Salvation Army Bell Ringer Assaulted By ‘Christian’ For Saying ‘Happy Holidays’

Salvation Army Bell Ringer Assaulted For Saying 'Happy Holidays' Not 'Merry Christmas'

A Salvation Army bell ringer was punched by a Phoenix, Arizona Walmart shopper, for using the phrase “Happy Holidays,” instead of saying “Merry Christmas” Image: Screen shot ABC15.com

A bell ringer collecting donations for the Salvation Army says she was assaulted, after greeting an Arizona Walmart shopper with the words “Happy Holidays.”

According to KNXV, Kristina Vindiola was collecting donations outside a Phoenix Walmart in mid-December, when she was confronted by an outraged woman. She said the assault came after she used the phrase “Happy Holidays,” rather than “Merry Christmas”.

Don’t you dare tell me Happy Holidays…

Vindiola described the incident to KNXV reporters.

“The lady looked at me, I thought she was going to put money in the kettle. She came up to me and said, ‘Do you believe in God?’ And she says, ‘You’re supposed to say Merry Christmas,’ and that’s when she hit me.”

Vindiola says the woman swung at her, ultimately hitting her in the arm. She didn’t return blow for blow, although undoubtedly if this woman had chosen to hit the a different person, the outcome could have been much different.

Walmart shoppers say the assailants actions were understandable.

Apparently the assailant isn’t the only person who thinks hitting people over a “Happy Holidays” greeting is ok. According to the news report, some Walmart shoppers interviewed after the event said “It’s understandable how people can get offended.”

What part of this understandable? Hitting someone who is collecting donations for charity? Hitting someone because they say something you don’t like? Assaulting a total stranger for Jesus?

“It’s Merry Christmas!”

Whack!

Maybe the fact that this incident took place at Walmart explains why the shoppers that were interviewed saw the woman’s actions as “understandable.” These are most likely some of the same Christian shoppers who enjoy a good black Friday brawl, in the name of Christmas.

They’re also most likely devoted followers of the Fox news war on Christmas craziness. A devoted cult of Bill O’Reilly wannabes.  Don’t you dare say “Happy Holidays” to a Walmart shopper.

Why is Christianity declining in the US?

According to the annual Yearbook published by National Council of Churches, church membership in the United States continues to decline, following a trend that began over a decade ago:

 “The 78th annual edition of the Yearbook reports a continuing decline in membership of virtually all mainline denominations. And the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s second largest denomination and long a reliable generator of church growth, reported a decline in membership for the second year in a row, down 0.24 percent to 16,266,920.”

Could this have something to do with the fact that Christians, who claim that Christmas is “their holiday,” are punching people at Walmart? Could it have to do with the fact that the spirit of Christmas now appears to be some petty, easily offended religious bigot? Someone who would sooner punch you in the arm, than help you when you’re down?

Maybe hypocrisy, bigotry and lack of compassion are just not appealing enough to bring in new members. Maybe the Walmart brand of Christianity that the right wing is selling on Fox News, the kind of Christianity that lets you get away with anything you want in the name of Jesus, is just not meeting the spiritual needs of the general public.

It could be that a religious obsession over words like “Happy Holidays,” accompanied by a religious devotion to ignoring actions, like hitting people, just isn’t what the average person is looking for in a church.

Vindiola may file a civil suit over the incident.

Vindiola reported the assault to Walmart management, who notified Phoenix area police. Police say they reviewed security tapes, but were unable to gather enough evidence to press charges against the assailant. Vindiola is considering filing a civil suit over the incident.

Oh, by the way, Happy Holidays.