Starbucks, Same-Sex Marriage and Getting Facts Straight

StarbucksSocial media is ablaze with recent comments by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on those who support traditional marriage.  The headline I have seen all over Facebook is “If You Support Marriage, We Don’t Want Your Business.”  I found that strange, not because I doubted that Schultz supported same-sex marriage but I found it hard to believe that he was really rejecting all the business of those who support traditional marriage.  From a purely financial perspective, that is rather foolish.  Since I am skeptical by nature, I decided to look into it.

Doing a search, I discovered that it was not really an attack on customers who support traditional marriage (he doesn’t even mention customers), but a discussion with a shareholder.  One article titled “Starbucks CEO: No Tolerance for Traditional Marriage Supporters” expresses the outrage that conservatives have toward what the CEO said.  If there is no tolerance for traditional marriage supporters, conservatives should be upset.  But what did Schultz really say?

It really would be good to find out what he says rather than just read about how upset people are.  You can find the actual comments by Schultz here.  Please pay careful attention to what Schultz says.  The shareholder makes note that Starbuck’s endorsement of same-sex marriage has had some financial implications.  How does Schultz respond?

“Not every decision is an economic decision. Despite the fact that you recite statistics that are narrow in time, we did provide a 38% shareholder return over the last year. I don’t know how many things you invest in, but I would suspect not many things, companies, products, investments have returned 38% over the last 12 months. Having said that, it is not an economic decision to me. 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. Of all kinds.”

Schultz then goes on to make the statement that has gotten everyone all upset:  “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.”

What is Schultz saying here?  Is he saying that he does not want Starbucks customers who support traditional marriage?  No.  Is he saying that he does not want shareholders who support traditional marriage?  No.  He is saying that if a shareholder is not happy with the financial consequences of the company supporting same-sex marriage, there are other companies that they can invest in.  That is not an offensive comment at all.

Let me make things clear.  I am a supporter of traditional marriage.  As an ordained minister, I have never performed a same-sex wedding and I never will.  However, I am also someone who values the truth.  I understand that Christians want to stand up for the biblical worldview.  That is my desire and there are plenty of battles for us to fight.  But it does not help our case at all to twist the facts.

What does a non-Christian think when they hear Christians proclaiming that the Starbucks CEO has stated he does not want any business from traditional marriage supporters when he has not said anything like that at all?  They are going to question other things we say.  How often have we twisted the facts or neglected to do our homework for the sake of a claim with rhetorical punch?  I urge my Christian brothers and sisters to fight for the truth, but do it by getting the facts right and not by making statements that just feel right.

If you are interested in more, I have a short podcast episode called “When It Feels True” that relates to this issue.

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94 thoughts on “Starbucks, Same-Sex Marriage and Getting Facts Straight”

  1. Thanks for posting this and bringing clarity. So often the real story gets ugly twisted in the interest of maintaining ones belief set or manipulating things in the name of any religion or agenda or political stance. Thank you for delving into the research and bringing it to light. I seek to tell truth not to tell it slant. I want to point people to Jesus not away from them. Maybe others will read and hear the wake up call to live rightly for God and not themselves.

    1. Sure they are taking a hit for same-sex marriage. That is not news. However, conservative commentators presented it as intolerance for anyone who supports traditional marriage. That is not accurate.

      1. you are wrong….although he didn’t actually state that he didn’t want our business, that is not, at least to me, what the “protest” is about…it is that supporting traditional marriage and gay marriage are incompatible…if you support gay marriage, then you telling Christians that they must accept this behavior as normal and ok…and we never will…he should have said to the shareholder, “i respect your right to disagree” and stopped, but no, he said “if you don’t agree with us, sell your shares”…

  2. The problem with Starbucks is the cumulative effect that they are having in supporting same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is something they clearly value. They used their resources to seek to overturn federal law declaring marriage as the union of one man and one woman in 2012. They drew a line in the sand. They do not use their resources to defend DOMA or the fight to save traditional marriage. This is who they are. So, when I buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks, part of the profit goes to undermining pro-family legislation (like Prop 8 in my state of California). The CEO’s comments are just the straw that has broken the camel’s back for many believers.

    1. I believe the point he is trying to make is that if you are going to stop taking your business to Starbucks than do it for things that they actually say or do; as opposed to inaccurate hyperbole.

