Monday, December 8, 2008

This just in after launching our holiday blast. Enjoy a little skirmish from the war on the war on Christmas. Oy.

Sent: Friday, December 05, 2008 3:44 PM
From: Jim Kackley;
Subject: Re: Just thought you needed to know.

I received your email and wanted to remind you this isn't just a holiday (holyday), it is CHRISTmas when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. I support your efforts but don't support the secularization of such an important day.


Jim Kackley
General Manager
Thomson Family Adventures

Sent: Friday, December 05, 2008 4:24 PM
From: Adam Neiman
Subject: Re: Just thought you needed to know.

Jim if I were just speaking to Christians, I’d happily refer to Christmas. But many of my customers (and myself) will be celebrating Hanukah and a number of my secular customers will not be celebrating this as a holyday at all. Long before the birth of Jesus this time of darkness was celebrated with light. Could I refer in the email to each person’s particular reasons for celebrating in this season? Sure but it’s not only awkward prose but bad practice. In this time of year it’s best to emphasize our common humanity and what binds us together- not what separates us. It helps us all to love our neighbors- of whatever faith- as ourselves. So that’s how I speak to ALL my customers, Jim but to you, let me wish you a very merry Christmas. Have you had the pleasure of buying any of our Bethlehem T-shirts yet?

most sincerely,


Adam Neiman
617-562-0099 x 206
Cell # 617-686-5434

Sent: Friday, December 05, 2008 4:44 PM
From: Jim Kackley;
Subject: Re: Just thought you needed to know.


I couldn't agree and disagree more. On the one hand I am very happy to wish you and my other Jewish friends a Happy Hanukah. I admire your religion and faith. It is the basis for my own. On the other hand I don't find their faith or the faith of my Moslem friends in Tanzania as something that separates them from me. It is who they are and I celebrate that. In places like Tanzania with people of Christian, Moslem and Animist faiths there is no attempt to water down any of the religions as there has been here in the West. We worry so much about offending someone that we loose the true meaning of these Holydays. We haven't removed Lador from the Labor Day celebration or Veterans Day from that celebration. Why should it be OK to eliminate Christ from the Christmas Holiday and change it to Happy Holidays or Merry Xmas. As a Christian who really loves celebrating Passover, I would never want it be called the Happy xover and to remove the Story of Moses and the exodus from the Holyday. I think it would offend me for my Jewish friends. It is an part of who they are.

I realize it is difficult for you as a business manager. There must be a way around this because presently there are a pretty large list of us who are boycotting any stores that refuse to celebrate this as Christmas.

Take care and keep up the good work. I heard about your group from a friend Dan Larner who is committed to your cause.

General Manager
Thomson Family Adventures

From: adam neiman []
Sent: Friday, December 05, 2008 5:54 PM
From: Adam Neiman
Subject: Re: Just thought you needed to know.

Jim, no offense, but I can’t understand how a Christian could boycott a store for saying happy holiday, but not for using sweatshops! I’ve read the gospels a few times & I don’t see how Jesus would approve (ethically OR tactically) of what your group is doing in his name. He was big on carrots not on sticks, more inclined to honey than to vinegar, at least as I read him. It may be hard for those inside your group to see this, but the seculars love this little conflict. For folks who are agnostics, it reinforces the perception that the religious are fundamentally intolerant and drives many into the arms of atheism when time & patience might well have made them one with the faithful. Let them enjoy the honey, the sweetness of the season- however they can. With time, many will grow curious about the bees that made that honey. The “war on Christmas” and the opposing “war on the ‘war on Christmas’” has become regular fodder for the media to feast on & for a few unscrupulous promoters to make a (minor) fortune & fame off of. It’s not because they favor the faith based. Quite the contrary. There are far better and more urgent battles for Christian soldiers to fight- at least in the mind of this Jewish admirer of your lord, Jesus Christ.

speaking of urgent battles you never answered my question about our Bethlehem Tees, so I assume the answer is “no”. Here’s what my company is doing for the holydays (all of them) this Christmas in Bethlehem. What do you think? I can’t understand why more Christians aren’t interested in THIS. It’s a crying shame that the little town of Bethlehem, that has given the world so much, should be so poor. An honest answer requested. Thanks &

Merry Christmas,

No Sweat Apparel’s organic cotton T-shirts are produced at a sweatshop-free Palestinian owned factory on Virgin Mary Street in Bethlehem. Here’s a link to an al Jazeera segment about the project.

