Culture Ethics

Franklin Graham’s effort to blacklist LGBT-friendly companies is a quixotic idea …

Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, addresses the crowd at the Festival of Hope, an evangelistic rally held at the national stadium in Port-au-Prince, on January 9, 2011. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Allison Shelley *Editors: This photo may only be used with RNS-FRANKLIN-GRAHAM, originally transmitted on May 20, 2015 or with RNS-CRUZ-COLUMN, originally transmitted on June 9, 2015, or with RNS-GRAHAM-REPUBLICAN, originally transmitted on Dec. 22, 2015.
Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, addresses the crowd at the Festival of Hope, an evangelistic rally held at the national stadium in Port-au-Prince, on January 9, 2011. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Allison Shelley *Editors: This photo may only be used with RNS-FRANKLIN-GRAHAM, originally transmitted on May 20, 2015 or with RNS-CRUZ-COLUMN, originally transmitted on June 9, 2015.

Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, addresses the crowd at the Festival of Hope, an evangelistic rally held at Haiti’s national stadium in Port-au-Prince, on Jan. 9, 2011. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Allison Shelley
*Editors: This photo may only be used with RNS-FRANKLIN-GRAHAM, originally transmitted on May 20, 2015 or with RNS-CRUZ-COLUMN, originally transmitted on June 9, 2015.

(RNS) Franklin Graham had a revelation.

On Friday (June 5), Graham said it had “dawned” on him how to “fight the tide of moral decay that is being crammed down our throats by big business, the media, and the gay & lesbian community.”

His solution: Stop doing business with LGBT-friendly companies.

“Every day it is something else! Tiffany’s started advertising wedding rings for gay couples. Wells Fargo bank is using a same-sex couple in their advertising,” Franklin wrote on his Facebook page.

Beginning this week, the son of Billy Graham vowed: “Let’s just stop doing business with those who promote sin and stand against Almighty God’s laws and His standards. Maybe if enough of us do this, it will get their attention.”

Indeed, if Christians were to divert their dollars away from all companies that support LGBT equality it would certainly get some attention. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

The irony of Graham’s posting this on Facebook is apparently lost on him. Facebook is vehemently pro-LGBT and Graham’s post, which has been shared 42,000 times, creates revenue for the social media platform.

Still, he’s putting his money where his mouth is. On Twitter, he announced he’s moving all the bank accounts for his two ministries out of Wells Fargo because of its ad featuring a lesbian couple.

I support Graham’s decision to withdraw his support for pro-LGBT companies. It’s an important part of the free market for individuals to boycott organizations that do not align with their beliefs.

I support him enough to want to help him out. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, the ministries Graham runs, are looking for neutral banks. I wouldn’t suggest Chase, Citigroup or Bank of America — all of which scored 100 percent in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

The Corporate Equality Index is measured by an organization’s inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in its nondiscrimination policies, domestic partner health benefits, transgender benefits, organizational competency practices and public commitments to the LGBT community.

So far in 2015, 14 of the Top 20 Fortune-ranked companies received 100 percent ratings by HRC, including Apple (throw out those iPhones!), AT&T (switch to Verizon?), Verizon Communications (or don’t) and Hewlett-Packard, to name a few.

Other pro-LGBT companies include:

  1. Target
  2. Starbucks
  3. Levi’s
  4. Microsoft
  5. Amazon
  6. Ford
  7. Home Depot
  8. Expedia
  9. Pepsi
  10. Procter & Gamble
  11. Gap
  12. Oreo
  13. Macy’s
  14. Old Navy
  15. Banana Republic
  16. General Mills
  17. J.C. Penney
  18. Walgreens
  19. Nike
  20. Ben & Jerry’s
  21. Google
  22. eBay
  23. Orbitz
  24. Jet Blue
  25. MasterCard
  26. Johnson & Johnson
  27. Goldman Sachs
  28. Cisco
  29. Marriott
  30. UBS

Those are just a few, and according to HRC’s report. Every year, more organizations get closer to that 100 percent rating.

Eliel Cruz is a contributor on religion, (bi)sexuality, media and culture at The Advocate, Mic and Religion News Service. Photo courtesy of Eliel Cruz

Eliel Cruz is a contributor on religion, (bi)sexuality, media and culture at The Advocate, Mic and Religion News Service. Photo courtesy of Eliel Cruz

If Graham is looking for national companies that have a zero rating, that’s going to be close to impossible. For companies that oppose LGBT equality, he’ll have to look at mom-and-pop shops in the 33 states that currently allow discrimination on the basis of sexual and gender identity.

Soon, Graham might have to stash his cash under his mattress, send smoke signals and grow his own food.

(Eliel Cruz is a contributor on religion, (bi)sexuality, media and culture at The Advocate, Mic and Religion News Service.)

