Have you heard the news? The good news? Well, or maybe not such good news. Starbucks is EVIL. Or at least some are making them out to be. Starbucks announced on January 25th (Yeah, I’m that behind.) that they would officially be supporting gay marriage. Much to the rejoice of the LGBT community, and to the vitriolic anger of some conservative Christians.
As per the usual some Christians have decided to boycott Starbucks. I think this makes the second Christian boycott of Starbucks in a year or so. The last one being when their CEO decided not to speak at Willow Creek’s leadership conference because Willow Creek says homosexuality is a sin. Interestingly enough, the CEO decided not to because of fear of a boycott from the LGBT community. (And, who knows why a church would have a leadership conference, or why a non-Christian corporate CEO would be invited to speak at one. Well, I do, but I would become angry if I delved into the topic further.)
Christians haven’t always been the majority, in fact, Christians aren’t the majority anywhere in the world except for in the US, and even being the majority here is questionable. We are at least a sizable enough group that a certain political party pretends to care about us. But, what happens when we aren’t a sizable group? Could you imagine if Christians in Iran boycotted a company, yeah all 5,000 of them. The company wouldn’t care, likely because they wouldn’t even notice.
A boycott is an act of power and aggression, used by a group to punish a person or company for an action or view that they are opposed to. I don’t think a boycott is a proper reaction from those who are called to love. If we are called to live peaceably with all people as so much as it depends on us, how can we act in mass to bully a company? Are our arguments against gay marriage so weak that we need to lower ourselves to bullying to get people to comply with our beliefs? Isn’t there a better way?
That being said, I do think there are legitimate reasons for individuals, not the Church as a whole, to not spend their money with a company. I, for one, avoid spending my money at certain monolithic department stores. Not because their stance on gay marriage, but because many of their products are made by slaves or desperately underpaid employees in third world countries. However, I think that is something individual Christians need to decide, after becoming educated on it, rather than something that needs to be preached from the pulpit. The Church is to be a Gospel people, not a political entity, and certainly not a bullying consumerist or political group.