I’ve got a fun little thing going with Starbucks – depending on what I’m doing on a particular day, I will answer the question, “Can I get a name for the cup?” with someone else’s name, or a statement. For example, on the way to the first game of the World Series, my cup read, “Gordon.” On Mother’s Day, I bought my wife a drink, and you can see (to the left) what her cup said. Once I make it out of Starbucks, often blushing, I take a photo and post the picture on Facebook.
Since the list of organizations that support Planned Parenthood came out, I’ve had a number of people suggest that I boycott this coffee company. I see their point, and agree that abortion/PP is the hill to die on today. Abortion kills children in their most vulnerable stage of life, and the only thing more shameful & horrific than abortion is playing the free market with aborted baby body parts. What Planned Parenthood is doing is one of the most barbaric crimes against humanity this planet has ever encountered.
I’m not questioning whether or not we should do everything in our power to end our government’s funding of Planned Parenthood… we should. I’m questioning whether or not boycotting Starbucks as a broader Christian strategy will help or hurt our mission as people of faith trying to save the lives of pre-born children. Here’s why I’m not so convinced: We’re called to be salt and light to a culture that doesn’t know, or desire to honor, the Lord. We are called to pray for and work toward the welfare of our communities. We’re also called to overcome evil with good. And there’s something in my gut that makes me think that to do these things, we have to be present in secular places.
A boycott of Starbucks, in my opinion, pulls us out of the arena, and the discussion. Yes, we could take our Christian dollars and go elsewhere (and I do, sometimes – one of my favorite coffee places in Nebraska is Barista’s in Grand Island), but we can’t change our neighbor’s minds if we’re not around them. We also can’t change their minds if all our neighbors think about, when they think of us, is: “Well, add us to the list… I guess we’re just one more group that Christians stand against.”
Toward that end, here’s a recording of my last drive-thru conversation with Starbucks:
Starbucks is not Planned Parenthood. It’s a company that serves coffee. It’s also an organization that influences culture. Why shouldn’t we salters-and-lighters remain present—lovingly & truthfully present—so that we might influence them?
I’m open for pushback… let’s hear it.
For more on Zeke… check out his website – www.zekepipher.com.