Patroning businesses with questionable ideals
Take a stand, consumer!
By Jennifer Northway
The Boston Tea Party and Rosa Parks’s refusal to go to the back of a bus are two examples of courage that stand out in the minds of many Americans. These stories are heroic in the history of this country. What made these remarkable? They were just average people, but they shared a conviction that something was wrong with the world they lived in and they fought to amend the situation. Everyone knows what happened in each case, for Boston they dumped a bunch of tea in the harbor, and Rosa Parks sat on a bus, both radical in their time and both boycotting the system.
Today we have the same opportunity to walk in the enormous shoes left by our predecessors. We can fight against the things in this world that we think are unjust, or just plain wrong. American Apparel is a corporation that is blatant about their views and support for various causes, which include a vast variety from Immigration, to environmental awareness, to the legalization of gay marriage. As Christians we have an opportunity to implement this long established tradition of boycotting to send a message to those who hold power and influence over debatable issues in our nation.
I am reminded of another boycott that challenged the same topic, but this time the company was McDonalds. The American Family Association (AFA) called for a boycott on McDonalds, wanting Richard Ellis, McDonald’s vice president of U.S. communications, to resign from the board of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and for McDonald’s to drop its membership and cease financial support for the NGLCC. Christians united to boycott McDonalds, until their demands were met, and do you know what happened? McDonalds caved. This happened as recently as last year, proving that the age-old tradition is still true today, and as potent as ever.
By Gavin Kirkwood
Every American corporation has the right to support almost any cause they want with the surplus funds that they earn. Many corporations remain committed to non-political and non-religious causes like Starbucks that states blatantly “We do not support any political or religious cause …” Other corporations like Target help support humanitarian organizations that don’t oppose Christian beliefs like the American Red Cross, Feed America and others. Still other corporations support things that many Christians oppose.
American Apparel is infamous for their liberal positions on immigration policies and gay marriage. Their positions can be found on their website “American Apparel believes that sexuality should be celebrated, not condemned. But Proposition 8 is just that, a condemnation of the basic right of marriage of an entire group of people based on their sexuality. We're proud to stand against Prop 8 and what it represents. In November of 2008 our Legalize Gay shirt was originally printed to give to protesters at rallies and marches.”
Though American Apparel may be partially funding causes that oppose traditionally held Christian beliefs, as Christian shoppers we need to understand that only a small portion of our money is being utilized for these disagreeable causes. Corporations can have political causes but Christian shoppers should realize that the company’s main mission is to make money for itself. Buying a t-shirt from American Apparel may assist in the support of gay marriage but based on how little money corporations invest in these sorts of causes it is likely that it is too insignificant of an amount to make a difference. So shop on without guilt knowing that very little of your money will be supporting a political or religious cause and only a minority of those causes opposes Christianity.