Are Boycotts Moral? For the Religious Right, It Depends on Who They're Targeting
Last year, Liberty Counsel and the Family Research Council were outraged — outraged! — when gay rights advocates began pressuring companies to end their ties to a so-called charity group called the CGBG, which funds anti-gay organizations including LC and FRC. The two groups urged retailers to “remain neutral in the culture wars” and accused gay rights supporters of “economic terrorism.” The FRC even created a website where activists could call on companies to “remain neutral in the current cultural battles, thus enabling you to focus on business and not force consumers to make purchasing choices based on corporate political agendas.”
As Chick-fil-A, a company that bankrolls anti-gay groups and whose CEO has said marriage equality is inviting God’s judgment, faces a national backlash for its opposition to gay rights, once again the Religious Right is employing an almost pathetic use of double standards.
The National Organization for Marriage, which literally has two campaigns dedicated to boycotting Starbucks and General Mills for refusing to stay “neutral” in the marriage equality debate, is now outraged that gay rights activists are boycotting Chick-fil-A.
NOM's state affiliate in Minnesota organized a protest outside of the corporate headquarters of General Mills and in a letter to Minnesota corporations, NOM asked that companies “stay neutral and respect the conscience rights of your customers and employees who are on both sides” of a proposed state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Another group shockingly outraged by protests targeting Chick-fil-A is the American Family Association.
The AFA and its subgroups One Million Moms and One Million Dads have boycotted countless companies, most recently leading boycotts and pressure campaigns against Home Depot, Ford, GAP, Macy's, JC Penney for their advertising campaigns and efforts to create inclusive work environments “rather than remain neutral in the culture war,” and against DC, Marvel and Archie Comics for including gay characters.
In fact, the AFA goes so far as to claim, without any evidence, that it’s pressure campaign is responsible for financial problems at JC Penney.
So the question needs to be asked, did the AFA, in the words of its spokesman Bryan Fischer, "go Ahmadinejad" on JC Penney, Home Depot and Archie?
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