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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?

Do you vote with your checkbook? Can you tell us about a time you boycotted a business because you did not agree with their political or religious or social beliefs? Let us know in the comment's section.

Michael Muggeridge August 05, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Ms. Welsh, I respectfully dissent from several of your assertions. The 2011 John Jay report is the only thorough study of the RC clerical abuse scandal to date. The raw data, which was collated from the 1950s to the mid 1980's, shows that 80% of cases were same sex abuse against male victims. The vast majority of all cases were committed against post pubescent males and were not pedophilia. The executive summary of the report did not include homosexuality as a cause of these atrocities and the media did not dig into the raw date. My subjective reaction to this data is that the clerical abusers within the RC Church were deviants of opportunity. The easiest prey for the male priesthood were male victims and that's who predominantly suffered abuse. A massive loss of faith occurred in the postwar period and the floodgates opened to many sick souls who desired a priestly life for many reasons except a life of holiness. The same righteousness, that has characterized reaction to the RC clerical abuse scandal, must be duplicated in other areas of American Life. A recent Hofstra study concluded that unaddressed sexual abuse in the public schools overwhelms the RC clerical sex abuse scandal from the 50's to the mid 80's.
Michael Muggeridge August 05, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Please forgive the oversight, should be "Ms.Mulvey-Welsh".
Barbara Mulvey-Welsh August 06, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Mr. Muggeridge, Sorry for the delay in my response, I was busy for most of the day with family. I did not bring the RC issue into this and I will freely admit that I only know what I've ready during the coverage here in the Boston area. I do agree with your assertion that the abusers in the church were opportunists but I think, technically, that's true of all abusers. Prey on the weak is the standard from all that I've read. I do NOT agree with the correlation that you seem to be making that the priests abused children because they were homosexual rather than because they were sexual deviants that preyed on children. My apologies if that's not what you intended in your comment regarding the distinction of them not technically being pedophiles due to the age of the victims. During my (brief) research, I found the following article from the Washington Post. Item 2 should hopefully dispel the homosexual = pedophile / child-sex abuser. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/16/AR2010041602026.html I do believe that we absolutely need to keep children safe from predators; I don't believe that barring homosexuals from interacting with children accomplishes that. BTW, please call me Barbara.
Michael Muggeridge August 06, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Barbara, Thanks for the response. I merely stated my understanding of the data re: the RC clerical abuse crisis. The overwhelming majority of incidents occurred against post pubescent males by male clergy. My own conclusion is that these atrocities were "deviance of opportunity". The easiest targets for clerical abusers were male, post pubescents. My own inadequate understanding of fallen human nature does not preclude me from imagining an opposite result. I have no doubt that sick souls, operating within an institution undergoing spiritual derailment, who had as easy access to vulnerable female victims, would have abused (in the same proportions) against opposite gender victims. I understand that the characterization of RC clerical abuse as "pedophilia" is an effective polemical strategy against an opponent of same sex marriage. However, it does not conform to the facts.
Barbara Mulvey-Welsh August 06, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Mr. Muggeridge, Thank you for clearing up my misperception. I pretty much agree with your entire comment. I appreciate the dialog and widening my understanding of the abuse scandal. B

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