Saturday, May 07, 2005

eBay? Yes, way!

The headline in my diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Sun, startled me: “No way, eBay.” I read on with trepidation, and became quite angry.

Some of my readers may be aware that I used eBay to become Silent No More. I auctioned my first guitar, and we donated the proceeds to Virtue Media, who create pro-life television commercials, including one for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. More importantly, we used the eBay marketplace to raise awareness about the harm abortion causes in some women’s lives by publishing my testimony in the ad. It was a positive experience, without a doubt. I received no hate mail whatsoever, which surprised me, and I received several e-mails that were encouraging and kind. I still hold the eBay community in general in high esteem for this reason.

I was prepared to withdraw our association with eBay after reading the article (which appeared in the May 5th issue of The Catholic Sun). Two different individuals have attempted to auction the Blessed Sacrament on eBay. One claimed the host had been consecrated by Pope John Paul II. For those who are not Catholic or unaware, it might help to explain that in the Catholic faith, the consecrated host is the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is to be treated with the utmost reverence. Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist in each parish are taught to make sure the host offered to the Communicant is placed in his or her mouth immediately. It is not to be taken away from Mass. To sell the body of the Lord is sacrilege.

The Sun reports that "several dioceses have contacted the company and hundreds, if not thousands, of concerned Catholics have placed phone calls and sent e-mails. Also nearly 34,000 people have signed an online petition urging eBay to change its policy." I logged on to sign the petition this morning, at www.boycottebay.org , and learned that eBay had issued a statement – here is an excerpt:

“We understand that the listing of the Eucharist was highly upsetting to Catholic members of the eBay community and Catholics globally. Once this completed sale was brought to our attention, we consulted with a number of our users, including members of the Catholic Church, concerning what course we should take in the future should a similar listing appear on our site. We also consulted with members of other religions about items that might also be highly sacred and inappropriate for sale. As a result of this dialogue, we have concluded that sales of the Eucharist, and similar highly sacred items, are not appropriate on eBay. We have, therefore, broadened our policies and will remove those types of listings should they appear on the site in the future.”

Visit the boycott website to read eBay’s entire statement and to learn how you can thank them for their swift and respectful response.

5 Comments:

At 5:56 AM, Blogger GrannyGrump said...

1. Yay for eBay!

2. How much does it cost to finance a commercial? Then how do you distribute them?

 
At 2:48 PM, Blogger Silent Rain Drops said...

Hi, Granny! I have to refer you to Virtue Media (www.virtuemedia.org) to answer your questions about their advertisements. You can see the ads on their website, too, including the one they did for the Silent No More Awareness campaign.

 
At 8:25 AM, Blogger Annie said...

That's great, Julie, but how do you feel about this? http://afterabortion.blogspot.com/2004/07/ebay-founder-gives-1-million-for.html

"EBay founder gives $1 million for helping kill human embryos."

I just can't support or use Ebay as a result of this.

 
At 9:45 AM, Blogger Silent Rain Drops said...

Annie, I was unaware of this donation by eBay to fund embryonic stem cell research in California. I am grateful to you for the link. (That's what I get for having kept my head in the sand for so many years.) This article is dated July of 2004, and preceeded my becoming Silent No More on eBay.

I am against embryonic stem cell research, heart and soul. I consider it cannibalism, and so far it has been useless. Adult stem cell and cord cells are proving effective, and that's where we need to focus our attention.

I will be discussing this with my husband to determine how to proceed. Do we write to eBay expressing our disapproval? Do we withdraw our association, and ask SNM to remove my testimony? Should there be a new boycott by faithful Catholics because of it?

Georgette at SNM kindly advised me to take time to think these things through, so I am trying to avoid the knee jerk response - which is to sever all ties with eBay.

I don't know what, but something will be done, because I can no longer live as a hypocrite.

Thanks again, very much, for the heads up. This story will not end here, it seems.

 
At 10:42 AM, Blogger Annie said...

I agree with Georgette on this. (and we've all had our heads in the sand at SOME point!) It isn't an easy or quick decision. I am so heartened that you were able to do such great things on eBay.

My reaction would be to respectfully write them, including the founder, and implore them to not fund ESCR anymore. I can provide you with a great summary of why it's bad and why ASCR and CBSCR (adult and cordblood) are effective, in fact we did a post on that here, feel free to just borrow it: http://afterabortion.blogspot.com/2005/01/my-state-is-now-resurrecting-failed.html
and continued here:
http://anniebanno.blogspot.com/2005/01/my-state-is-now-resurrecting-failed.html


I would also not withdraw the testimony. But I would tell them that I plan to use their competitors (Ubid.com, MercExchange LLC, Bid4Assets, Pricester.com, Overstock.com, Bidder's Edge, BidBay, Yahoo! Auctions, and internationally, Google and Sina) in the future to auction stuff to raise money.

Ebay apparently has other serious problems too: http://www.marinij.com/Stories/0,1413,234~26641~2774287,00.html AND
http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=159902419

Should all Catholics boycott ebay? I'd like to see some form of that, if ebay's founder can't be persuaded to stop funding ESCR, but it won't fly. Too many people are addicted to it; feel they "can't live without ebay." Well, I guess all I can say is that we all DID, 10 years ago and before that.

If the onemillionmoms.com or American Families Association groups or similar were to get involved, they might listen, but I don't think they do anything but decency issues, not prolife.

I just had to sell out of a stock fund I've owned for over 10 years that did very well for me, because they were sold to Wells Fargo which is a major Planned Parenthood donor. I'd written to their chairman and haven't received a reply in 3 months. So I cashed out. It is tough, but I just find I have to trust our God on all this kind of stuff. He will provide and reward for doing the right thing. He will even show us what that right thing is...

Hope this helps. Sorry to be the "messenger!"

 

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