Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Boycott Tesco?

Fr Ray Blake has rather disturbing news on his blog: Tesco, it seems, are berating orthodox Christians for our moral beliefs with regard to homosexuality.  He refers us to the Iona Institute website where we are told the Head of Research and Development for Tesco's website, Nick Lansley, called us "evil" for not supporting the gay political agenda. 

It seems Tesco has a history of attacking Christian teaching.  So much for tolerance.  One would imagine that Tesco would stick to retailing rather than promoting political agendas.

I was going to do some of my Christmas shopping in the company's outlet in Drogheda, but I will no longer give them my custom.    If Tesco is so ready to attack the sincerely held beliefs of Christians, then they do not need our business.  So spread the word - don't shop at Tesco, go elsewhere.  If you want to register a complaint, you can contact the Chief Executive at:

Kudos to the Iona Institute for exposing this one: they deserve our support. 


I have just sent an email to Philip Clarke, Chief Executive of Tesco, I am posting it for your information.
Dear Mr Clarke,

My attention has been drawn to comments by your Head of Research and Development, Mr Nick Langsley, in which he referred to Christians as being "evil" for not supporting the redefinition of marriage so as to facilitate homosexual "marriage".

While Mr Langsley is entitled to his opinion, he is not entitled to judge the sincerely held beliefs of others and brand us Christians as evil because we follow the teachings of Christ and his Apostles with regard to moral matters.  Disagree with us if you want, but please respect our beliefs. 

Contrary to what some in the homosexual lobby would have us believe, we Christians do not hate them nor want to deprive them of their rights as human beings.  While we do not support the idea of "gay marriage" and we will refuse to define our understanding of marriage to faciliate it, we seek to treat all people with respect.

Given that many of your customers are Christians, and I was one myself, I suggest that you as Chief Executive deal with this issue and seek to make amends to Christians who are deeply offended by your employee's remark. 

Until such time as a proper response is made, I will no longer be shopping at your retail outlet in Drogheda (Ireland), and as a pastor of a parish I will be encouraging my parishioners not to shop in your stores either.  I will also encourage similiar action through my blog which has a wide readership.

I hope as Christmas draws near and your stores benefit from the celebrations of Christians who buy food and other items from your company for their annual feast, your company may take careful note of the need to respect our sincerely held beliefs and not just take our money and then denigrate us.


Rev. John Hogan


  1. Tesco's involvement with the "gay" movement appears to be very significant.

    There is an organisation for Tesco staff called "Out at Tesco" ( the aim of which is to support homosexual and bisexual and transgender staff. It is sponsored by two of the Tesco board members, including the CEO of Tesco Bank. The FAQs part of the site emphasises that this is a corporate initiative on the part of Tesco with sponsorship and support from the board. I wonder what the value of that sponsorship is?

    The Out at Tesco group organises social events and takes part in the London "Pride" march. Nick Lansley, who has such a negative attitude towards Christians, is an active member of this group. The organisation says that it wants to support people irrespective of their "ethnicity, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation". No mention of non-discrimination on the basis of religion there...

    In fact, a web search for Christian groups or prayer groups in Tesco does not reveal anything. Do any such groups exist? Would Tesco be willing to support them and provide sponsorship for them and encourage them to wear the Tesco logo at an event which represents their values? For instance, a political rally in support of natural marriage? Or does Tesco only support the Gay "Pride" rallies?

    As a customer I would certainly like to know the answer to these questions...

    Tesco is also a Stonewall Diversity Champion ( Stonewall is a homosexual advocacy group that is significantly concerned about so-called hate crimes. Now, as Christians, we are called to love others irrespective of their background and lifestyles. In this sense, we of course must oppose bullying and hatred. The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes this clear. But in the UK today, any disapproval of the homosexual lifestyle is increasingly categorised as a hate crime. For some, even the Bible falls into this category. Certainly, as a Tesco customer, I would like to know if Tesco would go this far and brand traditional religious beliefs as hateful?

    By the way, it costs £2,000 to become a Stonewall Diversity Champion. How much more are they spending on these ideological stunts?

  2. Tesco has made its ideology clear in recent years - and it is antipathetic to the truth about human morality and sexuality. Many Christians don't know their faith and don't hear moral truth from our preachers in Church, and so are easily duped into believing the false "morality" of the Media, academia, politics and government.

  3. We will be informing our family and friends who live near and shop in Tesco Killbarrack Artaine and Clare Hall about Langleys description of Christians as evil we do not hate those who have a homosexual tendency but we are not going to relinquesh our family standards and values to accomadate them Maraide and Padraig

  4. Fr. Hogan, from reading your blog you come across as completely out of touch with the general public and probably the majority of catholics. Please do not preach to us about respecting beliefs when you clearly don't respect any others than your own.

  5. Thank you Anonymous for your comment - any chance you might reveal a name to go with that comment, or do you prefer to hide behind the Anonymous option?

    Majority view never makes something right, nor the views of the general public, nor indeed the views of a majority of Catholics. After all, the majority of Germans voted for and supported Hitler, and Austria welcomed him with great joy when he invaded. We follow Christ - the real Christ, not the reinvented Christ.

    I am tolerant of others, but I reserve the right to speak out when I disagree with someone. That I come from an orthodox Christian position is often interpreted by those of a more liberal bent as preaching and being intolerant. If you, Anonymous, want the freedom to speak, then you are just going to have to put up with the fact that people who may disagree with you are entitled to the same right - a point which some people with particular views are working hard to overturn.

    I sense you probably support a particular agenda - hence your reaction to my post - you are entitled to it, but you will not silence those who disagree with you. If you don't like what's on my blog, then don't read it.