Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Major Store Chain Bans Salvation Army Bell Ringers

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A major store chain has announced it's banning Salvation Army bell ringers this year.

The reason?

It has something to do with the stores' new "social consciousness." Be informed.

Today the Supreme Court of the United States is scheduled to hear the case of the Christian baker who couldn't bake a cake and celebrate same-sex "marriage" because of his biblical Judeo-Christian beliefs.

If he loses, we all lose. Be prayerful.


Be Informed.


The Belk store chain has told the Salvation Army that this year they are banned from having kettles with bell ringers outside their store entrances.

I'm not aware of any Belk stores in the Northwest, but the chain has about 300 stores nationally.

The store chain was founded in 1888 by William Belk and his physician brother, Dr. John Belk, near Charlotte, NC.

This year the bell ringers are not welcome.

Why?

An employee of the Salvation Army told Fox's Todd Starnes that a spokesperson at Belk told him it had something to do with a change in Belk's "social consciousness."

He said, "We believe that a lot of Belk's customers align with the Salvation Army's views. We believe in saying 'Merry Christmas' because we believe Jesus is absolutely the reason for the season."

A Belk spokesman told Starnes that they have decided to go a different direction with a new "social impact program" they are calling, "Home for the Holidays."

Apparently, Christmas would be included in "the holidays."

Why the departure after the hundred year relationship with the Salvation Army?

The store spokesperson says, "There is great power in all our Belk associates and customers rallying around one cause---and we really want to focus all our efforts on this impactful campaign."

The impactful campaign is to raise $600,000 to build a house.

They have partnered with Habitat For Humanity International to build the house.


Nice house.


There's nothing wrong with Habitat---Jimmy Carter has spent his post-presidential life helping them, but I think it successfully moves the stores away from being too "Christianesque" during the "holidays" which apparently is their newly discovered socially conscious goal.

Couldn't the store chain have allowed both organizations?

Belk has the right to kick the Army bell ringers off their property, but it's still not right.

And it may not be very smart.

Starnes says, "I just can't imagine what the folks in charge are thinking---especially for a company that advertises itself as 'Southern'. Maybe they're under new management---'Potter, Scrooge and Grinch, Esq."

Actually, there has been a change in ownership of the company.

In 2015, the Charlotte Observer reported that Sycamore Partners, a New York private equity firm, had bought the store chain for about $3 billion, ending 127 years of family ownership and control.

The New York owners kept family member Tim Belk on as CEO so he could tell the newspaper, "The Belk that (customers) know and love is not going to change. We're going to continue to build on the foundation we've put in place."

He probably believed that.

The new owners probably also believe that "there is great power in all our Belk associates and customers rallying around one cause..."

The problem they will likely face is that "the customers" may rally around another cause---the old cause, and go find where the bell ringers are this year so they can make their annual donation---and buy some things from the store that is allowing them to be there.

I sincerely hope so.

Happy holidays to the Sycamore Partners.

And Merry Christmas to all the Christians who have the ability to find the bell ringers.

Be Prayerful.


Today the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case involving Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

In this case, the Supreme Court of the United States will decide if a state can force a Christian cake baker to bake a custom cake for a same-sex "wedding" in violation of his deeply held religious beliefs.

Monica Burke, with the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation, says, "If the Christian baker loses, we all do."

Zachary Jones, Larry Brett and Tiffany Bates, also with the Heritage Foundation, have also written an excellent column on this case and its far-reaching implications.

This case is really about the hostility and intolerance Colorado has expressed toward the cake maker because of his biblical Christian beliefs.

Cake makers, filmmakers, custom website designers, creators of printing and marketing material and photographers---all who face crippling fines, loss of business, government re-education and even jail time for declining to participate in a same-sex "wedding" have sent briefs to the Court on this matter.

They write, "It is difficult to imagine a more onerous and effectual compulsion to speak."


Forced speech.


Colorado's actions, much like those of Washington State toward Richland florist Barronnel Stutzman, and the Stormans family who own the pharmacy in Olympia, do not only threaten religious individuals and institutions but all those citizens who receive benefits from those individuals and institutions.

Religious freedom has set our nation apart from the beginning, pray that will continue to be so going forward.

Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning.


6 comments:

  1. An Orwellian Police State in plain sight with the arrest of our very thoughts and beliefs. The States of Colorado & Washington need to explain how they are any different than Stalin, Mao, or even Kim Jung Un of N. Korea in their persecution of anyone who has Christian beliefs. They have gone out of their way to persecute, and financially bankrupt those who would not bow to the Political Correctness of thought demanded by the "State". Are "Retraining Camps" next ??

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  2. The bakery owner offered to the public to select s basic cake design and then said he would customize it according to the customer’s desires. It was the customer bring creative, not the cake decorator.

    And the business had two locations and made hundreds of frosted creations, if Jack didn’t want to personally decorate the cake some other employee could have.

