Is boycotting a good thing?

In the midst of a busy week of studying and working a train of thought has popped into my mind that hasn’t yet stopped.   That train of thought is…what value does a boycott have?


For some background, I recently took part in a boycott of McDonalds per the request of Don Wildemon and the American Family Association (visit their homepage at and much to my surprise, the boycott seemed to work.    The requests (conditions) made by AFA were met and once again AFA members and/or supporters are ingesting the superior junk food of McDonalds.  


(For most of the details behind AFA’s boycott: McDonalds joined the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), Richard Ellis, a leading McDonalds Executive sat on the board for NGLCC, McDonalds donated $20,000 to the cause, and when AFA applied pressure Mr. Ellis stated that those opposed to the homosexual agenda were “hate driven.”  These details do not include past actions of McDonalds on behalf of gay activism, which includes sponsoring “Gay Pride” parades in San Francisco) 


I must admit to being quite surprised by the success of the boycott.  In the past, I have always been somewhat skeptical of their effects and value, but it seemed that principle was at stake here so I took part in the McDonalds boycott willingly, albeit, somewhat skeptically.  Needless to say, I felt like a million when McDonald’s backed down and took a neutral position on the issue. 


A couple days ago I received another “Action Alert” from AFA containing this information and statement.


PepsiCo gives $500,000 to promote the gay agenda in workplace


November 14, 2008

Dear Friend,

Pepsi has given Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) a half-million dollars to help push the homosexual agenda in the workplace. PFLAG is a political advocacy group that promotes radical homosexual political causes like same-sex marriage, hate-crime laws, and gay adoption.

Pepsi has a long tradition of financial support for homosexual groups. According to Jacqueline Millan, director of PepsiCo Corporate Contributions, “We are delighted to continue our partnership with PFLAG…(in) promoting the necessary message of inclusion to untapped groups…and that is a crucial step toward building a healthy working environment.”

Despite the fact that 30 states have passed constitutional amendments defining marriage as being between a man and a woman, Pepsi continues to support the efforts by same-sex groups pushing for homosexual marriage.

AFA wrote Pepsi on October 14 and again on October 29 asking the company to remain neutral in the culture war. Pepsi didn’t care enough to respond to the AFA letters. Pepsi’s lack of response indicates the company plans to continue support for the homosexual agenda.


What do y’all think?  Do the actions of Pepsi-Cola justify a boycott?


My gut reaction is to say absolutely yes for the following reasons.   


1. Without having done any detailed research to determine exactly what activities PFLAG sponsors and participates in, it appears that they are your standard issue gay rights extremist (emphasis on extremist).


2. $500,000 is A BUNCH of money!  Do you know what a cash strapped pro-life advocacy group could do with that much money?   The answer is a whole lot.


3. Of particular concern, their advocacy of “hate crimes” is just another way of implementing “anti-discrimination” laws that would severely penalize (i.e. discriminate against) companies, organizations, perhaps even churches that “discriminate” against gays for religious reasons.  Regardless of what your position is on the marriage issue, it is one thing to legalize it and another to say that you can’t refuse to hire gay employees for religious reasons.


4. If it (a boycott) worked once, why won’t it work again?  A concentration of attention on one single corporate entity such as McDonald’s or corporate conglomerate like Pepsi-Cola is bound (and in the case of McDonald’s did) to effect them in the pocket book, and that’s where they smart the most.  As a matter of information, AFA has also led a mostly successful boycott against Wal-Mart.


5. We can’t stay neutral in the culture war while our opposition works ‘round the clock.  


The reality of things is that one organization like AFA, or even several, cannot boycott the corporate monetary foundation out from under gay activists all at once.   A quick scan of PFLAG’s sponsors uncludes  such corporate giants as IBM, Wells Fargo, Best Buy, Ford (my favorite truck!!!), Comcast, JP Morgan Chase, and Orbitz.  These are just some of their sponsors; the Pepsi-Cola corporate conglomerate itself includes brands such as Frito Lay, Quaker Oats, Gatorade, and Tropicana.  But, just because you can’t fight all the battles at once doesn’t mean you can’t do what you can when you can as you can.   As stated in point 5, inaction is never a match for action as they relate to culture wars, and as mentioned in point 4, concentrated effort is much more likely to succeed then less well organized efforts, and if you can start fighting and winning one at a time you will move steadily towards your goal (you just might not get their as fast as you would prefer).    


