Wednesday, October 06, 2004

To boycott or not to boycott?

The call for a Procter and Gamble boycott sparks debate among conservative Christians

One of the hot topics on a radio discussion list I frequent is the call for a boycott of Procter and Gamble by Focus on the Family and the American Family Association. The organizations claim the giant Cincinnati-based soapmaker pushes a homosexual agenda and homosexual marriage.

I'll admit I'm appalled by this P & G ad that's being used an example of the company's gay-friendliness, although I'm not sure just where this ad shows up in print.

Focus and AFA want Christians to boycott Crest and Tide, which are two of P & G's biggest-selling products.

Now, I have to admit, I've never been a big fan of boycotts as a tool for change or even protest. It seems to me that all the major corporations have so many subsidiaries and sub-companies, that if we started boycotting one thing, we would end up having to boycott everything. I have to wonder: how much good do boycotts really do? Do corporations really sit up and take notice when people boycott? Does it send a message that effects change?

I'm just asking.

I appreciate Focus on the Family and think they've done a wonderful job in their ministry...and if you want to join the boycott, more power to you. Actually, when I was at Wal-Mart the other day shopping for toothpaste, I consciously bought Colgate instead of Crest. There, I struck a blow! I'm sure P & G is reeling.

The radio forum raged for several days with discussion about the boycott, both pro and con.

Don on the radio forum supports the boycott, saying Christians have a responsiblity to proclaim the truth and call sin what it is: "You know that we will not have it easy by standing for Biblical values. The Christians were blamed for the burning of Rome when the Christian of that day had nothing to do with it. Such things happen to us as well. We need to be careful to proclaim the truth in love, but we must proclaim the truth.

"Even though non-believers don't understand this, it is loving to proclaim the truth."

But Chad thinks the boycott actually sends a bad message from Christians: "What difference does it make whether P & G 'supports' traditional marriage? P&G is not a person. It cannot get 'saved'. It is inherently tied to the 'city of man'.

"If I'm someone who is 'neutral' (and I'm not... I do not support homosexual marriage), the boycott and the attitude coming from the conservative Christians would be enough for me to support the repeal[of a Cincinnati city ordinance which prohibits the granting of special rights to homosexuals, the repeal of which P & G is reportedly supporting.] 'Whatever Focus has is something I don't want.' That's the loud & clear message being sent from our corner of the public square."

George points out: "You know, everytime you play a song by Steven Curtis Chapman, Steve Green, Andy Griffith, Twila Paris or Keith Green, you are also supporting Janet Jackson, Mick Jaggar, Courtney Love & Snoop Dogg? They are all on EMI record labels.

"Everytime you support Fox News, you also support the thoroughly disgusting anti-family, anti-traditional marriage FOX TV network. Everytime you buy a Zondervan Life Application Study Bible, you also support The Sun News Online, which features a different topless girl every day on their website. Those companies are all owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation."

And this from Harold: " Our Savior gave us both salt and light as examples for us to follow. Light
provides knowledge and identification and salt keeps back putrification.
Certainly some will be offended when the light is turned on...
Put some salt on a wound and it will sting! Salt and light serve their
purpose, only when put to use...Yes, it may cause you to lose a few listeners. Yes, some sinners will cuss
you out. But leave the light off, and the critturs will take over. Keep
the salt in the container and something will rot that could have been saved."

I confess, I haven't formulated a strong stance on the boycott. I still question whether they are effective at all.

I'll keep buying Gain because it's only 4.97 at Wal-Mart...and I've always bought whatever toothpaste was on sale, anyway.


Cindy said...

Just a note to anyone who would like to comment: I've changed my settings to allow comments by anyone don't have to be registered on Blogger to comment. I hadn't realized it was a simple matter of changing my settings.

Of course, if comments should become obnoxious, harassing or vulgar, I'll change it back.

Tina said...

Cindy - what a wonderful thought provoking post. Personally I've never been a boycotter. I'm more of a letter writer myself.

Norma said...

If Christians had a better record for heterosexual marriage, maybe we'd have some reason to boycott. As it is, our divorce rate doesn't different from unbelievers. This is a diversion to keep us from cleaning up our own mess.

Anonymous said...

Yeah!!! I can post now! I don't like the whole boycott issue. If someone wants to boycott a company for whatever reason, they need to do it wholly. Take P&G for example. Have you looked at their product list? There are several things on there I use, and I've tried alternate products that were inferior. Maybe some things can be substituted, but others can't. I'm a stickler for Crest. It's what I've used almost my entire life, and I don't want to change now. As for laundry detergent, I use what works best for me and doesn't cause skin irritations for the boys. Disney is another boycott problem. If you boycott Disney, not only do you boycott the theme park and the channel, but all their other holdings as well, including the ABC network. There's a really good book that speaks to all this: "Roaring Lambs" and I can't remember the author right now. We should use our voices to be heard, not our pockets.


Cindy said...

Ashley, "Roaring Lambs" is by Bob Briner, I believe. A highly-acclaimed book that I've meant to read, but never have.

Dianne said...

Is it possible for someone to feel strongly convicted about an issue and not others? Sometimes I feel like there are just so many things to think about. I guess if I feel convicted about something, and I believe it's the Holy Spirit doing the convicting, I have a decision to make. The boycott - not really on my mind.

lisa said...

I wonder how much more effective it would be if Jim Dobson took the president of Proctor and Gamble out to lunch?

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