Where Would Jesus Shop?
Yesterday I stopped at a Target store to make a payment on my Target card. In line at the customer service desk next to me, a woman was returning a large box, a Power Rangers toy of some sort. She said, in a quivering, hesitant voice, that she was returning it because “Target doesn’t allow its employees to say ‘Merry Christmas,’ and I think that’s a shame.”
The clerk informed her that she could return the toy, but in fact none of the employees at the store had been told that they could or could not say “Merry Christmas.” The woman became bolder, less nervous, as she proclaimed that Christmas was nowhere to be found in Target – it’s all “Happy Holidays,” no mention of Christmas. The clerk informed her, in what I thought was a very calm and professional manner, that that wasn’t true, either – which infuriated the woman. She raised her voice and said “It is written! I have read it! On the internet!”
The clerk processed the refund and the woman huffed out of the store, glaring at everyone around her.
Out of curiousity, I stepped into the store for about 60 seconds and counted ten displays that said “Countdown to Christmas” – just in the front section of the store alone. Target was using Christmas to sell, among other things, shampoo.
Questions for Theological Reflection:
1. Where would Jesus shop? Would he be picky about where he bought his Power Rangers toys? Would he buy Power Rangers toys in the first place? How do Power Rangers fit in with evangelical Christian beliefs?
2. Was the angry woman upset because she thought Christmas was not being sufficiently commercialized at Target? Shouldn’t it be preferable for Christians to shop at a store that doesn’t use Jesus’ birth as a marketing technique?
3. As it turned out, Target was just as commercialized about Christmas as the angry woman wanted it to be. But she held on to her beliefs about Target in spite of the fact that they weren’t true. She couldn’t be dissuaded by facts, although she apparently believes whatever is “written” on the internet. What does that say about Christians in general, especially the ones who are railing about “the war against Christmas”?