Evangelist encourages Christians to avoid popular coffee chain
WANTNEEDO by Kalan Lyra
“I’ll have a venti, green-tea Frappuccino with whipped cream, please,” is one of the many daily orders at Starbucks locations around the world.
America’s most-recognized coffee chain is now in the spotlight, but not for its coffee. The company is being attacked for expressing support for the state of Washington’s bill legalizing same-sex marriage.
Feb. 8, Washington state became the seventh state, including Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Iowa among others and the District of Columbia, to legally approve same-sex marriage in the U.S.
From the looks of his website, Andrew is an evangelical pastor whose congregation seems to consist of a website, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. USA Christian Ministries’ Facebook page has scrolls of postings from Andrew but only one comment from someone other than Andrew, 37 “likes” and 9 people “talking about this.”
There is nothing to indicate that he went to seminary school. It’s possible he purchased an ordained minister license online, which would give him a license to conduct services such as marriages, baptisms and funerals. It would not lend him any more or less credibility to speak for the entire Christian community than any other person of the Christian faith.
Andrew calls people who drink Starbucks coffee “God haters” and states “Starbucks can follow Satan if they want to.” He believes that 80 percent of Americans are Christians and, therefore, Starbucks will lose 80 percent of its customers. He notes that the boycott is important because “God blesses those who obey Him and judges those who don’t.”
Andrew’s prediction assumes all Christians agree with him, which is not true. In reality, the Christian faith is based on and follows the life and teachings of Jesus. Its followers vary and are subdivided in three large groups in the world of Christianity; the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox churches and the various denominations of Protestantism. The United Church of Christ became the first Christian denomination to support and celebrate same-sex marriage.
Many Christians are part of the silent majority. It does not mean they agree or disagree; they follow their Christian maxim known as The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” which was translated from Matthew 7:1.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a boycott as “the act of engaging in a concerted refusal to have dealings with a person, store or organization, usually to express disapproval or to force acceptance of certain conditions.”
Is boycotting legal? Yes. Is boycotting ethical? There have been examples of great social changes achieved as a result of boycotts, for example, the Boston Tea Party, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the United Farmworkers Boycott, and the boycotting of products manufactured using the exploitation of child labor.
Is attacking Starbucks an example of bringing about great social change or is it about something else? History’s celebrated boycotts are about liberation and equality, not suppression and inequality.
Why is Andrew going after Starbucks but not any of the other approximate 100 corporations that also supported the bill? Nike, Amazon, Microsoft and Google all said ‘I DO’ in showing their support for same-sex marriage? And who is Andrew to impose authority and speak for the entire Christian community?
Singling out a brand like Starbucks and condemning people for supporting a law that will allow same-sex marriage in a state does not sound very Christian-like. If we would all follow the sentiment behind the Golden Rule, the world would be a much better place. In fact, let’s drink to that – a tall café-latte with two Splendas to go, please!