      It’s clear you are basing your decision on what they’ve done, which is good. I’m sure others do as well. However, not everyone is so thoughtful or informed, which is why I appreciate blog entries like this one.

    2. I hate to tell you this but Apple and Microsoft have both given money and support to help Marriage equality… so those believers better put down all their pc’s mac’s iphones,android phones,etc…..Both have been vocal about it. Somehow i don’t see the believers doing that.

      1. Thanks for that info Kim, I will look into this and if I have to go back to a typewriter and cordless phone, I will. God’s truths and loving others and making a stand for the next generation are more important to me as a Christian.

    3. Part of the profits also go to providing health benefits EVEN FOR PART
      TIME WORKERS. Go into any Wal-Mart and ask any employee if they do the same. See, part of caring for your workers is caring for the whole worker, not just the part from whom you can benefit. i applaud Schultz for that, even if it means paying $5 for a cup of coffee. Hey, something must be working for them.

    4. This is my problem with Starbucks also. Their platform is huge and I would rather they just keep making coffee. They can give their opinion if asked but otherwise, not so much!

  3. Thank you for this – it’s so tiresome trying to get Christians to understand that perpetuating lies is far more damaging to us as a whole than any one company choosing to support a cause that some would feel is oppositional to the faith. Why are we so determined in the Church to push those away that Christ would have welcomed with love? And why is it so easy for us to use a lie to justify our actions? Perhaps these are the larger questions…

  4. Honestly, I’m finding it harder and harder to see how Jesus Christ called His followers to engage in this type of discussion at all. Show me the verses-please, if you can (NEW TESTAMENT verses…).

    Personally, I have completely stopped even getting into discussions regarding same-sex marriage, the “gay” agenda, or any other political issues. In my opinion, the Kingdom has not been advanced one bit by the effort put forth “defending” a conservative political agenda (or any other agenda except for Christ’s agenda for that matter). We are “ambassadors for Christ”. This world is not our home, nor is it governed at this time by God. It is, was, and will be “Babylon” until such time as our Lord redeems it.

    American Christians have been so blinded by the red, white and blue that they have lost sight of the cross. And it has destroyed our effectiveness to be a witness and testimony to “all the nations”.

    I really think our time would be better spent sharing the gospel and the love of Jesus Christ with the gay man or woman at the counter of our local Starbucks than getting into an internet discussion about whether to boycott Starbucks because of a corporate political position…

    1. Precisely. And isn’t it so hard not to get sucked into this crazy vortex of nonessential discussion, I promised myself I wouldn’t get caught up either yet here I am. The devil has got Christians arguing with eachother and lauging because the real job of teaching The Good News is not being done.

    2. 1. Please respect the Old Testament and don’t dismiss it as trivial or archaic. Those scriptures were good enough for Jesus and His disciples.

      2. There is a kind of theology called “dominionism” (think of it as a kind of Christendom) which believes that it is imperative God’s laws be reflected in national laws. I disagree with this in principle, and there are other reasons why people are passionate about the subject, but it’s good to know why others care so deeply about this. Rather than dismiss them, ask questions and work theough it, with them!

      3. I absolutely agree that “patriotism,” has blinded so many to the Holy Spirit and concur that we’d be better off preaching the Gospel than engaging in boycotts.

      4. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, Romans 1:26-27

      1. Hi Garrett, how’s it going?

        Just wanted to clarify… In no way will I, or have I dismissed the Old Testament. It is certainly not “trivial or archaic”. “Those scriptures” were all that Jesus and His disciples had. We, on the other hand, have the completed Canon of Scripture and have been taught by it and the Holy Spirit the “rest of the story”. Therefore, “we” as disciples in our day have no excuse for getting our mission or our methodology wrong.

        This is exactly what “dominionsim” does in my opinion, and I will fight it whenever it rears it ugly and misinformed head (lol). I know the passion of those who hold to it, but it was wrong in Geneva it’s wrong in the USA. Bad theology will always be bad… (There is a reason Christ said “My kingdom is not of this world, else my followers would fight…”)

        We have our marching orders: As you go make disciples of ALL nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

        Anything that gets in the way of our effectiveness in that mission needs to be cast aside…

        May God bless your day…!


