By Nathan Barton
The Planned Parenthood debacle and the Culture War over Abortion continues to spawn new confrontations. The latest, this week, is reported by Breitbart, relating how a woman wanting 500 copies of a “Prayer for the Conversion of Planned Parenthood” was denied service by an Office Depot in Chicago. The reason given boils down to the claim that the prayer was an act of terrorism and aggression and persecution. I’m not coming up with this on my own. Here is the Office Depot spokeswoman’s own words: ‘Karen Denning, a spokeswoman for Office Depot, told The Tribune that company policy prohibits “the copying of any type of material that advocates any form of racial or religious discrimination or the persecution of certain groups of people. It also prohibits copying any type of copyrighted material.” “The flier contained material that advocates the persecution of people who support abortion rights,” Ms. Denning said.‘
So, clearly, praying for someone, at least in writing (and I presume, out loud) is considered by at least ONE major retailer, found in virtually every community (Office Depot, Office Max, and Staples are all brandnames for the same company) to be promoting or advocating terrorism, torture, murder, imprisonment, and enslavement, all the forms of persecution dealt out to christians over the years. Now, most interesting, Life News reports that Office Depot has backed water and apologized. I quote the company’s statement:
Office Depot has contacted Ms. Goldsteins’s representative to explain that the store associate’s decision to decline a print order was in no way based on religious beliefs, but on the fact that it contained certain words and phrases that could be construed as graphic or advocates the persecution of groups of people, which is a violation of the company’s copy and print policy. Office Depot has long maintained a policy of not allowing associates to print items that violate copyright laws, advocate persecution of any group or contain graphic material. Upon a more detailed review, we have determined that the content of Ms. Goldstein’s flyer is not a clear violation of the company’s policy. “We sincerely apologize to Ms. Goldstein for her experience and our initial reaction was not at all related to her religious beliefs. We invite her to return to Office Depot if she still wishes to print the flyer,” said Roland Smith, chairman and chief executive officer, Office Depot. Office Depot will continue to have policies that guide the refusal to reproduce material that is protected under copyright, contains graphic material or advocates the persecution of any groups of people, regardless of the reason. In addition, all customers are free to use the self-service copy machines in our stores without being subject to the policy.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but that is NOT an apology, even if they used all the “right” words. It is a thinly veiled justification of their original action and a tapdance to avoid a boycott or other action that would hurt the company, employees, and bottom line. They did NOT apologize for their statement that a prayer – and not even an imprecatory prayer – is persecution.
Office Depot, as a private enterprise, is totally free to make whatever corporate policies that they wish to, to refuse any business or customer that they choose. (Of course, the FedGov, State of Illinois, Cook County, and City or whatever of Schaumburg disagrees with me.) So I am not disputing their right to reject business, insult a customer, or make baseless accusations. But what I think is wrong is that they lie about it. And what I find disgusting is that they have demonstrated that they are not intellectually honest, that they (like the FedGov and others) make up their own meaning of basic English words, and that they have made it clear that they are more interested in being politically correct than in having the character traits that are essential to be a good business. And I am upset because their actions cast a stain on all private business, and as a result lure people into screaming for government to “protect their rights” instead of standing up TO government.
Mama’s Note: All true, Nathan… but seems to me that prayer is supposed to be private. Wonder what she plans to do with all those flyers.