Saturday, June 11, 2016

I resent your intolerance...

This month of June at my day job I am selling two limited edition wines with commemorative labels and donating part of the proceeds to the Pride Foundation. It is after all, Pride Month. I started selling them on the 4th and have mostly received praise. I've not had any opposition to this until yesterday.

I had one customer come in trying to find a bottle of white for his wife. He said she likes Pinot Grigio. Unfortunately, I am out of Pinot Grigio for another few weeks. I told him I had a Chardonnay, a dry Riesling, and something more to her taste, a Viognier/Pinot Gris blend. That blend happens to be my Pride White. He said he could not buy that wine. That he and his wife are conservative Christians and he wouldn't hear the end of it if he brought it home. "No worries," I said. I was polite, as was he. Of course I disagree with his ideology, but whatever. He bought the Riesling and went on his way. 

Later that day I sent out our monthly email newsletter that promotes all of our events and campaigns. Among cooking class, art night and ladies night, I also mentioned our Pride Red and White wines and how we would be donating part of sales back to Pride Foundation. Now, this is not the first time we've done this. We've done this for Mary Bridge Children's Hospital, Breast Cancer Awareness, Autism, many other non-profit organizations and numerous schools. In October we will be doing the same thing for Domestic Violence Action Month.

I received two emails asking me to take them off our mailing list. One was simply, take me off your email list PLEASE... After receiving the second one, I can only assume this is because of our support of the Pride Foundation.

The other stated, and I quote, "I resent your sending 15% to Pride foundations. They are an abomination. Take me off your mailing list."

I am not sure how to respond. I am the manager and will be buying this place soon, but for now, I am not the owner. If this had happened when I ran my own business I would have told that person to fuck off I don't need your business anyway.

But I'm not running my own business...yet.

The other day, I had a customer, who supports LGBT rights, ask me how I came to do the commemorative label and offer my support to that community when my name and heritage would suggest otherwise. (family name Aquino, heritage, Italian, grew up Catholic).

I told her that although I was brought up Catholic, most of my family were very liberal and have always been welcoming of others regardless of their race, religion, sexual preference, culture, etc. We believe that everyone is equal and deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.  We are all human, we all laugh, cry, hurt, heal. We all bleed the same color. 

I cannot speak for the rest of my family, but I cannot and will not believe in a god that does not love all mankind. He is supposed to be all loving, all forgiving, merciful. Anyone who follows him and preaches his words and his works should emulate him and offer all human kind the same love, forgiveness and mercy. Yet far too much, bible verses are picked and chosen to fit in with agendas. How about these ones?:

John 8:7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them,  “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
James 2:1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.

Romans 3:23 ...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...
Matthew 7:1  Judge not, that you be not judged.
Don't get me wrong, the bible also talks about judging. Judging what is good. Using the right judgment. Test everything and abstain from evil. I know many that belong to the LGBT community. They are good. That is the right judgment. Are they all good? Of course not. But neither are all Christians, Mormons, whites, blacks, women, men, and so forth and so forth. There are bad apples in every bunch.
But they are not abominations or evil because of who they love. 
Many of them are even Christians! Whoa, I just blew your mind right there, right?
And let's keep in mind that these quotes, regardless if what agenda we're seeking them for, come from a book thousands of years old and translated millions of time. 
I defend my business decision to support LGBT rights and the Pride Foundation. If I lose customers over it, maybe they're not the type I want shopping in my store anyway. I will not back down from my convictions, ideologies, or values to make a few more bucks. 
And anyway, I've sold a lot more bottles than I've had complaints, so there's that.
Happy Saturday everyone. Come to the shop and see me sometime.

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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