When Conservatives or Christians used the word boycott, it had a deep pocket impact on businesses. Now both parties have used this word too often, and we have lost our political and cultural power. Instead of a war cry in battle, it’s like a whisper at a hard rock concert.
Recently, Faith Ministries canceled an appearance by Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty at their fundraiser because Willie bought a vineyard to begin producing Duck Dynasty Wine. Faith Ministries’ director of development for Family Ministries, Derek Bell said:
“Our greatest responsibility is to the young people we serve. Therefore, we feel that in light of the recent news, to continue with this event would send mixed messages to the young people who go through our Adolescent Drug and Alcohol program. Our message must be consistent. The lives of those children may well hang in the balance. We certainly apologize to the people who have already purchased tickets, and pray they understand our position.”
Whispers of boycott filtered through social networking, amounting to nothing. Greta Van Susteren of Fox News ran a poll immediately after the story broke, and at that time, 80% of the voters would not ditch Duck Dynasty because of the wine. Another boycott happened beginning in 2012.
Starbucks is the litmus test for all businesses looking to make donations that would inflame their customer base. On January 24, 2012, Starbucks issued an memorandum declaring their support of same-sex marriage. Starbucks politically supported the passage of a same-sex bill in the state of Washington. Dumpstarbucks.com says, “A portion of every cup of coffee purchased at a Starbucks anywhere in the world goes to fund this corporate assault on marriage.” In fact, Howard Schultz told a Christian investor he can invest elsewhere if he wishes.
Corporate Morality Action Center said, “Is this the end of the world for Starbucks? Hardly. They are likely to grow, but shareholders did lose over six billion dollars in market value since the earnings announcement and over twelve billion from its high. This all occurred while the overall stock market was relatively stable. Clearly, Starbucks is losing some of its “mojo” as a growth company.”
Only 65,370 people pledged to boycott Starbucks, and in spite of the losses soon after this announcement in 2012, Starbucks continues on its course. This boycott had little effect, because, in part, to our overwhelming desire for our favorite brands and our reluctance to stop buying them. Boycotts are only as powerful as the people behind it.The world watched Starbucks as it caused waves with its customer base.
Now Nike has donated $280K towards helping the passage of a same-sex marriage bill in Oregon.
While every company has a right to support or not support some political or charitable causes, people should make a stand personally, where possible, as the world is watching. If the enemy perceives a weakness, it does not hesitate to act on the weakness. Many companies support things opposite of Christian or Conservative worldviews. We can’t boycott everything as eventually we will run out of things to boycott, and the boycott war cry will lose its reach. That being said, we often use that as an excuse to justify doing something contrary to our beliefs. So when we talk about boycotting a family because they bought a vineyard, how can the world take us seriously?
Let’s choose the big stuff to boycott, pick our targets carefully, and not argue over what Romans 14 calls disputable matters. Same-sex marriage has and will impact those who do not agree with that lifestyle and put our own believers at risk for imprisonment or liability. Some examples are: a bakery who was sued because they didn’t believe in making a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, or the church in England who was being challenged for their beliefs. Conservatives and Christians need a wider focus, not a narrow focus only on what the world wants us to focus on. For every cause, there is an effect.
Read Ministering to The Gay Community to find out how to reach people for Christ, or how to get support if you have a relative who is gay or lesbian.