Dear City of Houston,
Pastors have been at the very center of American society since even before our founding as a nation, and they remain an integral part of the lives of untold of millions of Americans today. They cheer us on when we succeed, lift us up when we fall, and pray with us in our darkest times of need. Pastors were leaders in the fight for American independence, pastors made the moral case to abolish slavery, pastors argued for women’s suffrage, pastors advocated for much needed child labor laws, and pastors – including one from Georgia whose life is celebrated by a new monument in Washington, DC – championed the cause of civil rights. During every national moment of crisis, we turn to our pastors for guidance, strength, and wisdom.
Our First Amendment protects freedom of speech and religion, which has made these significant accomplishments possible. If pastors had been silenced, if they had not been free to speak out on issues in our society, America would not be what it is today. In fact, America would not be.
We live in a rich, diverse society today. A society with differing viewpoints and beliefs, a society of open discourse in which tolerance makes it possible for us to disagree with respect. We also live in a society that values equality, including the notion that everyone has the right to publicly express deeply held beliefs without fear of persecution or reprisal. People of faith – who are a significant part of America’s rich rainbow of diversity – share the same fundamental rights as other groups.
Your legal actions against a group of respected clergy members in the city of Houston constitute aggressive bullying, the very offense from which you seek to protect another community in the city. This is unconstitutional, un-American, and the very height of hypocrisy.
By signing this petition, I stand with these valued faith leaders and demand that you cease and desist all bullying and other offensive actions against them. I also call on the City of Houston, in their quest to provide protection for LGBT citizens, to equally and explicitly acknowledge and ensure the equal rights of people of faith to live and express openly their deeply held religious beliefs. Furthermore, I ask that you apologize to the pastors, the people of Houston, and people of faith across the nation. Nobody should face persecution in America simply for what they believe.
PS: Looking for more background information on the Houston pastors story? Visit our blog post.GOAL: 12,120 signaturesAdd signature
Please reinstate “Flip it Forward”!GOAL: 20,414 signatures
2nd Update, May 16, 2014 – Following a swift and unified outcry by Faith Driven Consumers and fair-minded Americans across the nation, SunTrust today reversed its earlier decision to drop the Benham brothers – citing respect for the fundamental constitutional rights of all Americans. Faith Driven Consumer is grateful to all who collectively raised their voices against religious viewpoint discrimination in a united call for tolerance, fairness, and equality for all Americans. This also applies to those who hold to a biblical worldview, which includes respect for life and natural marriage.
UPDATED May 16, 2014 — Following HGTV’s decision last week to cancel the Benham brothers’ television show, SunTrust Banks has taken the highly unusual step of pulling all of its listed properties with the Benham Real Estate Group—and its franchises spread across four states—apparently based on the brothers’ biblical faith and worldview. By taking this discriminatory action, SunTrust has demonstrated its intolerance toward those who hold biblically based views and chosen to exclude Faith Driven Consumers from its rainbow of diversity.
Send a message to SunTrust and other companies that it’s NOT OK to discriminate based on religion and deeply held faith convictions by signing our petition at the bottom of the page and continuing to speak out. Together, we can send a powerful message to corporate America that Christians should be welcomed and respected equally alongside other groups in America.
Dear HGTV and Scripps Networks Interactive,
I am writing regarding your network's intolerant and discriminatory decision to cancel “Flip It Forward” from HGTV's fall 2014 lineup because of the pro-life and pro-natural marriage faith-driven beliefs of stars David and Jason Benham.
The views that the Benhams' have publicly expressed reflect a biblical view of life, sexuality, marriage, and family that have stood the test of time for thousands of years and continue to be held by the majority of Americans and your viewers – including those in HGTV’s home market of Knoxville, Tennessee.
HGTV’s decision to exclude those who hold to a faith-based viewpoint held by 46 million Faith Driven Consumers who spend $1.75 trillion annually has no place in America’s inclusive rainbow of diversity.
And this decision contradicts HGTV’s stated core values of integrity and diversity, which emphasize “having a strong moral compass which points to character, honesty, ethical practice and accountability” and hold that all are included in the “broad canvas of interests, backgrounds, lifestyles and ethnicities.”
While some members of the pro-choice and LGBT communities may not agree with the biblical view on these particular issues, the notion that free-thinking Americans should be discriminated against simply for expressing a perspective that is in conflict with another is patently un-American and flies in the face of true tolerance and inclusiveness.
As a Faith Driven Consumer, I ask that you reverse your decision and reinstate "Flip It Forward” immediately out of respect for the millions of Americans who share the faith-driven worldview of its hosts.
John Q. Public
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PETITION TO THE A&E NETWORK DEMANDING THE IMMEDIATE REINSTATEMENT OF DUCK DYNASTY’S PHIL ROBERTSON — #ISTANDWITHPHILGOAL: 265,731 signatures
Dear A&E Network,
I am writing to you regarding your network's intolerant, discriminatory, and punitive treatment of Mr. Phil Robertson, star of A&E's #1 hit show, Duck Dynasty.
Mr. Robertson’s comments in GQ Magazine are simply reflective of a Biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and family – a view that has stood the test of time for thousands of years and continues to be held by the majority of Americans and today’s world as a whole.
Many members of the LGBT community may not agree with this view, but the notion that a free-thinking American should be discriminated against simply for expressing a perspective that is in conflict with another is patently un-American and flies in the face of true tolerance and civility. A&E's position, which in your own words is “championing” the gay and lesbian community — which I believe you have the freedom to do — excludes the views of Faith Driven Consumers and effectively censors a legitimate viewpoint held by the majority of Americans.
As a Faith Driven Consumer, I am signing this petition to demand that my views be treated with equality and respect in America’s rich rainbow of diversity.
I am asking your network to immediately reinstate Mr. Robertson to Duck Dynasty, and to formally apologize to him, his family, and the millions of viewers who tune in every week, stand by him, and share his worldview. While the LGBT community may be offended by his opposing viewpoint, your rash, discriminatory, and unfair treatment toward Mr. Robertson — a recognized symbol of the faith community — is a slap in the face to Faith Driven Consumers and everyday Americans alike.
There are 46 million Faith Driven Consumers in America today who spend 1.75 trillion dollars annually. Should you refuse to equally respect and welcome our legitimately held views, we will gladly stop watching this and all other A&E programming and turn to any reformulation of Duck Dynasty on another network – while simultaneously supporting brands that stand with the show and the Robertson family.
John Q. Public
PS: If you submit your signature and it doesn't go through, refresh the page and try again, or text ISTANDWITHPHIL to 1-919-800-0751.