YS/MG END CRUZ

About the author

Eliel Cruz

Cruz is a contributor on religion, (bi)sexuality, media and culture at The Advocate, Mic and Religion News Service.

46 Comments

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  • LMAO! Irony is not the strong suit for bigots wrapping themselves in religion.

    Facebook’s co-founder Chris Hughes is not only married to a man, but is the political director of Freedom To Marry.

    I guess Frankie’s friends will also avoid the entire entertainment industry. Even “Christian friendly” films and TV shows are produced using people from movie industry technical unions (DGA, IATSE…) and SAG actors. All of them are quite LGBT friendly.

    “that is being crammed down our throats by…”

    The anti-gay crowd really have to come up with a better expression than that that one. It not only is overused, but makes them sound like idiots with an oral fixation.

  • Which was co-founded by the political director of Freedom to Marry.

    LOL.

    I guess Frankie’s friends will avoid the entire entertainment industry. Even “Christian friendly” films and TV shows are produced using people in media technical unions and SAG actors. All of which are LGBT friendly to say the least.

  • Here’s what’s funny.

    Frankie did indeed transfer his funds to another bank: BB&T Bank in north Carolina, which is sponsoring gay pride in NC.

    Well, whoopsie. Frankie isn’t quite as smart as he thinks he is.

    Given the general sleaziness of evangelical money makers, my own guess would be that there was something that Frankie would prefer to direct attention away from.

    But then, I also believe “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

  • Boycotts may have worked years ago, but there is almost no business in the US that is aligned with Christian principles. Companies are fined and harassed if they do not comply with government dictates, and sued by the ACLU for the most trite “discrimination” of any peculiarity on the part of an employee. I understand Graham’s frustration as the US approaches the misguided legalization of gay marriage……which will eventually lead to discrimination against free religious thought on the matter in public. Few seem to understand that gay discrimination is not an argument, its gay marriage that is the source of all this animosity. Most believe that legalization is righting a wrong, that same sex marriage is equal to hetero marriage…..so it can be included in marriage’s definition. This is wrong thinking, for it bears no resemblance at all to the married state.

  • Nom JR, it is not gay marriage this is the source of all of this animosity. It’s homobigotry.

    but sure. you keep on believing that we’re the problem, and not bible-based bigotry

  • JR, any business that claims to be “aligned with Christian principles” is simply looking at uncritical bible thumpers as easy marks for their advertising. Even they aren’t stupid enough to publicly turn away potential customers and generate bad press with discriminatory rhetoric.

    Graham and cohorts are learning how difficult it is getting to have their brand of religious based bigotry given color of law in this day and age. Big businesses learned a while ago that discrimination costs them in more ways than merely lawsuits and fines. It is economically damaging for the discriminators and discriminated alike.

    Good luck finding companies which do not stand by the principle of “discrimination is bad for business”. All this shows is that Franklin Graham is an idiot who doesn’t do his homework.

  • Ben Ben,
    Yeah, you tell me what I believe. Call it “homobigotry”, whatever the hell that is. It is expanding marriage definition to include something that does not fit. Since gays are the ones bullying the world into believing this, then, yes, gays are to be blamed for the hatred that follows. No voice from outside of the gay minority instigated this idea that its time we let gays marry…….ever..in all of mankind’s long, long, long, long history.

  • Yes JR, we get that you don’t like the idea of treating gays like human beings, because you claim God permits you to treat them badly. You have let that be known on numerous occasions.

  • And yet, other times, you claim that gay people represent just 2% of the population. So how does that work? How does 2% of the population bully 98% of the population?

    And those horrible black people? How dare they bully the 90% of the population that is in black into believing that black people should be treated the same as everyone else? And when the fire hoses and the dogs were directed that black people for protesting, why it was just the fault of the black people for assuming that they were human beings and citizens.

    Why is it that you just cannot own your own bigotry? Why do you have to blame your bigotry on us?

  • I prefer other metaphors myself, since that particular one was borrowed from atheists whining about religion “being shoved down our throats.”

    Almost as hackneyed as “imposing your beliefs on…etc etc etc.” But since language is a particular love of mine cliches tend to be one of my pet peeves.

  • Actually, since the first place I saw this ad was unfortunately on one of my kids’ word games, it presented a great opportunity for a discussion about how easily the media manipulates the unthinking.

  • But it doesn’t have the same kind of juvenile humor connotations like the apparent oral fixation of the anti-gay crowd. 🙂

    It really is a stupid, yet humorous, metaphor for a position which is not noted for people who act in a rational or sensible manner.

    Best part of the article:

    The irony of Graham’s posting this on Facebook is apparently lost on him. Facebook is vehemently pro-LGBT and Graham’s post, which has been shared 42,000 times, creates revenue for the social media platform.

    Frankie’s little tirade is actually making money for a major political contributor of Pro-LGBT causes. Go figure.

