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Can we boycott them all?

The discount retailer Target made waves last week by announcing it would be joining an amicus brief in federal cases disputing the constitutionality of state marriage laws in Wisconsin and Indiana.

To be clear, Target is taking the seemingly extraordinary step of not only “affirming” gay marriage, but to advocate for it in a court of law. The Minnesota-based retailer previously raised hackles with Christians by promoting its marriage registry services to homosexual couples.

Initially, it was applauded by those in the “marriage equality” movement, but it didn’t take long before the mouse announced it needed a glass of milk to go with its cookie. Target hadn’t taken a position in the fight for traditional marriage in Minnesota, and the gay rights lobby wasn’t happy about it.

Our friends at the National Organization for Marriage quickly suggested a boycott of Target, which has been in a little bit of financial trouble the past year as a result of the heavily reported data breach and a horrendously conceived plan to expand into Canada. NOM has previously called for boycotts of Starbucks, General Mills and JP Morgan Chase & Company for similarly advocating against traditional marriage.

When Target got into trouble last year, they canned their CEO and brought in a new one. Brian Cornell, the new guy in charge at Target, used to work at PepsiCo, which was one of nearly 60 corporations that signed onto an amicus brief against Proposition 8 in California.

It’s hard to say what kind of impact NOM’s boycott campaigns have had, but they certainly won’t change the minds of those in control of the companies being boycotted. The list of businesses that have moved from merely affirming gay marriage to advocating for it is growing every day.

NOM hasn’t called for boycotts of these businesses, yet, but here’s the complete list (as of this writing) of businesses that have made the move from affirmation to advocacy on behalf of gay marriage:

AIG

Adobe

Aetna

Alaska Airlines

Alcoa

Allstate

Amazon

American Airlines

Apple Computers

Appleby’s

Bain & Company

The Bank of New York

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

Best Buy

CBS/Viacom

Cablevision

Cisco

Citigroup

Clorox

Coca-Cola

Costco

Cummins

Delta Airlines

eBay

Electronic Arts

Ernst & Young

Expedia

Facebook

Ford

The Gap

General Mills

General Motors

Gerber Baby Products

Goldman-Sachs

Google

Hilton Hotels

Home Depot

IBM

Intel

JC Penney & Company

JP Morgan Chase & Company

JetBlue Airways

Levi Strauss

Liberty Mutual

Marriot International

Mars Snackfoods

McDonald’s

McGraw-Hill Companies

Microsoft

Morgan Stanley

NCR

Nabisco

Nike

Nordstrom

Olive Garden

Oracle

Orbitz

Panasonic

PepsiCo

Pfizer

Planet Fitness

Proctor & Gamble

Qualcomm

REI

RealNetworks

Red Lobster

RiteAID

Sears Roebuck & Company

Southwest Airlines

Starbucks

State Farm Insurance

Stonyfield

Sun Life Financial

T-Mobile

Target

Thomson Reuters

Twitter

UPS

United Airlines

Verizon

Vulcan

Walgreens

The Walt Disney Company

Xerox

 

Admirable as boycott efforts might be, one has to wonder if we can possibly boycott every business that doesn’t align with our core belief system. And if we do, how will that impact those of us who strictly boycott every business we don’t align with?

Do we stop getting gas from the station just down the street because it’s owned by a Muslim, burning gas to go all the way across town to do business with a Christian? What if every company that provides a particular product or service – or has a monopoly on one – that we require in our daily lives fails to align with our core values?

We can be in the world without being of it (John 15:19). Pray for those who persecute us; bless them, do not curse them (Romans 12:14). Show your light in a dark, dark world (Isaiah 60:1-5).