If we cannot worship as we see fit—or not—then we are reduced to the level of animals forced into compliance with the non-option of having our spiritual beliefs chosen and prescribed for us by those who would deride and denigrate the deep and varied religious heritage of our country.
June 8, 2018
President & CEO
L'Oréal USA, Inc.
I am writing you concerning a deeply troubling subject.
In the past several years the tolerance for comments and themes both racist and anti-religious in our nation’s media programming has grown at an alarming rate. I was very disturbed recently to find that a company such as yours is in support of such messages, as evidenced by your advertising placement. Quite frankly, I was shocked to find that this is something to which you align the principles and image of your company, your products and your employees. I believe that it is messages of religious bigotry and anti-freedom of choice which are in large part responsible for causing more and more Americans to turn away from certain television shows, both broadcast and cable, in distaste, and seek their entertainment in other places.
Conversely, there is a brighter side to this message, as it appears that the growing general public distaste for such backward attitudes is making itself felt. Recently, The Rise on NBC was canceled as a result of anti-Catholic inferences. Roseanne Barr’s show was dropped as a result of racist, anti-religious comments she made on Twitter. I see this as evidence of a growing American sentiment which seems to embrace religious tolerance by reflecting a respect of the religions of their neighbors.
Unfortunately, there remain isolated islands of religious hatred and there are those who, by their actions feel that religious bigotry should be presented as “entertainment” and made acceptable thereby. There are still those shows on the air which blatantly promote anti-religious agendas. The A&E show Aftermath is an obvious and reprehensible example of this. You may be familiar with others. This is religious bigotry at its worst because it seeks to propagate this bigotry in the name of entertainment!
As a minister, I have spoken in support of religious tolerance for decades, for if we cannot worship as we see fit—or not—then we are reduced to the level of animals forced into compliance with the non-option of having our spiritual beliefs chosen and prescribed for us by those who would deride and denigrate the deep and varied religious heritage of our country.
I urge you to consider withdrawing your advertising support for shows that turn religious bigotry into tabloid sensationalism and seek to profit from creating strife and upset and in many cases endangering the safety of religious people who are merely trying to worship according to their beliefs. This is not what our country is about. And this is not what we should adhere to as Americans.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Yours in God’s light,
Rev. Michael Graves