Southern Baptists Deny Water Donated by Beer Company to Hurricane Victims
NBC-2 News in
The beer company Anheuser-Busch announced Oct. 20 it was shipping 15,050 cases of canned drinking water, or 361,200 cans, to independent wholesalers in eight
That is in addition to 5.7 million cans of drinking water Anheuser-Busch donated to relief efforts of Hurricane Katrina, along with $3 million in cash and donated goods like clothes and other items valued at $1 million.
"No matter when and where disaster strikes, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers are always among the first on the scene, helping our neighbors get back on their feet," said Mike Harding, vice president of operations for Anheuser-Busch. "Safe drinking water is one of the top priorities for hurricane victims and relief-agency workers following many hurricanes."
The Red Cross has worked with the Southern Baptist Convention since 1987, providing and distributing food in kitchens set up and staffed by Southern Baptist volunteers. The North American Mission Board reported that 15 kitchen units and about 500 volunteers were working in south
Some questioned the arrangement after African-Americans complained they were cut out of relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina. Others say the Red Cross should not work exclusively with a group that proselytizes.
Helping communities cope with natural disasters has been an Anheuser-Busch tradition since 1906 when Adolphus Busch made a donation to victims of the
Wal-Mart stores gave $17 million and established mini-stores in hurricane-stricken areas, handing out items such as clothing, diapers, baby wipes, food and formula free of charge.
General Electric donated $6 million to the Red Cross and matched employee donations up to $1 million. GE also pledged $10 million in medical devices, power generators and water-purification systems.
In-kind contributors included Comcast, which committed to donating $10 million worth of advertising time for public service announcements; Continental Airlines, which donated 1,000 airline tickets to help relocate victims, and a Papa Johns franchise in
That water donated by Anheuser-Busch comes in white cans labeled in blue "Drinking Water, Not for
Southern Baptists have traditionally opposed the use of alcohol. A recent study, however, found that just more than half of Baptist ministers surveyed in
GuideStone Financial Resources, which provides retirement, insurance and investment services for Baptist ministers, doesn't invest in what it calls "sin stocks," companies that are publicly recognized as being involved with alcohol, gambling, pornography and abortion.
It does, however, maintain holdings in companies such as Carnival Cruise Lines, which advertises cruises featuring gambling casinos and alcohol sales.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.