The Blaze explains: "Massive retailers like Apple, Microsoft, Netflix and Wal-Mart have a relationship with an Internet marketer called the Charity Giveback Group (CGBG). When CGBG brings customers to retailers’ web sites, the marketer gets commission for the sales that are made. This, of course, is a common occurrence in the e-commerce world.... A portion of the commission that retailers pay out is donated to the buyers’ charity of choice. On the list of potential recipients are Christian organizations like the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family — groups that oppose gay marriage."
The New York Times reports further: "The national battle was ignited in July by Stuart Wilber, a 73-year-old gay man in Seattle. He was astonished, he said, when he learned that people who bought Microsoft products through a Christian-oriented Internet marketer known as Charity Giveback Group, or CGBG, could channel a donation to evangelical organizations that call homosexual behavior a threat to the moral and social fabric."
Wilber turned to the Internet to make his case, and created a petition on Change.org, a website that has garnered a reputation for championing leftist causes, however bizarre. (For example, Change.org recently featured a petition calling on Sesame Street to have Bert and Ernie get married.) Wilber’s petition read:
I am shocked and saddened to see that Microsoft is funding discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community through your participation in the Christian Values Network.
By allowing your brand to be used to raise money for good charities, you are also allowing your brand to be used to raise money for hate groups. Please ask the Christian Values Network to remove your brand from any stores which support these and any other hate groups which may be hosted on the site.
You have a strong history of supporting the LGBT community and should not tarnish your brand’s good reputation now by allowing your products to be used to raise money to fund these homophobic organizations.
The petition garnered more than 500 signatures, and in a matter of hours, Microsoft decided to remove its online store from the “Christian Values Network.”
Wilber proudly stated, “Microsoft’s swift reaction to my Change.org petition demonstrates their strong support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Microsoft has a long tradition of being supportive of our community. I assumed they would be just as upset as I was that their brand was being used by anti-gay hate groups to raise money. I’m glad I was right.”
More than likely, Microsoft was fearful of potential loss in revenue, but the petition was just the first in many steps to target the big companies. Apple was provoked to bail out of the arrangement as well after a similar petition was launched against it. As a result of the efforts by those on the Left, nearly 100 companies have been forced to drop out of the charity agreement.
Mike Huckabee, former pastor, Governor, and presidential candidate, responded to the mini-campaigns: “This is economic terrorism. To try to destroy a business because you don’t like some of the customers is, to me, unbelievably un-American.”
Likewise, conservative Christian groups feel they are being targeted for their religious beliefs, while the marketer feels customers are being denied access to choose donation recipients.
As a result, Christian groups have started a counter-campaign of their own, called “Christians/Consumers Against Retail Discrimination.” The group has launched a petition that asks supporters to “urge retailers to resist pressure to discriminate against customers with traditional and Biblical view of marriage.” The petition reads:
In recent weeks, online political activists have engaged in a misinformation campaign that bullies retailers into discriminating against customers and charities based on their religious beliefs, specifically the traditional and biblical view of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The online activists are targeting CGBG, a charity support group with a mission and partner network that includes more than 170,000 charities representing a range of religious, non-religious, educational and other groups. The online service helps users support their favorite charities by shopping on the web. However, in recent months online activists opposed to a traditional and biblical view of marriage have pressured retailers to end their participation with the charity support group.
The petition asks viewers to email those companies and encourage them not to kowtow to the pressures of a small group of individuals.
Fortunately, some companies, ncluding Walmart and Sam’s Club have responded positively to the Christian groups’ counter-campaign.
This is not the first time liberal and pro-gay groups have targeted companies for having opposing beliefs. Earlier this year, gay groups went after the privately owned chicken sandwich chain Chick-fil-A for its donations to Christian causes, scholarships and organizations. When Chick-fil-A donated sandwiches and brownies to a Harrisburg meeting of The Pennsylvania Family Group, a group that works to outlaw gay marriage, pro-gay marriage bloggers and gay rights organizations went on the offensive and encouraged customers to boycott the restaurant.
Similarly, pro-gay groups targeted Apple after its application store featured an application from the Christian group Exodus International.Once again, Apple had catered to their demands and removed the application.
This type of intolerance seems to be prevalent amongst groups that do their best to encourage tolerance amongst conservatives and Christians, but that is only for tolerance of radical Islam, homosexuality, child molesters, etc. Perhaps tolerance is just one of those “relative” terms.