Recently, Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks Coffee, spoke to shareholders about a large dip in their sales since the company came out as supporters of gay marriage.
Then he 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.”
Now, yes, he was basically saying, “We’re doing what we think is right and if you don’t like it, you are free to leave.”
Here is NOT what he was saying:
“If you support traditional marriage, we don’t want your business.”
Unfortunately, this is how many Christians are taking it. And now, we’ve got a new boycott on our hands.
Can I just take a moment to shake my head and sigh? I’ll be right back.
Okay, I’m back.
Do you remember us saying things like, “It’s just a fast food place? What does it matter to you what ministries they support? If you don’t like their business practices, you don’t have to eat there!”
And what did they do? Boycott.
Yes, this is basically the exact same situation, just flipped.
Do we really want to start another boycott? Do we really want to be these people again? I mean, we JUST stopped boycotting Disney, you know, because that was stupid.
I know what some of you may be thinking: “How can I support a company that actively fights against my morality?”
I’ve got some bad news for you… You better not shop ANYWHERE other than Parable Book Stores, Hobby Lobby, and Chick-Fil-A. Most business aren’t as vocal about their political positions as Starbucks has been, but that doesn’t mean their company practices are in line with your morals.
Are you going to research every single store, restaurant, and entertainment center before spending money there?
Where does it stop? You can’t go to the movies, because even if they are playing “Courageous” in one theater, they are playing “Magic Mike” in the next.
Look. I’m not telling you what to do. If you feel lead to stop buying coffee at Starbucks, then follow your spirit, but if you are doing it JUST to be offended on behalf of God, it’s time to become a hermit and live in a cave, because you will either boycott nearly everything and slowly die or you will be a hypocrite.
And I just can’t live that way.
Boycotting does not give us a cheerful spirit. It does not show love to the lost. It accomplishes nothing good and only perpetuates the stereotype of the Christian hatemonger.
You want to really fight Starbucks? Go there, buy a coffee and secretly pay for the coffee of the person behind you. Smile and say “God bless you.” Be the person God wants you to be and rub off some Godly goodness on everyone in the place. That way, you can win and show love at the same time.
Negativity breeds contempt. Love just multiples into more love! Think about it.
Matthew Coker is a Media Director at a church in his hometown, where he also is a leader at a Celebrate Recovery program. He’s a huge comic book nerd, Whovian, and Greendale Human Being. Matthew and his wife live in New Mexico.