By Judy Sheridan
Aledo resident David Barton, a well-known proponent of morally conservative causes, denies that he is advocating that Christians boycott Starbucks due to the company’s support for legalizing gay marriage, as Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy reported in a June 12 column.
“This is much ado about nothing, a 30-second allusion in a 45-minute message,” Barton said. “He’s giving it a lot more focus than I do.”
Kennedy’s column stated that Barton recently told congregants in an Alabama church that Christians shouldn’t buy coffee from a company that he said is “attacking God.”
He penned that Barton was “on a barnstorming tour and ginning up opposition to Starbucks over corporate financial support for propositions legalizing gay marriage.”
Barton, however, said it was a small part of a sermon that used quotes from U.S. presidents to support the importance of the Bible in cultural institutions. He said he was giving a personal rationale for what he does with his own dollars.
“Why would I fund my opponent to help defeat what I believe or support,” he asked. “If I’m in the American military, I’m not going to contribute to the Holy Land Foundation, which funds Al Qaeda.
“If I’m a Democrat, I’m not going to contribute to the Republican National Committee.”
In his column, Kennedy pointed out that Barton critic Warren Throckmorton, a college professor in Pennsylvania, “noted that Barton sells books through Amazon.com, which supported the same propositions.”
That’s different, Barton said.
“I’m not paying Amazon; Amazon’s paying me,” he said. “I’m not giving them profits. It’s the other way around.”
Barton said Starbucks has “poured money into defeating traditional marriage in Washington state.”
In fact, last year the company’s support of efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in the state led the National Organization for Marriage to organize a Starbucks boycott, according to a March 25 article in The Washington Post.
Two months ago, Starbucks shareholder Thomas Strobhar, founder of the Corporate Morality Action Center, was told to invest elsewhere when he complained about the boycott’s effect on profits during a shareholder meeting, The Post reported.
Barton said supporting the legalization of gay marriage would not be consistent with Biblical teachings.
“From the position of traditional Christianity there’s no way to do that,” he said.
He said Kennedy’s column will draw more attention to the issue than anything Barton includes as part of a sermon.
“I’ve been his whipping boy for at least 20 years,” he said. “We have different philosophical beliefs.”
To see a video of Barton’s remarks, go to http://youtu.be/ajDtKzZW2Ik.