Concerning Starbucks

starbucks photo: starbucks in.jpg


I don’t have a starbucks anywhere near me. And, I don’t drink coffee.  But, I do support traditional family and marriage, so I have followed this story over the past few days as it has popped up on my facebook newsfeed.  It usually starts with the following heading:

Starbucks CEO: If you support traditional marriage, we don’t want your business.

and a link to this article with very few details.

Being the “why” person I am, I decided to investigate further and found this article, with a little more explanation.

To summarize, apparently a shareholder said that sales were disappointing following the start of a boycott which resulted from Starbucks’ support of gay marriage rights.

The CEO said “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much,”

He didn’t say to a customer: “if you support traditional marriage, we don’t want your business” (although that certainly makes a more exciting headline).  He said to a shareholder: “if you don’t agree with my business practices, or feel that they are affecting your profits, maybe you should find another company that better suits you.”

Honestly, it’s a valid point. I don’t know how many Christian blogs I’ve read that say something along the lines of “if you don’t agree with me, feel free to unsubscribe and find another blog to read.”  Yet they aren’t considered rude.  Why the double standard?

But, that’s not even the point here. The CEO of starbucks said something that has really stuck with me. The article paraphrased that he said it “was about respecting diversity, not the bottom line.”

“It is not an economic decision,” he said. ” The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity.”

Let me be clear, I support traditional marriage and family. However, I have to say that I  respect a leader willing to step out and take a chance on a financial loss because of something that he believes is morally right (even if I disagree with him).  To be willing to make a decision based on principle and not economics. Maybe because it seems to be such a rare trait.

Can you imagine what would happen if more Christian leaders did this?  Yes, I know there are a few Christian businesses which operate on Christian principles. But far too often, business and profits cause men and women alike to lose their religion, lose their sense of moral rightness, and bow to the almighty dollar.  I’ve seen it happen all to often, even in my small hometown.

What if Christians started making their decisions based on principle, and not economics?  I think we could change the world.

What’s your take? 


  1. says

    Excellent point. while I completely support traditional family values and marriage standards, I must agree that he didn’t tell the person to take a hike. He simply stated that this is the way he is running the company. I support Christian companies that stick to their business plans as well. I too wish more Christian leaders could stand out and speak boldly, but with grace. Now, there is a time for a bit of snark. Many of the responses to the Pharisees were pretty ‘in your face’. But Jesus had the added advantage of being able to read their hearts. ;-)

  2. says

    Well said! I have been following this story as well, both as a coffee-lover and a supporter of traditional marriage and family. Thank you for writing such an informative post instead of simply jumping on the bandwagon and “sharing” the rants I’ve seen too much of lately! Well done!

    • Crystal says

      Thanks for the support, Nancy! And you’re right, it is so important to be thoughtful and prayerful rather than just jumping on the bandwagon.

  3. says

    You know, when I read the article, I thought the same thing. It certainly didn’t seem like he was saying that he didn’t want the business of those who support traditional marriage, but was speaking to an individual shareholder. I am interested to see if Starbucks will issue a statement to clear things up in the future.

    I appreciate you sharing your perspective!

  4. Amanda Henley says

    I agree that he did not say “If you support traditional marriage, you can take your money elsewhere.” I understand that. I also understand that he said they will continue to support “diversity” which means all lifestyles except traditional, Christian values. I will not give my money to support such a company. God commands us to be good stewards of what we have been given.

    • Crystal says

      Amanda, thanks for weighing in! I fully support your right to choose to spend your money where you want. There are certainly companies I choose not to support. And, like I said, I’m not a coffee drinker, so I’ve never really supported Starbucks anyway. I just like for people to do it for accurate reasons, and not shock factor. Glad that you have made an informed and prayerful decision :)

  5. says

    Bravo! I just came over from WFMW – you are the next link after me – and you said what I’d been wondering all week. I hadn’t taken the time to investigate thoroughly, but it seemed to me that the comment was about a shareholder and investing, and not directed at his customers who support traditional marriage. I’m with you on this one. When we, as Christians, promote misinformation, it undercuts whatever message we are trying to communicate.

    • Crystal says

      Dana, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting…

      When we, as Christians, promote misinformation, it undercuts whatever message we are trying to communicate.

      This! I couldn’t agree more.

