What’s Wrong with the World

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A Hole in the Market

By now my readers probably don't need me to inform them that the crowd-funding site GoFundMe apparently has a war on against Christians. Or for that matter, anyone else who holds to a traditional view of marriage and suffers for it. The site has shut down no less than two campaigns--one for Barronelle Stutzman, the Washington florist, one for Aaron and Melissa Klein in Oregon. The latter case is one I haven't happened to write about yet. It features the disgusting spectacle of a pair of lesbians arguing for (and probably getting) the utter financial ruin of a pair of small-business bakers because the lesbians suffered such "emotional pain" and even "physical suffering" when the bakers refused to make them a cake for their "wedding." The emotional pain of the bakers at the financial destruction of their business and their lives is of no account, of course. They are bigots and made a pair of lesbians feel bad, so this is what they deserve. The administrative law judge has ruled that they should be fined $135K. As in the florist case in Washington, apparently no corporate veil applies. This money will come out of the Kleins' personal assets. Another bureaucrat can accept or reject the proposed fine.

But back to GoFundMe. GFM's terms of service state that you can't set up a funding campaign if you have been convicted of a "heinous" crime, and GFM implied that both the Kleins' and Stutzmann's campaigns violated this policy. Which makes no sense, both because nobody in their right mind thinks of what they did as "heinous" and because what they violated were civil statutes rather than criminal statutes. HotAir reports that GFM has squared the circle by hastily amending their policy to ban fund-raising if one has been found guilty of "discriminatory acts." Redstate points out that actually GFM has no problem retaining pages for accused criminals.

The non-profit organization Samaritan's Purse has picked up the slack for the Kleins.

But as free market author Jay Richards has pointed out, we should not be restricted to thinking of this in terms of non-profit organizations.

Rather than dwell on that depressing perversion of justice, however, I’m hoping there’s an entrepreneur reading this who is interested in both doing well and doing good. There is a growing need for a crowd-funding company that can help the victims of grotesquely unjust laws like the one in Oregon. One of GoFundMe’s current competitors may be able to step in. If not, then there’s a growing and unmet need that calls for another company in the market.

Either way, that company won’t have to worry about competition from GoFundMe.

Richards is right. Crowd-funding is a business opportunity these days, and GoFundMe is missing out on the dollars it could have made by keeping up these pages. The fact that GFM had to change its policy to be sure to exclude the Kleins and others like them makes Richards's point even clearer. The generic and uncontroversial terms of use that a crowd-funding site might understandably want to set up don't actually exclude people hounded to ruin by the homosexual mafia. Therefore, GFM's exclusion is clearly based on narrowly ideological considerations, not on general business considerations. In fact, GFM is willing to lose revenue in order to uphold its twisted principles.

We are experiencing a time of corporate persecution of nature and religion. From corporate "diversity days" to the shameful spectacle of corporations arguing disingenuously that an RFRA in Indiana would limit their business opportunities in that state to the firing of Brendan Eich to this nonsense from GoFundMe, there is no doubt that many people who run big and powerful businesses have it in for anyone who does not support the insane homosexual and transgender orthodoxy. Crazy as academia is, in one sense people in the business world have even less protection (no tenure).

But (and this is a big but) the problem here is ideology. After all, it was a laughable lie that businesses would lose revenue by the invisible hand of the market if Indiana passed an RFRA (which reflected the federal RFRA and the RFRAs in plenty of other states). The corporate execs at Mozilla, GoFundMe, Stryker, and many other corporations are true believers, and that is why they do what they do.

As if to emphasize this point still more, The Christian Post found a competitor of GoFundMe, based in England no less (!), that has a different take. London-based GoGetFunding says it would allow crowd-funding for people in the Kleins' situation. The next time something like this happens, bear this in mind. For that matter, bear it in mind the next time you want to raise funds for just about anything. This should be good advertising for GoGetFunding.

There is a hole in the market. There are several holes in the market. One type of hole is found in the darkened, human hearts of those who have market power and who are servants of the "prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience." A black hole indeed. The other hole is the ordinary gap this leaves where normal business considerations leave money-making opportunities untapped because those who serve the zeitgeist are avoiding them. I have no reason to think that GoGetFunding is run by Christians! It is just run by people with a little more sanity and business savvy than hard-core ideological commitment. That sounds like an opening to me. May there be many more such.

Comments (5)

Good to know there is one company that has not swallowed the rainbow poison. If Christians are going to make use of crowdfunding however, it would be wise to have some sort of disinterested third party to vet the cases because I can see scammers ginning up controversy to cash in.

Good point, Scott. So far the cases in question are high profile and are for that reason vetted for authenticity and the basic facts by both liberal and conservative media, with plenty of documentation from court records, interviews, legal documents, etc. But we need to be discerning about any fund-raising claim that comes our way.

This is a timely post, Lydia. Just today I sent an email to GoFundMe telling them that I had thought about using them to raise money for a missions trip for my daughter but that I will no longer consider doing business with them. I have seen a lot of people I know using GoFundMe for missions trips, but I'm really hoping that word will get out to Christians not to do business with them. But what really amazed me was that the pulled a campaign for the officers in Baltimore who have been charged in the Freddie Gray case. The reason that is so egregious to me is that there is no thought of "innocent until proven guilty" for these officers, not to mention the fact that the charges came extremely quickly and have a strong appearance of being politically motivated. But it also appears that GoFundMe is pretty selective in who it chooses to allow to raise funds: http://www.vocativ.com/tech/internet/gofundmes-erratic-approach-to-banning-projects/.

Thanks for the link to GoGetFunding. I was looking to see if there was a good alternative out there.

I wonder how long it'll be before big banks, credit card companies, SWIFT, etc. refuse to allow companies that don't prohibit this conduct to work with them. If that were to happen, the only solution would be to pass something analogous to common carrier laws, something that would make it black letter of the law civilly actionable to discriminate in financial transactions against any lawful activity even if it violates the conscience of the financial business.

If they control the high ground and won't let us be and live according to our conscience, there's no glory and honor in extending that courtesy to them. Bringing the government in to annihilate their freedom of conscience is the nuclear option.

I wonder how long it'll be before big banks, credit card companies, SWIFT, etc. refuse to allow companies that don't prohibit this conduct to work with them.

Isn't there something in Revelation about not being able to buy and sell without taking on the mark of the beast?

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