Our Response to the Woolworths Pride Month Campaign

The Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa holds to a Christian worldview which asserts that every person has the right to choose their beliefs and practices without prejudice and affirms that everyone, regardless of race, religion, age, or gender, is entitled to dignity and respect as people created in the image of God. However, we are cognisant of the fact that we live in a secular state that rightly allows for freedom of religion, expression and association.

In this context, we note Woolworths’ recent initiative to promote what is known as Pride Month through an advertising campaign and clothing line promotion. We understand it is part of a broader “Inclusive Justice Initiative” and there is commitment to do similar campaigns in relation to opposing gender-based violence and youth day. Given our country’s shameful record on race, gender-based violence and a host of other social justice issues, we would commend all efforts to redress these most damaging social-ills.

In our view, however, LGBTQI+ issues do not fall within the same category for various reasons. As a Church, we have serious concerns about aspects of this movement and the damaging impact these beliefs and practices may have on society, given that its foundational ideologies are contrary to Scripture. This, in our view, adversely impacts all people, particularly younger people, who are struggling to find their own identity in a complicated world. That said, as a Christian community, we are called to love our neighbours and as such, we oppose homophobia in all its forms.

While we acknowledge Woolworths support of social justice projects, its contributions to feeding schemes, other inclusive justice initiative and corporate social responsibility initiatives, we believe that the placing of the “Be An Ally” banners at entrances or walkways of Woolworths stores may create a crisis of conscience for those who do not wish to acknowledge some or all of the beliefs and ideologies represented in the ever expanding LGBTQIA+ banner.

It may create a difficulty for Christians and people of other faiths who hold to the Biblical definition of a two-gender creation and God’s design for sexual relationships to be preserved for the bounds of marriage between a man and a woman. Woolworths Pride Month campaign, in our view, seeks to assert that individuals who enter their stores and purchase their products are "allied" to and support LGBTQI+ ideology.

As a Church, we cannot 'ally' with or support an ideology or belief that is contrary to the Scriptures. It is for this reason that we understand and support the call by many religious groups to boycott Woolworths stores for the month of June.

We also encourage all followers of Christ to reflect their saviour in showing kindness and grace to all people, including those we disagree with. The only “protest banner” we hold out is the Bible’s message of Christ’s love and acceptance for all who turn from sin and trust in His saving work on the Cross.

If you would like to download a pdf of this statement then please click here.