    3. To be honest, my post is not on homosexuality but on the nature of truth. I would have posted on any other topic if I saw that Christians were misrepresenting a position. As Christians, truth is a core value.

      1. SO would you outwardly support a company that uses its profits to support something your faith is against? Let’s say abortion if Starbucks openly says they support and defend a woman’s right to have an abortion would you still go there? What I am saying is I nor anyone in my family knowing support a company that goes against our beliefs. If they don’t support my 2nd Amendment rights I won’t shop there, if they support a piece of trash politician I won’t shop there, if they have a pastor that is sleeping around I won’t tithe or attend there. Get my point. We as Christians need to grow a pair as a community ans stop this advancement of satan. We can start by only using businesses that are either neutral or lend towards our loving God. Go to Starbucks and spread the Word, but do it with a water bottle from home. Knowingly paying for something that goes against your beliefs is a sin.

        Example: Being given illegal drugs in your drink unknowingly is not a sin, but to go out a purchase illegal drugs and use them is a sin. Knowingly buying a product that benefits someone or something that is against your beliefs is a sin.

      2. Some of the headlines may be misleading, but considering who the stock holder is that Schultz is speaking to makes it crystal clear his feeling. According to reports the stockholder he is speaking to is Tom Strobhar, whom the Huffington Post identifies at the founder of the anti-gay marriage Corporate Morality Action Center.
        We all want to be truthful, but considering all the facts, Starbucks feeling are very clear.

    4. Amen Anthony! Couldn’t have said it better! We are missionaries here in Europe and it sometimes so funny to hear people argue over things that won’t matter in the kingdom. Yes, homosexuality is a sin, but so is lying, gluttony…etc etc. We hate the sin but love the sinner and our goal is to share Christs’ love and give them hope that their is a God, and it’s Jesus who died for their sins and mine if they so choose to follow Him! We just need to be praying, and we are not doing that nearly enough. If I see a gay person on the street I surly won’t boycott him and not share Christ, so I am not going to boycott Starbucks for being of the world and expect them to act like Christians. They aren’t, so let’s pray they get saved instead of boycotting them.

      Thanks and Lord Bless,

  5. First time on this blog, appreciating so much here (found it through Rachel Held Evan’s RT).
    Stephen, I am with you. As an evangelical (who is serious about coffee 🙂 I am very bothered by some of the rhetoric that comes out from our corner. We can’t proclaim the truth/love of Christ and be deceitful with others’ words.

    @Jim, know that I respect your logic and if you feel that spending money at Starbucks is undermining traditional marriage, that’s your conviction, I’m not going to bother to convince you otherwise. Btw, are you this consistent with all your purchasing? I found it to be impossible.
    In any case, I’ve also found that by staying in the conversation (or in this case, drinking coffee here) has allowed “the other” to consider my take on marriage, why my position is not rooted in hate among other things.

    I don’t know anything about your faith, so I’ll just this in general – for me as a Christ-follower, He did not call me to die on the hill of traditional marriage but to lose my life to find it for the sake of His Kingdom. This isn’t being soft on traditional marriage, it’s extremely important to me, but I do find the larger scope of the Kingdom even more essential.

    1. “He did not call me to die on the hill of traditional marriage but to lose my life to find it for the sake of His kingdom”…..”I find the larger scope of the kingdom to be more essential.”

      Wow!!! Truer words never spoken. Amen!!!!

  6. Exactly right, truth is paramount in
    any discussion. If we “twist the facts”
    we become liars. This is hardly a biblical

    1. I think what Scott meant was that Christians CAN stand for their beliefs without legislating others to do so as well…

      Hopefully he will be along to clarify for us.

    2. No I’m afraid that they can’t. Ever since before the Crusades, Christianity, often tries to dominate the world and push its views on others. Proposition 8 is just another great example of this. Instead of trying to let others live thier lives how they feel, they push them away by forcing a conservative agenda at them. I am not saying that all Christians are this way, however many of them refuse to acknowledge that thier lifestyle doesn’t suit everone and therefore they boycott, protest, and belittle them.

  7. Homosexuality should not be the issue really the Church needs to take the big old piece of wood out of their own eye before attacking anyone else. The divorce rate in Christiandom is as tall as the tower of Babal! We pay attention to preachers that are sleeping with their secretaries who are taking tithe money and using it for their own selfish pleasures, tolerating sexual and spousel abuse. So busy looking out the churches dirty windows.

