I don’t follow the news that much, to be honest, but I found out on a homeschool books swap group that Paypal has stirred up some controversy by deciding not to follow through with plans of building a global operations center in NC after the state passed a law that “eliminates anti-discrimination protections for lesbians, gays and bisexuals and keeps transgender people from using the bathroom of their chosen gender.” Basically, people are not entitled to using the bathroom they want.
Many of the members of the group were seeking information about possible alternatives to Paypal, saying that they were closing their accounts with Paypal because of all of this. I do think that Paypal completely missed the point of the law…it’s intended to protect, not discriminate, but that’s for a different discussion.
So, here is why I’m still going to use Paypal.
Firstly, I can’t wrap my head around holding a non-Christian company to Christian standards, and then boycotting it when it doesn’t. Paypal has never said or done ANYTHING to suggest they have even remotely conservative standards. I actually would have been more shocked if they HAD gone against the flow and made conservative statements.
There is nothing in the Bible that says we shouldn’t do business with non-Christians. When Jesus sent the twelve out to get food, he didn’t say “go get food from the good Jewish man over there.” He also said to pay taxes to the government, when we know that there’s a good chance the government did unwholesome things with some of that money.
One of the ladies told me that as a Christian, she can’t support any company that “does that” (I’m assuming she meant supporting un-Christian views, but she didn’t clarify) once she knows about it. The trouble with that is, 1) almost every company out there will support non-Christian views and 2) even Christian companies may use the money they make for non-Christian things. Let’s not hold Christians up on a pedestal here; we are all human and we make mistakes, too. You could buy from a Christian store and have the owner use that money to feed an addiction. You never know.
I’m also pretty sure that none of the Paypal alternatives are “Christian” or hold conservative views..they just haven’t had to say one thing or another about it in the news yet. And if someone can’t support a company that agrees with worldy views, they had better stop shopping at their local chain grocery store, clothing store, gas station, etc. Any brand that makes clothing are made using cheap labour in Asia? Those companies don’t hold to Christian values either. Buying imported produce from Central or South America in the winter? Good chance those were harvested with cheap labour employees, too. Might as well cancel the Disney or resort vacation, or even the weekend getaway hotel reservation because chances are, unless you’re going to Amish Country, those businesses would support worldly views if asked about it.
If you’re going to hold companies to a certain standard that’s fine, that’s your choice, but be consistent with it. Closing your Paypal account and then going to Starbucks is just as hypocritical of saying “Paypal does business in countries where homosexuality is illegal but is supporting the LGBT community in NC; they’re hypocrites.”
Moreover, my business with Paypal has nothing to do with their choice to support LGBT communities. They aren’t using my money to fund a pride parade or anything.
Next, what does this kind of Christian boycotting really accomplish? For the most part, it just adds ammunition to those who believe (often rightly so) that Christians just judge non-Christians.
It is soooo easy as Christians to jump on the bandwagon and voice against anything LGBT. Why? Because it doesn’t really take much effort and it’s safe. It’s easy to point and say “that’s sinful!” And it’s easy to start feeling righteous about it.
Here’s the part that can be difficult to hear.
God isn’t too interested in us pointing out other people’s sin. Isn’t that what the Pharisees did? No, He wants us to own up to our own sin and work on fixing that. What about the sin of gossiping. Or telling lies. Of coveting. Idolatry. Not loving our neighbour the way we love ourselves. The list goes on. The people who are so quick to judge others..what are they doing to take care of the homeless, the widows, the orphans? Faith without works is dead, and I don’t think that boycotting counts as a works. The whole purpose of boycotting, after all, is to tear down, not build up.
So, there are some of my thoughts about why personally, I don’t have a problem continuing to use Paypal services. Besides the fact that it’s easy, convenient, and secure with my money.
Now, if you’re still reading this, thanks for sticking with me! I know that this is a lot more than I usually write.
I do want to clarify, that I’m not telling people what to do. I’m not trying to come across as holier-than-thou. I’m just putting it out there for people to really slow down and consider why they’re making choices about whether or not they should continue to do business with a certain company. Consider this my, “mama’s tired and maybe over-thinking things but here’s some food for thought” for the day.