    What the business can’t do is advertise to everyone, people of all beliefs, sexes, sexual orientation, and then refuse some customers without respecting their civil rights.

    Nothing new about this, federal court said that a business owner can’t religiously discriminate against customers as early as 1966. Even the Hobby Lobby ruling said it did not allow discrimination because of the excuse of religion. Just as those employees still got their health coverage while working at Hobby Lobby so will these customers get their wedding cake from Masterpiece Cakeshop. .

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    Replies
    1. And you sir have no business telling a cake shop what to do.

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  3. My belief about this issue is that when there is a controversial law, there is going to be controversy. 1Peter 2:13-25 tells us our submission to God also compels us to submit to authority. This can take us down a very dark path, so we must be careful to discern what God's will is. If we believe God's will is that we refuse service to people because they are breaking His law and we don't want to be party to it, we may be missing the point. Our mission was, is, and will be until the day of judgement, to win souls for Christ, to be a servant of all, to be persecuted, to be mocked for His Name's sake. We are to be humble and gentle, loving others as Christ loves us. If we believe homosexual relations are wrong, we must also see the sin in adultery of any kind. We must also see the sins of idolatry in our own lives and count them equal. Not similar, but EQUAL. We are not here to live without strife and contention. There is sin everywhere, and we should stand ready to invest in relationship with people who disagree with us, to truly know them, to be known to them, to allow them to see how God continues to reshape us into His image, to show and not excuse our own sin, and to submit ourselves to Him, forsaking our own desires and passions, seeking only Him and His will for us. Only from a place of genuine repentance in our own lives can we hope to shed light on the sin in another's. I believe our actions as a nation of Christian believers should reflect our submission to, reliance and trust upon, and deep love for God and what His Son did for us. I believe that we should stand for the protections that allow us to teach those things to our children, and that we should stand for the lives of the unborn. I believe that our anger is misplaced, and that if we truly examine our lives we will find we are not acting in unconditional love towards others. Love is truthful, but it is not haughty, proud, discriminating. It creates bridges where there are none, and it wins people to the Lord Who Is Love. I believe that if we cannot win a battle to change the laws to reflect our Christian beliefs, we MUST do a fearless and searching moral inventory, own our failings in being His servants, and ask what is God’s will for us in this circumstance. I believe our hypocrisy is only made more apparent when we choose to stand against people who are sinning rather than showing them love and compassion. Being affronted by the idea of making money off of someone's sin can easily be solved by prayerfully giving those earnings away, or even occasionally gifting the item in questions. In my opinion, this issue is not one on which we can stand, unless we examine our lives and find ourselves (who have submitted to and claim the Name of Jesus)not habitually submitting to lust, greed, gluttony, covetousness, dishonoring the Sabbath, dishonesty, idolatry, anger, etc. In my opinion, we are unclean people, but for the blood of Christ are not fit to stand in judgment. We ARE uniquely positioned, however, to love people to Christ. That is what our time and money and passion should be devoted to.

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  4. There is a common denominator driving force behind both the Belk Store decision to disallow the Salvation Army bell ringer Christmas tradition in favor of a "non-Christian" charitable initiative, and the insistence on punishing Jack Phillips for choosing not to promote or facilitate a sinful lifestyle on the part of his biblical "neighbor".

    That common thread is Secularism.

    Leftism destroys everything it touches, and what it seeks most to destroy is the presence of God in our culture and society. Jesus Christ is a bold reminder to ALL of the terrible end result of willful sin. When He left us He sent the Holy Spirit to educate, give wisdom, and convict us of our sin to facilitate repentance. Those who hate what God represents hate His Spirit, and they are deluded into thinking that eliminating all reminders of God and His Spirit will facilitate their happiness and a better world.

    The goal of Leftism is to define good as anything an individual "sincerely" belies to be "good", and eliminate the concept of evil. By corrupting our children, removing all reminders of God from our Culture, and punishing those who hold fast to the obedience they abhor, they hope to create a new world free from guilt of any kind. They are led by the father of all lies, who has convinced an increasing number of people that he does not exist.

    Those who truly love their neighbors will never encourage their spiritual destruction, even if threatened with punishment for not doing so. Those who truly love Jesus will always stand boldly and fearlessly in His defense and in the active promotion of His truth in both word and deed.

    So…do we love our neighbor and do we love God….or do we love ourselves ‘first’.

    Curiously, one mantra of Leftism is that you “must” love yourself first!

    Truth is a lonely warrior...

    G>T>

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  5. The argument that has not been made and should be made is the anti-discrimination laws are being used to violate Christians 13th Amendment rights against involuntary servitude. If as a Christian, I do not want to enter into an agreement to provide a service because of a religiously held belief, I should be able to do so freely. To force by compulsion to perform a service without voluntary consent is the very definition of involuntary servitude, aka slavery.

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