A suggested resolution related to national news stories about Wal-Mart’s support of the homosexual agenda was referred at the recent annual meeting of the Louisiana Baptist Convention because the state convention’s Committee on Resolutions lacked a quorum and was unable to address the matter.
Editor’s note: Identities have been withheld in the following report in
order to insure and respect the privacy of the parties concerned.
LAKE CHARLES – A suggested resolution related to national news stories
about Wal-Mart’s support of the homosexual agenda was referred at the
recent annual meeting of the Louisiana Baptist Convention because the
state convention’s Committee on Resolutions lacked a quorum and was
unable to address the matter.
But the issue of Wal-Mart’s position concerning homosexual causes has not died in Louisiana.
“I’ve prayed about this,” said a Southern Baptist who pickets at a
Louisiana Wal-Mart. “It’s right for Christians not to support anything
that goes against scripture. We have to do our best to obey the Lord.”
Bringing a resolution before the messengers to the LBC annual meeting,
picketing a Wal-Mart, and the willingness of the state convention’s
Moral and Social Concerns Committee to address the matter all indicate
continued concern about Wal-Mart’s position, but others say that what
Wal-Mart does corporately does not matter at the local level.
November was less than profitable for Wal-Mart this year, a first in a
decade for the largest retailer in the world and largest non-government
employer in the United States.
Wal-Mart’s financial report – posted Nov. 27 – indicated a .1 percent
drop in same-store sales, which are from stores open at least a year.
The report came close on the heels of threatened boycotts of Wal-Mart
for the Thanksgiving weekend by the American Family Association (AFA)
in response to Wal-Mart’s recent donation of $25,000 to the National
Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). AFA said the donation was
an admission that Wal-Mart supported same-sex marriage and special
treatment for homosexuals.
“Wal-Mart does not have a position on same sex marriage and we do not
give preference to gay or lesbian suppliers,” Wal-Mart said in a
statement released Nov. 21, before the Thanksgiving shopping weekend.
The state Baptist conventions in Alabama, Texas, and Missouri all
recently adopted resolutions concerning Wal-Mart’s stance on the
homosexual agenda, according to Baptist Press.
Across Louisiana, Southern Baptists are expressing mixed emotions about
Wal-Mart’s recent actions and about how Southern Baptists in the state
Mike Holloway, pastor of Cook Baptist Church in Ruston, drafted a
resolution he’d hoped would be voted on at the Louisiana Baptist
Convention’s recent annual meeting. The resolution recognized some of
Wal-Mart’s many positive contributions to society, such as support for
veterans’ causes and the retailer’s readiness to help during natural
disasters. In addition, Holloway acknowledged that Wal-Mart employs
many Louisiana Southern Baptists.
The resolution continued, however, by expressing serious concern “about
recent decisions made by the Wal-Mart Corporation to join the National
Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, which is the leading promoter of
homosexual marriage in America. …
“Wal-Mart is giving $25,000 to the NGLCC for conferences that will help
fight against traditional marriage in America, while also giving
special treatment to homosexual-owned businesses making purchases … and
… Wal-Mart has now also committed to give 5% of all its online sales
from a homosexual group’s Web site to the Washington DC Community
Center for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people, while also
giving a generous cash donation to the Northwest Arkansas Gay, Lesbian,
Bisexual and Transgender Community Center to help homosexuals
‘socialize’ together,” Holloway’s resolution continued. “[W]e feel that
Wal-Mart is making it hard for the Christian community to continue
doing business with this company.
