For the latest and most accurate information about Bolthouse Farms, read this updated article.
William Bolthouse has just donated $100,000 dollars to the ballot initiative to amend California's constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
He owns 43% of Bolthouse Farms, a company famous for its juice. (I haven't found an appropriate source for that sentence. Read this for more information about the link between the Bolthouse family, the Foundation, and the company.)
A couple of blogs have mentioned this before, but, really, it's just par for the course for Bolthouse juice. Since 2000, much of that money from the juice has gone to fund fundamentalist, homophobic, and right wing operations.
Back in 2000, he donated $2000 to Bush's presidential campaign and $1000 to GWB's campaign in 2004.
He also donated $11,500 to Gary Bauer's Campaign for Working Families in 2000 and $1000 to that organization in 2007. The PAC was designed to promote "traditional families in the political arena" through electing conservative candidates and financially supporting "pro-family ballot initiatives."
In fact, William Bolthouse sees his business as a "platform for ministry." So much so that he set up a foundation as a form of tithing the money he and his family made from the juice business.
The Bolthouse Foundation is also a major donor to the Alliance Defense Fund, a group of homophobic lawyers that try to get fundamentalism and homophobia through the courts.
This isn't surprising considering the Bolthouse Foundation's mission statement:
The Bolthouse Foundation is a private family foundation funded by some of the former owners of Wm. Bolthouse Farms, Inc.
The purpose of The Bolthouse Foundation is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by supporting charitable and religious organizations whose ministry, goals, and operating principles are consistent with evangelical Christianity as described in The Bolthouse Foundation Statement of Faith.
This Website is designed to provide information to qualified organizations interested in submitting a Grant Inquiry on an unsolicited basis.
In fact, they have a statement of faith that starts with this:
We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writing, and that they are of supreme and final authority in faith and life.
"Inerrant"? "Final authority"? I have no problem with Christianity being used to help others, but this is clear fundamentalism.
The foundation gets all of its money, according to its 990, from William and Nora Bolthouse. And they get their money from their family business, Bolthouse Farms.
The organization, though, gave $6.2 million to the National Christian Foundation according to their 2006 990. They made $8.2 million that year and distributed around $6.4 million.
The National Christian Foundation, which seems to be a fundamentalist clearinghouse, has this as the first bullet point in their mission statement:
We believe that the entire Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God; the only infallible rule of faith and practice.
In other words, they're fundamentalists as well. They're a massive conservative Christian funding arm that funnels money to smaller actions, both ministry and politics, that work to promote a fundamentalist Christian worldview. Follow the link just above if you want to see the list of literally hundreds of evangelical, Christian, and/or fundamentalist organizations that they give money to.
When you buy juice or salad dressing from Bolthouse Farms, the money goes to the company, and then a portion of it to William Bolthouse. They fund the Bolthouse Foundation, which gives its money to the National Christian Foundation, which gives it to hundreds of smaller Christian organizations. And along each step, money is given to right-wing operations, like GWB's campaign, the ADF, and Gary Bauer's Campaign for Working Families.
When you buy the juice, some of that money is going to work against LGBT equality and has been for years. The fact that William Bolthouse just gave $100,000 to help the ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage in California is, really, just what he's been doing all along.
Bil emailed Bolthouse Farms and this is the response he got:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and comments with us. The Bolthouse Foundation is a private foundation funded by some of the former owners of Wm. Bolthouse Farms, Inc. The foundation is a separate entity and is not connected to Bolthouse Farms in any way. Furthermore, they do not receive financial support or benefit from the profits of Bolthouse Farms. We appreciate your concern and apologize for the confusion. Thank you for taking the time to contact us, and we hope you will continue to enjoy our products.
Except that the Foundation is funded completely by William and Nora Bolthouse, who own 43% of Bolthouse Farms. The financial support may not be direct, but it still exists.
Bolthouse Farms appears to be hiding its connection to the Bolthouse Foundation because giving money to fund homophobia and discrmination isn't good public relations.
Bil Browning helped with the writing of this post and Bilerico contributor Jeremy Bishop helped with the research. Thanks!