Wednesday, December 09, 2009
To Boycott or Not to Boycott, That is the Question
I am divided over boycotts. On the one hand, they work: companies only exist if they are making money, and if I chose not to spend my money in a place of business, that place potentially goes out of business. Also, as a Christian, I think it's important to be involved in things that I consider right and stay away from things I consider wrong. On the other hand, if I avoided everything I thought was wrong, I'd be naked, hungry, and never leave my home. Additionally, I should not be surprised when sinful worldly companies behave in sinful worldly ways. Jesus himself spent lots of time with people considered the "worst of the worst" in His day. If I boycott a business because of their business practices, I lose an opportunity to be Jesus in that place. We as Christians are not meant to be so separate from the world that we isolate ourselves.
So, it's always an internal debate within myself when I learn of something particularly heinous about a company. Do I spend my money elsewhere so as not to have it going towards evil things? How do I navigate the tricky waters of deliberately frequenting a business that I know does those things yet still maintain my integrity? I actually don't have the answer to that.
This whole internal struggle came to light this week for me when I heard that Starbucks, and several other companies I frequent, sends money in support of Planned Parenthood. I came across a post by my friend Suzanna on Facebook about this fact. She had a link to several websites that confirmed this fact.
What to do? I am still not sure, but certainly something I am going to be thinking and praying about.