In the latest news from the Portlandia Sharia story, those trying to destroy Moreland Farmers Pantry, the organic store planned for a Portland neighborhood, are going after vendors selling to the store. From the boycott’s Facebook page:
Here is a current list of Moreland Farmers Pantry vendors, from their website. We will be posting their contact information shortly. If you’re a vendor on this list, who has pulled your product from their shelves, please let us know and you will be removed from this list.
Vendors are already coming forward and saying they will not sell their products through Moreland Farmers Pantry because of the controversy. How will the business survive? And what exactly did merchant Chauncy Childs say to anger people so much? An anti-Childs website did some screen grabs of her posts, which she made under the pseudonym Lynn Brice:
Not the complete posts, but all I could find. It sounds nearly complete. She also posted this:
In the text of the post, Childs’ contentions are fairly mainstream conservative views. She may be wrong, of course, but hers are not radical beliefs. Chauncy Childs is a Mormon, and therefore holds theological views with which I do not agree, and her political views are rather … different from my own (for example, she believes that socialism may be inspired by Satan). So what? As a Mormon, she believes that I belong to an apostate church. Again: so what? She could post constantly on how Orthodox Christians are hellbound, and if the food were good, and the service polite, I would shop there every day, twice a day, because I endorse her localism and agrarianism. And if she wanted to talk about our faith differences, I would hope to show her through our friendship that she was wrong. And if I didn’t, again: so what?
As a libertarian, Childs believes that businesses have, in principle, a great amount of freedom — even the freedom to refuse to serve gay people. I don’t agree with that, but it is a plausible philosophical position, one that principled libertarian friends of mine hold (even though they support same-sex marriage). Is she refusing service to gay customers? No. Childs told a Portland TV station that she does believe in that principle, but would not do it herself:
Childs said she believes the idea but not the practice.
“What I believe is that…a private business has the right,” Childs said.
She went on to say that she would not personally deny someone service at her store.
“Absolutely not,” Childs said. “Absolutely, unequivocally, totally not.”
Now people like Sean O’Riordan must decide if that answer is enough, or if it means this grocer will get none of his business.
“I would say that I’m sorry to the people who I have offended,” Childs said. “I genuinely feel that way and I hope we can make amends.”
Childs says she will donate to a gay suicide prevention group as a gesture, she says, to make peace.
That did no good. Nor did this statement: from the Moreland Farmer’s Pantry FB page:
You may be aware that the media has been asking questions about the personal opinions of the owners regarding gay marriage and freedom of expression. We understand that this is a sensitive topic for many. We would like to reiterate our position that we will not discriminate against anyone in any form. We support diversity and anti-discrimination in all business practices. As a gesture of goodwill we donated $1,000 to the LGBTQ Youth program of the Equity Foundation in Portland. This program supports safe communities for LGBTQ individuals where sexual orientation and gender identity should not be the basis for social alienation or legal discrimination. We encourage others to make additional donations to this worthy cause at: http://www.equityfoundation.org/
While we understand that we may not share the same viewpoints on all issues, we support freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Our beliefs are not necessarily shared by our employees; their beliefs are their own, as it should be. The employees are a diverse group of people working together with a common goal to simply provide good nutritious food to the Portland community and support local farms and vendors.
The Pantry is open to everyone from all walks of life.
If you would like to discuss this more we can be reached directly at [I’ve deleted the number — RD].
John and Chauncy Childs
I went to the Moreland Farmers Pantry website to find out more about the business. It sounds great, their values: local products, a strong connection to local farms and educating customers about food and farms. For example:
Because the market is farmer owned, Moreland Farmers Pantry provides a direct connection between grower and consumer, taking “farm to table” a step further into our everyday lives. We also partner with other farmers to make a wide variety of real and safe food available to the neighborhood. See a list of suppliers, which we’ll update as sources and seasons change.
The market will also curate tours of local farms, placing an emphasis on educating Portland’s children from all walks of life about where their food comes from, how it’s raised, and how good healthy can taste.
This is the kind of place we need more of! From the website, find out more about the monster Chauncy Childs, who describes how she and her husband left behind the business world to become organic farmers:
A decade later, as our business flourished, we were able to find a larger parcel of land to the south of Portland, and again, my first order of business was to start planning an expanded farming operation. This has been an expensive but very beneficial enterprise for us for the past 5 years, turning raw land into a productive farm. The farm now supports a Grade A, grass-fed “beyond organic” dairy and 15+ greenhouses as well as several more acres of outdoor vegetable and herb gardens. Through our associations we have found other like-minded farmers who share our vision of pre-industrial food that is reasonably priced so that more of the public might enjoy the benefits of great meats, dairy, and vegetables.
The natural evolution of our enterprise was to open an urban location to make these products available. It would have been much easier to find commercial outlets for our products, but the more people we came into contact with who suffered from the health effects of polluted food, the more our desire grew to offer an alternative: food straight from the farm without the middle-man mark-up.
It’s exciting to join a movement that is changing the way we eat for the better, in turning back the tide of industrialization that has polluted our food supply and is creating environmental havoc. Our hope is that Moreland Farmers Pantry expands to other parts of the city, giving more and more people a culinary choice and more and more farms in the area a reason to convert to a sustainable model and have an outlet for their products. We have a sincere desire to contribute positively to our community by supporting local, sustainable agriculture so that our children, and their children, can live in a world where good, pure food still exists. And I think we would all agree that there is nothing more comforting than sharing a delicious meal together!
Clearly, we can’t have that. It was foolish for Chauncy Childs to post what she did, but look: the Portlandia Sharia Squad is trying to destroy the entire business by pressuring its suppliers, and extending no forgiveness or grace to the couple that owns this business. If they succeed, I presume this will put all the farm’s employees out of work. The Childs family invested a lot of money to create an organic farm on what was unused land. Now, that may all be about to be taken from them by this boycott. What’s more, to destroy the Childs’ business will hurt small artisans, farmers, and food producers who would sell products through the Moreland Farmers Pantry, but who will be denied outlets for their products, and in any case may not be able to afford to sell through the Childs, because they too could see their businesses destroyed by the boycott. Can’t you feel the love?
Remember the Law of Merited Impossibility. They will tell you that this kind of thing won’t affect you, that this is just a local dust-up by some overeager lefties, don’t get upset about it. They will continue saying this as it spreads, and more people lose their jobs, and their businesses … and then they will tell you that hey, no big deal, those bigots — those Mormons, those Catholics, those Baptists, and so forth — deserve to be ruined anyway.
Brendan Eich is not allowed to run the company he helped found. Now the Childs family might lose their entire business. Where does the hate and intolerance stop?
UPDATE: From the boycott Facebook page, the voice of the right-minded mob:
Boycott Moreland Farmers Pantry shared a link.
It’s too late Chauncy. Cut your ties with our community and leave.
Aaron Kier The real “slippery slope” is allowing people like this to spout anti-community, anti-acceptance, anti-humanity, anti-inclusion views like this, ESPECIALLY in the public marketplace. This attitude should not be allowed a place in American society, and it sure as h*ll won’t be allowed a place in SE Portland. Glad she’s spending so much on the reno, some deserving business is going to benefit greatly from her failed venture.
Here is video from SE Portland today, when they caught Chauncy Childs in the public square: