Pray for Eagle!
Although I am so concerned for Eagle, I decided to go ahead with this post. Yesterday he told me that he enjoyed reading “two women going after the establishment.” So, this post is dedicated to him. I think he would like it.
The Chick-fil-A boycott
On Wednesday, I plan to go get a big box of Chick-fil-A nuggets and a gallon of diet lemonade to make my famous diet Arnold Palmer- recipe at the end of the post. However, the reason I am going may be very different than the reasons given by many of today’s evangelicals. On August 1, Christians have been urged to go to Chick-fil-A to show support for that enterprise. LGBT groups are asking people to boycott Chick-fil-A because of the owner’s expressed beliefs on traditional marriage.Link
“Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy — the son of company founder S. Truett Cathy — addresses here what the publication describes as his franchise's "support of the traditional family." Cathy's somewhat glib response: "Well, guilty as charged."
He went on to note, "We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that…we know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."Also, “Cathy’s organization (reportedly) has contributed “$2 million to anti-gay groups over the course of 2010. Among those to reportedly receive donations through Chick-fil-A's WinShape Foundation were the Marriage & Family Foundation ($1,188,380), Exodus International ($1,000) and the Family Research Council (also $1,000).”
Now, everyone seems to be getting into the act. Most LGBT groups are boycotting. Several mayors have said they no longer support the company moving into “their neighborhood.” A number of universities are reportedly considering kicking the company off campus. This, in spite of the fact that the company does not discriminate in the hiring of, or service to, people due to religion, race, gender or sexuality.
I am disturbed but not for the reasons indicated. Here is an embarrassing true confession. A number of years ago, in my relative youth, I did a one-woman protest against Levi when I heard the company would no longer give money to the Boy Scouts of America because they were “anti-gay.” Levi somehow survived my boycott. Besides, cuter jeans were available under other labels (Not Your Daughter’s Jeans is one of my favorites) so I would have stopped buying Levis anyway.
The SBC Disneyworld boycott
In 1997, the SBC decided to declare a boycott Disneyworld for their apparent support of “anti-family” agenda which seemed provoked by giving corporate benefits to same sex partners ,amongst other issues here. They ended their action in 2005. " They claim their boycott was effective but there is little proof of that since same sex benefits along with LGBT day in the park are still ongoing. Link
Why is Wiley Drake’s church is still a member of the SBC?
The SBC boycotts the evils of Disney but allows the following evil to occur within their ranks. Wiley Drake, the head of an SBC church stated “This old war horse is not ready to quit either, and I'm going to keep fighting Walt Disney Company," Drake said. "I live within four miles of Disneyland and their headquarters, but it is time for us as Southern Baptists to say what we did was a boycott and it worked. We have cost them hundreds of millions of dollars. Michael Eisner himself said, 'That blankety-blank Wiley Drake cost me $10 million off of my bonus this year.'"
Just so you know what a “godly" man Wiley Drake is, ,watch this video of him declaring he prays that President Obama would die.
So "good Christian" Wiley believes that Disneyworld is evil for their actions but he is "godly?" This sort of prayer is blatantly unbiblical. Are any Southern Baptists boycotting Wiley Drake’s church? Sure, the SBC said that Drake does not speak for them yet his church remains a member of the SBC while churches led by women are thrown out. So Disneyworld is evil, women pastors are evil and Wiley is a good ol' Southern Baptist boy? What is wrong with this picture?
This Disneyworld boycott, on the part of the SBC, caused me to question the value, wisdom, and Biblical reasoning behind the idea of boycotts. So, within the year, we took our kids to Disneyworld and had a blast. I am a particular fan of the Tower of Terror and Space Mountain although, more recently, Buzz Lightyear is one of my favorites. Before I continue, I want to make sure my readers understand something. I believe it is your right, and the right of every other American, regardless of persuasion, to protest and boycott under the Constitution of the United States. I would fight for your right to do so. But, for the purposes of this post, I question whether it is wise to do so.
What is the purpose of boycotts?
It seems to me that boycotts are merely a way to coerce people to accept a particular viewpoint. Where in the Bible does it say to force people to accept our views on faith? There are no verses in the New Testament that encourage people to boycott Shadrach's Deli because he sold non-kosher in the side. Suppose the company acquiesces to the particular demand. Have we really acheived anything? Do we actually think they now “support” us? Or are we just another special interest group that has been successful in ramming home our agenda? Did we really advance the cause of the Gospel?
Does a boycott or protest change the hearts of those who are the target?
Here is where I get to be an equal opportunity offender. When my son was 10 years old, his Boy Scout troop was allowed to sell popcorn as a fundraiser outside of a local supermarket. Of course the dads of the boys were present but encouraged the boys to do the sales. A self-identified gay couple approached the table and asked my son why he would sell popcorn for a discriminatory group. The dads stepped in and tried to get them to move off to the side for a quiet discussion. Instead, the couple escalated the argument and called the boys terrible names. The store sent a manager out and the couple were told to leave the premises. It scared my son and has left a lasting negative impression. Do Christians do the same?
