Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Your money, your problems...

So Franklin Graham has moved his bank account away from Wells Fargo because they ran an ad featuring a lesbian couple. (apparently the real reason might be a little more financially motivated but that's his publicly stated reason) He's also called for other Christians to boycott them. As well as Starbucks, Nike and Tiffany's because they all pay advertising dollars to promote the gay lifestyle.

Okay. Get down with your bad self, if that's what you want to do. I don't give money to the Salvation Army, the Boy Scouts (though that might shift here soon) or Chick-fil-A for pretty much the same reason just swinging the other way on the issue. I vote with my wallet. It's the way it should be done.

Now I would disagree with Mr. Graham on specifics. The ads from those companies that have gay couples in them aren't done to promote the gay lifestyle (which you all know I hate that phrase anyway, but I'm using it since he did). They are doing the ads to encourage gay couples to buy their rings from Tiffany's, to do their banking at Wells Fargo, to grab a cup of coffee from Starbucks, to wear a swoosh on their shoe. Same thing ads featuring straight people, or people you are just left to speculate wildly about their sex lives are meant to do. Advertising for a business is done strictly to promote a lifestyle that includes using that business.

But that former ad exec quibble aside, again, I have zero problem with Mr. Graham, or anyone else, not doing business with someone who they think doesn't share their values. It's okay. It's your money, spend it where you want to. Don't spend it where you don't want to. I don't care. I really don't. You can even encourage others who share your belief system to do the same. Though good luck on this one, especially convincing women of a certain age that Tiffany's is bad. Trust me, I've had this discussion, there are people who won't give up their chicken sandwich no matter if the devil himself was slinging the waffle fries. But let your wallet follow your beliefs.

Now, I do care if businesses want to deny services to people based on those beliefs. Like if Nike started saying they would no longer sell shoes to Christians. That would be a problem. Or if Tiffany's told me as a middle aged woman I could no longer get a blue box with a white ribbon because they were only going to sell to young people. That would be an issue. And don't even get me started on what I would feel about Starbucks denying anyone the opportunity to get caffeinated. That would just be cruel and unusual punishment.

As an individual you get to decide where to spend your money. Who to give your charitable donations to. Which chicken sandwich you are going to pay for. Those are all your choices. Vote with your wallet. Now if you get a chicken sandwich, you also have to pay for it. You agreed to that when you ordered the food, because that's the law.

As a business serving the public they get to serve the public. And depending on where they run their business there are laws around whom they can and cannot deny those services to. And they get to follow those, because they agreed to it when they got their business license. That's the law.

It's really pretty simple right?

Oh I know...I can hear you all laughing from here...

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