Would Jesus Have Taken Revenge on Starbucks?

March 5, 2012

President Obama used the occasion of the National Prayer Breakfast to digress from actual praying, and proclaimed that Jesus would have raised taxes on wealthy Americans. Apparently our Commander-in-Chief can't resist the opportunity to pander a bit to the Santorum crowd, who likely won't have a favorite-son candidate in November.

"For me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus' teaching that for unto whom much is given, much shall be required." Obama was quoting Luke 12:48, which followed the parable of the master returning from a wedding banquet: "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." Obama's speechwriter may have found a biblical reference to fit the occasion, but he apparently ignored the fact that Jesus never asked the Romans to raise taxes on the Jews, nor for the Samaritans to pay for the fish, bread and wine for the early Christians in the name of economic fairness.

And the Washington Times pointed out that in 2006, Senator Obama said, "I think there is an enormous danger on the part of public figures to rationalize or justify their actions by claiming God's mandate. I don't think it's healthy for public figures to wear religion on their sleeve as a means to insulate themselves from criticism, or avoid dialogue with people who disagree with them".

So if Jesus had needed a pick-me-up from a hard day of raising taxes, where should he have gone for a double mocha latte? Not to Starbucks, according to a heretofore little-known evangelical from San Jose, California. Steven Andrew, pastor and president of the USA Christian Ministries, is getting his 15 minutes by asking customers to boycott Starbucks due to the company's support of the bill that legalized gay marriage in Washington State.

"Christians are upset with Starbucks for turning against God...Starbucks can follow Satan if they want to," said in a statement. "However, pastors are to help Christians. Are you on the Lord's side? Will you help the USA be blessed by God?" USA Ministries is also asking for Christians to stop serving that brand of coffee at their church facilities and events.

Washington, which already had voter-approved domestic partner legislation, was the seventh state to legalize gay marriage (Maryland has since become the eighth). The measure was supported by over 100 businesses with headquarters, or large work forces, in the state. The roster reads like a Who's Who of USA enterprise. Google. Microsoft. Nike. Alcoa. American Family Insurance. Blue Moon Burgers. Concur. Havana. Portland Area Business Association. Seattle Restaurant Association. Amazon.

It's not exactly clear why Andrew is picking on Starbucks, but it does lead to a very interesting query: should we be boycotting all of those tens of thousands of Starbucks stores located in 55 other countries not named USA, such as China, Russia, Egypt, Vietnam, and Lebanon, since they may not intentionally "be helping the USA be blessed by God"?

The bi-partisan votes in both the Washington Senate and House were not close. And the measure was even supported by self-identified Christian lawmakers, like Senator Brian Hatfield, who acknowledged that it contradicted his personal beliefs. "Regardless of how I choose to vote on the issue of marriage equality, I will alienate myself from friends and neighbors that I have known for years," he wrote. "A vote in favor of marriage equality will enrage those who see it as a stone cast against God and the beliefs that I and thousands like me have been raised with. A vote against will label me as a bigot who is against extending the basic rights that I enjoy to all residents of our state." In the end he chose USA rights over religion.

Not so for Pastor Andrew. The legislative vote is over, and the governor has signed gay marriage into law. It's a done deal. So Andrew now has turned his attention to attempting to intimidate those who might oppose God's True Christian Americans in the future. Like an economic boycott.

"This boycott is important because God blesses those who obey Him and judges those who don't obey Him (2 Chronicles 19:2). What if Starbucks lost 80% of its customers? Christians across the USA are boycotting Starbucks for promoting homosexual 'marriage' in Washington State. There is an 80% Christian majority in the USA and 1-2% homosexuals. Christians are upset with Starbucks for turning against God, but we are glad to know that Starbucks doesn't pretend to be for Christians. God calls those who oppose Him 'haters of God' (Romans 1:30). It is hoped that Christians will quickly share this boycott with their church."

Revenge - quite a Christian gesture, eh?

Pastor Andrew, who seems to have inadvertently left his educational and religious training credentials off his church's voluminous website, must be preaching from his homemade abridged version of the Bible. It apparently does not include Romans 12:17 " Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all".

Or Romans 12:19 " Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord".

Or Matthew 5:38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also".

Or 1 Peter 3:9 "Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing".

Or 1 Thessalonians 5:15 "See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone".

Andrew spews the usual homophobic mantra from Leviticus 18:22 "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination." But he ignores Leviticus 19:18 " You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord."

Andrew believes pastors across the USA should speak up. "Homosexual 'laws' remove Americans' Christian freedom. Why is Starbucks against our Founding Fathers and God's liberty?" he asks. "George Washington, John Adams and John Jay made the Christian laws that Starbucks wants to make non-Christian."

John Jay was a very interesting choice of examples. The first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court held Christian views far different than Pastor Andrew's. In a letter addressed to PA House of Representatives member John Murray dated October 12, 1816, Jay wrote, "Real Christians will abstain from violating the rights of others". He also warned Americans against following "rulers whom they do not elect, and who are not always wise or virtuous."

George Washington wouldn't have cared, he didn't drink coffee anyway. OK, I made that up, but it still might convince someone, somewhere. And if some nutjob out there firebombs a Starbucks, there's a good chance he has the USA Christian Ministries website on his laptop favorites.

And, finally, the Golden State good shepherd goes for the gold: "Will you prayefully (sic) consider partnering in prayer for and financially with USA Christian Ministries? A $30 monthly support would help us make a strong Christian nation bringing God's blessing to Americans."

Only $30 a month to bring God's blessings to Americans???? It's a bargain - less than the cost of one Starbucks Iced Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha a week!