One of my addictions is coffee, and Starbucks is what I usually drink. My wife hates it, can’t stand the taste, prefers something …lighter…but taste is subjective, so I can’t fault her on that. But I like it. I even have the app on my iPhone, tagged to my bank account, so I don’t even need to have any cash on me to buy a cup of coffee. Yeah, I’m a sorry fellow. The only downside for me is that it’s a major corporation, and sometimes I feel I should be giving my business to local coffee shops. Actually, occasionally I do, but I still frequent Starbucks the most. Shoot me.
Fortunately, Starbucks is one of those companies with a social conscience. Or at least their PR department does a good job of convincing me (I’m not so naive as to believe that everything they stand for or do is in the public interest – they do have shareholders after all). They had recently, in response to the faltering economy and the high unemployment rate, started a campaign to increase jobs in the country, by arranging to work with localities to help finance community level small businesses. It is also very environmentally friendly.
In the political arena it’s a David against Goliath (the rest of monolithic corporate America), when it takes on positions that would seem to be counter to its economic interests (any polarizing position is counter to one’s economic interests). Recently it supported the Washington state initiative to legalize gay marriage. And, as you might expect, this drew the ire of the bigots.
A Christian (what else?) group, citing their favorite book of hate, called for a boycott of Starbucks.
“Christians are upset with Starbucks for turning against God…Starbucks can follow Satan if they want to,” Steven Andrew, and evangelical pastor and president of the USA Christian Ministries in California, said in a statement. “However, pastors are to help Christians. Are you on the Lord’s side? Will you help the USA be blessed by God?”
Sigh. I get such a headache when I read these types of blatherings. Follow Satan? C’mon. Are there really still people in 21st century that believe Satan is something more than a metaphor? Of course, they certainly have a right in this country to think and say what they want about it, just as Starbucks (now declared to be a person by no less an authority than the Supreme Court) has the same right.
But at least Starbucks is doing it for the right reasons:
…embracing diversity and treating one another with respect and dignity, and … providing an inclusive, supportive and safe work environment for all of our partners [“partners” is its quaint corporate euphemism for “employees”]…
whereas this so-called USA Christian Ministry is doing it for the wrong reasons:
Starbucks overlooked the health concerns for homosexuals. CDC reports that one in five homosexuals have HIV, with many unaware they are sick. The average homosexual dies at 42 years and has a higher depression rate,
as if not allowing gays to marry will end homosexuality, and therefor HIV, early death and depression. Clearly, such a position is based on a bigoted attitude towards homosexuality, using idiotic, irrelevant statistics and their holy book to rationalize their non-Jesus like intolerance and hypocrisy.
They think that if all Christians boycotted Starbucks, the company would lose 80% of it’s business, probably on the assumption that the country is roughly 80% Christian. Frankly, a better boycott would be if all Christians boycotted their churches, stopped contributing those tax free funds that keep them in business, and stop attending Sunday (and Monday though Saturday) services. That would show these bigots exactly what hatred, intolerance and bigotry means.
For me, this boycott simply gives me a better reason to feed my jones with a clear conscience.
Here’s the kicker.
Other companies taking a similar position [on gay marriage] include Nike, Google and Microsoft, Half Moon Bay Patch notes.
It’s easy to say “buy your coffee from someone else, like say, the local Halleluiah Blessed-Be-Jesus Coffee Shop” . It’s another to delete Windows and start using Linux on your computer, search the internet using Yahoo, and jog in your P.F. Flyers. You know these hypocrites won’t do that. I’ll bet they wrote their Press Release in Microsoft Word.
So lift a cup of Starbucks™ coffee to Satan, and have a nice day. 🙂
I’m with your wife . . . the coffee there sucks (even the local shop coffee’s sucks, but I buy my unground coffee there). And their tea is no better. But, they are making me money in the stock market, and I like their social consciousness efforts . . .
. . . although I thought I remember something about them being insane for allowing open carry in their shops. I was unsure about that move . . . from a standpoint of gun control, coffee is not very good. It could affect your accuracy. On the other hand, you would be more alert . . .