    1. Who on this blog condones any of those things? We are opposed to gay marriage as well as pastors sleeping with their secretaries. You built a straw man.

      1. Not everone on this blog opposes gay marriage. Some of believe that people should be allowed to make thier own lifestyle choices.

  8. Evil spreads when good men do nothing. I guess Corrie Ten Boom is in hell for lying to the Germans when they came to her house and asked if she had any Jews in her house, of course not, its situational ethics. What association does light have with darkness. You can’t reason with the gay community. All you can do is pray for them and the company who lower there standard just like the church.

    1. By this comment are you calling the entire gay community darkness? By what right do you have to judge other people for thier lifestyle choices. How in any way do they affect you?

  9. Personally I wouldn’t support anyone that was even slightly pro abortion. And, I’ll not be supporting anyone that’s even slightly pro homosexual. I don’t need to support them, and I’m not going to do it; that’s that!

  10. This is a weak, naive response to the Starbucks CEO’s comments. The video of his remarks isn’t confusing.

    Yes, Christians should tell the truth. And yes, he is having an exchange with a shareholder, who may or may not be a customer. But he declares “we want to embrace diversity,” and adds, “not every decision is a financial decision.”

    The tone with which he tells the investor directly to take his or her money elsewhere is one of complete disregard for any other point of view. So Starbucks embraces diversity, as long as Christian views of traditional marriage are excluded. His meaning was quite clear, and we’ll not patronize Starbucks again.

    1. I’m not saying that the CEO is being logical in his talk of embracing diversity. I am just calling Christians to check the facts, argues based on what was actually said and not rely on what just feels true.

  11. Thank you for taking the time to do your own research and think for yourself. So many people are perfectly willing to pass on the rhetoric and not ever check to see if what’s being passed on is true.

  12. And I would remind people that not everyone adheres to the same beliefs (even as Christians). I can share multitudes of articles from many theologians who can share with you why embracing homosexuality is indeed a “Christian” value. Further, if you are not Christian, this is really a non-issue altogether. And even further, if you don’t have any religious faith, belief structure, etc. then this whole argument on gay rights/marriage/etc. is a moot point. It only becomes an issue when we contextualize it under the domain of “Christianity.” And while most Christians want to proclaim that theirs is the only way, it just isn’t so for millions (and billions) of others. To impose one’s will on another is no short of a theological “assault” or even “rape” when it comes to legislating under that guise. Truly problemmatic. If the Christian churches don’t want to bless same sex marriage, then that is fine. It shouldn’t be in the churches anyway. “Marriage” has changed over the years (even in the Bible) and it will continue to evolve. But it is still a legal contract between two people and the “community” in which they live. If that community is not a church community, then it is still a social standing (which we have many things that fall outside of church constructs and institutions). Further, I am not sure anyone’s marriage has ever been destroyed by two gay people marrying. If so, I question the whole foundation on which they were married to begin with. Get a grip people…

  13. I really appreciate Stephen’s fact-finding research and confronting believers who blindly jump on a bandwagon sometimes without all the facts. I think some of the responders here are right in that we need to be about the business of God’s kingdom and sharing the gospel. However, some of us in the Body of Christ are gifted in also helping to bring about some changes in the underlying issues of justice and righteousness beneath the “sins” of our culture. ALL of us are called to be salt and light wherever we are and that means reaching out, loving and sometimes perhaps confronting the world of people around us. We need to also pray for wisdom for those who are putting their gifts to work in other ways as well as wisdom for the rest of us to react in rational ways to all we see and hear.

  14. His attitude was offensive to me, whether this blogger finds it offensive or not. The paraphrasing is accurate, as well. Whether you’re a shareholder or a customer, if you defend marriage between one man and one woman, Starbucks doesn’t want your money. In Fact the CEO, who has a fiduciary duty to the stock holders, is so entrenched in his support for a social agenda, he’d rather lose money and support gay marriage; “it is not an economic decision to me.”
    Additionally, he is so entrenched in his narrow mindedness that he tells shareholders that disagree to sell their shares and invest elsewhere.
    I question the motivation of the blogger, who seems perfectly comfortable putting forth the corporate spin, with clearly only one side of the story and one perspective; support of Starbucks.

