Wal-Mart still dabbling in support of homosexual agenda
WACO, Texas (BP)--If an Internet user types the word “gay” into the search engine for Wal-Mart’s online bookstore, more than 1,000 titles turn up -- including titles from “Gay Power: An American Revolution” to “The Gay Disciple: Jesus’ Friend Tells It His Own Way.”
Granted, some of the 1,000-plus titles are duplicates and a few are written in opposition to the homosexual agenda, but what is clear is that Wal-Mart continues to dabble in supporting a lifestyle that is contrary to what many of its customers believe is natural and safe.
By offering book selections that cater to the gay and lesbian crowd, America’s top discount retailer is demonstrating a desire to satisfy a vocal minority at the expense of losing the support of a large demographic that helped make Wal-Mart the successful business it has been for years.
“Walmart.com is an online retailer and our role is to provide our customers a choice within our broad, online book selection and at a great value,” Amy Colella, a spokeswoman for Walmart.com, said in a statement to Baptist Press when questioned about the homosexual books.
“As a retailer, we recognize customers have various interests and preferences, and we're committed to providing a wide range of books that appeal to our wide customer base.”
But across the country, Southern Baptists are hard at work spreading the word about Wal-Mart’s behavior. Donna Garner, a retired English teacher, is an example of a leader in the grassroots effort to help Wal-Mart live up to the family friendly description the company gives itself.
“I think we’ve done a pretty good job in our country of letting Wal-Mart know we’ve not been pleased at all with their decision to back the homosexual agenda,” Garner, a member of Highland Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, told Baptist Press.
Garner is part of a vast network of Christian women who use e-mail to monitor cultural developments such as Wal-Mart’s initiatives toward improving its service to homosexuals.
“Wal-Mart has built their business on the traditional American family. I believe we all got behind them because we believed that was their agenda, to help families be happy and healthy,” Garner said. “But when they are perpetrating the homosexual lifestyle, which is what they’re doing, then they are perpetrating a very unhealthy lifestyle.”
Wal-Mart agreed in November that it would “not make corporate contributions to support or oppose highly controversial issues unless they directly relate to our ability to serve our customers” after facing protests over its association with homosexual activist groups including the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. And the homosexual-themed books offered online are not necessarily offered in Wal-Mart stores. But that’s not enough, some Wal-Mart critics say.
“I just think it’s very sneaky of Wal-Mart and really unnecessary to carry those books on the Internet,” Skeet Workman, a member of Garner’s e-mail network and a Texas Baptist leader, said. “They present one face in the store and yet they cater to another group online.”
One of Garner’s main concerns is that adolescents can easily stumble upon the homosexuality-promoting books and be drawn into a lifestyle that is proven to be detrimental to their health.
“I have extensive medical data to show how very dangerous the homosexual lifestyle is,” she told BP. “I’ve written lots of pieces and worked for several years with a hospital to write abstinence curriculum. In that time I was reading lots and lots of medical journals, and I’ve worked very hard on the medical data.
“I think that’s our best angle to take on this issue, even though I know and you know that the homosexual lifestyle is a sin,” she added. “People who are not Christians in our world today don’t care what the Bible says, so we’re not going to reach the secular world by using the Bible on this issue.”
The medical data is so profound, Garner said, that all Christians have to do is let Wal-Mart know that they care about children and don’t want schools or the culture to push them into a dangerous lifestyle.
“Then just lay out the dangers, which are truly great,” she advised. “They do die an early death. They have very painful physical problems -- horrible things to even talk about.”
Garner recalled a conversation she had with a mother in Montgomery County, Md., where parents have been fighting hard to keep the homosexual agenda out of the sex education curriculum.
“We were both lamenting, ‘How could we as Christian moms be reduced to having to look at information on anal warts?’ It is just awful,” Garner said. “But we have to do that because the homosexuals have portrayed themselves with a very different image than their lifestyles actually are lived. So we have to counter that, and I believe the best way to counter that is with the factual medical information.
“That’s what I did when I went to the head of the store at my local Wal-Mart,” she added. “I wanted to give him the medical data, and it was nothing from the Bible. I was not trying to beat him over the head with the Bible. All I did was say, ‘Wal-Mart has made their profits based on the traditional American family who cares about healthy families. We thought you cared about us. We thought you wanted us to be healthy. You don’t want us to be healthy if you’re putting this out there.’ The same thing is true with this online bookstore. They’re going behind our backs.
“I don’t think they ever thought we would discover what they’re doing.”
Garner believes Christians can make a difference if they will call Wal-Mart at 1-800-925-6278 and then choose options 1, 4, 3 and then 3 on the phone tree. She advises those concerned to express their disapproval of the online bookstore content in a polite way and to ask if Wal-Mart would discontinue selling the homosexual-supporting books.