I’d had enough — and it was time to make a stand — so I reached for the phone and dialed Chase Bank’s toll-free number. My purpose was to tell JPMorgan Chase I had taken the Ink business credit card they issued me and cut it into tiny pieces, using my handy home-office shredder.
I explained to the Chase employee on the phone exactly why I no longer wanted to do business with the bank. I felt a thrill of satisfaction the moment I knew for sure the credit card I had faithfully used for over a decade was officially Account Closed.
I have to admit, I am not a big supporter of boycotts, but after Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, gave a cool half-million dollars of shareholders’ money to the Southern Poverty Law Center, I had to take some action.
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The SPLC bills itself as a civil rights organization that tracks so-called hate groups. On their website they have a tool called the “hate map,” which lists organizations they consider “hate groups.”
The judgments made by the SPLC organization, while often valid when they expose groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Nazi-loving white supremacists, also include regular denouncements of mainstream Christian ministries, and of conservative leaders, as hate groups.
Nobody contests that the SPLC is a far-left organization, and if Jamie Dimon as an individual wants to give his money to fringe left-wing groups, he has every right to do it. Where I draw the line is when a business leader of a publicly traded company such as JP Morgan Chase — bailed out by the U.S government and the recipient of Troubled Asset Relief Program aid –decides to dip into shareholders’ money and give it to such a group.
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I took the only action I knew to take. I paid off and then cut up my credit card. I have been a customer of Chase for years. I’ve not only had Chase checking and savings accounts, I once had a mortgage with Chase Mortgage. On top of that, I had multiple credit cards (note the past tense), including the Marriott Card, issued by JPMorgan Chase. I am glad that as of yesterday every single one of these accounts is closed. I intend never to bank with that company again.
I consider religious bigotry a great evil. The SPLC targets organizations specifically because they believe the words of the Bible and Jesus Himself on the topic of marriage. If you hold traditional views on marriage, by definition the SPLC considers you a “hater” without a legitimate right to participate in the public debate over marriage.
I easily extrapolate, and it’s a natural conclusion, that the major corporations that are donating millions of dollars, such as JP Morgan Chase and Apple, agree with the SPLC’s specific beliefs about Christians. I find these beliefs to be outside the mainstream, and hurtful to the millions of Christians who hold to the historic view of marriage as between a man and a woman.
Brilliant writer Kimberly Strassel summed it up best in a recent Wall Street Journal piece:
“An honest outfit tracking violent groups would keep to straightforward descriptions and facts. Instead, the SPLC’s descriptions of people are brutally partisan, full of half-truths and vitriol designed to inspire fury.”
If JP Morgan Chase wants to fund this bigotry, then I want no part of JPMorgan Chase.
Next up: Apple. I just decided that despite my affection for made-in-the-USA products, and the iPhone in particular, I am going to buy a smartphone from one of the Asian firms that make competing phones.
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I know it is hard to stop using firms that have served you well over the years with products and services, but at a certain point everyone has to stand up for what they believe. I just hit my tipping point. Ask yourself: At what point does a company you patronize, by its funding of attacks against your religious beliefs, deserve to lose your business?
I asked, and I feel really good about my response. It gave me satisfaction to be counted.
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