But, I’m not too worried about the boycott. Christians are nothing if not ready to sin and be forgiven. And really, most of the ones I know are smarter than their so-called spiritual leaders, and tend to ignore them freely.
Much like many of their other fantasy beliefs, believing they can have the kind of impact to force the changes they want is also fantasy. Besides, I don’t see those people at coffee shops or quality bars and restaurants. They go to places like Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s or Golden Corral.
And I have to say I’m not a big fan of Starbucks coffee either, although sometimes I have no choice but to go there. For instance, they’re currently the only ones on campus. I generally get coffee at 30th street station before campus, usually from Saxby’s.
Hmmm . . . a tad condescending, isn’t it?
Or perhaps I resent the implication my liking of Dunking Donuts, occasionally getting McDonald’s fries, or stuffing myself at the local Golden Corral somehow associates me with “those people” . . . whatever that means.
No, no . . . it’s condescending, alright. If we are to speak out against others who judge based on the belief they “know better” and hence “are better”, perhaps we should not tolerate or excuse it wherever, and in whomever, we encounter the same attitude. Even if they have not reached the maturity to know better.
Weren’t you just telling SI his favorite coffee sucked? So what, you think you’re better than SI? Hmmm . . . a tad condescending, wasn’t it? And with a side of hypocrisy, too. Can I get that super-sized and to go, please?
Another shiny example of our woefully lacking educational system. Sigh . . . oh, alright.
I did say his coffee sucked. Apparently I need to explain the subtext . . . he does not suck; I don’t like Starbucks coffee, and that is a matter of taste. I know, a difficult concept to grasp, but nowhere do I suggest I am better than he is.
But I am now suggesting . . . sorry . . . saying, I am not impressed with your grasp of what is a simple idea. I’ll also say your response suggests an emotional reaction, which in turns suggest a lack of maturity and wisdom. But I kind of knew that from the original crack you made regarding “those people”.
It is the mark of immaturity to immediately counterattack as opposed to making a little effort at self-examination and maybe admit that, yeah, that might come across as condescending, if not outright insulting.
I am hoping you are relatively young, and thus have lots of time, if not the inclination, to learn to be less confrontational and condescending. I’m not holding my breath.
SI, sorry for this little spat on your site. You are welcome to moderate my ass out of here as these comments are not value-added to the post.
“Why answer at all?” you ask? Good question. As little as a month ago I would have let the first comment slide, thinking the guy is a dick, and best avoided. Then I read these words: “Never be a spectator to unfairness or stupidity.” They kind of had an impact on me. Obviously, for the worse.
Another shining example of someone who’s too quick to shoot before assessing the situation (I’ll take the high road and assume you actually are capable of assessing the situation, but merely didn’t).
First, let’s review basic logic, shall we? If most As are Bs, can we say all Bs are As? How about most Bs are As? The answer is no, because knowing most As are Bs is not enough information to say anything about Bs; therefore if “those people” go to Golden Corral and you go to Golden Corral, it can not be said that you are one of “those people”.
Second, I made a value judgement about where “those people” go. If you’d like to read that as passing judgement on those people then fine, but you can’t then turn around and pass judgement on where SI goes and say you’re not passing judgement on SI. That’s known as special pleading, which is a logical fallacy. Perhaps the mature thing to do would be to stop and realize how if your comment wasn’t a judgement on SI, then perhaps my comment wasn’t a judgement either. It would be quite a mark of immaturity to not do so, worse if you continued to fire back out of some irrational drive to save face in light of an obvious overreaction and subsequent embarrassing, condescending behavior which, I might add, is all the more of an embarrassment since you made it so clear earlier how terrible it was to be condescending! (Oh the irony!)
Look, you wouldn’t be the first nor last person in the world to be too quick to react to a comment and realize you got it all wrong, then further pushed that foot into your mouth. Don’t sweat it, pal. Pop by Philly some time and I’ll buy you a cup of coffee. I guarantee it’ll taste better than your shoe. 😉
“Besides, I don’t see those people at coffee shops or quality bars and restaurants.”