As a country, we are a diverse group of people with many strong and somewhat differing beliefs. We must learn to communicate with one another or soon we will devolve into a group of warring factions, unable to carry on civil discourse. if that happens, can tyranny be far behind? We already have some in the fringe Christian community who are calling for the imposition of Old Testament law which would include making homosexuality and adultery punishable by death. Link Is this what Christ died for?
Is a boycott the best way to witness to our faith?
Robert Jeffress, of the very rich First Baptist Church Dallas fame is encouraging Christians to support Chick-fil-A on August 1 and has condemned the boycott. However, Jeffress has encouraged his own boycotts. He has an annual ”naughty or nice” list in which he calls out companies who do not say “Merry Christmas” to his satisfaction. It is an underlying assumption that he does not want “good Christians" to support the “naughty” companies. We wrote a post called “Robert Jeffress and Nina Totenberg on My Grinch List”. Link His list gets posted each year around November so the list link within the post is not working.
“Is this list, which demands a verbal “Merry Christmas,” the best way to witness to the birth of our Lord?
This question is the crux of the matter. Why not take this season as an opportunity to greet a harried checkout person who is desperately trying to ring up all the purchases and receiving a minimum wage for doing so? Can you imagine how tired he/she feels and, perhaps, a bit envious of all the gifts you can afford for your family? Why not show her/him some love and consideration? You could inquire how they are holding up. Why not smile, look in their eyes and call them by name (most wear a nametag)? How about buying a small gift card for a cup of coffee or a sandwich and give it to them, saying that Jesus makes this a wonderful time of year? Why not go up to the manager of the store and tell them how much you appreciate their establishment and compliment them on the decorations or flowers, whatever?
Or do you think they are really impressed with your blithe “Merry Christmas?” Can you imagine how he/she might feel about the war on Christmas if they read about the mean, minimum wage, overworked clerk who “refused” to wish them a Merry Christmas and instead said “Happy Holidays?” Wow, what a potent witness. I’m sure he/she will run to church on Sunday.
Are Christians viewed as peacemakers with these "lists" or just troublemakers? Of course we have the "right" to protest but is that right stressed as a core value in our Bible in versessuch as the Sermon on the Mount? "Blessed are the boycotters for they will force compliance with the Way?"
Do Christians really expect the secular companies to uphold the values of the evangelical set?
This one truly confuses me. More and more, I hear that only the regenerate can have the mind of Christ. So, why in the world should we expect anyone who does not have the Holy Spirit to see life as we do? Are we trying to introduce the world to our rules or to our Savior?
How do we pick which sins and which companies on which to focus?
This is a very tricky business. When a few of my very serious “boycott whatever I am told to boycott” acquaintances expressed dismay at my trip to Disneyworld, I asked them if they ever flew with American Airlines. As they nodded, I then asked them why they weren’t protesting that company’ decision to provide same sex partner benefits. Here is an interesting article on the companies which provide such benefits.
“The HRC's The State of the Workplace report found that nearly 51 percent of Fortune 500 companies are providing benefits to employees' same-sex domestic partners in 2006. The number of Fortune 500 companies offering domestic-partner benefits increased from 246 in 2005 to 253 in 2006, according to the report.
- Recently it has been revealed that Steve Jobs believed that everyone should use acid and marijuana here. So, how many good Baptists are trashing their I Pads.
- Christians are against premarital sex. So, should we protest companies that give benefits to live in partners?
- There is a local barbecue restaurant that is run by a woman living with her boyfriend. Where are the protests by faithful Christians?
- There is also a local SBC church in which one of the pastors is morbidly obese. Should Baptists protest that church (And many others, I might add) due to Biblical injunctions on gluttony?
Perhpas we "good Christians" should just invent a booklet listing all potential sins that we can carry whenever we enter any business establishment. Then we could ask the owner to fill out the questionnaire to make sure they are purists before we spend one thin dime. Heck, why don’t we just retreat from the world and become self-sustaining to avoid all contacts with the "pagan" outside world? The problem is, we would still have to face ourselves. In fact, I am most firmly convinced that I would be compelled to lead the boycott against me.
I do not believe that boycotts are the way to demonstrate the love of Christ to a watching world. At the same time, I do not believe that those outside the faith should be dictating to Christians what they should and should not believe. That is why I will no longer support such tactics, unless it is something heinous such as racial discrimination or human trafficking. In fact, I will make it a point to frequent any establishment that is the subject of such an embargo. If it is a Christian business, I will support them as a fellow Christian. If it is a secular organization, I will try to find a way to share the love of Christ with them.
So, on August 1, I am buying a boat load of nuggets for my family along with a gallon of their wonderful diet lemonade from the Falls of Neuse Chick-fil-A in Raleigh NC.
A Recipe for a Diet Arnold Palmer
One part Chick-fil-A diet lemonade
One part unsweetened ice tea.
Add extra Splenda as needed.
Add ice and thank God that we live in a country that allows us to speak our mind!
Lydia's Corner: Genesis 5:1-7:24 Matthew 3:7-4:11 Psalm 3:1-8 Proverbs 1:10-19