Well, the Christian internet world is all atwitter with Starbuck’s most recent public proclamation of their recent market shares and their opinion on them. Here are some quotes:
“We believe it’s defensible – but we’re not reaching that decision to in any way offend you or anyone else. And I would say candidly, since we made that decision there has not been any dilution whatsoever in our business…. In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings, shall we say politely, were a bit disappointing…. 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.” ~Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz~
Now, the last part of the response was directed towards boycotters who profess Christianity and refuse to buy anything at Starbucks. If you don’t know, the CEO of Starbucks actively supports Gay Marriage and the homosexual movement. The majority of the Christian Communities response has been to scream “BOYCOTT” and do no business with them.
I believe this reaction, is not only wrong, but extremely unChristlike as well. Christians who boycott are lowering themselves to the worldly standards of money and agendas. With that being said, here are some reasons I believe boycotting as a Christian is flawed.
Boycotting is based on Ignorance, rather than being Informed.
Most, if not all people I know who boycott, fail to realize the scope of businesses they use in day to day actions. Business is everywhere in life. For instance. Let’s look at the past “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day”. Why did most people go there? Supposedly for the fact Truet Cathy supports the God instituted definition of marriage, that being one man and one woman. I agree with that definition and applaud him for standing up for that.
However, what people fail to realize, is when they went to Chick-fil-A, some drove there in a Ford, Chrysler, GM, or Toyota. Some bought a Coca-Cola Product, as those drinks are the only ones Chick-Fil-A sells. Some paid with VISA, MasterCard, or American Express. Some used Microsoft, Android, or Apple cell phones to take pictures. Then, some went home and got on Google, then posted on Facebook, Twitter, and G+ about their experience.
What do all these companies have in common? They are all publicly in support of Gay Marriage. Additionally, I did some research expanding outside of Gay marriage, including companies values on Abortion. I found that all stores, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Apple, Microsoft, tons of shopping centers, car companies… every well known grocery store… All have financially supported values we as christians disagree with on a biblical level.
To boycott one store based on personal “Conviction” and ignore the others because it would be inconvenient for you is the height of hypocrisy and double standards. Skipping out on all Starbucks coffee, no biggie. But skipping out on buying a car, or not going to a grocery store… a bit more of a biggie, isn’t it?
Christianity is not an Agenda.
A business can’t have morals. Why? Because a business isn’t a living thing. It is a government instated legal entity with a name. Christ doesn’t call us to withdraw financial support of something to prove a point. He calls us to engage the culture. I go to Starbucks, even though the owners actively support things I disagree with. Why? Because the people that work at Starbucks are a mission field. As are people at any other store we go to.
Are there some people there that I disagree with in their lifestyle? You bet, and it is my opinion, based on scripture, we are to reach out and witness to everyone in every company, regardless of what the “owners” believe. I would think it much more productive instead of boycotting , to go to those places, and be a light of christ to the people working in that company. They are the ones who have an eternal soul. Corporations don’t. I don’t see one example where Christ withdrew when he saw something that was wrong. He engaged what? The people.
Boycotting is a worldly idea people use to further an agenda. It isn’t based upon changing the heart or showing love, it is based upon hurting the other until they change their mind. That is not biblical nor Christlike. It is time we stop worrying about the worldly financial “Success” of a business, and start worrying about the eternal heart of the employees we come in contact with every day we go shopping.
So I’ll see you at Starbucks, Chick-Fil-a, or any other store for that matter. It is time we start engaging the people, and stop worrying about for what business they work.