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Hell freezes over – the left and right take on Target

Both the Left and the AmTaliban are shunning the red bullseye (for different reasons). After Target defended its lame-brained, illogical practice of allowing pharmacists to deny women emergency contraception on ethical or religious grounds, pro-choice forces called for action (my post here).

Now, the American Family Association is calling for stepping up its boycott of Target during the holiday season because it has, again, refused to have Salvation Army representation in front of its stores.

The American Family Association (AFA) wants help from the shopping public in using the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend to keep sending a message to Target Stores about the national chain’s faith-and-family-unfriendly practices.

AFA chairman Donald E. Wildmon says it is important that the organization’s current boycott against Target, which started in October, keep hurting the company’s bottom line — that is, the amount of money made –especially during the biggest shopping weekend of the year. He is hoping a strong message from the pro-family shopping public will help convince Target to change some of its policies.

The reasons for the boycott are valid ones, Wildmon asserts, and they include Target’s “refusal to let the Salvation Army put their kettles in front of the stores,” and the company’s policy “banning all use of ‘Merry Christmas’ in their internal store operations and in their advertising.” He says Target wants the profits from Christian families’ spending, but the retailer does not want their holiday message or the spirit of their charities — including faith-based service organizations like the Salvation Army.

Back on the left side of the political spectrum, Joseph Hughes of Hughes for America, received a weak response from Target about its public womb control policies that’s worth a read, and there’s a Boycott Target blog up with the latest news. John over at AmericaBlog summed up the stupidity of the retailer’s policy well.

So let’s ask Target if they also support the following Target employees:

– Check out clerks who verify how fat you are before selling you that package of potato chips?
– Pharmacists who don’t want to fill prescriptions for Jewish customers who killed Christ.
– Pharmacists who don’t want to help customers who worship a “Satanic counterfeit” (read: “The Pope,” in fundie-speak).
– Pharmacists who only dispense HIV medicine to “innocent victims” of AIDS.
– Pharmacists who want proof that women seeking emergency contraception were really raped, and that they didn’t “deserve it.”
– Pharmacists (or cashiers) who are Christian Scientists – can they refuse to sell any medicine, even aspirin, to anyone?
– Pharmacists who won’t sell birth control pills to unmarried women, condoms to unmarried men, or any birth control at all because God doesn’t want people spilling their seed.
– Can fundamentalist Christian employees refuse to interact with gay people in any way, shape or form since gays are sinners, abominations, biological errors, and very likely pedophiles?

Precisely. This decision by Target makes no sense, simply for consistency’s sake. I think people should encourage the red bullseye to extend its policy to all employees and allow religious objections to guide their business plan.

Seriously, where do you shop, given the choices out there? If only Costco (a Buy Blue company) was a cross-competitor – it’s a bulk goods store. Wal-Mart, a direct competitor, is already on everyone’s sh*t list, Kmart is Red as well. As a consumer in the Bush economy, it really is hard to both be an activist and a family on a budget. No one really talks about that and its effect on this kind of activism. Let’s take a look at the Buy Blue ratings…


Numbers for Target (L) and Kmart.


Costco and Wal-Mart.

What are good alternatives? What actions will achieve the most success at inflicting pain and bad PR on these companies?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding