Group wants to save Wal-Mart from pro-homosexual activists
The American Family Association is dropping its planned boycott of Wal-Mart for Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, after the corporation said it would clean up its corporate relationships.
“Respect for the individual is one of the core values that have made us into the company we are today. We take pride in the fact that we treat every customer, every supplier and every member of our individual communities fairly and equally,” the company said in a statement on its Wal-Mart Facts website late today.
“Wal-Mart will not make corporate contributions to support or oppose highly controversial issues unless they directly relate to our ability to serve our customers,” the company said.
The AFA immediately suggested to its constituents, who had been asked to boycott the retailer on what often is the single-most important day for retailers in their fiscal year, that they send the company a ‘Thank you.’
“You have made a difference!” the AFA said. “(We) are pleased with this announcement.”
The family-friendly association, along with other groups, had launched the protest campaign because of Wal-Mart’s new affiliation with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and several other actions families viewed as less-than-friendly.
“Wal-Mart does not have a position on same sex marriage and we do not give preference to gay or lesbian suppliers. Wal-Mart does have a strong commitment to diversity among our associates and against discrimination everywhere,” the company said.
“We are working hard to make our corporate contributions reflect the values of our customers, communities, and associates. As Sam Walton said, ‘Each Wal-Mart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community,” the company statement said.
AFA officials said because of the company’s announcement, they would no longer encourage people to not shop at Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club Friday and Saturday. Those days immediately after Thanksgiving often mean the difference between a good year or bad for a retailer.
“We believe that Wal-Mart will remain neutral in cultural battles,” the AFA statement said.
The association, as WND reported, was among the first of several to issue calls intended to get the attention of the retail chain.
Just in the past few days, another group decided to launching an “information explosion” intended to tell the tens of millions of customers at Wal-Mart Friday that some of their dollars will be going to support a group that works to discriminate against Christians with “hate crimes” legislation and wants marriage expanded to involve same-sex couples.
“We’re out to help an old friend. Wal-Mart has been a friend of ours for a long, long time,” said Flip Benham, the director of Operation Save America who is working to help coordinate the new efforts by the www.SaveWalMart.com outreach.
The AFA had said its boycott effort was to wake Wal-Mart up.
“Wal-Mart should remember that the majority of people in this country do not support things like same-sex marriage, and don’t want the company giving money to groups that do support it,” American Family Association Chairman Donald E. Wildmon said earlier. “Shopping at retailers other than Wal-Mart might remind the company of that fact.”
The SaveWalMart.com plan was launched with a different agenda. It is to approach customers directly, to let them know about the company’s moral agenda, and to bring people together in a series of events that will convince the company to return to the values of founder Sam Walton.
Those were described in a recent WND column by Pat Boone, who knew Walton personally.
In his commentary, Boone told how he met with Walton, and at Walton’s request offered ideas on how to feature gospel music in his stores.
“Already at more than 4,000 stores, his music department offered most everything, and he was personally concerned that some of it was anything but family friendly. Increasingly, he would be informed by customers that a number of albums contained profanity, strong and explicit sexual material, angry and violent imagery, all kinds of stuff he didn’t want to sell anybody – but he didn’t know what to do about it, since neither he nor his employees had time to listen to all the records the national distributors would place in his racks,” Boone wrote.
He than told Walton about the Parents Music Resource Committee, which checked lyric contents and lobbied to have recording companies print the lyrics on the outside of the records or put advisories on the packaging.
Walton loved it, Boone reported. “It was responsible; it was family friendly. It was right – simply the right thing to do.”
“We are not protesting. We are proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ,” says the SaveWalMart organization website about Friday’s plans.
The plans are to have people choose the Wal-Mart nearest either their home or church on Friday, and be there all day to hand out information about the developments involving the company.
“If you have a portable sound system, let the preacher boys proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ on it! We are a Gospel people! As always, we are going out because we love Wal-Mart and want to see the corporation turn back to the Christian ethic of its founder, Sam Walton,” the website instructs.
