Tuesday, May 12, 2020

ADF is Correct - They ARE the Object of Discrimination

Michael P. Farris
Hate Group Leader Michael P. Farris
via YouTube
Tuesday, Alliance Defending Freedom is again complaining about being designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group with a missive titled: Stop the discrimination!
When one of the largest companies in the world discriminates against customers and nonprofits that support marriage between one man and one woman, that’s a fight worth showing up for.

Amazon uses its Smile program to discriminate against religious nonprofits and customers that support traditional marriage. ADF is one of many nonprofits that was kicked out of the Smile program for this reason. Amazon relies on the widely discredited “hate” lists produced by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for this purpose.
Why is it that the sanctimonious set finds comfort in being indifferent to truth? Perhaps “bearing false witness” does not apply to self-righteous religious conservatives.
  1. Amazon uses its Smile program not to discriminate against anyone but to allow its customers to subsidize charities with a small portion of their purchases.
  2. ADF is not one of “many nonprofits” to be designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. There are more than 1.7 million organizations recognized as nonprofit entities by the Internal Revenue Service. About 65 of those are considered anti-LGBTQ hate groups.
  3. ADF is not deemed a hate group because it “supports traditional marriage.” ADF is deemed a hate group because it devotes considerable time, effort and capital to marginalize, promote discrimination against and promote prejudice of LGBTQ people.
  4. Therefore, Amazon.com is discriminating against ADF because ADF is a hate group; not because of religious beliefs.
  5. The SPLC's work is not “widely discredited.” Organizations listed as hate groups make this claim in an attempt to devalue the judgment of the SPLC. It is comparable to a group of deadbeats claiming that TransUnion is widely discredited.
ADF's displeasure continues (the email is unsigned):
But a discredited propaganda machine like the SPLC has no business determining who gets to participate in charitable programs like AmazonSmile. This is shameful.

Thankfully, you now have an opportunity to stand up to corporate America and make your voice heard.
In point of fact, it is the SPLC's business to determine which organizations are hate groups. It is not only reasonable but expected of Amazon not to subsidize hate groups. What is “shameful” is the promotion of hate against LGBTQ people.
The SPLC has correctly determined that anti-LGBTQ hate is no different from racism, Islamophobia or anti-Semitism.
ADF proposes that its hate is acceptable because they are “merely” complying with scripture. That is baloney because of the difference between religious beliefs and conduct. Fostering discrimination does not satisfy any religious requirement.

If someone thinks that being gay, for example, is a sin then they can choose to be celibate (and quite miserable). Once that individual or group promotes the attitude that gay people are evil; once they try to compel other people to be neurotic, then they cross the line between belief and behavior.

Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are underpinned by religious beliefs. Historically, racism has been the product of — and excused by — religious beliefs.
What is missing?
Nowhere does ADF explain, or attempt to explain, why the SPLC's judgment is flawed. Where are the errors of fact or judgment?

The deadbeat doesn't like his credit score and complains that TransUnion is unfair or corrupt or whatever comes to mind to blame the credit bureau rather than himself for not paying his bills.
ADF proposes a solution
Logic dictates that Alliance Defending Freedom should alter its conduct. They make other choices:
Whether you’re an Amazon shareholder or a concerned customer, you can take action and help stop this discrimination in one of two ways.
  1. If you are an Amazon shareholder, please vote in favor of Resolution 12 on the latest shareholder ballot (which you can read on the bottom of page 41 at this link [at ADF's website]).
  2. If you are an Amazon customer, please sign the petition to urge Amazon to stop this practice.
Solution #1 depicts the folks at ADF as financially clueless rubes. About 60% of Amazon.com shares are held by institutional investors that will invariably vote with management on any issue. Another 12% of shares are held by insiders.

The shareholder proposal is one of 16 (Def 14A at SEC.gov). It actually asks for Amazon to invest in a study. Aside from the fact that this cannot possibly pass, it would have no effect if it did. Amazon Smile is an independent nonprofit corporation. Shareholders of Amazon.com don't have a say in how Amazon Smile is operated.

Part of management's response is this:
Diversity and inclusion are cornerstones of our continued success and critical components of our culture, “help[ing] us better serve customers, selling partners, content creators, employees, and community stakeholders from every background.”
In light of our demonstrated commitment to our core values of diversity and inclusion for all stakeholders of Amazon, from customers to sellers to employees, as well as our robust risk management process, the Board recommends that shareholders vote against this proposal.
Solution #2 is equally futile. Amazon (see their statement, above) considers supporting inclusion and diversity a core value and a significant contributor to the company's success. Moreover, imagine competing petitions. One supporting Amazon's values would obviously overwhelm ADF's puny effort.
Corporate America needs to end its war against people of faith and stay neutral on controversial social and political issues.
American Family Association, another anti-LGBTQ hate group, tried and failed with the tactic that “corporations should be neutral in the culture war.” There are several reasons that this stratagem fails. For starters, suppose that a group asked companies to be neutral in regards to anti-Semitism or racism.

Additionally, most of corporate America is very much like Amazon in terms of recognizing the importance of diversity. That's not out of the goodness of hearts. It is a very Republican value of maximizing revenues.

More importantly, corporate America is not at war with people of faith. That is hyperbolic BS. So is the notion that fairness towards LGBTQ people is controversial. Controversy is created by bigots who promote prejudice and discrimination.
A moment of truth
Religious fundamentalists are obliged to promote the false notion that sexual orientation and gender identity are choices (much like their religious choices). This avoids having to come to terms with the fact that their deity is responsible for creating LGBTQ people.

In other words, their prejudice against, and persecution of, LGBTQ persons is based on a falsehood.

Michael P. Farris, the president of ADF is an ultra-conservative Catholic. His faith informs him that gay people are “objectively disordered.” Transgender people are adherents to a perverse ideology.

Sane, rational people are able to differentiate between faith and fact. Farris is incapable of doing so.
A dose of Occam
According to Occam's Razor, when there exist competing hypotheses, the simpler of the two is likely to be correct because it makes the fewest assumptions.

ADF proposes to limit the effects of being designated a hate group through email, petitions, shareholder proposals and denigrating the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The alternative solution is to cease behaving as a hate group.

Which of those choices is the most likely to be successful? ADF will continue to choose to fail.

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