

Some of the religious conservatives who fought in the front lines in the war on the “War on Christmas” are commending the sale of the game as educational and wholesome — despite often being the first to condemn “dangerous” violent video games. “Eternal Forces is the kind of game that Mom and Dad can actually play with Junior,” declared Pluggedin.com, an entertainment Web site run by Focus on the Family, a prominent right-wing Christian organization.

All this has liberals and Wal-Mart critics up in arms. “It just further shows the hypocrisy of the religious right, who claim to be a paragon of family values, yet here they are promoting violence and intolerance,” said Clark Stevens, co-director of the liberal group Def-Con America: The Campaign to Defend the Constitution, which is dedicated to combating the political influence of religious conservatives. Def-Con supporters have sent more than 30,000 e-mails to Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott to protest the sale of the controversial game. According to a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, “in the warm spirit of the season” the chain refuses to remove the title saying “the decision on what merchandise we offer in our stores is based on what we think our customers want the opportunity to buy.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.