    1. You say “if you defend marriage between one man and one woman, Starbucks doesn’t want your money.” I did not find any statement by the CEO or Starbucks saying anything like that. I don’t have a problem with you being offended by Starbucks or even wanting to boycott them. That is fine. Just do it based on what they have really said or done and not hearsay. As for my motivation, it is simple. I value truth. Christians have a duty to speak the truth and twist the facts.

      1. A man’s actions and his words, when combined, tell the whole story. While those weren’t his exact words, that was the clear meaning. I’m sorry that you feel like defending a large corporation that has been spending millions of dollars to support same sex marriages, and is so invested in the cause that they have a Political Action Committee designed to support that one issue.
        Again, the truth isn’t just the words of a man, it is his actions as well.
        In addition, Starbucks is also a supporter for Planned Parenthood, so much so that they have a partnership.

  15. Congratulations on being the fact checker and admonisher for the Christian community. By the way, do you really believe the cheering in the meeting at the expense of the shareholder was about the 38% return or about the fact the CEO made a stand for gay marriage at the questioner’s expense? Do you really think his tone was about the rate of return or about his position? The truth is that this attitude starts at the top. For Starbucks, it’s not about gay marriage. It is they know the culture is shifting and if they are on the front edge they will reap the benefits of supporting the “Rosa Parks” of this generation. It is all about revenue. They don’t care about the opposing view point.

    Apart from that, it’s also great to know that you don’t support gay marriage nor will ever perform a same sex wedding. Way to go! While you’re out there not doing those things, the Christians who are opposed to them, whom you are calling out in your blog post, and are actually engaging in the culture war to keep it from becoming law. This could very well be decided after this weeks arguments and delivered sometime in June this year. These people realize that Starbucks pumping the money it did into Washington State and other places will in the end change the legal landscape for the United States. Should the ruling for the type of marriage you oppose be in its favor, that community will be elevated to a protected class, and then eventually, not right away, you will be required to perform those weddings in your church or legal action could come – you fill in the blank.

    The good news is it could be stopped now, but in the mean time it is more important to go out and find more Christians to make look like fools to the rest of the world for speaking out and trying to win the culture war. Maybe you and JesusNeedsNewPR could be buddies. Chick Fil A was emaciated and to be boycotted for supporting traditional marriage. So, Christians go out and support Chick-Fil-A, and are told by other Christians (you know the fact checkers and admonishers of our faith) that we get it wrong and are not loving enough. We stand up against and don’t support Starbucks, and we get it wrong. Let’s crawl in our holes and wait for Jesus to come back. Keep fact checking. We’ll all be better for it.

  16. I have to admit that I was guilty of jumping the gun. However, I DID try to research for the truth (*While snopes is spot on at times, I was misled with what had appeared on their site at the time.) As a Christian and one who believes and supports the biblical view of marriage, I still prefer to boycott companies who do not support this. That is my choice, just as it is their choice.

    1. I support your choice. I can see Christians being uncomfortable supporting Starbucks when they are clearly supporting same-sex marriage. The only problem I have is when Christians claim that someone is saying something that they have not said. We must stand for truth and people like yourself likely can find plenty to disagree with that is based on facts. That is where we must take our stand.

  17. I’m with you. I am constantly “tilting at the windmills” in challenging my anti-Obama friends when they post something untrue, partially true, or unverified. I get hammered for being a liberal or less of a Christian or soft on the issues. All I want is that everything we say be true and fair.

  18. I did some of the same research you did. I think, I’m not a great researcher, that the company did vote to take money and put it towards advancing Gay Marriage. I am not a band wagon type of person (it took my Red Sox 86 years to win another championship) but I do believe that giving them more of my money is no longer something in good conscience I can do if they are going to use it in support of things I believe are contrary to Godly, Biblical truths. My choice and by no means do I condemn anyone for not making the same choice.

  19. People who mis-state facts lose credibility. I want my credibility intact, so when I share the gospel, folks know they can count on what I say! Good for you for clarifying the mis-statement.