“I’m with your wife . . . the coffee there sucks”
Wow, when you put them both together like that I was wrong. Your comment was a far worse than mine. You can’t compare ‘not quality’ and “sucks”. “Sucks” actually is insulting. You win. 🙂
Heroic logic, Philly, just heroic!!
Thanks PhillyChief; big of you to admit it.
Heroic? Oh no, it’s logic 101, which is about all one can expect from someone like me who’s merely just a product of our woefully lacking educational system. Sigh…. I do what I can.
Ah, but you used logic in public! That’s heroic because it’s likely to make people look at you like you have two noses and smell bad. This is America. We don’t do no logic and smart stuff like that there.
Curses! I quit going to Starbucks because they take some positions I don’t agree with. So I went to my other local coffee shop and find it’s being staffed by hippies and lesbians! What am I to do? Make my own coffee?
Seriously, I have my values but I either pass them on by seeking to persuade those willing to consider them or I shut up. What business do I, as a Christian, have trying to force my values on someone through economic pressure? If I force someone to do something they are not willing to do for their own reasons, what have I accomplished?
Hippies, gays and lesbians make the best baristas, though. Everybody knows that. 😉
I love my baristas, Bruce, Margie and Keith. Two gay, one hippy. They can do a Starbucks Double-Shot with best of them
I can’t afford Starbucks, but it is nice to see an American corporation (i.e., a person) at least trying to do something positive.
SB now has a blend called Blonde. It’s lighter, and very nice. It also allows you to step up to the counter and ask for a tall Blonde.
It’s closer to standard American, but better, smoother.
Get yourself a Chemex coffee maker, a Hario manual grinder, some spring water, and you’ll make the best damn cup of coffee. Seriously. And really, don’t use tap water. Huge difference. But of course you might be using Starbucks beans, unless you’ve got a health food store that sells organic coffee. I use SB beans.
I have a little espresso machine…buy my “organic free-trade” coffee beans (French roast) from the health food store. But there is something stimulating (other than the coffee) about a coffee shop. I will investigate the Chemex because mine destroys the crema in the process.
If you decide to invest in a Chemex (30 or 40 dollars, plus filters) watch out for the small ones. They’re the best for one or two cups but they tend to tip over easily and break (alternatively I’m the clumsiest old fart in the house). I broke two and finally went back to the six-cup size.
Coffee shops are just the best place to track the town crazies. And here, to watch the tourist women in summertime.
I don’t drink coffee and I don’t watch the women – tourist or otherwise – either, so I guess that explains why I hardly ever go to Starbucks.
Ah, you’re a coffee atheist, a caffeine heathen.
It’s only natural and right. She doesn’t believe in the salvation of Starbucks coffee. It’s a free country. She’s allowed to hate Starbucks, to reject its glory, in favor of a life with no meaning or purpose.
Of course, when she dies, no coffee for her.
We simply must hold a chanting over steaming mugs of coffee to save her.
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I don’t go to Starbucks – or any other similar outlet – because they’re expensive and I don’t like their coffee (I prefer instant).
However, as a Christian, I’ve seen these boycotts – which always seem to be about sex, rather than anything actually important like poverty, exploitation or abuse – come and go, and I haven’t seen any companies report lower bank balances because of them. As the person above said, most people simply ignore them. I roll my eyes and sigh at the decidedly un-Christian attitudes they show. What part of “Love your neighbour as yourself” do they not understand?
I wonder, would Jesus boycott a particular organisation because they employed homosexuals, or gave them equal rights with heterosexuals? Somehow I rather doubt it.
Instant?! Pervert! 🙂
Having said that I have to note that Starbucks makes an instant called Via, and it is very, very good.
I’ll second Via. Best instant I ever had. It makes a great iced coffee (don’t buy the pre-sweetened Via, just the straight stuff, in the little packets.)
As for who Jesus would Boycott (WWJB?), I suspect he might have boycotted the “money lenders” of Wall Street and joined the OWS movement. That is, if he actually existed.
I suspect the little bastard would boycott the fundie churches and gotten in the face of their pastors and parishioners about the way they’ve perverted his ideas.