Boycott or “buycott”: Is there a better option available for Faith Driven Consumers?
Remembering the Stonewall Riots of June 28th, 1969, June has long been considered by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to be “Pride Month.” Parades, marches, festivals and other events are held annually in cities and towns across the country as people who self-identify as homosexual, bisexual and transgender – and their allies – exercise their freedom as Americans to express themselves, associate freely and press for political goals.
In a similar vein, retailers have increasingly exercised their freedom to pursue the LGBT consumer market by participating in these events. Some, like The Home Depot, have come under scrutiny by Christian groups for what is understood to be its public endorsement of LGBT political activism.
Here, the American Family Association (AFA) – with two-million online supporters – has exercised its own freedom and in recent years has called upon Christians for a boycott of The Home Depot. Yet despite this ongoing pressure, the corporate leadership of Home Depot has indicated that it plans to continue supporting LGBT “pride” events across America this June and beyond.
In this context, on May 17, 2012, the AFA plans to escalate pressure on Home Depot by taking its battle against the retailer to its annual corporate shareholders meeting.
AFA representatives are asking The Home Depot to “remain neutral in the culture war” because these parades are “deliberately exposing small children to lascivious displays of sexual conduct by homosexuals and cross-dressers, which are a common occurrence at these events.” Additionally, the AFA believes that “the goal of every homosexual organization supported by The Home Depot is to get homosexual marriage legalized,” which would be detrimental to the values of the traditional family and children.
So what can you do as a Faith Driven Consumer to engage in the effort by Christians to take a stand against corporate support for an activist political agenda that is contrary to faith-driven values and a biblical worldview?
While choosing to boycott a retailer like Home Depot may be a level of engagement you are comfortable with, consider also the option to “buycott” a competing brand which has chosen to remain neutral in divisive social issues.
While there may not always be a suitable faith-compatible brand alternative in a given retail sector, in the case of The Home Depot, there is a company that’s doing things better from a Faith Driven Consumer perspective — Lowe’s Home Improvement.
Here, as tracked by www.faithdrivenconsumer.org in its Company Reviews section, we see that Lowe’s scores higher than Home Depot in the “Home Centers” category – with 3.5 stars on a 5-star scale, compared to 1.5 stars for The Home Depot. This means that Lowe’s is more compatible with a biblical worldview whereas Home Depot is significantly less compatible with a biblical worldview.
Within the American system LGBT-identified Americans have the freedom to celebrate their community pride and advocate in the political arena.
And just as retailers similarly have the freedom to choose which target markets and political causes they will pursue, so, too, do Faith Driven Consumers have the freedom and perhaps obligation to steward our daily decisions and God-gifted resources in ways that most closely align with our values and worldview.
As Faith Driven Consumers, we can choose to support retailers that support our values or at a minimum remain neutral in morally and culturally divisive issues like the promotion of the LGBT political activist agenda. Whether this involves a boycott of The Home Depot or a “buycott’ of Lowe’s or other compatible retailers, we are called to think “faith first” and steward our daily spending decisions in ways that give the most glory and honor to God – our source and provider.