Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve received many calls, emails, and Facebook messages with a major concern: Our Ministry Friends were no longer able to give to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) through the AmazonSmile program. In case you’re not familiar with it, AmazonSmile is a website that allows a customer to choose a nonprofit group to receive a percentage of any Amazon purchase.
Apparently, Amazon no longer sees ADF as a suitable nonprofit for its program. But why?
We contacted Amazon to find out what happened, and lo and behold, Amazon informed us that we were removed because the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) determines who is qualified.
Yes, that SPLC. The one that exploits the terms “hate” and “hate group” against any organization it disagrees with.
Here’s the thing: SPLC did good work many years ago, but it has since devolved into a propaganda machine dedicated to crushing dissent. It does this by labeling anything they disagree with as “hate” – even if those beliefs are widely held and constitutionally protected (as ours – and those of our clients and supporters – most certainly are).
ADF, on the other hand, is well respected in the legal profession. We are the world’s largest legal organization advocating for the right of people to freely live out their faith without fear of government punishment. And we do this work at the highest levels. Our Supreme Court victories speak for themselves, with seven victories at the High Court in the past seven years. Just last year, we secured a 7-2 victory representing a church-run preschool.
But our work also extends beyond the Supreme Court. We want to secure the rights guaranteed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution for every American. That’s why we defend people from many backgrounds and from many different walks of life, including artists, healthcare professionals, and university students.
The SPLC, however, would prefer to silence all opposing views, ridding the public square of civil discourse. SPLC Senior Fellow Mark Potok has made clear its goal regarding organizations who dare to hold a dissenting viewpoint: “I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them.”
If it’s tolerance Amazon is looking for, that’s not the way to get it.
But if Amazon wants to choose a different course, we would be happy to help the company create a participation policy for AmazonSmile that does not ban legitimate, well-respected, faith-based organizations like ADF. (We’ve even offered to do so in our recent letter to Amazon regarding this situation.)
At the very least, if Amazon insists on using information from a discredited group like the SPLC to determine which organizations it allows to participate in AmazonSmile, it should certainly disclose that to its customers. After all, millions of people around the world, like many of you, share our beliefs. And I’m sure you would like to know whether Amazon welcomes your views.
We cannot allow the slander of Christians to continue. ADF is committed to providing free legal defense for individuals facing punishment for living out their religious beliefs, but this is only possible through the support of people like you. You can help fight back against organizations like the SPLC – and defend your religious freedom – with a gift today.