By Calvin Palmer
I will no longer be shopping at Lowe’s, the DIY chain. I strongly urge all people with a compassionate and tolerant nature to do likewise, although I know that plea is likely to fall on a great many deaf ears in Florida.
Lowe’s recently took an egregious decision to withdraw its advertising from TLC’s reality TV show, All-American Muslim, which depicts the daily lives of five Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan, all because a bigoted born-again christian claims the show masks the real intent of Muslims to takeover America.
David Caton, the 55-year-old sole employee of a fundamentalist group called the Florida Family Association organized the protest against the All-American Muslim show. So, effectively, one religious wacko has influenced the actions of a national corporation.
How low could Lowe’s have sunk?
The company obviously did not research into the background of Caton or his group and therefore left itself open to accusations that it favors religious and racial intolerance.
Lowe’s defended itself, lamely in my opinion, by saying “All-American Muslim had become a “lightning rod for people to voice complaints from a variety of perspectives — political, social and otherwise”.
Caton, an accountant turned rock-club owner, the author of a book about his addiction to pornography – I guess that really does make him what the British would call “a wanker” in every sense – shrugs off claims that Florida Family Association is a fringe hate group but rather aims to “defend traditional American biblical values”.
What are traditional American biblical values – hatred, vengeance, intolerance, hypocrisy?
It never fails to amaze me how these christian fundamentalists* can quote the Old Testament chapter and verse but pay scant regard to the teachings of the New Testament upon which the religion of Christianity is founded. Love, compassion, kindness and tolerance are an anathema to these people.
Just how different in his thinking is David Caton from Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian who killed 85 people, many of them youngsters at a camp retreat, in bombing and shooting attacks this summer? Breivik, 32, claimed he carried out the attacks as part of a “war” to prevent an “Islam takeover” of the West.
Caton claims the TLC show is not an accurate portrayal of American Muslims because it doesn’t disclose that “99.9 percent of Muslims agree with the principles of Sharia law,” the restrictive religious code that Caton and others warn leads to the spread of Islamic extremism.
“This has all to do with the way this program was constructed to deliberately present Muslims in America as one flavor,” he told The Associated Press. “It would be similar to The Learning Channel doing a report on ‘snakes are good family pets’ without reporting that there are four in Florida that are venomous. ….For TLC to choose to profile five people as an aberration of the Islamic faith is propaganda.”
And Lowe’s gave this man the oxygen of publicity. It almost beggars belief in a supposed civilized nation.
As long as the Catons of this world are allowed to hold sway on American life, the country can never claim to be civilized. It may hopefully achieve that status one day through programs such as All-American Muslim and when the latent racism that lurks beneath the façade of respectability in The South is banished once and for all.
As a company, Lowe’s should be thoroughly ashamed of itself. Never mind the mealy-mouthed platitudes designed to keep the tea party idiots and rednecks happy in their ignorance. If the company wants to win back fair-minded and decent customers, it could make a start by firing those people responsible for deciding to pull the TV adverts.
Until that happens, Lowe’s might just as well incorporate a burning cross in the company’s logo.
If you feel strongly about the action taken by Lowe’s, visit http://www.myfellowamerican.us/ and make your feelings known.
* The thoughts and actions of these people are such that they are unworthy of the usual journalistic protocol of Christians.