#WorthRevisit, Boycott Edition

There’s a Target right around the corner from my house. I can walk there. And it’s good if I walk there, because then I’ll only buy as much as I can carry home. (But I digress.)

My husband has made it clear that he’s done with Target now. He shared this photo on Facebook:

Photo source: Facebook.
Photo source: Facebook.

The thing is, not only is Target pandering to a very tiny segment of the population, they’re also putting women and children at risk by doing so. There is nothing to stop some pervert from claiming that he “identifies as a woman” so he can gain access to restrooms or fitting rooms for the sole purpose of victimizing women and children.

Here’s a post from 2012, when there was another boycott of Target.

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?

So, am I lazy? Tired? Wimpy? Is the devil on my back? Or do I need to find another way to make a difference?

I’ve pretty much given up on boycotting the businesses mentioned above, because I’m just not sure if the efforts bear any fruit. This time, though, I’m reconsidering.

Photo by Gerald Donnelly (2013) via Flickr, CC0.
Photo by Gerald Donnelly (2013) via Flickr, CC0.

Kathy Schiffer gives a good reason for signing on to this boycott:

the Target thing is gaining steam… and it seems to me that if Christians are going to make their case in support of privacy in public restrooms, they’d better do it in strength. For the merchandising company which Katie Couric has elegantly called “tar-JAY’” to lose only a few bucks would permit not only the management of the Target chain, but also other business leaders, to write off the concerned parents. So count me in!

In the name of protecting myself, my daughter, my friends and their daughters, I’ll be driving to some other store until Target changes its tune.
worth revisit

I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!

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Boycott Burnout?

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?

Dear Chick-Fil-A:

A couple of weeks ago I tasted that new Southern Chicken sandwich at McDonald’s.

You have nothing to worry about. Yes, they’re imitating you. But they don’t even come close.

Not with the sandwich, not with the cleanliness of the restaurant, not with the politeness and helpfulness and friendliness of the employees, not with the quality of what they can’t call “milkshakes”….

They don’t come close with the kinds of causes they support either. We appreciate your family-friendly “closed on Sundays” policy and your sponsorship of sporting events and “Between the Lions,” among other things. We appreciate that you do not align yourself, as does McDonald’s, with the cause for same-sex marriage.

Just keep doing what you’re doing, because you do it very well. And families like mine appreciate that.

Don’t Let Your Money be Used to Fund Evil Works

I’ve been participating in Life Decisions International’s boycott against corporate supporters of Planned Parenthood ever since I heard about it in the early 1990s.

The boycott is different, these days.

In some ways, it will be easier for me to participate, since nearly all the grocery-related corporations that had been on the Boycott List have been removed (removal from the list means that the corporation has agreed not to financially support Planned Parenthood in the future). The only supermarket-type items I still have to think about are personal-care items and certain over-the-counter medications.

And in some ways it will be harder. My favorite clothing source is now a boycott target. I’ll be sad to give up buying Lands’ End clothes–but there’s a greater good here that I have to consider. My husband’s favorite restaurant is now a boycott target. We didn’t go there often, but it was a nice occasional treat. And I’ll have to stop buying used books from half.com, since eBay is also on the Boycott List. Finally, we’ve gotten our last hoagies and cups of coffee from Wawa until it changes its tune about its corporate donations policy.

Two things make a boycott work. The first thing is that people have to be willing to be inconvenienced to do what is right. The second thing is that people have to regularly contact these companies and let them know why they are no longer using their products or services. As LDI points out in their Boycott List, “you do not want to cooperate with evil or help make it possible for others to do evil. If Company XYZ wants to find Planned Parenthood it will not be with the money God has placed in your care.”

Here’s how to order a Boycott List for your family. It includes a comprehensive list of brand names for each boycotted company as well as contact information, as well as an FAQ with guidance about how to write to these companies.

UPDATE: I just received communication from LDI that Wawa is no longer a boycott target! That makes 155 companies that have decided to stop funding Planned Parenthood.

UPDATE #2: Sears/Kmart/Lands End is also no longer a boycott target! Over 157 companies are no longer giving money to find Planned Parenthood’s evil work.