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Who Gets Your Hard-Earned Money?

Anti-Semites have added a new player to their team.  More accurately, he was probably already on the team, but most people outside of Hollywood did not know it.  I speak of Oliver Stone, the film director who recently outed himself as a raging anti-Semite during an interview with The Sunday Times of London.  This revelation should surprise no one.  For a man who considers Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez a friend and who believes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is misunderstood, the leftist director of films such as Platoon, Wall Street, , Born on the Fourth of July, The Doors, JFK and W has been one of liberalism’s most prolific cultural spokesmen for the last 25 years.

The last Oliver Stone directed movie that I saw at the theater was Any Given Sunday, released in 1999. The combination of Al Pacino and professional football was too great a temptation for me to resist, even if Stone was the director.  Before that, it had been 12 years since I paid to see Wall Street (1987), a film I thoroughly enjoyed during my college years and which still holds up quite well more than 20 years later.

Judged purely from an artistic perspective, Oliver Stone must be considered one of the greatest directors of his generation. With two Oscars (Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July) and three Golden Globes (Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, and JFK) for Best Director to his credit, Stone has been one of Hollywood’s most influential film-makers.  As much as I dislike the content of many of Stone’s movies, I believe that the freedom of speech we enjoy in this country gives him the right to make whatever movies he chooses. 

However, that same freedom allows me to choose what movies I spend my money seeing.  I have chosen to not waste any more money on supporting Oliver Stone’s lucrative West Coast venture (although if he directs a Star Trek sequel, I’ll be sorely tempted yet again to open my wallet).  However, who we choose to support with our money is not limited to movies. 

How do you decide who earns your business?  Does the business owner have to share your political or religious views for you to spend your money in their establishment?  Do you want to know what the owner’s personal beliefs are before you step foot inside their store?  Does it make a difference if the owner is a Democrat or a Republican, a conservative or a liberal, a Christian or an Atheist, pro-life or pro-choice?

In our town, there are two donut shops (insert Baptist preacher joke here).  I recently discovered that one of the shops is owned and operated by a Buddhist.  When you enter the store, there is a small statue of Buddha sitting on the counter.  Should that influence my decision to walk into the donut shop?  Should I stop buying donuts at this location simply because a Buddhist is the owner?

If you learned that your favorite restaurant was owned by a conservative, pro-life Republican, would you be more likely or less likely to eat there?  If you discovered that the Bed and Breakfast that you and your wife get away to every year was managed by a nice liberal, pro-choice Democrat couple, would it influence whether you booked a return trip?  If your child’s pediatrician turned out to be Christian or Jewish or Muslim, would you look for a new doctor?

We live in a pluralistic society, with a diversity unmatched by any other country in the world.  Every day, we have choices to make in where we shop and how we spend our money.  Some of our everyday choices are trivial, but others will have long-lasting consequences.  How do you decide who gets your hard-earned money?  I’d love to hear your answers to that question.

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6 Responses to "Who Gets Your Hard-Earned Money?"

  1. Bennett Willis says:

    I buy BBQ from Brian’s. I buy it there because when my daughters used to provide home made cookies to the other place, Brian was the fellow who opened there and who I talked to as I delivered the cookies. And I like his building better.

    I shop at WalMart because the prices are good–and my wife and younger daughter don’t shop there for the usual reasons. I don’t suppose it would matter what Mr. Sam believed–unless they tried to recruit me each time I came in rather than tending to business.

    Thinking about it, the order is probably “quality of the visit”, relationships. Quality of the visit is a catch all for everything from availability, price, service, etc. I don’t seek out Christian owned stores but if all else was equal, I’d probably go to the “Christian” store.

    1. Howell Scott says:

      Bennett,

      Thanks for the comment. I usually shop whoever has the best prices, quality, and service. I’m like you in the sense that I don’t necessarily seek out a Christian establishment, but if the owner is a Christian, that is usually a plus. If a store, especially a locally-owned store, were very vocal in their support of issues that I didn’t believe in, I would probably look for another place to give my business. But, as long as they don’t push thei beliefs on me when I walk in the door, I’ll shop there. I think that is what is so offputting about Hollywood types like Stone. They have a right to espouse their views, but if they are trying to sell a product (movie) to the public, then it baffles me why they go out of their way to offend a large part of their potential audience. Have a great day. God bless,

      Howell

      1. Bennett Willis says:

        I think Stone’s rants are an “appeal to the base” issue. There are a significant number of people who go because they know their prejudices will be supported.

        Speaking of prejudices being supported–did you happen to see the 60 Minutes segment where L. Stahl was in Pakistan? If you did not, it would be interesting to see if it is on the net somewhere. It really goes with the posting about the mosque near the World Trade Center site. You know that the comments are edited (selected anyhow) to make a point but the way that the people she was talking with look at the US is interesting. Of course their view sounds like a lot of what they believe is picked off of conspiracy theory web sites.

        1. Howell Scott says:

          Bennett,

          I have not seen that 60 Minutes segment. I’ll try to look at it and see how it relates to the Ground Zero Mosque. Not surprising that people sound like conspiracy theorists. Thanks and God bless,

          Howell

  2. Bennett Willis says:

    The relationship is not “one to one.” But it does help one understand how some Muslims feel about us–especially overseas. It would be interesting to have the “out takes” from the show. I am puzzled that anyone would propose to build a mosque in the World Trade Center neighborhood. It seems to me that it shows what we would term “a definite lack of sensitivity”–something normally attributed “only” to Americans.

    1. Howell Scott says:

      What is even more puzzling is why the members of the Manhattan Community Board #1 would vote 29 to 1 in favor of building the mosque. The Board’s vote, which was not needed for the mosque to be built, was largely symbolic. That less than 10 years after 9-11 a group of fellow New Yorkers would not see the “insensitivity” in this is quite perplexing. I believe in freedom of religion for all, even those I disagree with. However, I don’t have to like the fact that a mosque is being built so close to Ground Zero.

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