Coffee, Chicken, and Jesus (A Preemptive Boycott of a Starbucks Boycott)
In case you haven't heard, Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks) responded to two shareholder's questions about gay marriage. One of the shareholders was a part of the National Organization for Marriage, the other suggested the move would result in a boycott of Starbucks. You can watch the video yourself. The shareholders, as well as Schultz, were calm and composed as the CEO expressed his own, as well as the board's, support of gay marriage.
Edit: For a great commentary from a pastor on the exchange go here.
I write this because I see another fiasco coming. Honestly I'd rather not attract attention to groups calling for a boycott, but I suspect it's going to blow up anyway into yet another religious fad with the fury, longevity, imagination, and meaningful impact of Rebecca Black. Seriously, how many different ways do a certain demographic of Christian need to communicate that they find homosexuality atrocious? Because according to Christian pollster George Barna, America gets it by now.
I'd like to take you back a few months to another debacle that had gay marriage and eet mor chiken sat side by side in the headlines. In a move resembling "share this with fifteen people if you love Jesus," Christians went out in droves for chicken sandwiches in support of Chik-Fil-A, but also in very vocal opposition to 'the gay agenda' represented by groups showing up for gay kiss ins. Ideological bloodbath.
What didn't get much press was what happened after the debacle. Apparently Dan Cathy becoming friends with the primary organizer of the Chik-Fil-A protests wasn't exciting enough for the church to grab a hold of and run with. Please read the article by Shane Windmeyer here; it's gracious and beautiful. I'll offer a few excerpts:
"Never once did Dan or anyone from Chick-fil-A ask for Campus Pride to stop protesting Chick-fil-A. On the contrary, Dan listened intently to our concerns and the real-life accounts from youth about the negative impact that Chick-fil-A was having on campus climate and safety at colleges across the country. He was concerned about an incident last fall where a fraternity was tabling next to the Chick-fil-A restaurant on campus. Whenever an out gay student on campus would walk past the table, the fraternity would chant, "We love Chick-fil-A," and then shout anti-gay slurs at the student. Dan sought first to understand, not to be understood. He confessed that he had been naïve to the issues at hand and the unintended impact of his company's actions."
Cathy ended up withdrawing support from the anti-LGBT groups that Windmeyer and others were protesting about, but not because he changed his mind about his views on marriage,
"I learned about his wife and kids and gained an appreciation for his devout belief in Jesus Christ and his commitment to being "a follower of Christ" more than a "Christian." Dan expressed regret and genuine sadness when he heard of people being treated unkindly in the name of Chick-fil-a -- but he offered no apologies for his genuine beliefs about marriage."
In kind, "This is why, after discussions with Dan and Chick-fil-A, Campus Pride suspended our campaign. Like Dan, we had faith. It took time to be proven publicly."
When I shared this article, a few reposted, but it didn't quite catch the favorable wind that Mike Huckabee's campaign did. Sad, it was the best part of the story. You get the idea that Cathy emerged with a better understanding of how to carry his own convictions in a way that allows people to actually see Jesus.
I'll rephrase that, because it's important. It turns out when you stop and listen to an individual's concerns from across the table instead of waving a sign at them from across the road, they might actually see that your life revolves around Jesus rather than a social issue. The inverse is also true, taking advantage of our freedom of speech might get in the way.
Maybe this go around we could be a little more like Dan Cathy.
Or we could just stage another protest against people that your average evangelical joe does not spend any time with anyway.