  • The anti-gay metaphor is so loaded with juvenile humor potential. Especially with its connotation of oral fixation. It really makes the speaker appear foolish with each iteration.

    Best part of the article
    The irony of Graham posting this on Facebook is apparently lost on him. Facebook is vehemently pro-LGBT and Graham’s post, which has been shared almost 40,000 times, creates revenue for the social media platform.

    Graham’s little tirade is actually making money for the people he opposes. Whoops.

  • I’d like to point out AGAIN, that not all Christians are bigots and bible-worshipping, anti-science zealots. In fact, there are plenty (millions even) that are pro-gay marriage — such as the UCC, Episcopal Church and quite a big list in fact.

  • The media doesn’t manipulate anyone.

    It didn’t when media choices were limited and easily controlled by small numbers of people. It doesn’t now in a media marketplace known for being fragmented and niche oriented.

    That is just what people say when they don’t want to sound smug and portray themselves as “superior thinkers” from the hoi polloi.

  • Are you referring to the media like FOXNews, town hall, Brekt art, drudge, wing nut I mean world net daily, the Washington times, and a host of others that I could name? Or is your Irejust read search for allegedly liberal media?

  • Equality for Blacks was a cause instigated by whites, church leaders, and social reformers. Stop equating the gay cause with human rights.

  • He’s a man of God. Unfortunately, the US has become a nation that accepts immorality as a civil right.

  • Then you are not true Christians, you only use the name to show that Christians DO approve of gay marriage. Approval of gay marriage cuts of any meaningful relationship with God.

  • And yet another conservative Christian, determined to tell the world who is a Christian and who is not, who has appointed himself the arbiter of who is with god and who is against him.

    As if God would confide in an unrepentant sinner the status of his relationship with anyone else in the world.

    Surely, your tiny version of God would disapprove of any True Christian, such as yourself, who consorts with any of the 2/3 of the world that thinks the Christian story is nonsense. Right?

    Because the only thing that gets his only knickers into a twist is gay people. He’s perfectly fine with all of the people who reject him and his alleged word entirely.

    Why are you so determined to make your tiny version of god even more ridiculous than he already is?

  • No, the US is a nation that is finally coming around to the idea that religious freedom is for everyone, not just you.

  • Anyone that does not follow Christ in the way Christ demands us to is not a Christian….its that simple. No Christian can bless the idea of gay marriage and believe that the Son of God okays their decision. It is so obvious that I question the intelligence of any Christian person who embraces this sin.

  • Franklin is an opportunistic piece of human detritus with no appreciable intelligence or integrity. Without the goodwill and organization his father built up, he would have nothing.

    You are hardly in a position to lecture people on immorality.

  • Why? The anti gay bigots are using the same playbook as racists. Same arguments, same tactics, same whining responses.

    BTW your kind of church was founded on opposing civil rights, not supporting then. Christian conservatives can stop trying to take credit and appropriate something they actively opposed and still so in concept.

  • As glowing a recommendation as Graham could possibly receive from a new atheist. On his behalf, thank you.

  • I am a “new atheist” now?
    I am not that young. 🙂

    Ahhh, you want to sling cheap ad hominem. Whatever.

    Graham’s record speaks for itself. The man has the reverse midas touch. Everything he deals with turns to crap. He hates free exercise of religion, gays, democratic principles and any of the goodwill his father built up. The man can’t even run a charity without acting like a d-bag to middlemen and engaging in cheap proselytizing.

    If he is your example of upstanding religious figure, look harder. You can do better.

  • Shawnie, media manipulation is one of those things people take as true for axiomatic reasons, not because of any credible evidence.

    What people claim with advertising and how it is actually received are 2 different things. The art of pretending correlation = causation.

    If they knew what they were doing, every blockbuster movie, new album, and TV pilot would be a success and nobody would be downloading ad blocking software or time shifting their TV watching.

    People who talk about media manipulation are usually full of crap and/or trying to pawn off some psuedoscience nonsense (or appeal to an audience as “smarter than the rest of the crowd”).

  • So atheist is an ad hom now? Gee, Larry, have a little more self-respect than that.

    Billy was a tough act to follow–of course Franklin isn’t exactly the man his father was and is (neither was Isaac, or Solomon, or any other offspring of the great biblical heroes, for that matter). But doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have His own unique use for him, and I’d be far more concerned about him if people like you were singing his praises. Jesus Himself called that a red flag.

  • “I’d be far more concerned about him if people like you were singing his praises.”

