Practice What You Preach

We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs. ~Gloria Steinem

Recently the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its ban on homosexuals and non-religious folks that want to be involved with their organization. That’s within their rights. Recently, the Plymouth School Committee voted to allow the scouts to use the schools without a fee. I can’t help but wonder if this violates the anti-discrimination policy of the Plymouth Public Schools. Would we tolerate another group to use our facilities for free if they discriminated against color or religion?

Many will argue that the scouts teach community and other skills that are good and necessary; that they make a difference in the lives of the boys who commit to scouting. I’m sure that’s true. But it’s also true that by choosing to enroll and stay in scouting, they are teaching their children that it’s ok to tolerate hate and bigotry if it benefits you in some way.

Also in the news is Boston’s Mayor Menino’s stance against Chick-Fil-A and his vow not to let them open a restaurant within the city limits due, in part, to their stance on marriage equality.

I don’t agree with the mayor. I believe that the best way to handle a business that wants to discriminate is to make sure that you do not frequent it. If the establishment or organization operates in a way that you find morally reprehensible and you continue to support them with your money, that’s on you and it makes you a part of the discrimination, part of the problem. Understand where your money goes. If you eat at Chick-Fil-A, a portion of your money will be actively used to discriminate. It will be used to spread hate, fear and intolerance.

I’m not arguing that the scouts and Chick-Fil-A should not exist nor am I arguing that they shouldn’t be allowed to make their own rules regarding membership or how they want to spend their profits. What I’m saying is that in order to affect change in organizations in a real and meaningful way is to hit them where it hurts: the pocketbook. Every dollar that you give to the scouts and Chick-Fil-A allows them to continue to spread hate and discrimination.

Talking with my daughter about this the other day I asked her if the mayor of Boston should be able to bar a business from opening if he doesn’t agree with how they spend their profits. I explained about Chick-Fil-A and how they actively seek to prevent marriage equality. She thought they should be allowed to open since she loves their chicken sandwiches. I then explained to her that by purchasing their delicious chicken sandwiches a portion of her money would go to fund activities that discriminate.

That led us to discuss what’s more important: her lunch or marriage equality. Thankfully, she decided that marriage equality is more important in the long run than her lunch. She’s a smart one, she is. We talked a little about being aware of where your money ends up. 

I explained how important it is to understand how money travels and that it is up to us to research how and where we spend our money. If a business or organization doesn’t align with our beliefs, we try not to give them our business.

Live your conscience. If you can’t stand up for your beliefs who will?

donna July 25, 2012 at 10:31 AM
I believe in one of the statements spoken about speaking up about what you think is right because no one else will....well then i hope you will respect my thinking as well. I am tired of people taking God out of our mouths, tired of not being able to eat where i want and spend my money where i want....I feel that if as your child said they should keep that chicken place open because they make good sandwiches where they put their money and profits is their business...BUT i also feel that the public should know where the money is going and then make that choice...the boy scouts is an organization that teaches young boys about life other than computers. With all the sexual abuse that has gone on today and yesterday i feel that they are genuinely looking out for their troop's possible harm and once again it is an organization that has made a choice. There are other clubs that outright refuse to have women as members...same thing...choices are what made this country what it is today...along with the belief that God will guide us. There is a large store chain that does not support our troops, but will support gay rights....i personally will not shop there because I HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO as my husband died after serving our country as a result of serving our country not because of any other reason. I just feel that people should be made aware of what our companies and organizations support but not to black ball them for what they support, just don't shop there.
malcolm nichols July 25, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Would you purchase products manufactured in Arizona?
donna July 25, 2012 at 10:52 AM
donna July 25, 2012 at 10:53 AM
what products you are talking about, and the "company" that makes them
Barbara Mulvey-Welsh July 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Exactly my point. The community should show support or not with their pocketbooks. Be an educated consumer and understand that where you choose to spend your money has consequences.
Barbara Mulvey-Welsh July 25, 2012 at 11:15 AM
It would depend on the company. Although after a brief Google search I can say I found nothing that I use / need that is manufactured in Arizona so I guess it's really moot at this point.
Barbara Mulvey-Welsh July 25, 2012 at 12:04 PM
http://news.change.org/stories/chick-fil-a-partners-with-rabid-anti-gay-group The company's charitable division has provided more than $1.1 million to organizations that deliver anti-LGBT messages and promote egregious practices like reparative therapy that seek to "free" people of being gay. See: http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201103220004 for more. http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/04/chick-fil-a-controversy-shines-light-on-restaurants-christian-dna/
Barbara Mulvey-Welsh July 25, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Show me an example of my non-tolerance. While you're at it, try to do it with a little dignity and class.
Barbara Mulvey-Welsh July 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Ouie - The company donates to anti-gay groups which is why any money you give the company will, in turn, support anti-gay groups. That is my point not what his personal values are but rather what his company decides to support. It is within my rights to not spend my money there. I would answer your question this way, if the pro-gay group was founded to curtail the rights of heterosexuals then yes, that would mean you would be supporting an anti-heterosexual group.
donna July 25, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Jeeze folks, let me put it this way....i earn the money i spend and will spend it the way i like...IF i know the company i am purchasing from is promoting or supporting something i am not in favor of...i simply avoid going there...why all the hullabaloo...this is crazy...GOD bless you all...for He loves everyone--I know this comment will get someone going but i have better things to do than comment on them...hope all you folks have a wonderful day the sun is out, i am above ground and the air is clear...i am going to have a wonderful day!!
Barbara Mulvey-Welsh July 25, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Enjoy your day Donna and thanks for reading!
Casey Meserve July 25, 2012 at 04:19 PM
As per the Terms of Use I am deleting the above comment. It is one thing to attack a person's ideas, another to attack the person.
Grace Pinto July 25, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Fabulous as always Barbara! And by the way..count me in as one of those damn liberals!
Patrick Mulvey-Welsh July 25, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Another thought provoking piece. What I find really interesting is that a youth sports organization that I'm involved with in the town of Plymouth has paid Plymouth Public Schools over $6,000 in the past 3 years for use of their outdoor fields. This doesn't require oversight from custodians or school personel while we are there, and from the condition of the fields no additional maintenance has been completed. Our organization hasn't had an issue with paying these fees since we believe that is part of our responsibility to the community in return for them allowing us to use their facilities. However, upon reading your piece I find it absolutely appalling that the school committee would voted to allow of an organization to avoid contributing their share to the community while at the same time actively excluding Plymouth citizens from participating. Our group welcomes anyone and everyone that wants to participate. We even accept individuals from other towns. We pay so should the Boys Scouts!!
Barbara Mulvey-Welsh July 25, 2012 at 07:28 PM
I have tolerated your venom and disdain thus far but until you are able to 1) answer the question I posed earlier and 2) speak to me in a civil and appropriate manner, I'm done engaging you.
Barbara Mulvey-Welsh July 25, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Thanks Grace!
Casey Meserve July 25, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Ouie, if you can't address the issues in a civil tone I will block you.
Barbara Mulvey-Welsh August 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM
I would like to correct an error that was recently brought to my attention. In the first paragraph I say that the Plymouth School Committee voted to allow the BSA to use the schools without paying a fee. That is incorrect. They voted to reconsider having them pay the fees. A much different vote. I regret the error. Thank you. Barbara


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