We could debate the effectiveness and even the ethics of boycotts. By their very nature, boycotts are organized efforts to compel others to do as we wish. In effect, we are saying, “If you don’t stop [advertising on that filthy TV program, supporting that immoral organization, or doing some other objectionable behavior], we will no longer buy your product. It is a worthwhile discussion whether Christians should participate in efforts that employ economic power to manipulate merchants to do what they would not choose to do otherwise. In many cases, it boils down to the old argument that the end justifies the means.
Whatever side one might take in that discussion, we all recognize that there are situations where we have to react to the dictates of our own consciences. A current example would be the support Target stores are giving to the Rainbow Pride movement and especially to an organization called Family Equality Council. That group’s website states their purpose, “Family Equality Council is changing attitudes and policies to ensure all families are respected, loved, and celebrated – especially families with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.”
While we agree that all families should be treated with love and respect, we have to draw a line when it comes to celebrating behavior that the Bible categorically labels as sinful. If we take seriously the proposition that the God of heaven has the right to tell us how to act morally, then we have no choice but to accept what his revelation tells us about moral sexual behavior. Even though it is not a popular idea with a great many people today, the New Testament still says that people “who practice homosexuality” are among those who will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9, ESV).
Target is offering for sale ten tee-shirts featuring rainbows. Most of the shirts say either “Pride” or “Harmony” and some of them include the phrase “Love is Love.” Along with this, Target has committed to donate 100% of the purchase price of these shirts (up to a maximum of $120,000) to the Family Equality Council. Most assuredly, my conscience would not permit me to purchase one of those tee-shirts (even though I have nothing at all against the idea of wearing a rainbow … if I could believe that the rainbow represented the promise for which it was intended in the Bible). I am not jumping on a boycott bandwagon, but I must consider very carefully if I want to spend any of my money at a store that takes such a bold stand in favor of homosexuality and backs it up with a significant amount of money. Others may make that decision for themselves, but we should be aware of the stand the corporation that runs our neighborhood Target store has taken.
Be aware, however, that Target is not the only business that has partnered with the Family Equality Council. That organization’s website lists other “National Corporate Partners” including Children’s Tylenol, HBO, Capital One, Royal Bank of Canada, and several others. Foundations that “generously support” the FEC agenda include the General Mills Foundation and PepsiCo.
Eventually, it becomes impractical to refuse to do business with any company that supports sinful behavior. The best advice I can offer is to stay informed about moral (and immoral) stands taken by retailers and take that information into account with your purchasing decisions.