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Ovation: If Business Owners Want To Bring Their Personal Beliefs And Values To The Marketplace Then I’ll Certainly Bring Mine.

04/30/2014

KYstoreI’ve always been a firm believer in the power of the dollar.  “Voting with one’s wallet” is a very serious way to have your voice heard.  I try to support businesses who share my values and avoid adding to the coffers of those who do not.  The best businesses, I’ve found, are those who let their products speak for themselves.  If I have no idea what personal or moral values the company’s founders, leaders or employees might hold I can make my decisions based solely upon the product or service that they provide.

Some businesses make it very easy for me to avoid them.  Chick-Fil-A and Abercrombie & Fitch are two examples of companies with whom I do not do business because they very publicly inserted themselves and their products into the political arena … one by denouncing marriage equality and the other by shunning plus-size women.  We all, probably, do business with many companies and corporations that do not share our values because more successful companies are smart enough to avoid having specific values to share.

Herald’s Embroidery in Oak Grove, Kentucky, producers of customized apparel, ad banners and other promotional materials, has been making headlines this week because they clearly state on the window of their establishment that they do not welcome everyone’s business.  Apparently, Christians with guns and beards who don’t curse are welcome in their store but gays are definitely not.

The publicity that Herald’s Embroidery received by placing the stickers on the window must have been somewhat overwhelming as the stickers have, reportedly, been removed and the following notice is being displayed on their website.

Notice: We recently posted five 3″ stickers on the front entrance to our shop. Two of these stickers are negative and prohibitive in their message. After some public confusion as to the meaning of one which depicted a rainbow flag, we’ve replaced them with a clarification. “While we will serve all customers who treat our place of business with respect, we reserve the right to refuse to produce promotional products that promote ideas that are not in keeping with our consciences. This includes, but is not limited to content promoting homosexuality, freemasonry, the use of foul language, and imagery which promotes immodesty.” – From the website of Herald’s Embroidery

Frankly, I like the idea of posting stickers like this at the entrance.  Clear visual aids like these would tell me exactly where I would like to spend my hard-earned cash and what businesses I would like to avoid.  Let us know if guns are welcome or if you support the clubbing of baby seals.  Tell the public that you don’t want their black money, their Hindu money or their lesbian dollars.  Sadly, the only difference between the stickers on the window at Herald’s Embroidery and the “Whites Only” signs of the 1960s is the fact that only one is against the law.  Herald’s Embroidery, like many other small businesses across the nation, is confusing bigotry and discrimination with religion and faith.  Shame on them … and shame on anyone who patronizes their business.

If business owners want to bring their personal beliefs and values to the marketplace then I’ll certainly bring mine.  If a shopkeeper wants to make his business political, I won’t hesitate to vote with my wallet.

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11 Comments
  1. thehostess permalink

    I see beards are accepted. It just so happens that my beard was a flaming gay man I “dated” in college.

    Like

  2. Barneysday permalink

    I haven’t been in a Chick-fil-A nor a Hobby Lobby since they so famously came out. The chick’s outfit also doesn’t care for blacks, so they get a double whammy. Good blog.

    Like

  3. Great post. Having just revisited the Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro where the first sit in occurred, this shines a spotlight on exclusionary behavior and its ramifications. People can certainly vote with their feet and wallet. When African-Americans boycotted buses in Alabama, they bus company changed its tune as their revenue slumped.

    Like

  4. thedogs'mother permalink

    Our local florist refusal of service is still held up in court this and that.

    Like

  5. I like the Bigot Warning signs, but then they took down the anti-gay ones when folks started talking, so I guess they’re closeted bigots now?

    Like

  6. I can hear my dad saying now “If they’d just go back to worshiping the Almighty Dollar!” Seriously — people are in business to sell stuff. What sense does it make to offend people in this way? None. None at all.

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  7. I have been interested in the comments. Two more. (1) In my consulting days, I had wonderful clients and I had clients that were assholes. I had no choice but to serve them both, unless the latter affected our business, then we might resign from the client. (2) I have also worked with very devout people in their business, but who turned out to be just as greedy or more so, than someone who did not wear their religion on their sleeve. I still remember to this day the time a minister of a large church told a colleague and me, “your job is to take care of the shepherd, the Lord will take care of the flock.” That is a true story and an exact quote, because we were both stunned.

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