Christian Group Rebukes Apple for Pulling iTunes After 'Anti-Gay' Allegation

Jul 28, 2011 07:21 AM EDT

The Christian group affected by Apple's decision to pull its iTunes service from its charity website is fighting back accusations that it is "anti-gay." It also said that Apple is sending the message that it doesn't want to do "business with Christian people" if it continues to cater to every petition by gay rights activists.

Kevin McCullough, adviser to the Christian Give Back Group (CGBG), formerly known as the Christian Values Network, told The Christian Post Thursday that the controversy caused by Ben Crowther's unfounded allegations "has been brewing for weeks."

Crowther, a student at Western Washington University student, launched a petition in early July on Charge.org, claiming he was concerned with CGBG's funding of "anti-gay, anti-women" organizations. The student also sent a letter to Apple, Inc. about its partnership with CGBG and the computer company yanked its iTunes service from the faith-based organization's website, CVN.org.

“From the beginning, I knew that once this issue was brought to Apple's attention, they would not want to be a part of CVN,” Crowther said in a statement on Change.org.

Crowther also identified Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council as organizations that are "anti-gay" and "anti-women" yet neither of these Christian 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations are identified as hate groups by the U.S. government.

CBGB connects consumers with thousands of retailers and allows shoppers to donate a percentage of their purchases to a charity of their choosing, faith-based or otherwise.

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McCullough pointed out to The Christian Post that consumers who shop through CVN.org, not CBGB, are the ones who decide which charity receives donations.

"We only give qualifying stipends from purchases to legitimate licensed federal organizations," he said.

Crowther's allegations, supported with what he claims are about 35,000 signatures, prompted Apple to remove iTunes from CGBG's website.

The petition has not only prompted Apple to cut ties with CBGB, but several other companies, including Macy's and Microsoft, have done the same. According to McCullough, eight specific retailers have cut ties with CBGB. Delta and Pet Smart, he noted, were currently working to revive ties with the charity-based group.

Besides words for Crowther, McCullough had a few choice ones for Apple, Inc. for being moved to cut ties with CBGB over signatures from a "handful of very angry" activists.

"If Apple is ready to pull out of something because they got 22,000 signatures... there won't be a church, faith-based person, Catholic, Protestant, evangelical, charismatic anything in the country that won't know," McCullough told CP.

He added, "The entire Catholic and Evangelical communities in America will be made aware if Apple doesn't want to do business with Christian people. We can help them get that message out."

The CGBG adviser noted, however, that his organization is not interested in promoting Apple as anti-Christian.

"We're not asking Apple to embrace our position or the other side's position. We just want them to stay neutral" when it comes to cultural issues, McCullough said.

The Christian Post has been unable to reach Apple for a comment.