An Aledo author is boiling, but his Starbucks boycott is strictly a mild roast

Posted Wednesday, Jun. 12, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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kennedy Wait a minute.

I know some Christians don’t drink.

But now some Christians don’t even drink Starbucks?

In the latest sermon from Parker County’s favorite storyteller, writer David Barton of Aledo told an Alabama church that Christians shouldn’t buy coffee from a company that he said is “attacking God.”

When last we saw Barton, his discredited Thomas Jefferson book was marked down to $4.95, and he was claiming that God wants Americans to have the same guns as the government.

Now, he’s on a barnstorming tour and ginning up opposition to Starbucks over corporate financial support for propositions legalizing gay marriage.

According to the Huntsville Times, the audience at a Southern Baptist church in Huntsville, Ala., applauded after Barton asked, “If you know that when you buy a cup of Starbucks, 5, 10, 15 cents is going to be used to defeat marriage, can you do that? The answer is no.”

Look, when I can afford a cup of Starbucks, I’m not going to worry about 5, 10 or 15 cents.

That’s not enough for an extra shot of vanilla.

Campaigners from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) already locked horns with Starbucks after chief executive Howard Schultz told a complaining analyst from NOM that if he didn’t like the company stance, “you could sell your shares.”

A “Dump Starbucks” campaign hasn’t gained much support or publicity.

Warren Throckmorton, a college psychology professor in Pennsylvania and a frequent Barton critic, noted that Barton sells books through Amazon.com, which supported the same propositions.

“Starbucks is an easier target than Google or Amazon,” Throckmorton said by phone.

“It’s easy for people to target one commodity like coffee and feel like they’re doing something for their religion. But it’s more difficult to be consistent.”

Conservatives rallied around Chick-fil-A in a short-lived political firestorm that ended with an “Appreciation Day” and the restaurant’s owners opposing gay marriage but also redirecting political donations away from harsher opponents.

From the looks of local lines, every day is Starbucks Appreciation Day.

At the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting this week in Houston, the manager of the convention center Starbucks said lines have stayed long.

Russell D. Moore, the new president of the Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has blogged at russellmoore.com that when Christians call boycotts, Christians lose.

“We don’t persuade our neighbors by mimicking their angry power-protests,” Moore wrote, calling for Christians to speak their faith with “gentleness” and “offer a cup of cold water, or maybe even a grande skinny vanilla latte, in Jesus’ name.”

At Southern Methodist University, political science professor Cal Jillson has studied boycotts.

“We might wish this would shorten the lines at Starbucks,” he wrote by email, “but I don’t think we should plan on that.”

I’d call this brew weak.

Bud Kennedy's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538

Twitter: @budkennedy

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