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Holiday Humbugs: It's Time To End The Religious Right's War On Civility

Note: This opinion column by Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, ran in the Vacaville (Calif.) Reporter on Dec. 12, under the title "Let's End This War on Christmas."

Christmas is supposed to be a season of peace, love and goodwill. I have to wonder, then, why some conservative religious groups persist in using this time of year to divide Americans and stir up interfaith tensions.

Loony List: James Dobson Tells Us Who's Been Naughty And Nice

The day after Thanksgiving is "Black Friday," the traditional start of the December holiday shopping season.

Nervous retailers are watching the bottom line, fretful that the economic downturn will reduce the throngs that usually swamp malls and big box stores on this day.

But Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family has a different worry: Dobson and his band of Religious Right "Christmas Police" are fretting that Americans might accidentally shop at a store that fails to use the proper religiously correct terminology. Thus, they've prepared a handy list for us to use.

Where Would Jesus Shop?: Mainstream Leaders Reject Religious Right Humbuggery

Jesus wants you to go shopping this Christmas at Wal-Mart, Macy's and J.C. Penney's. But whatever you do, don't venture into The Gap, Eddie Bauer or Old Navy.

Well, I guess I shouldn't say it's Jesus who wants you to make those shopping decisions. It's Dr. James Dobson and some of the other Religious Right honchos who claim to speak for Jesus in our day.