  20. Thanks for your post. I found the same manuscript of the meeting and was relieved to see that, at least to my non-Starbucks-board-member eyes, it seemed that the conversation was misconstrued.
    I’m struggling now with whether or not we, as Christians, should hold these companies to Christian standards. If Chick-Fil-A, Hobby Lobby or Mardel’s ever publicly supported gay marriage, I would boycott; those companies have started with a Christian foundation and I would be disappointed if they supported gay rights, abortion, etc. however, Starbucks (Apple, Boeing, Target, …) did not start as Christian companies. I cannot justify holding them to a Christian standard when they never claimed to be Christian in nature or foundation. It would be like expecting me to be able to run a marathon with no training; I’m not a runner and don’t claim to be, so that sort of expectation is ill-based, at best.
    I am called to be salt and light. If I (or you) choose to abstain from Starbucks, Apple, flying a Boeing jet, etc., that’s a personal decision and possibly even a personal conviction. However, if you choose to frequent a Starbucks or patronage an Apple store, I’d hope that you’re doing so with the love that Christ called us to. It’s what I’m striving to do.

  21. If only more people would look into the facts, but too many take twisted, oversimplified, and too often flat out false bumper stickers and Facebook memes as gospel without doing any critical thinking or research.

  22. Jesus held everyone to the same standard! Pharisees, Sadducees, Jew and gentiles, money changers etc! I won’t support a drug lord and his right to make money, why should I support any other un-godly behavior or political position that doesn’t line up with the Word of truth? Make your own coffee!

  23. I’m amazed at some of the comments in regards to your post. I get it. We as people (not just Christians) need to fact check/seek truth in regards to just about everything. In a world that is right at our fingertips, we can get lost with spotty “reporting” or misquotes. Everybody wants to be the first to report something as fact but doesn’t put the leg work in to see if it is, indeed, true. I would like to think that Christians would rather side with truth than sensationalism. Your argument isn’t about homosexuals or their agenda, it’s about truth. I may not know a lot but I’m pretty sure the Bible says something about truth setting people free.

  24. I agree that Howard Schultz was addressing the financial “hit” that Starbucks has taken. However, he is also saying that Starbucks isn’t going to change their position even if it costs the company millions of dollars. This, in essence, is telling the world that he really doesn’t care if Christians (and others who support traditional marriage) take their money somewhere else. Therefore, I respectfully disagree that Howard Shultz’s statements are being taken out of “context.”

  25. Eric – You seem extremely determined to take Howard Shultz’s statements out of context, but that’s no surprise. That’s the way American Christians operate these days. Americans Christians diligently, aggressively seeking for things to get angry about. Doesn’t matter if the issue is bogus, as it is here. Phony persecution is what American Christians are all about these days.

    1. You have NO idea what you’re talking about. The actions of a few do not speak for a whole group. We Christians are actually probably the most neutral of all Religious or any other group. We believe what we believe, but do not put others down for what they believe in. We know that we have been given freedom by God to believe what we will. Think about what you say. Otherwise you look ignorant.

  26. The problem here is that Starbucks is a public company, and it is this public company that is supporting both gay marriage and pro-abortion organizations. So they are using shareholder money to do that. Shareholders get a return on their investments in Starbucks when more and more people go in to a Starbucks store and buy coffee. Since it is the company supporting these organizations and not Howard Schultz as an individual using his own money, I’m not going to buy any more coffee from Starbucks because they are using part of the money I spend with them to support causes that I oppose. There are lots of coffee shops in my city that don’t feel a need to alienate some percentage of their potential customer base by getting involved in political and/or cultural issues. It’s too bad because I really like Starbucks coffee. I’m going to miss it.

    But Howard has effectively said that he doesn’t care about people like me. For him it’s not an economic decision. He wants to embrace diversity. That’s fine, but he should do it with his own money. Not the shareholders’ money. It never pays for companies to get involved in cultural wars.They should just stay neutral. The CEO’s job is to maximize shareholder value. Howard Schultz apparently sees himself as above all that. And now some number of people like me are going to stop going to Starbucks. If enough people stop going, the 38% return that Howard feels good about today might be 25% next year and 15% a year after that. How does that make any sense at all for the CEO of a public company? His arrogance in the video is astounding. If he wants to support these organizations, he should spend his own money doing it instead of spending the shareholders’ money. He’s putting his own interests and his own opinions ahead of those of his shareholders.

