Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Israel News

Merry Christmas, Now Die

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.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.