Our Jewish, Israeli & US mainstream press has been just as positive. Apparently we’ve found an elusive piece of common ground- more good jobs for Palestinians in Palestine will help the situation. While economic development is no substitute for a diplomatic settlement, no settlement can survive without a sustainable Palestinian economy. So while waiting for a political resolution we have created a mechanism for ordinary citizens of good faith to build good will on the ground & support the peace to come. We’re marketing these T-shirts wholesale (blank or custom printed) to Jewish, Muslim, Christian & secular schools & camps in the US, Canada & Israel.

The concept is simple. When faced with an apparently irresolvable conflict, if there is any one thing all parties agree on- do that one thing and see what happens.

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality; tied in a single garment of destiny.”

Dr. Martin Luther King

To support the Bethlehem initiative go to and pick up the threads.

Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 9:53 AM
From: Jim Kackley;
Subject: Re: Just thought you needed to know.


I now am beginning to enjoy this because you are putting up reasonable arguments. I will get back to you. I think a lot of my answers will be drawn from the Psalms of David who fought many of these battles in his time.

Take care

Jim Kackley
General Manager


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True Blue and Red All Over said...

In response to:

I gotta' say Adam, you certainly demonstrated more grace under pressure than I would have... you evil, religion-hating, secular business-man, you! ;)

I've heard this argument a million times. I heard it about my own wedding! Here's a nice little anecdote for you.

Random Relative: So, you gonna' have a big church wedding, right?!?

Me: No. We discussed it, and decided it wasn't important to us. We're having an outdoor wedding at a national park.

RR: Well, isn't it supposed to be a SPIRITUAL event?

Me: Can't it be a spiritual event in the unfettered beauty of the forest? Isn't God everywhere? If other people want to have Church weddings, good on them- they deserve whatever makes them happiest and feel the most connected- it's just not for me. Besides, we have many friends with many different beliefs, and we want to be inclusive- we invited them because we love them. In a way, it should be their wedding, too.

RR: Aren't you sort of cutting the baby in half, like Solomon? Ruining the spirituality to please too many people?

Me: First of all, are you comparing me having an outdoor wedding to cutting a baby in half? Secondly, Solomon did that to test the two women. He actually left it to them, and the true mother, the one who truly loved the baby, refused to cut it in half. Think of my wedding as the baby, and my loved ones as the mothers- they wouldn't dare try and harm the baby in order to divide it in half, because they know and love both Ryan and I. Our wedding is inclusive because anyone who really loves us knows that it's important to have as a whole, and our whole wedding involves many people, who we wouldn't dare split away with something as silly as our minor differences.

Above all, this season is about humanity, as Christ was about humanity. If this guy gives you any more grief, remind him of Solomon, and remind him that like a wedding or a holiday greeting, humanity doesn't work when it's split in pieces. If he really has humanity as his first vested interest. he will focus on keeping it safe, and keeping it unified. There's no compromise in that. You're simply acting out of love for the thing you love most.

Nom, nom, nom! said...

All I want for Christmas is my underwear. I been asking for it for nigh on seven or eight years, and I was hoping this would be the happy "holyday" when it'd happen for me. Cain't you repurpose some o' them 'bama T-shirts nobody is buying (because nobody in the world needs another T-shirt) (even one made in the tiny town of bethlehem) (but everybody needs underwear) (and twenty companies besides No Sweat make decent-wage, Jesus-approved T-shirts) (and plus it's possible to get a bale of T-shirts used at the local goodwill for the price of one shipped-to-you-with-the-power-of-blood-oil No Sweat one) (whereas you can't get underwear at the Goodwill and you wouldn't if you could) (and whereas 100% of new underwear is slave-made)?

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