By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League of North Carolina
NEW BERN – “Refresh Everything” is Pepsi’s new marketing slogan, but it is unlikely that Christians will find the company’s promotion of the homosexual agenda very refreshing. In fact, more than a few are heeding the American Family Association’s recent call to boycott the Tar Heel based company.
“If most North Carolinians knew how vigorously Pepsico was supporting the gay agenda, then I believe, they would not only be disappointed with this North Carolina-based company, but they would be insistent that Pepsico remain neutral in the culture war,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina. “We are calling on Christians across North Carolina to join the boycott of Pepsi products until the company that our state has long supported sees the wisdom in stopping this attack on marriage and the family.”
Started in New Bern, N.C., in 1898 where Pepsi-Cola was invented by pharmacist Caleb Bradham, Pepsico now markets a myriad of products from Mountain Dew to Gatorade, Quaker Oats to Frito Lay. Apparently without concern for the preservation of the millions of families who buy their products, the company gave a $500,000 donation to Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and another half million to the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest promoter of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. Pepsi also makes its employees attend sexual orientation classes which teach them to accept homosexuality. Both PFLAG and HRC battled California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman.
When the American Family Association contacted the company twice last fall asking PepsiCo not to involve itself in a political and culture war, especially supporting organizations that seek to redefine marriage, and requesting a chance to discuss the issue, the company refused to talk about it giving only the explanation (via a Nov. 7 letter) that they are trying to “promote further understanding and equality” in the workplace. The Christian Action League got a similar response.
“As a company, we made a commitment to promote and support diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our business,” reads a Jan. 13 e-mail from Pepsico to the CAL. “In 2008, the PepsiCo Foundation awarded a grant to PFLAG to help create and launch a national program specifically designed for workplace environments.” The e-mail continues to tout “diversity and inclusion” as company “values,” practices that are earning Pepsi high marks from these pro-homosexual groups. The HRC gave PepsiCo a 100 percent rating for the fifth year in a row when it announced its 2009 Corporate Equality Index.
According to Cindy Roberts, director of media and public relations for the American Family Association, AFA supporters have responded to the group’s Action Alert and call for boycott with many calling Pepsico to challenge the company’s pro-gay position.
“I’m not sure how many people have signed the pledge to boycott, but we’ve gotten a lot of e-mails and inquiries and have received signed petitions as well,” said Roberts, adding that it is often a combination of customer e-mails and phone calls as well as falling sales that can get a company’s attention and bring them to the table.
In addition to Pepsi-affiliated drinks (Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, IZZE, TAVA, Amp, SoBe, Slice, Aquafina, Mug, Dole and Ocean Spray juices, Lipton Tea, etc.) Christians who want to send a message to Pepsico are urged to avoid buying other Pepsico brands which include Frito-Lay chips, Quaker Oats, Tropicana and Gatorade. On its Action Alert Web page, (www.afa.net/Petitions/Issuedetail.asp?id=333) the AFA lists toll free phone numbers of the subsidiaries so that boycotters can phone them to urge neutrality in the culture wars, plus the e-mail for Pepsico Chairman Indra K. Nooyi.
“Like the AFA, we suggest the two-fold approach of not only avoiding these products but also calling or e-mailing to let your voice be heard,” the Rev. Creech said. “We want Pepsico to understand that they cannot champion the homosexual agenda and expect persons with a strong sense of traditional values to continue supporting them.”