Sunday, December 05, 2004

Target zaps the Salvation Army: was it the lawyers, or the "moral values"?

Off Target with the Salvation Army by Joseph M. Knippenberg
Well, we’ll have to get the hint somewhere else now, because Target wants us to have a "distraction-free shopping environment in which to shop," as someone from customer relations wrote (not very elegantly) in response to my impassioned protest email. Target wants me to concentrate on spending money in their stores, not on "the reason for the season."

So the Salvation Army ringers will soon be history. Why?

I can come up with only two reasons. One is the law. The ringers were always in violation of anti-solicitation rules and statutes; lawyers may have determined it was no longer feasible to overlook this. Maybe. Good excuse anyway.

The other is "moral values". A good percentage of the "moral values" group like to keep poverty, discomfort, misfortune and misery at a distance. A great distance. These are, after all, people whom Yahweh is unhappy with. Why should one have to see that which God would remove? The bell ringers, scruffy and clearly not of the blessed, smell of poverty. Now they need be seen no longer.

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