Smartphone app reveals the politics in your shopping cart

From the LA Times:
Herbal tea, Clorox wipes and Skippy peanut butter have a little blue in them, while Folgers coffee and Campbell’s soup are as red as their labels.

Finding out where your favorite brands lie on the political spectrum is now as easy as scanning bar codes with your iPhone.

BuyPartisan, a free smartphone application developed by former Capitol Hill staffer Matthew Colbert, gives users the chance to learn more about the political leanings of the makers of supermarket items.

By compiling campaign finance data from the top Fortune 500 companies and matching it with their products, the app lets consumers scan their groceries and immediately find out which political party stands to profit most from the sale.

Also see the following stories:
*]Birmingham News: Free Buy Partisan app allows shoppers to see brand’s political giving
*]Washington Post: Want to stop enriching people whose politics you hate? There’s an app for that.
*]Fiscal TImes: You Can Now Shop the Way You Vote

Who cares?

While a “partisan” version of such an application is probably not the most appropriate for CAF, wouldn’t it be nice if some good Catholic application developer was to build a “Buy Catholic” equivalent. An app that would be able to connect product bar codes with the financial support a corporation gives to say, for example, the “5 non-negotiables

Would you not want to know if a corporation provides financial support to the abortion industry? Or if a business unit of a corporation conducts embryonic stem cell research? Or if the company donates money to advance homosexual “marriage”?

Or looking at other issues that are of concern? For example, before buying that dress, wouldn’t it be nice to know if the company who made that dress has been cited for using sweatshop labor? Or pick the issue of concern of interest from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

Having said the above, keep in mind that merely purchasing a product from a company that supports an immoral practice would merely be material cooperation with evil…and VERY, VERY remote material cooperation at that (in other words, no, you would not be sinning to do so, unless you intentionally directed your purchasing power to a company who financially supported those practices because of their support for those practices).

But, if you had a choice between buying a product from a company that regularly donated to the abortion industry and a company that supported pro-life ministries, all other things being equal, would it make a particle of difference to you?

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