    I am singing his praises as one the most unintentionally funny anti-gay religious pundit out there. The man is so boneheaded that his attempt at a personal boycott actually made a ton of money for pro-LGBT supporters. You can’t normally find that level of stupidity in nature. It usually has to be artificially grown in a lab. 🙂

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/06/10/franklin-graham-whos-boycotting-pro-lgbt-companies-moved-his-money-to-a-gay-pride-supporting-bank/

  • Hee hee. Ok, Larry, tell you what. You live in NYC, so how about you hike on over to Broadway and ask to see Dr. Hubbard, the dean of Columbia University Business School. You can then proceed to explain to him how his entire Marketing Department should be scrapped because the strategies and skills being taught there are just “pseudoscience” and “bullcrap” and there is “no credible evidence” that it is worth the $63,000 a year the students are paying for it. And talk fast, so you can get in all your typical cliches before he calls security to the throw out the crackpot.

    Let me know how the interview goes.

  • The point isn’t about not doing business with “gay friendly” businesses, just businesses that promote the homosexual agenda which is the normalization of their sin – just so you know. There is a difference. And yes, as a Christian I am closing my accounts with Wells Fargo as well. I’m sure if enough of us stop doing business with entities like Wells Fargo who go out of their way to promote sin, they’ll start to think twice about it.

  • When was the last time you actually had a discussion with business and media analysts with MBA’s? They are not economists, psychologists or even students of semniotics.

    Their expertise in such things is psuedoscience, assumption and oft-repeated but seldom scrutinized junk. Spending money on something is not the same as expertise. If you referred to psychological or sociological studies, you might have a chance of being taken seriously.

    People dump more than 60K to attend Liberty Law School, a bottom rung evangelical school whose degree is treated worse than toilet paper. People can be stupid with their money. 🙂

  • Business school is not for a scientific education. Hubbard is not a professor of psychology, economy or even semniotics. If you referred to actual studies on the subject by people whose views are subject to scientific rigors and peer review, your appeal to authority would mean something. But it doesn’t.

    Spending money on a subject doesn’t mean its being spent wisely.

  • Larry, you wouldn’t know a peer review from a pay per view. The study of marketing and advertising most certainly does involve a massive amount of psychology and scientific study and methodology. Good grief! What you will resort to arguing simply for the sake of attack is pathetic. There are times when your cause is better served by simply keeping your mouth shut.

  • “The man is so boneheaded that his attempt at a personal boycott actually made a ton of money for pro-LGBT supporters. You can’t normally find that level of stupidity in nature”

    Oh, it’s quite easy to find. You and your cohorts accomplished a sizable (and well-deserved) windfall for two Christian wedding service providers and a pizza parlor, who would all be simply going about business as usual and bothering no one had you bullies not decided to attack them for not wanting to play tea-party with you.

    But again, wrt Franklin Graham, Jesus said long ago, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.”

    IOW, if the God-haters hate you, you’re probably doing something right.

    😀

  • “Larry, you wouldn’t know a peer review from a pay per view.”

    By the hurling of the invective, we have officially reached the point where discussion has gotten silly. Your assertion depends on things taken as axiomatic, not as rationally supportable facts.

    I agree that discussion with you is a waste of time in most cases. 🙂

  • Oh, it’s quite easy to find. You and your cohorts accomplished a nice (and well-deserved) windfall for two Christian wedding service providers and a pizza parlor, who would still be quietly going about their business and bothering no one had you bullies not decided to attack them for not wanting to play tea-party with you.

    But wrt Franklin Graham, as Jesus said long ago, ” Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man…for in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.”

    IOW, if the God-haters hate you, you’re probably doing something right. Good on you. 😀

  • “By the hurling of the invective, we have officially reached the point where discussion has gotten silly.”

    That point is normally reached with your first comment on any given article.

    I agree with your last statement whole-heartedly…. as far as you’re concerned.

  • Sorry for the double post. ReCaptcha hung up and I thought the first didn’t go through.

  • “windfall for two Christian wedding service providers and a pizza parlor, who would still be quietly going about their business and bothering no one had you bullies not decided to attack them for not wanting to play tea-party with you”

    Quietly going about their business. LMAO. Your mendacity knows no bounds. It was called capitalizing on hysteria. Fundamentalists were truly boneheaded to give money for obvious scams to play on their sense of bigotry and phony persecution complexes. Then again those dolts contribute money to preachers so they can buy Gulfstream jets. Intelligence and being responsible with money are not traits one associates with fundamentalist Christians.

    The fact you still think it was a “well deserved” windfall makes you look not only doltish but stubborn. Someone who just can’t still grasp they were swindled and is still defending the con artists.

    You have proven there are people far dumber than Graham. His supporters. 🙂

  • It looks like there is not a single bank that would leave their customers alone with “LGBT PRIDE” messages displayed at the ATM screens. I left Chase and switched to Wells Fargo, just to find out that they are doing the same. Its like “You can run but you can’t hide” Obviously the goal of the LGBT community is to convert even the last heterosexual being on this earth into a dick sucker.

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