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Sunday, February 03, 2008

AFA's Ford Boycott Is Anti-Christian

A recent article I saw on Pajamas Media estimates that the ongoing American Family Association boycott of Ford is doing serious damage to Ford's sales. This is debatable. I propose that the boycott is actually anti-family.

The American Family Association is continuing to press its boycott against Ford, in an attempt to convince Ford to stop supporting homosexual community groups through its philanthropy, and to stop advertising to gay customers. The AFA chose Ford out of all of the automakers because at the beginning of the boycott, Ford was in financially the worst position. (I suspect that title may now actually belong to Chrysler, behind its private equity wall. )

The AFA's boycott is wrong, in my opinion. * First, on biblical grounds:
18:20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is
great, and because their sin is very grievous;


18:23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the
righteous with the wicked? 18:24 Peradventure there be fifty
righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the
place for the fifty righteous that are therein? 18:25 That be far
from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the
wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far
from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? 18:26 And
the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city,
then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

18:27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me
to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes: 18:28
Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou
destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there
forty and five, I will not destroy it.

18:29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there
shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty's

18:30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the LORD be angry, and I will
speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I
will not do it, if I find thirty there.

18:31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the
LORD: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I
will not destroy it for twenty's sake.

18:32 And he said, Oh let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak yet
but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I
will not destroy it for ten's sake.
--Genesis 18, Project Gutenberg King James Bible

Granted, the bible says that homosexuality is an "abomination". But God was willing to spare Sodom from destruction if there were even only 10 righteous men in the city, which had a population of thousands. This is an illustration of God's attribute of mercy--even though the Sodomites were sinners, he was convinced by Abraham not to mete out collective punishment.

Ford has about 283,000 employees. Quite a few of these (probably the majority of U.S. employees) are Christians. Is it right to potentially hurt so many, not to mention the dealers, suppliers, and others who benefit from Ford's business because Ford sends some money to homosexual causes?

I have no idea how much Ford has spent on gay marketing and donations. The largest gift AFA mentions was $250,000 that the Ford Fund donated to build a community center. But compare this to the $87,000,000 total that Ford spent on philanthropy in 2006. Of that, $13,000,000 alone was given to United Way of Michigan in 2006 (Source).

Ford's gay support is a drop in the bucket.

The AFA, in its zeal to fight its culture war against the gay movement, is willing to destroy the livelihood of tens of thousands of Christian employees, and eliminate millions of dollars of charitable giving to pro-family causes.

Even if the AFA is successful, it isn't clear what they will accomplish, other than expanding their own influence.

Here is a list of other companies that are listed as being very gay friendly (100% score), according to the Human Rights Campaign report of 2004:

Fortune Rank, Company
108 Aetna Inc.**
305 Agilent Technologies Inc.*
110 American Airlines (AMR Corp.)**
69 American Express Co.*
301 Apple Computer Inc.**
40 AT&T Corp.*
401 Avaya Inc.**
n/a Bausch & Lomb Inc.
78 Best Buy Co. Inc.*
452 Borders Group Inc.*
200 Capital One Financial Corp.
n/a Cargill Inc.
402 The Charles Schwab Corp.*
n/a ChoicePoint Inc.
174 Chubb Corp.*
100 Cisco Systems Inc.*
8 Citigroup Inc.*
430 Coors Brewing Co.*
31 Dell Inc.*
n/a Deutsche Bank
149 Eastman Kodak Co.**
n/a Faegre & Benson*
4 Ford Motor Co.*
74 The Goldman Sachs Group Inc.*
11 Hewlett-Packard Co.
9 IBM Corp.
53 Intel Corp.**
26 J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.**
274 Keyspan*
n/a Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant Group Inc.*
n/a Kraft Foods Inc.*
113 Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
422 Levi Strauss & Co.
243 Lucent Technologies Inc.**
36 MetLife Inc.
n/a Miller Brewing Co.*
n/a Mitchell Gold Co.
n/a Morrison & Foerster LLP
61 Motorola Inc.*
118 Nationwide*
322 NCR Corp.**
499 New York Times Co.*
184 Nike Inc.**
350 Owens Corning*
62 PepsiCo Inc.*
25 Pfizer Inc.*
179 PG&E Corp.
57 Prudential Financial Inc.
n/a Replacements Ltd.**
n/a SC Johnson & Son Inc.
n/a Southern California Edison Co.*
n/a UBS Financial Services Inc.*
49 Wells Fargo & Co.*
161 Whirlpool Corp.*
n/a Worldspan Technologies Inc.**
130 Xerox Corp.**
It's clear why Ford was chosen from this list--it's high profile, American, and in bad financial shape. If the AFA had chosen Dell, for example, their leverage would have been dramatically less.

Here is a list of other automakers from the 2008 HRC report:

Company, Score
Chrysler 100
General Motors 100
Subaru USA 85
Toyota USA 90
VW USA 100

In addition, lists BMW, Mitzubishi, Nissan, and Mercedes as being "gay friendly".
Which means that the only major companies left that are not are Honda, and Hyundai/Kia. The AFA web site does not endorse Honda, Hyundai, or Kia, surprisingly.

Whether we agree or not, all major automakers have some level of support for the gay community

*I'm ambivalent on this issue personally. I think gays should be treated with dignity, but I don't support the official redefinition of marriage to include gay unions.