A car dealership in rural Alabama got some viral attention this week due to their “God, Guns, and Freedom” July 4 promotion, which promises a bible, a 12-gauge shotgun, and an American flag to anyone who purchases a car between July 4 and July 31. But now, Ford Motor Company has chimed in and asked Chatom Ford to shut the whole thing down.
A video published on the dealership’s Facebook page featuring general sales manager Koby Palmer plugging the promotion was viewed over 60,000 times since it was posted.
“We live in a small town of 1,200 people,” Palmer told USA Today. “It’s a very small, rural area. They lean on their religious beliefs, their pride in America and they love to hunt.”
Palmer clarified that the dealership wasn’t literally “handing out shotguns” to customers, saying that purchasers are given a certificate that can be redeemed with a certified firearms dealer.
But all the fanfare is for naught. According to AutoBlog, Chatom Ford removed the video, saying that Ford Motor Company asked them to stop running the promotion.
“They manufacture the products we are franchised to sell, so we are complying with their request,” the dealership said in a statement, adding that they will “fulfill all commitments we made to our customers.”
Chatom Ford said its intent was to give “a small gift to our valued customers and an opportunity for us to celebrate our independence.” The dealership likes to run a new promotion every month, and there’s still time before July 4, so they could be right back with another special. And since the dealer says Ford only requested the advertising to stop, who knows, you might still be able to redeem the offer if you can keep quiet.
According to The Christian Post, anti-gun groups came out against the promotion. The Newtown Action Alliance, which is a grassroots organization formed in response to the Sandy Hook massacre, urged the public not to support the dealership’s offer.
“Don’t buy your cars from Chatom Ford, a dealership in Chatom, Alabama!” the group tweeted. “They are running a ‘God, Guns and Freedom’ promotion that promises a Bible, a 12-gauge shotgun & an American flag to anyone who buys a car between the start of the promotion & July 31.”
In a series of tweets this Wednesday, sociologist Andrew Whitehead called the promotion a blatant form of “Christian nationalism.”
“This is Christian nationalism in action,” he wrote.
Watch Fox1o News’ initial report on the story below:
Featured image via screen grab/Fox10 News