  6. Robin Cross-Martincak says

    Could not have said it better myself. Although Starbucks is only a treat for me because of cost, I agree with your thought.

    • Crystal says

      Thanks Robin! Yeah, I completely left out the finances of the matter…that could probably warrant it’s own post! lol

    • Crystal says

      Thanks so much, Jenny, to be honest I was a little scared to hit “publish” on this one. I’m so glad that people have been so nice about it even if they disagreed.

  7. says

    I”ll just add one more voice of thanks here…I am so sick and tired of how even Christians can turn something into propaganda and not even stick to the actual words that were said!!! Drives me nuts!! But you are absolutely right about what he really said and I think maybe we should just all calm down a tad. Plus, all these people talking about boycotting Starbucks because they are supporting gay marriage? Seriously, you will never shop anywhere if that’s your stance…you will not have cell phones…you will not use Google…there are very few businesses nowadays who don’t at least financially support organizations that do not follow traditional Christian values and who actually support the opposite of traditional values. My husband and I are friends with the owners of a restaurant in our hometown and those owners are gay. I personally think it would send a terrible message to them if we suddenly stopped going to the restaurant because of their lifestyle. They know we are Christians and they know that we voted for traditional marriage when it came on the ballot in our state and they have never treated us any differently, but only with respect. How will Christians ever influence their world if they completely avoid all sinners?

  8. Jill says

    Thanks for the level headed post! It’s really easy for Christians to say “I won’t support any business that is anti-Christian, anti-traditional family” yet how many of us take the time to research every single company we do business with or every single company that our investment portfolios are tied to? I’d bet most of us are clueless in that regard. Yet a story like this comes out and all of a sudden we get our undies in a bundle over it.

    Something else to remeber is that there is God’s law, yes, but there’s also man’s law. Even if a company’s owners/shareholders are 100% Christian based….they cannot break the law by discriminating against customers who are not. It’s also against the law for them to refuse to hire someone just because of their religion or gender or sexual preference. So, many companies struggle with that conflict, too, which we need to keep in mind.

    I also feel it’s unfair to say that a business owner is choosing either economics or their principles. Starbucks is in business to serve coffee. It’s not their job to preach religion. When I go run my errands, I just want the guy behind the counter to ring up my sale – I don’t want him taking a stand on how I worship or what I do in the privacy of my home. That’s not a business owner’s job.

    • Crystal says

      Jill, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I agree that there are so many things that we don’t take the time to research. Specifically, there are so many businesses that we all support that are supplied by the works of slaves and child slaves, yet we don’t have a huge outcry about those.

      Also, I agree with you that I don’t want to be preached at by the guy behind the counter, but I do believe that businesses should be run by principle, even if it conflicts with economics. Thanks again for joining the conversation :)

  9. Sue in NC says

    II got here from the Prairie Homestead Barn Hop. I always find interesting links there. Don’t always agree with everything, but hey, it’s the internet. : ) I really appreciate your take on this, people do sometimes go off half cocked without all the information. And I love how you have pointed out how other horrible problems like child slavery don’t get the attention they deserve. Your commenters are a wonderful bunch too. But I wish you had quoted from the first article you linked to because it’s quote of Mr Schulze included the “of all kinds” at the end of the sentence regarding diversity. To me diversity is inclusive, not exclusive, and evidently it is to Mr. Schulze as well.

    Oh and Starbucks makes awesome chai (my favorite!), and yummy hot chocolate, and their frappacino creme drinks, which don’t have any coffee, are my daughter’s favorites, She doesn’t drink coffee either. Just doesn’t fit in my budget very often.

    • Crystal says

      ooooh, I didn’t know they made frappacino creme drinks! There was a coffee shop at my old college campus that made a non-coffee version of their mocha coffee drinks, and they were delicious. If I ever end up at a Starbucks, I’ll have to remember that. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I’ll look into the rest of that quote.

  10. Lisa Mac says

    Thanks for posting this! I have been upset by people putting their own spin on headlines and articles for their own purposes. No matter their side of ANY issue in the news today! I don’t think it does any good for anyone to post something that deceives to prove a point. And especially with a label of Christianity on it!

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Yes, exactly, Lisa! That is my biggest complaint about it is that Christians are twisting the truth to suit their purposes and that is completely unBiblical.

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