In October of 2013, Amazon launched a program known as AmazonSmile as a way for its customers “to do good” by supporting their charity organization of choice when making purchases online. According to Amazon, there are over a million organizations that you can donate to. For those who are perhaps unaware, to use the feature, customers can visit smile.amazon.com and choose the organization of their choice.
California Family Council is under the list of organizations that you can choose to donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to. Simply type in California Family Council and at the top of the list of options you will see California Family Council Foundation.
A top legal advocacy organization and a national ally of California Family Council, the Alliance Defending Freedom, was one of the nonprofit organizations that Amazon customers could donate to. The organization is one of the top legal-advocacy law firms in the United States. Alliance Defending Freedom has been one of the organizations that Amazon Smile customers could donate to, since the program’s launch in 2013, according to the Daily Signal.
Until recently, that is.
Alliance Defending Freedom gives more details in one of their blog posts:
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve received many calls, emails, and Facebook messages with a major concern: Our Ministry Friends were no longer able to give to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) through the AmazonSmile program. In case you’re not familiar with it, AmazonSmile is a website that allows a customer to choose a nonprofit group to receive a percentage of any Amazon purchase.
Apparently, Amazon no longer sees ADF as a suitable nonprofit for its program. But why?
We contacted Amazon to find out what happened, and lo and behold, Amazon informed us that we were removed because the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) determines who is qualified.
Alliance Defending Freedom wrote a letter to Amazon in response to the ban. In the letter, the CEO of ADF Michael Farris states:
Although the SPLC did good work many years ago, it has devolved into a far-left propaganda machine that slanders organizations with which it disagrees and destroys the possibility of civil discourse in the process. The group has been discredited by investigative journalists and charity watchdogs as a ‘direct mail scam’ that has seen its leaders amass enormous fortunes. It is no surprise that the United States Department of Defense and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have severed ties with the SPLC.
In the letter, Alliance Defending Freedom also offers to help Amazon draft a participation letter for AmazonSmile that is more inclusive of religious customers and religious nonprofit organizations alike.
As a private business, Amazon can do what it pleases, but Amazon customers should be aware (that so far) Amazon is choosing to side with a discredited law group whose senior leaders have pledged on “destroying” people of faith, over a successful, highly respected legal-advocacy firm dedicated to providing free legal defense to people and organizations in danger of losing their free speech or religious freedom rights.