  27. Bedards’ argument stinks like sulphur as he acquiesces and shrinks from Gods enemies. He’s splitting hairs and touting his masters degrees like a proud pharisee of religion. The fact remains, from the plush offices of Starbucks, evil has taken a stand against Gods Word and His people – no matter how you pour it.

  28. Sorry, Stephen. In the culture wars, it is important to be able to read between the lines. There was a clear message that was conveyed. You missed it.

    1. Don, just wondering where you find “culture wars” in the great commission. I have read the New Testament many times and have never once seen the clarion call to be a “culture warrior”. I have however seen, many times in scripture, the clarion call to love and share the love of Christ with everyone. I am not sure if you have thought of this before, but when someone senses that you are at war with them, they do not sense that you love them.

  29. It’s a relief to see an honest, educated discussion based on truth. Yes, it is our responsibilities as Christians to spread the Good News, however I was taught my job is to witness through truth, love and action. I would like to say that once again Chik-Fil-A has been brought into the conversation. The boycott and outrage against that company was not because of their stand against marriage equality, or because they are vocally Christian based. The argument against them was, much like this one based on truth, or rather, the lack of truth. Sesame Street pulled their toys and breached their contract based on the food store’s stand against gay marriage. The problem arose when Chik-Fil-A then lied to consumers by posting signs in the stores stating that the toys were no longer available because they had been deemed unsafe for children. I agree that companies are responsible to their stockholders, what we tend to forget is that companies are also responsible to their stakeholders. Many of Starbucks stakeholders support marriage equality and as a company based in Washington, they must foster that relationship as well. That is just good, smart business.

  30. One thing, Christians aren’t the ones saying that he said that. A lot may have heard and thought that, but it was not “twisted” by Christians.

  31. Intent comes before content. We always cloak our language to be more politically palpable. Howard wants to keep everyone in the store but he wants us to drink in his values rather than those laid out in scripture. Our nation is morally adrift because it has no anchor. Every man does what is right in his own eyes…unless you are acting in line with scripture, then you are a begot. In the absence of something to anchor our values each person can defend whatever they choose to value and no one can rightfully object because there will be on grounds on which to object.

  32. We are only allowed a difference of opinion if it jives with the liberal’s views. This is what I find so frustrating….they are allowed whatever they want to believe and we are just wrong. It totally is against all they SAY they want – no bullying – letting people believe the way they want to etc.

  33. I respect the right of any business owner to follow the policies that he or she deems to support their mission. The gentleman made a stand. It is better than the double talk or deception that some people choose. And he clearly is wiling to accept the consequences of his stand. You do him no service by watering it down.

  34. Let’s put this in simpler terms…

    When the shareholder pointed out that supporting same-sex marriage has led CUSTOMERS (aka- us) to not give our business to Starbucks, the CEO responded- “Not every decision is an economic decision.” Come on, what does that mean? He is clearly saying he doesn’t want or need our money if we disagree. To write a blog to tell Christians to “Fact Check” because he didn’t say those exact words is childish. We all KNOW what he said, it’s very clear.

  35. Look at how many of you “think” they know the answer to what he was saying. In the end, does it matter?!? No. Respect each other, regardless. Gay people pay taxes just as straight people do so why isn’t it a level playing field? I respect you “Christian believers” or whatever you call yourself but really worry about your own “category” first (ie str8 closeted people hiding behind religion) and then start “picking apart” thinking you know everything on what this guy is saying.

    PS the author of this post is also slanted just like he is saying other articles are slanted. Doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

  36. So the facts really don’t matter to Christians? Who knew? Stephen is a man of integrity and he’s being taken to task for it. Wow.

  37. Today we water down items such as “gay” which means happy not homosexual.The Bible does point out the evils of desiring “same flesh” and listening to Christian Pastors which say other wise leads to another verse “beware of wolves in sheeps clothing”. So the best thought is read your Bible, pray for guidance and follow what you read in the Bible and not the pulpit

  38. Congratulations Christians! Continue to debate the issue of homosexuality on your blogs. Today arguments are being heard at the U.S. Supreme Court to make same sex marriage the law of the land. We are reaping what we have sown. Your kids in your public schools will be taught that the bible is irrelevant when it comes to marriage. Two “married” men are legally the same as mom and dad.

