Jane Rowe endorsed 2015-04-02 11:40:58 -0400
We are disappointed by the misleading and inflammatory nature of many people’s comments in reaction to recent events surrounding Indiana’s religious freedom law. Such language presents an obstacle to the important issue of achieving equality in our culture and in the marketplace. Our multicultural and pluralistic society highly values diversity, and extols respect and tolerance, even for those who hold differing viewpoints. As a nation, we must progress toward a solution that works for everyone.
As Christians, Faith Driven Consumers and faith-friendly business owners, God calls us to love everyone. We are not called to embrace all beliefs or actions, especially those in conflict with our values and convictions. We love our fellow citizens without reservation, even when, as Christian business owners, we decline to participate in the celebration of activities that violate our deeply held religious beliefs and conscience. And, we should have the freedom to do so without fear of prosecution and persecution—just like those who currently enjoy such protections are able to opt out of Christian activities.
Our goal is not exclusion, but rather inclusion. We seek to build a culture where everyone is afforded a safe place in the marketplace. Corporate America has led the charge demanding equality for our LGBT citizens—expanding the definition of diversity to many groups in recent years. We now call upon them, alongside our elected leaders, to seize this incredible opportunity to advocate for a new paradigm of equality. By pursuing equal protections for everyone—respecting that those with differing viewpoints can coexist while retaining the right to exercise and express their convictions—we can create an environment where the needs of all consumers are met. Everyone deserves to be treated with fairness and dignity, including people of faith.
And as Christians, Faith Driven Consumers and faith-friendly business owners, we object to the intolerance directed toward us by politicians, celebrities, and companies such as Apple's Tim Cook, Angie's List's Bill Oesterie, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and others. Our religious freedom shouldn't stop the moment we become business owners. For these reasons, we stand with states that protect our religious freedoms, and ask that consumers and owners alike acknowledge that now is the time for Faith Driven Consumers to be fairly added to the marketplace's rich rainbow of diversity.
Faith Friendly Business Owners
PS: In addition to our signatures, we plan on placing our Faith Driven Consumer Plus Sign #AddUsIn stickers on our cars and businesses as a way of identifying ourselves as faith-friendly business owners and welcoming Faith Driven Consumers.
By signing below, you will receive a free Faith Driven Consumer sticker. Place it on your car or business and let the public know that you welcome the 41 million Christian consumers who spend $2 trillion annually in the marketplace. Don't forget to take a photo of your sticker placement and share it on Twitter: #AddUsIn and @FaithConsumer.Endorse
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: 559 signaturesAdd signature
GOAL: 1,731 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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