Christians can’t drink Starbucks

It was a close call. But fortunately, before I slurped my next Grande Verona I saw the light: emanating, as it was, from the glistening brow of evangelist David Barton.

“There’s no way a Christian can help support what is attacking God.” I’m sorry, you’ve got to find some other coffee to drink. You can’t drink Starbucks and be Biblically correct on this thing. It’s just a real simple principle.”

The “Biblically correct” simple principle referred to here is: God (obviously) opposes gay marriage, hence any company (i.e. Starbucks) that supports gay marriage, opposes God, and therefore, any patron of said company, also opposes God. Simple syllogistic logic.

Now, Barton has every right to clutch his particular biblical interpretation of gay marriage. And clearly, judging from the applause he receives—not to mention his being named by Time as one of the top 25 influential evangelicals—he’s hardly clutching alone.

And in a way, his candour (let’s call it that for now) is refreshing…albeit embarrassing for evangelicals who just want to mocha their cappuccinos in peace, happy to have the issue recede into the background, even though they would silently agree, in principal, with Barton.

But now, thanks to this lip-to-hip-shootin’-biblical-principal-slinger, favoured meeting places—along with those immorally sweet “adult” milkshakes aka frappuccinos—have been snatched away.

Of course it’s not the first time Starbucks has been singled out to be boycotted by the righteous. The Tea Party called for a similar tempest earlier this year. But, well, it’s tea folks. Too insipid for the long haul.

Still, Starbucks isn’t the only company publicly supporting gay marriage. Why not boycott Oreo? Or is that cookie just too obvious? Hopelessly bi. 

But thanks to Barton, now, as Christians surreptitiously drive by, cast a caffeine-starved glance, or perhaps approach the green siren’s door, ringing in their hearts will be the question (for surely this is number one on God’s hit-list, trumping violence, war, poverty, racism, lack of charity, what have you):

The question is, ‘Can a Christian give money to a group he knows will use it to attack what God supports?’ 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.’

I don’t know the accuracy of Barton’s numbers here, and it really doesn’t matter as to the point he’s making. Except, well, Barton also fancies himself something of a historian, so one might expect he’d be a stickler for fact checking. As it is however, and just to switch tracks briefly, consider his insights on aboriginal history vis-a-vis white culture:

What happened was the Indian leaders said ‘they’re trying to change our culture’ and so they declared war on all the white guys and went after the white guys and that was King Philip’s War. [Also known as the first Indian War—my interjection] It was really trying to be civilized on one side and end torture and the Indians were threatened by the ending of torture and so we had to go in and we had to destroy Indian tribes all over until they said ‘oh, got the point, you’re doing to us what we’re doing to them, okay, we’ll sign a treaty.’

I note this for those who might want to take anything Mr. Barton says with a wee bit of salt; and so, feel less guilty when ordering a tall bold.

But again, I salute Barton for bringing things to a bi-nary head. So as it stands, as a Christian, should you believe that homosexual inclination acted upon is opposed by God, and that gay union will bring on the marriage-Armageddon, best stay away from Starbucks. On the other hand, if you are a Christian who drinks Starbucks as a silent form of support for the LGBT community, best come out of the closet.

Now, back to that Grande Verona.


  1. I once heard Canadian comedian Ron James say something to the effect of – “If the sanctity of marriage can withstand the shit kicking of a 50 per cent divorce rate, then a few guys tying knot with each other isn’t going to hurt it”

  2. For me, it is a reason to continue drinking tea at Starbucks. I don’t drink coffee so I will have to compromise. I like Greg’s comment above.

    I read Father Richard Rohr frequently and Father Richard says that the Bible is a social justice document with less than 5% of it devoted to actual personal or collective moral behaviours. It is more about treating people with compassion and dignity than making judgements on their choices.

    Thank you for a great article Stephen.

  3. If we boycott Starbucks on this issue, then we have to boycott Google, Apple, and Facebook. I’m not going to do it. I’ve never supported corporate boycotts even when I sympathize with the group calling on me to participate.

  4. You’ve been drinking from that well again (the one Ike and Jeff like too); awesome. Starbucks on 104 next time you’re in the mood for the city and a little company, I’ll be there.

  5. It’s me again:

    After forwarding your blog entry to my Starbucks fan brother-in-law in Indiana, he responded with a Biblical rhetorical question that he took upon himself to answer: “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? YES!”

  6. Delightful humour and admirable restraint. almost kindness as you explore inspirational inerrant Biblical truth applied to social issues.
    David Barton’s syllogistic logic applied to aboriginal history is enough to drive one to a double Vodka.

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