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I Take it Back: Why I’ll Be Breaking My Amazon Habit

BY Sarah Reinhard

| Posted 10/28/13 at 9:32 AM

 

So about two comments into my last post, I realized something grievous: Amazon is a huge supporter of gay marriage.

Before I continue, I would like to make something abundantly clear: I have nothing, nothing, against the people with same sex attraction (SSA). My heart goes out to them. I pray for them frequently. They are my brothers and sisters, and the pain they bear is close to my heart. It is not my intent to discuss or attack SSA in this piece.

As I was reading through the comments to my earlier post about how Amazon may, in fact, be helping smaller bookstores, I happened to read them aloud to my husband.

“Is that true?” he asked.

 It took me one Google search to find out that yes, in fact, Amazon’s support of gay marriage is a well-documented fact, and one loudly lauded throughout the interwebs.

According to the New York Times,

Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon.com, and his wife, MacKenzie, have agreed to donate $2.5 million to help pass a same-sex marriage referendum in Washington State, instantly becoming among the largest financial backers of gay marriage rights in the country.

With the gift, the couple have doubled the money available to the proponents of Referendum 74, which would legalize same-sex marriage in the state by affirming a law that passed the Legislature this year. Courts or lawmakers have declared gay marriage legal in six other states, but backers of such measures have never succeeded at the ballot box.

Proponents of the effort in Washington State called it a game-changing gift that gives them a fighting chance in November.

“That’s it,” my husband said when I read this aloud to him. “They don’t get anymore of our money.”

Which made me do a little calculation, because not only am I a long-time Amazon Prime subscriber, but I’m also an avid fan of the services Amazon provides to me. I live in the country, and what I save in shopping time and gas is more than made up from the convenience and beauty of two-day delivery.

I did a little calculation, and this year, I’ve spent almost $900 at Amazon. That included things like toilet paper and diapers, soap and shampoo, and, yes, books.

This impacts me quite a bit. For one thing, I hate to shop the way some people hate football or insects. For another, it really is a pain for me to plan shopping trips, and I’ve calculated that I save money when I order online from Amazon. I’m not tempted by all the other stuff I “need.” I can just point and click and have it delivered (sometimes automatically) to my door.

For another thing, I’m an author. Amazon reviews are a huge part of author success. And as an avid reader, I’m not only an Amazon Vine reviewer, but I’m also pretty active in writing reviews for books on Amazon.

I haven’t even delved into the half of it, I think, and part of me thinks this is perhaps a decision too quickly made.

And then I think about how I quit buying foods my family loves because of the funding for abortion.

There are some topics that MUST change the way I live my life. This is one of them.

A friend pointed out, when I shared this with her, that if I am going to continue in this line of thought, I have to quit using Google and Facebook and paying taxes. So perhaps, she said, I should use these things to spread the Good News and stay out of jail.

She has a point. Whether I spend actually zero dollars with Amazon in the coming year or just cut back and start finding other places to shop, I am changing my actions because of Amazon’s actions. I quit drinking Starbucks many moons ago, because of their stance on gay marriage, and my life is no worse for it. In fact, I’m not sure I really felt any differently. (I live in the country. Our only Starbucks is out of the way and I don’t usually give in to the urge for a $5 latte.)

What I find interesting is that, according to Time, Amazon’s not really taking any heat for the Bezo support of gay marriage:

So far the outcry against the Bezoses’ donation has been virtually nonexistent, which might in part be because public support of gay marriage is at an all-time high. According to a Washington Post–ABC News poll in May, 53% of Americans say gay marriage should be legal, while 39% say gay marriage should be illegal. But that’s not to say companies haven’t faced outrage for making pro-gay statements. In February, the American Family Association, a conservative Christian nonprofit that opposes same-sex marriage, organized a campaign through its One Million Moms group to protest J.C. Penney’s hiring of openly gay talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres as its spokeswoman. In response to the campaign, J.C. Penney not only stood behind DeGeneres but ran ads featuring same-sex parents a few months later, and One Million Moms eventually abandoned its battle cry.

Let us not remain silent. Whether you choose to let your dollars do the talking or not, add this to your prayer intentions. Our country has never needed more prayers.