March 23, 2012
By Rev. Dan Vojir
So now the National Organization for Marriage has issues an international fatwah against Starbucks. Will it stick? Judging from past boycotts, NOM may be stuck with egg on its face...again.
The last of the big boycotts?
Dear Marriage Supporter:
We are urging consumers across the globe to "Dump Starbucks" because the massive international corporation has taken a corporate-wide position that marriage between one man and one woman should be eliminated and that same-sex marriage should become the norm.
As such, Starbucks has declared it will use its influence and resources in a culture war against at least half its US customers, and against the vast majority of its international consumers who do not share Starbucks' position.
The National Organization for Marriage - aka Maggie Ghallagher - aka "Slaggie" by Joe Jervis (Joe.My.God) - has now initiated a boycott of Starbucks. Like JC Penney, however, Starbucks is holding its ground with its policies. Like Ben & Jerry's it sees the value of seeing things "through the lens of humanity." Like the Girl Scouts and their cookies, it's banking on diversity. Like Home Depot, it shows signs of support of the LGBT community.
There are so many national retailers being boycotted by NOM and its supporters (mainly the American Family Association) one wonders if people like "Slaggie" can purchase ANYTHING!
Responses and Results
Boycotts are nothing new. The first known boycott was that of the Meccans against the Hashemites so that they would withdraw their patronage of Mohammad. The Boston Tea Party was the first American boycott. The term "boycott" comes from a man named Boycott - a British land agent who was subject to a boycott by the Irish Land League in 1880. Perhaps the most violent boycott in history was the N*zi boycott of Jewish businesses. The purpose of boycotts has been mostly economic: if you want to get your point across, hit them where it hurts the most - in the pocketbook.
The Christian Right has for decades used boycotts as a means to demonstrate its displeasure with any organization or business. Whether they are effective or not in halting the gross national product, is another story. They seem to think they are, because they have kept calling for boycotts at an alarming rate. But manufacturers, retailers, franchises and other businesses are also steadfastly refusing to bend - at a rate corresponding to the Right's vehemence, much to it's chagrin.
"Being a socially responsible organization is a fundamental part of who we are. We have an obligation to use our size and resources to make a difference in the world"and we do."
Ford Motor Company
Whether Ford Motor Company caved in to a boycott remains to be seen:
Marcey Evans, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an interview Wednesday that the AFA was misusing "diversity" by treating it as a code word for "homosexuality." But "to Ford, diversity is a much broader definition than simply homosexuality," she said. "Diversity is very important to Ford, and it goes beyond homosexuality."
"I think it would be a tragedy for us to exclude anybody."
The Southern Baptist' call to boycott Disney lasted almost nine years.
Michael Eisner, Disney chairman, called the boycott "ridiculous" and denied it would have any effect on Disney. No effect financially, he said. Eisner denied that Disney was pushing an "anti Christian" or "anti family" agenda. "That's ridiculous. We're not pushing any agenda."
Upon the celebration of Gay Day at Disney World, Pat Robertson forewarned Orlando, FL that it might be in for harsh weather "Maybe even a meteor."
The decision to produce Gay Pride t-shirts may not have been the underlying factor in the AFA's boycott of the global retailer. What really got to the AFA and it's resident homophobe, Bryan Fischer, was that proceeds of the t-shirts would go to the It Gets Better project, founded by Dan Savage.
Old Navy continued to sell the t-shirts for a long time.
"My instinct...is that spokespeople aren't really necessary unless a company is going through a profound change," he says. "We looked around...and Ellen was the one who stood out. She's honest, she's funny, she has integrity. Americans like her but they really trust her. She seemed to be the perfect person."
- Ron Johnson, CEO, addressing the boycot called upon JC Penney by One Million Moms regarding the use of Ellen Degeneres as a spokesman.
Girls Scouts of America
The video of a supposed Girl Scout requesting the boycott of Girl Scout cookies on the basis of the GSA allowing transgendered children into the organization, sparked a big controversy, but GSA held it's head up high:
"For 100 years, Girl Scouts has prided itself on being an inclusive organization serving girls from all walks of life. We handle cases involving transgender children on a case-by-case basis, with a focus on ensuring the welfare and best interests of the child in question and the other girls in the troop as our highest priority," a Girl Scouts spokeswoman told the Daily News in a statement.
"Almighty God, we pray many more Christians will boycott Home Depot, who wrote a letter this week to the American Family Association saying they will continue sponsoring Homosexual Pride parades, and encouraging employees to dress in Home Depot aprons while marching in parades that defile children and promote sodomite sin."
- Christian Right activist, Rev. Gordon Klingenschmitt
Chairman [Frank] Blake said, "I hope all of our shareholders understand that we're a company that respects the diversity of our associates, our customers, and the communities where we do business."
For that response, Home Depot earned the witty sobriquet "Homo Depot."
So what about Starbucks? Listen to CEO Howard Schultz handle the situation with aplomb when being asked by a supposed shareholder and spokesperson for NOM about its support of same-sex marriage. This flash video was removed for security reasons
BTW: It was recently discovered that the NOM website, dumpstarbucks.com, was around before the shareholders meeting - probably because it anticipated Schultz's response. The whole exchange is HERE at Good As You. To some people the boycott business is ridiculous, but to others, it's a deadly serious game. Will there be more to come? Duh, it's an election year.
Submitters Website: http://sacredcowsmakethebesthamburgers.blogspot.com
Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books " Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most interesting people of our time: Steve Allen, William F. Buckley, Alan Ginsburg, Armisted Maupin, Anne Rice, Grace Slick, Bishop John Shelby Spong, Patricia Nell Warren, and Betty White.
He is also an ordained minister in the ULC and has studied extensively on the subject of the Bible and homosexuality. Additional articles can be read on his blog, The Devil and Dan Vojir.
Future goals and activities: a new ministry focusing on reaching personal spiritual levels without the outside influence of proselytism or evangelism called The Church of the Inner Preacher. This ministry will be included in a new website The Devil and Dan Vojir.
Vojir's main goal: to root out hypocrisy in religion and politics. "If only one person is saved from being killed or bashed by inane bigotry, then I'll have accomplished what I was put on earth to do: To Live and Help Live."