Patterico's Pontifications

9/12/2015

Office Depot Refuses To Print Christian’s Pro-Life Handout

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:25 am

[guest post by Dana]

Office Depot was recently under fire for refusing the request of Maria Goldstein to print 500 copies of a handout containing a pro-life prayer and statistics about Planned Parenthood. The company claimed, among other things, that it advocated the persecution of certain groups.

The prayer, written by Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, is part of a national prayer campaign to:

“Bring an end to the killing of children in the womb, and bring an end to the sale of their body parts. Bring conversion to all who do this, and enlightenment to all who advocate it.”

The prayer also denounces “the evil that has been exposed in Planned Parenthood and in the entire abortion industry.”

The Office Depot employee reportedly told Goldstein that she was free to use the self-serve copy machines at the Office Depot, but Goldstein declined due to the inconvenience of making 500 copies. She opted to take her business to another print shop.

Office Depot stood by the decision to refuse her service:

Karen Denning of Office Depot defended her company’s refusal to make copies of the prayer, stating that company policy forbids “the copying of any type of material that advocates any form of racial or religious discrimination or the persecution of certain groups of people.”

“It also prohibits copying any type of copyrighted material,” she added. “The flier contained material that advocates the persecution of people who support abortion rights.”

Goldstein does not agree:

“The intention of the prayer is to ask for conversion,” she said. “The conversion of the staff, employees, everybody who is part of this at Planned Parenthood. It means they will recognize life has dignity and that it is valuable and not a commodity to be bought and sold.”

She further claimed:

“Office Depot is discriminating against me based on my religion,” said Maria Goldstein. “If the store can pick and choose what orders it fills based on religious content, it is refusing to treat people of faith equally. In America where we value freedom of religion, this is simply unacceptable.”

Goldstein is currently being represented by the Thomas Moore Society. They have given Office Depot five days to print the handout. If Office Depot does not comply, they will go before the Cook County Human Rights Commission and the Illinois Department of Human Rights to file a complaint.

Here is a copy of Goldstein’s handout advocating the persecution of people who support abortion rights:

Untitled-1

Earlier yesterday, Office Depot sent the Thomas More Society a letter claiming that Goldstein’s flyer violated Office Depot standards regarding graphic material or hate speech. However, upon further review, they backed down and apologized to Goldstein :

Office Depot has contacted Ms. Goldsteins’s representative to explain that the store associate’s decision to decline a print order was in no way based on religious beliefs, but on the fact that it contained certain words and phrases that could be construed as graphic or advocates the persecution of groups of people, which is a violation of the company’s copy and print policy. Office Depot has long maintained a policy of not allowing associates to print items that violate copyright laws, advocate persecution of any group or contain graphic material.

Upon a more detailed review, we have determined that the content of Ms. Goldstein’s flyer is not a clear violation of the company’s policy.

“We sincerely apologize to Ms. Goldstein for her experience and our initial reaction was not at all related to her religious beliefs. We invite her to return to Office Depot if she still wishes to print the flyer,” said Roland Smith, chairman and chief executive officer, Office Depot.

(emphasis added)

–Dana


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