Imagine that your laptop finally gives up the ghost. You have several options: You can drive to the store and buy a new one, or you can shop online.
If you choose the latter, you have another option: You can buy it from an online retailer, or you can connect to a retailer via a portal. Why? Because some portals, like CGBG, split their share of the profits with a charity of your choice.
It’s as close as shopping gets to “win-win” in our consumerist culture.
That is, of course, until someone objects to the charities who are receiving a share of the profits. And you won’t be surprised at who is making the objections.
Among the charities CGBG shares its profits with are the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family. In July, a petition asking Microsoft to stop doing business with CGBG hit the Web. The organizer, “Stuart Wilber, a 73-year-old gay man in Seattle,” in the words of the New York Times, says that he was “astonished” that people could buy Microsoft products through CGBG.
Do I have to tell you why he was astonished? After all, many gay activists and organizations consider Focus on the Family and FRC to be anti-gay hate groups just because they are opposed to so-called gay “marriage” and consider true the biblical teachings that homosexual sex is sinful.
It didn’t matter that Focus and FRC were only two of thousands of CGBG’s potential recipients. Nor did it matter what good the other groups did. Focus and FRC spoke a discouraging word about homosexuality, so CGBG was beyond the pale.
Microsoft gave in, as did Macy’s. Others, like Delta, Target and Wal-Mart, withdrew from any association with CGBG and then thought better of it.
Why? Because for major retailers there is no profit, literally, in alienating millions of potential Christian customers, especially when the association alleged by gay activists is so tenuous.
As a Delta spokesman put it, “We thought we were just flying airplanes.”
But to many in the gay-rights movement, retailers and airlines are mere props in a campaign of intimidation. From their perspective, the amount that Focus and FRC may raise through their participation in CGBG (and they don’t raise much) is beside the point.
It’s not enough that gay men and lesbians are free to live, work, and, in six states plus the District of Columbia, marry where and whom they choose.
It doesn’t matter that, within living memory of virtually everyone over the age of eighteen, the opinions being expressed by Focus, FRC and the Manhattan Declaration were literally taken for granted.
It doesn’t matter that, unlike the real “hate groups” to whom FRC is slanderously compared, no one involved with CGBG is threatening, much less doing, violence or even urging discrimination.
It doesn’t matter because, apparently, homosexual activists will not feel “free,” “safe,” “accepted” or “equal” unless every discordant note, every discouraging word about their lifestyle, is banned from the public square.
It’s good that Christians are speaking out. And some businesses have changed their minds. We must never be intimidated into the spiral of silence, which you’ll be hearing me talk about often in the weeks ahead.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media and print.
Publication date: September 29, 2011