It seems that Starbucks’s public support of marriage equality has left a former evangelical pastor with a bitter taste in his sermon. Conservative activist David Barton theorized that Christians couldn’t drink Starbucks because the coffee giant is “pouring money into the destruction of traditional marriage.”
“There’s no way a Christian can help support what is attacking God,” said Barton during a sermon at the Whitesburg Baptist Church. “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.”
An avid critic of LGBT issues, Barton has compared homosexuality to smoking cigarettes and that marriage equality is no different from a horse and a dog marrying. Barton also added that marriage equality “defies natural law,” and is therefore unconstitutional.
“The question is, ‘Can a Christian give money to a group he knows will use it to attack what God supports?’” Barton added. “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.’”
Since January 2012, Starbucks has publicly supported marriage equality, notably during Washington State’s campaign, where Starbucks has their headquarters.
Barton has gained his supporters from Concerned Women for America, TheTeaParty.net and the National Organization of Marriage. Concerned Women for America said Starbucks discriminates against straight people, while TheTeaParty.net launched a “Dump Starbucks” initiative, which has gained 63,000 pledges.
After shareholders expressed their concern over the company’s business tactic, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz reiterated his stance.
“If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country,” Schultz said in March during the annual shareholders meeting. “You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.”
Ex-gay Preacher Robert Breaud expressed similar thoughts as he preached in April: “Who do you love more, Christ or your coffee?”