In the latest batch of news to be labeled under “Can We Not,” a Christian group is urging consumers to boycott Starbucks and feed their coffee addictions elsewhere.
The USA Christian Ministries is behind the movement, stating in a press release that Starbucks is turning against God in vocalizing their support for gay marriage. They also assert their belief that such a boycott could cost Starbucks 80% of its consumer base. This is seemingly based on their statistic that 80% of Americans are Christians.
The press release is peppered with a few other inaccurate statistics taken from various studies that have been long been regarded as such.
The biggest claim that Starbucks would lose 80% of its customers because 80% of Americans are Christians is not just wrong; it also does not make too much sense.
For starters, Christians make up about 76% of America's population, not 80%, and of those, 52% support same sex marriage. Second, this statistic doesn’t even make sense unless the group is claiming that all Christians in America frequent Starbucks on a regular basis, which is doubtful. Offhand I can think of several people who identify as Christians but don’t visit Starbucks. Point is, no matter what the USA Christian Ministries would like to think, it’s incredibly unlikely that Starbucks will lose a major chunk of its business to this proposed boycott.
Based on the steady traffic coming into the Starbucks I am writing this in, the boycott doesn’t seem to have garnered much support.
What is perhaps the most aggravating thing about this proposed boycott is the sheer hypocrisy from which is has come about.
If a company should have the nerve to think that for some reason all people deserve to have equal rights, they are branded as anti-Christian, anti-American and anti-whatever-other-silly-thing-someone-can-think-up. On the other hand, if a company using their products to promote religion, they are viewed as being “true Americans.”
Take In-N-Out Burger and Chick-Fil-A as examples of the latter example. In-N-Out prints bible passages on their paper goods, which started in the 1980s with the company’s second president. They don’t print the actual quotes, just the book names along with the chapter and verse, which vary based on what the item is.
Chick-Fil-A also attempts to visibly push its religious and political beliefs to the consumer, far more than Starbucks has in their statement. The company expressly states in their corporate purpose that they exist “to glorify God” and in keeping with this, is closed on Sundays as their way of “honoring God.” Chick-Fil-A has promoted religious groups through the toys they offer in children’s meals. In addition, the company has their own charity which supports groups that fight to ban same-sex marriage and some that advocate for curing homosexuality.
Yet what those companies are doing is okay because they promote “Christian” values, while Starbucks is the epitome of all that is evil because they, what? Think that everyone deserves to be treated that same and have equal rights? Maybe I’m just missing something, but I do not see how that is something that is worth boycotting. If anything, blatantly shoving religious propaganda right in consumers’ faces is worth boycotting, not voicing support for giving people equal rights.