This is an interesting story.
The office supply company Staples today issued an apology to David Barton associate and Wallbuilders Live co-host Rick Green in response to the refusal by a Sandusky, OH Staples to print 500 copies of a Wallbuilders brochure.
In mid-April, Green asked the Sandusky Staples to print 500 brochures advertising Wallbuilders high school government course. Then via email on April 18, a store representative said the job was being held up because the store had concerns that the brochure might violate “production guidelines” by being “obscene, pornographic or dangerous.” According to Green, the refusal related to the Christian nationalism aspect of the brochure. The email from Green’s website is below:
While I suspect the content might contain multiple errors, the brochure wasn’t obscene, pornographic or dangerous (at least in the way Staples defined that term above). Thus, I reached out to Staples to check out Green’s story and to ask if they stood by the Sandusky Staples. To me, the action seemed blatantly discriminatory and I doubted Staples would endorse what the local store did.
As it turns out, Staples does not stand behind the local store. Mark Cautela, Director of Corporate Communications, responded quickly with the following note.
After reviewing Mr. Green’s complaint, Staples agrees that the materials requested to be copied were not obscene, pornographic or offensive in any way. Our associate made a mistake in sending an email labeling the materials this way and we sincerely apologize to Mr. Green for this experience at Staples. Unfortunately by the time we discovered our mistake, Mr. Green had understandably chosen not to continue with the order.
We regret his refund took longer than typical and appreciate Mr. Green bringing this matter to our attention. Although we believe this was an isolated incident, we continually strive to improve our customer experience and will further evaluate our training and policies to prevent similar incidents in the future. At Staples, we respect all viewpoints and are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused Mr. Green and his business.
Green’s response to this religious discrimination was to congratulate Staples. On his website, Green wrote:
Bravo Staples!! Free enterprise, and also the First Amendment, requires that private businesses “have the right to refuse service” (Jonathon’s exact words) and I applaud your exercise of those freedoms and your support of your employees exercising those freedoms. I trust you also support the exact same rights and freedoms for the baker down the street, or photographer, or venue owner who would not want to bake a cake for my event, or take my picture at my constitution classes, or rent their facility to me for a Constitution Class. And then, of course, I’m sure you would protect the exact same rights for all of those private businesses to also not participate in something that violates their conscience, whether that be a Constitution Class or homosexual wedding.
Once upon a time, Christians would decry such discrimination. Now, in this case, Green is using it to say discrimination is fine if Christians get to discriminate against gays. What a switch on the Golden Rule. Instead of treating others the way I want to be treated, Green is saying treat me bad so I can treat you bad.
As it turns out, Staples doesn’t have a policy to discriminate based on viewpoint (exceptions given in the email – obscenity, danger and racism). According to Mr. Cautela, Staples has reached out to Green with the apology and clarification of policy. I am curious to see if Green updates his post to provide the rest of the story.