    How could this happen? Set aside your Christian values for a second. In our society, how you spend your money is a really how you express your opinion! As one who has worked on getting the “truth out” on same sex marriage issue for many years, I have found that citizens, who are Christians, generally lack the conviction to put their money where their mouth is. But we have no problem financially supporting in a round-about-way efforts to undermine our own values. Starbucks is a great example of that. Starbucks leadership, like so many other publicly held corporations, have boldly endorsed same sex marriage even when it costs them business (as many have pointed out) They are more than willing to spend money building a “better” society in the name of diversity. CEO Shultz has a long history of doing this, no matter what his latest quote is. We Christians say “keep up the great work Mr. Shultz”…everytime we buy a Starbucks. I for one, feel we who are citizens and espouse biblical values should spend our money, as often as possible, like our values really matter. Yes this means spend less at businesses who want to implement laws that obviously contradict what we believe to be best for our society. Considering most SB customers spend at about $1,000 per year at Starbucks, imagine the impact of 100,000 Christians taking their business elsewhere would have?

  39. I am surprised that speaking the truth is so controversial. For me, the bottom line is that there are too many people spreading the falsehood that “the CEO said he doesn’t want your business if you support traditional marriage”.

    Now, he may in his heart be thinking that, but it is NOT what he said. We can infer it, guess at his meaning, but again, he didn’t SAY it. So spreading a message that indicates he did in fact SAY something that he did not is a falsehood, however well intentioned.

    If what he DID say (and do) is the same as if he had said that he doesn’t want the business of traditional marriage supporters, then why spread the falsehood that he did in fact say that? If it is “the same thing”, then why not spread the truth instead of an untruth?

    We need to stand on what we know to be true. When we stand on falsehoods, we are standing on quicksand. We undercut our credibility in more important things, like witnessing.

    .I am glad to find this source, because until now I had not heard what the CEO actually said. It doesn’t mean I am going to run off and buy Starbucks coffee, or suggest my friends do the same, or change my avatar to an equal sign.

    Thank you Stephen, you have done a service. It is very sad to find you being taken to task for looking into the truth yourself and reporting it.

  40. A big part of the problem of the traditional position is that we give HUGE credence to the vocabulary supported by homosexuals. ‘Gay marriage’ is not a logical term. When we use that terminology we just marshal forces like in a tug of war. (who can bring in the biggest guns). There is no logical discussion of the fact that two homosexuals do not form a relationship properly termed a marriage. “Marriage” of two males or two females does not exist. We tacitly agree that it does when we use the term ‘gay marriage.’

    And PLEASE…can we drop the use of ‘gay’. Another subtle capitulation to the opposition.

  41. Wow… This was written with so much verve, clarity, and true reporting & composition skill that for a minute I was questioning if it was really something I was reading about *this* issue on a blog of all places. I am a supporter of extending marriage rights to homosexual couples but as I have mentioned to Christian friends I would gladly volunteer to put my cammies back on and head out for a third combat tour to protect your right to find homosexuality and gay marriage immoral and sinful. I would consider it an honor and I have gay friends in the military who feel the same. Reading an article like this gives me a good feeling about the state of our national dialogue and hope for the future of our discourse and development as a people. Keep up the good work!

  42. Okay. I understand the comment was not aimed at customers but shareholders. I also understand that he was not saying he did not want customers who believe in traditional marriage. But, as a conservative Christian, I will boycott the chain simply because they place the value of same sex marriage over truth that it is morally unacceptable. As a pastor, I think you would too!

  43. Howdy, I believe your site might be having browser compatibility problems.
    When I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when
    opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to
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  44. I understand that the point of this article is that as Christians we should not embellish or twist the truth, or run with everything that is said in the media without doing a little research first. However, I can also see Christians using this article as a way to appease their Starbucks fix. Since the CEO of Starbucks isn’t “shunning’ Christians, come on down to Starbucks and get your latte! I just see too many Christians today trying to find loopholes to satisfy their worldly desires rather than being a peculiar people who take a stand against companies that support and promote what is sinful, such as Starbucks who promotes and financially backs organizations that are attempting to normalize same-sex marriage.

  45. With Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft all supporting marriage equality, what are any of you hypocrites doing on a computer?

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