“We do request that Wal-Mart reconsider its recent decisions to invest
in the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce or other Gay and Lesbian
organizations, which ultimately causes them to support the struggle
against the Federal Marriage Amendment and the traditional family,” the
“[W]e would ask for a positive response from Wal-Mart by March 1, 2007
or we will consider future actions we may take as a convention, which
includes a possible boycott and asking our investment organization to
divest itself of our 900,000 Wal-Mart shares of stock, along with the
personal shares of stocks owned by our members,” the resolution
Holloway submitted the resolution to the Committee on Resolutions in
the week before the annual meeting. However, the committee did not have
a quorum when it met and, as a result, could take no action on the
resolution which kept it from being presented at the annual meeting,
said Ken Ward, who is last year’s chairman of the Committee on Moral
and Social Concerns and, as Executive Director of the Louisiana Moral
and Civic Foundation (LMCF) acts as a resource person for the Committee
on Moral and Social Concerns as well as the Committee on Resolutions.
Instead, during the annual meeting’s Miscellaneous Business Session,
Holloway suggested that the Committee on Moral and Social Concerns
study the Wal-Mart issue and determine whether a resolution would be in
“We will request the [Moral and Social Concerns Committee] look at
this, but we can’t instruct them,” said Bill Robertson, president of
the Louisiana Baptist Convention and moderator of the annual meeting.
Since Wal-Mart’s statement on Nov. 21 that it did not have a position
on same-sex marriage and would not “make corporate contributions to
support or oppose highly controversial issues unless they directly
relate to our ability to serve our customers,” Holloway has decided “to
follow the recommendation of AFA at this point and not proceed with
this confrontation of Wal-Mart because of their reversal of direction,”
he said in an email. “We will watch them throughout this year and see
if we need to address this issue again at next year’s convention.”
Moral/Social Concern’s response
Pending further developments, the Committee on Moral and Social
Concerns could make a report to the LBC Executive Board and/or at the
next annual meeting in November 2007, Ward said.
Editing and revision of Holloway’s original resolution had already
begun in “anticipation of the consideration by the Resolutions
Committee on the opening night (Monday) of the convention,” Ward said.
The second draft of the resolution asked that Wal-Mart “reconsider any
decisions to invest in the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and/or
any other groups, aligning Wal-Mart with those who work against the
Federal Marriage Amendment and traditional family values.”
The revised draft also indicated responses by the Louisiana Baptist
Convention might “include but are not limited to; a possible
boycott by members of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, asking our
investment organization to divest itself of more than 900,000 Wal-Mart
shares of stock, seeking the divestment of many shares of stocks
personally owned by possibly thousands of the members of this state
convention, and seeking similar action of all of the above action
listed in this paragraph by the millions of members of our sister state
conventions when they meet together at the Southern Baptist Convention
in San Antonio, Texas, June 11-13 of 2007.”
The picketer, however, has no plans to relent. A member of a Louisiana
Southern Baptist church, he has been picketing the Wal-Mart store in
the town where he lives since the first week of October, mostly on
Sundays, urging Christians to cease shopping there.
The picketer believes Wal-Mart’s donations to NGLCC indicate that the
retailer is trying to make the sin of homosexuality acceptable in our
culture, he said, drawing a comparison between homosexuality and
“I’m saying that if Wal-Mart came out and said they were supporting
adultery and they would give money to an organization that wanted to
make it legal and acceptable, we should oppose,” he said. “It’s not the
fact that [people are homosexual]; it’s the fact that they’re trying to
get it approved.”
The picketer vows to continue his protest. “That statement is
double talk,” the picketer said of Wal-Mart’s Nov. 21 statement. “I
would be convinced if they were not in [NGLCC], took the money back,
and stopped trying to stop bans on gay marriage. I think Mike
Holloway’s idea [the resolution] should be followed up on.”
As of press time, the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club logos were still
displayed on the NGLCC website under the heading “Corporate
Other Louisiana Southern Baptists disagree, saying local stores that
employ their friends and neighbors should not be penalized for
decisions made by Wal-Mart’s corporate headquarters.
“When I go to Wal-Mart I’m purchasing gas; I’m not supporting a
homosexual agenda,” said one pastor. If Christians were to avoid
shopping at stores that promoted sin, they couldn’t shop at virtually
any grocery store because nearly all sell liquor, the pastor said,
adding that Jesus preached grace and mercy.