This afternoon I was listening to my favorite radio show, The Catholics Next Door, on Sirius XM (totally worth the price of the subscription just for this show, by the way!) Hosts Greg and Jennifer Willits were discussing boycotts. I wish they’d allotted more time to this issue.
That topic has been on my mind quite a bit lately. For about the past 20 years, my family has participated in the Life Decisions International boycott of companies that support Planned Parenthood. That means no Levi’s, no Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, no Texaco gas–among so many other things.
And then there’s the Dump Starbucks Campaign, triggered by their announcement that same-sex marriage is core to who they are and what they value as a company. More recently, Target announced that proceeds from a line of Pride T-shirts would fund the Family Equality Council.
Now, I don’t get Starbucks much; I don’t like their coffee. If I want a $4 fancy coffee, I’ll go to Panera and get my latte there. But Target is right around the corner and it’s my go-to store for a lot of things, replacing Wal-Mart, which is farther away and which has boycott issues of its own regarding labor issues, Chinese suppliers and more.
Maybe I’m just wimping out because this is hitting too close to home. But it’s starting to feel like I won’t have anywhere to shop if I support all these boycotts.
Do they do any good? Do the companies really care if I (not a big spender anyway) spend what I do spend someplace else? Does anybody care? After all, the American Cancer Society has been linked to support of Planned Parenthood, yet my parish still participates in the local Relay for Life.
So, am I lazy? Tired? Wimpy? Is the devil on my back? Or do I need to find another way to make a difference?