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AFA Suspends Ford Boycott

The American Family Association on Monday said it was suspending its boycott of Ford Motor Company, after auto dealers asked for time to address concerns raised about the company’s promotion of a “homosexual agenda.”

After meeting with a group of Ford dealers, the conservative Christian group based in Tupelo, Miss., urged supporters to postpone the boycott, launched May 31, until Dec. 1.

More than 110,000 people signed on to the pledge to boycott Ford in the week following the announcement, the AFA reported on its Web site. The meeting with auto dealers took place on Sunday.

“We believe the dealers were making a good faith effort and agreed to accept their request,” said AFA chairman Donald Wildmon. “Therefore, we accepted the suspension request and will work with the dealers in attempting to resolve our differences.”

Ford said in a statement that it was “pleased” with the decision to suspend the boycott and that it anticipated “an open dialogue with the AFA that leads to greater mutual understanding,” according to MSNBC.

Wildmon said the organization will notify supporters about the status of the boycott on or about Dec. 1.

The Ford boycott targets company policies including donations to gay-rights groups, advertising in homosexual publications and promoting workforce diversity. It came on the heels of the AFA announcing it was ending its nine-year boycott of The Disney Company.

Citing a “culturally crowded battlefield” that made it necessary to concentrate resources where they are most needed, the AFA called off its Disney boycott, citing “positive signs” including the departure of CEO Michael Eisner and release of a film based on the C.S. Lewis book “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

The Southern Baptist Convention, which joined the Disney boycott in 1997, might also consider a resolution at its upcoming annual meeting to officially call it off.

Wiley Drake, of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., and a vocal proponent of the boycott eight years ago, says he is considering asking Southern Baptists to lift the boycott when they gather June 21-22 in Nashville, Tenn.

Earlier, Richard Land of the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission suggested it might be time for Southern Baptists to “declare victory and move on” with the Disney controversy, but he added he could not predict what messengers will decide.

Drake, a former state director of the AFA’s California chapter, said he would support the convention’s joining the Ford boycott in a resolution if it came to the floor. He told EthicsDaily.com on Tuesday he would be in agreement with the AFA on “most” of its positions on moral issues.

Meanwhile, another proposed SBC resolution that could come up for debate continues to generate interest.

Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum wrote a June 6 column commending a resolution calling on Southern Baptist churches to investigate homosexuality in their local schools.

The resolution, proposed by evangelist and author Voddie Baucham and attorney Bruce Shortt, claims homosexual “activists” are devoting substantial resources and political effort to promote homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle through homosexual clubs, sex education and other means such as “diversity training” and “anti-bullying” programs.

The proposed resolution, which must clear a Resolutions Committee before coming to a vote, “encourages every Baptist church to investigate diligently whether the school district in which the church is located has either one or more homosexual clubs or curricula or programs in any of their schools that present homosexuality as an acceptable ‘lifestyle.'”

It further recommends than any church that finds itself to be in such a school district “inform the parents of this fact and encourage them to remove their children from the school district’s schools immediately.”

Schlafly said the resolution “correctly identifies the National Education Association as an ally of the campaign to use the public schools to promote acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle.”

Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.

Previous related stories:
Family Group Calls for Boycott of Ford
Southern Baptists May End Disney Boycott
Proposed SBC Resolution Calls for Investigation of Homosexuality in Schools
Evangelist Opposes Homosexual ‘Agenda’ in Schools
Resolution on Homosexuality in Schools Wins Endorsements