Benham said so far there are plans to demonstrate against the “satan-inspired” agenda at “hundreds” of the stores across the nation. He said it is “foolish” for a company even such as Wal-Mart to drive away an entire classification of customers.
However, he said it’s a situation almost like blackmail or extortion. He called it “demonic” for its reach well beyond what logic could allow.
In one city, for example, Benham’s workers offered a regional newspaper nearly $17,000 for an ad about its campaign, nearly double the routine $8,500 for such an ad, he said. The newspaper turned down the ad, which included statements such as, “God blessed Wal-Mart because founder Sam Walton chose to honor Jesus Christ and run his business according to biblical principles!”
The ad, which also has been prepared as a handout for people to give away on Friday, also said customers should “ask your local Wal-Mart Store Manager” about the changing moral values, and either call Wal-Mart or e-mail the company about the concerns.
“Wal-Mart is changing! It is departing from the rock from which it was hewn. The faith and love for Jesus Christ and His Word by Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, is being trashed before our very eyes,” the ad says.
The facts it cites are basic. Wal-Mart recently joined the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, contributing at least $25,000 to the cause with promises to sponsor various homosexual events.
Benham told WND that the information campaign was a beginning.
“Our hope is that thousands and thousands and thousands of people will be put on notice as to what is happening in Wal-Mart,” he said.
Boone noted that he was shocked when the company agreed to donate a percentage of its online sales directly to a Washington, D.C., community for homosexuals.
“The man I knew was a conscientious deacon at the Methodist church, and his own family are wonderful people, still honoring their mom, Helen,” Boone wrote. “He was a rock ribbed ‘traditional values’ guy…”
“The devil is forcing our schools, businesses, government, and churches to honor those things which are an abomination to God. Christians must take a stand! It’s time for our theology to become biography in the streets! It’s time for us to come out of the closet!” the information campaign website says.
“We are not a protest. We are a proclamation that Jesus Christ is Lord! Wal-Mart can be saved and so can America. It begins with God’s Church!” the website said.
Wal-Mart, after confirming to WND that it did establish a relationship with the homosexual business group, has been focusing on “diversity” in responses to people concerned about the company’s moral drift.
To Pastor Rick Barnard’s note that he couldn’t support such a company, Wal-Mart said, “Working with the NGLCC, as we do with other minority enterprise leaders, is our way to help educate corporate America and the public as to the economic benefits of a diverse workplace and the power of creating mutually beneficial relationships with the LGBT and the LGBT-friendly business community.”
Florida customer Lawrence Reves said he supported Wal-Mart “when the Democrats targeted you, but THIS is something I can not consciously continue to do.”
“Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.’s commitment to nondiscrimination underscores our understanding of and appreciation for diversity, as well as the growth and influence of emerging consumer markets in the United States, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community,”‘ the company responded.
“American businesses … are being blackmailed by the devil himself. They are being forced by the ‘politically correct’ dogma (abortion, homosexuality, etc) of our day to accept his terms. If one chooses to defy this dogma, he will be forever branded as a right-wing, bigoted fascist, bent on forcing his own religion (Christianity) down everyone else’s throat. If the Church or any business will not accept these terms, or truly honors God, there will be hell to pay!” said the SaveWalMart site. “Now Satan has Wal-Mart in his line of fire!”
The company also recently offered for sale online a book promoting lesbian sex to girls still young enough to be playing with Barbies, and as WND reported, pulled it when the offering was publicized.
Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., said the problem is that the homosexual business group isn’t just that. While the NGLCC “professes to promote the ‘interests of the LGBT business community,’ this is not all they have done,” he said.
He said the group recently described efforts to defend traditional marriage as an attempt to “write discrimination into the Constitution …” and it has advocated attaching a pro-homosexual “hate crimes” amendment to legislation intended to protect children from violent sex offenders.
AFA boycotts in the past have proven effective, even though the organization doesn’t take credit for all of the impacts. An example is the Ford Motor Company which more than a year ago embraced the “gay” community in its advertising and programs.
The AFA and dozens of other Christian groups joined in a boycott, and since then Ford has lost hundreds of millions of dollars, laid off tens of thousands of workers and is trying to regroup and stabilize.
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