April 27, 2017
Bravo to Staples for having a policy that allows their employees to refuse service to people with which they disagree. A few days ago, they called my flyer about our High School Government Course “Obscene, Pornographic or Dangerous.”
That’s right. According to Staples, teaching kids about the three branches of government and the First Amendment is “OBSCENE, PORNOGRAPHIC OR DANGEROUS.”
Anyone else see the irony in this? We Constitution loving, free enterprise supporting Christians believe the First Amendment allows private individuals and businesses to associate with whom they wish, do business with whom they wish, and yes, refuse to do either of those things if they wish. Yet, Staples refused to print our flyer for teaching people that Staples has a right to refuse to print our flyer.
You might have to read that last line again.
I must admit that I got a chuckle out of the whole thing. The Staples employee was pretty worked up about how WallBuilders and “Christian Patriots” believe our faith should be allowed in the public square, including politics. Guilty as charged.
Fortunately, I took my flyer to a printer that did not mind doing business with Christians and even managed to get twice as many flyers for about the same price Staples charged me, so all things worked together for good once again (Romans 8:28). Shout out to Loris Printing in Sandusky, Ohio!!
I sent Staples a letter congratulating them on their policy:
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.
Of course, each of us in private business has the right to refuse business and we must also live with the market consequences (not government force, but customer decisions to do business with us or not). When I asked your employees if they thought it was a good business decision for Staples to refuse to print Christian materials that encourage study of the Constitution, the response was, “Staples is based in Canada and doesn’t care about the U.S. Constitution.” Very interesting response.
Again, I absolutely support your policy and your right to refuse service to Christians, or any other category of individuals with which you disagree. We’ll be sure to highlight your policy, and its implementation, on our radio show and social media outlets.
Since Staples has such a problem doing business with Christians, perhaps Christians across America should do a favor for Staples and stop going into their stores or ordering online. Save them from the stress and heartache. Find a local printer like I did and you just might find a better deal as well. You can vote with your dollars and possibly even save some dollars.
Meanwhile, I’m off to teach another class on the Constitution and how wonderful it is to choose whom we do business with, even bakers and photographers… oh, wait…I guess that’s not true in Oregon or Washington and a host of other places where the intolerant left is using the force of government coercion to prevent the very thing I’m applauding Staples for doing.
UPDATE: I found out today that Staples still charged me for the flyers they refused to print. When I asked for a refund, they said I had to come back to the Sandusky, OH store (1,500 miles from my home) to get a refund since they had no way to cancel the charge or refund the charge. I guess this is Staples best effort to add injury to insult (yea, backwards in this case). For a chain this large to have such ridiculous customer service is pretty sad.
UPDATE 4/28/17: I’m traveling today, but my wife tells me that Staples called a little while ago and said they were refunding the charges to my card. Also, for those being told this was a copyright issue, here’s the email they initially sent:
Then I called and got the whole bit about the print shop employee’s opposition to WallBuilders, Christian Patriots, etc., etc. It was not until the next employee arrived later that afternoon that suddenly “copyright” was thrown out. Of course, we have full permission for everything on the flyers. But even at that point (too late for me to get the flyers from them, nor would I have entrusted my project to them after what I was told over the phone by their own employees), the employees were still ranting about separation of church and state and saying they have the right to refuse service simply because of their opinion that WallBuilders is wrong on the First Amendment. Well, God Bless them, I’m glad they have that right and they were bold enough to use it and live with the market consequences.
And just to be super clear on the “copyright” issue…that was a 2nd flyer (see below). They still objected to the the one above (the main one) even though it did not have the “ChristianCinema.com” logo on it. So, first the print shop objected to both flyers because of “content and demagoguery,” then much later after I had tried to go through management and gotten nowhere, a new print shop employee shows up and asked about the ChristianCinema.com logo on the flyer below. They sell our show. They want us to use their logo. They have given permission. And this was not the main flyer at issue anyway.