“It’s just something that went by us,” said Kieffe, who does not attend church but considers himself “a Christian spirit.” “We’re obviously sorry that it offends a given segment who identifies themselves as atheist.” (ref)He even posted an apology on the homepage of his website:
Regrettably, the commercial that has prompted the current objection to religious sentiment ("Under God", "In We Trust") was not closely reviewed by our dealership before it went live. The commercial has been replaced. We apologize to all who were offended.Two days later, and the apology has been moved to the less visible "Contact Us" section of the website...and Kieffe has as much as recanted on his apology. Even though he had been thoroughly barbecued online and in the media, Kieffe doesn't sound like the type of character to give ground and it is doubtful he would have ever apologized if not for Ford Motor Company cracking the whip.
“Our investigation has determined that the advertising was placed in error,” Christie’s e-mail said. “Corrective actions have been taken to prevent this from happening again.” Ford spokesman Mark Truby confirmed in an e-mail Christie’s response was “legitimate.”
Truby did not immediately respond to questions about what actions had been taken or how the ad was placed in error.(ref)
Ford Motor Company, however, cannot dictate the character of the man responsible for the offense. Having faced the initial onslaught of calls and emails, Kieffe has apparently steeled himself and set out to further rankle his detractors.
He doesn't regret the sentiment but he's sorry if it offended? It is exactly the sentiment that does offend, and not just atheists but all others who don't believe in Kieffe's personal version of God and religion. He is doing no more than what Ford requires of him, while rendering his apology hollow and meaningless at the same time. Perhaps he fancies himself as a Clint Eastwood or a John Wayne facing down the godless heathens, but that's not it at all. He has adopted a very unchristian-like position and is arrogantly standing his ground.
Rick Kieffe, president of Kieffe & Sons Ford, said he didn’t regret the ad but was sorry if it had offended anyone.
“I don’t regret the sentiment at all,” said Kieffe, who bought the 48-year-old dealership from his father in 1974. “It’s what we believe.”
Kieffe said he’d been contacted by Ford Motor Co. after the manufacturer heard complaints from numerous “blog-lo-dites.”
The company asked him to post something saying he was sorry if he’d offended anyone, Kieffe said.(ref)
I suppose I shouldn't ascribe to him the intelligence necessary to wend his way through the implications of his choice. Rather, it is enough to know that people like him exist who, if left unchecked, would make fools of us all and return us to the dark ages as surely as night follows day. The media attention he brings on himself also reveals the strong community united against him. I would hope that Kieffe has second thoughts the next time he decides to tell them to sit down and shut up, but like I said, I shouldn't ascribe to him that much intelligence. He will likely remain obstinate to the end.