Anti-Wal-Mart Group Asks, What Would Jesus Do?

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

(1st Add: Includes comment from Donna Lewis-Johnson, spokeswoman for Working Families for Wal-Mart.)

( - An anti-Wal-Mart group has launched a TV ad campaign that asks the question: "Would Jesus shop at Wal-Mart?"

WakeUpWal-Mart, which is backed by labor unions, wants Wal-Mart workers to unionize. It accuses the company of underpaying its workers and denying them health care benefits.

"When we celebrate Christmas, we mark the birth of Jesus Christ who gave the moral imperative of the Golden Rule, a rule that should challenge Christian consumers to consider where they shop," Robert Parham, executive director of Baptist Center for Ethics, said in a press release.

"That should challenge Wal-Mart to change its corporate practices for the better," he said.

The ad, headlined by Pastor Joe Phelps, a Baptist minister from Louisville, Ky., suggests Christians should be outraged by what the activists say is the exploitation of Wal-Mart workers and their families.

The ad will run in over 25 states and 43 media markets nationwide, beginning Thursday.

"Their ad campaign is shameful, particularly in this season of peace and goodwill," said Donna Lewis-Johnson, spokeswoman for Working Families for Wal-Mart, a group formed to defend the retail chain from union attacks.

"While the union leaders are wasting their members' dues on an attack campaign, Wal-Mart is benefiting tens of millions of working families through its low prices and quality job opportunities. And once again this year, Wal-Mart is partnering with the Salvation Army in its red kettle drive to raise millions of dollars for worthy causes," Lewis-Johnson said.

WakeUpWal-Mart also plans to hold local candlelight vigils and a day of prayer at Wal-Mart stores in over 40 cities and 24 states, including Florida, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, and Missouri.

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