Saturday, March 30, 2013

Boycott Starbucks! Now... No Seriously... You Don't love Christ if you don't... (UGH)!

Once again, Christians treat homosexuality as the most perverse form of evil out there. I am now being told that I should not buy coffee from Starbucks because they are in support of gay marriage, and their CEO has told traditional marriage supporters he doesn't want their business. As this article stated, "Who do you love more, Christ or coffee?" 

The idea that Howard Schultz doesn't want traditional Christians coming into his stores and buying coffee is a complete fabrication of what he actually said to a shareholder in his company who expressed concern over the companies’ stance toward homosexual marriage.

This is what he actually said:
“If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.”

He did not say he doesn’t want the business of those people who hold traditional views about marriage.

Apparently there are now over 59,000 signatures on the petition started by the website Click on the “sign the petition” link and it says:

“To the CEO and Board of Directors of Starbucks: I am deeply offended by your corporate position to support same-sex marriage and your decision to wage a culture war against the moral views of half your US customers and the vast majority of your international consumers. Starbucks is using its resources to invalidate traditional marriage in the US and redefine the institution of marriage despite the strongly held views of so many of its customers, including me. Therefore, I will no longer purchase anything from Starbucks until you change your corporate values to be more reflective of my own.”
Paraphrase: I hope Starbucks fails as a company because they’re not exactly like me!
What happened to supporting a company that does what it does (make coffee) well? Do we care that a company is ethical in its standards of trade? Probably not. Only so long as they aren’t for the worst of all imaginable sins—homosexuality!
Despite the fact that they employ over 200,000 people in this country. Despite the fact that these people have families to care for, and bills to pay. Despite the fact that Starbucks has become a niche third place (place between home and work), where friendships are formed and built.
Would we buy something from a gay owner of store if we knew that that person was a supporter of gay rights? Or to rephrase the question, would you buy something from a sinner?
If you have a personal belief that you can no longer shop and buy coffee at Starbucks, please let that stay a personal belief.
No matter where we shop, and behind all products we buy, there has most likely been some shady activity. We’ve all heard of the meat industries’ disgustingly inhumane practices. That toy you bought for your child was probably made in china by another child. Let’s not forget about sweatshops! We can’t get away from human immorality crammed through a capitalist system.
It’s easy to click a button in dissatisfaction of Starbucks. What’s a lot more difficult is living a life that bursts with the fragrance of the gospel. I don’t do this well. But when I’m around people who do, they’re just different. They are compassionate, even while holding to their beliefs that to be a practicing homosexual is a sin. They understand that some issues are just symptoms of deeper problems. That to act is not only avoiding what you think is wrong, to always be the one who is against, but to be filled up with good works, to also be someone who is for.
It was annoying when Chick-Fil-A was boycotted by gay rights activists, and I don’t think this is much different. A companies' ideas about social policies do not affect the product being put out by the company. I like Chick-Fil-A, and I like Starbucks. 
We are called to be compassionate people. There are always HUMAN BEINGS on the other side of the argument, issue, etc. Homosexuality is not a disease, it’s a sin.
If it is your personal belief that you can no longer shop at Starbucks, that is fine. Just understand the hypocrisy of highlighting homosexuality at the expense of other sins like promoting slave labor.  
As a Christian who believes homosexuality is a sin, I also say that I will continue to buy Starbucks’ delicious Java Chip frappuccinos.


  1. Amen, Mark! This is legalism. Christ never treated the ungodly in this manner. To be consistent with the people who signed this petition, then they can only buy from Christian owners, which we know is not the case.

    1. Thanks for the comment Jamie! I agree, the logical implication of the argument would be to purchase from "christian" stores and Christian owners. Thanks for dropping by!

  2. I do thinks that Christians have the right to take corporate ethics into account when making their purchases, and that they may make use of petitions to address problems as they see fit, just like anyone else.

    However, as you thoughtfully point out, homosexuality is not the worst of all imaginable sins and traditional marriage is not the 'Good News.'

    An articulate and valuable contribution to this important discussion.

    1. Hello Dave!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I agree, Christian's definitely have the right to petition and take corporate ethics into account.

      It's a difficult discussion because I'm not sure we can ever get away from corporate greed and immorality as consumers.

      Also, I see a certain amount of hypocrisy when we shop at a huge conglomerate, never having a second thought, and then the minute a company supports something like this we flip our griddles.

  3. Mark, I was wondering if this is a similar situation to what Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians 10: 23-33(about being able to freely eat meat that may have been offered to idols with a clear conscience)? I don't know if this is a totally different situation, or a modern equivalent? Either way, I totally agree with the points you made.

    -Lorissa H

  4. Ah! Reminds me of the song by Steve Taylor - Guilty by Association.
    Not such a great song musically, but the lyrics are right on point here..