Part of the logic behind boycotting is to make people understand that actions have consequences.   If the only actions that have consequences are those actions in support of gay “activism” (which I would like to say is not always wrong) and the actions that don’t have consequences are those in opposition to the pro-family agenda, then what actions do you think are going to be taken?  


Anyway, I could go on and on but I think this is a good start.   Boycotting is actually a very interesting issue when you start thinking big picture and very similar to military actions from a strategy standpoint (I love military history).   How do you effectively boycott?   How does timing come into play, or does it?  How do you best martial the resources available?  Who or what do you go take action against first? What deserves first priority?  Most importantly, what do I hope to accomplish?  What is the vision motivating my actions…or do I have one?  


The list of questions could go on…     


I’d love to hear your thoughts if you would like to leave them in the comments.  For those reading this post who may not know me well; please don’t assume I believe anything that I didn’t say. 🙂  I am quite prepared to defend my beliefs, but I am not necessarily prepared to defend what I don’t believe.


God bless and veritas supra omnis!     

P.S. If you see two posts dealing with the same subject (still learning the ropes here 🙂 only pay attention to the one that was posted first.


9 Responses

  1. YOu need to put up an RSS feed so we can subscribe to your blog.

  2. Hi Mark, just thought I’d mention something that you may not be aware of. I feel that the AFA’s action alert on this topic is predictably overhyped. While I certainly disagree with many of PFLAG’s causes (like same-sex marriage and gay adoption), it is important to realize that Pepsi-Cola’s donation to PFLAG most definitely is not being used to support these things. The donation was made to a specific program, a fact the AFA has conveniently failed to mention, called “Straight for Equality” which is actually a program for heterosexuals. As best I can tell, this program’s intent is to advocate better attitudes for homosexual co-workers, friends, and acquaintances. The program has a specific branch caled “Straight for Equality in the Workplace.” As an employers of probably milliions, Pepsi-Cola has a legitimate interest in promoting a peaceful work environment amongst co-workers.

    Of course, I disagree with the underlying premise of the program, which is that homosexuality is okay, therefore we should treat people equally. But I think their conclusion is correct even if they have arrived at it the wrong way. I think homosexuality as a behavior is wrong, but I don’t think people should be ostracized in the workplace because of it.

  3. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I will join you and AFA in a boycott against Pepsi. I always thought Coca-Cola was better anyway.

    I know that the movement to abolish the British Atlantic slave trade boycotted sugar, and they succeeded.

  4. Christi,

    I actually agree that AFA has a tendency to overstate things, so I always conduct my own research before I “do” anything. I can’t think of an organization off the top of my head that I wouldn’t double check though (involved in politics or culture), so I guess AFA has company in my books.

    As to your points, I definitely understand your where you are coming from and to an extent would be inclined to agree. I agree strongly that it is wrong to ostracize fellow emplyee’s for being homosexual. But, here is where I most disagree.

    Why did Pepsi-Cola have to bring in this radical group?

    (note: my calling PFLAG “radical” is based upon research I have only done in the last couple of days…the majority of which consisted of reading their site. If they are less radical than depicted here I am more than open to correction)

    By bringing in PFLAG to do the training I believe they were, in effect, endorsing PFLAG…saying “we think they are a good bunch so we are tagging them to do our heterosexual tolerance training for us.” If nothing else they have not (to the best of my knowledge) made it known that they do not support the rest of the organizations activities. But, If they did make that distinction, wouldn’t they look a little silly for hiring them, after acknowledging such significant differences?

    In short, Pepsi-Cola didn’t have to bring in PFLAG to do this training. They could have done it themselves, hired individuals not officially associated with any radical gay activist organization, or found a less radical group. None of these options seem unreasonable to me.

    Since they didn’t do any of these things and seeing nothing else that would give me cause to believe otherwise, I must assume they do endorse (corporately) the activities of PFLAG.

  5. Jeremiah: I agree. 🙂 All I have to do is figure out how to get it now that I have realized I don’t have it.

    Thanks for pointing that out!

    Daniel: I am more of a Dr. Pepper and Root Beer fan, so from a soft drink standpoint this boybott will not be that difficult for me. *moment of honesty*

    I do love Tropicana and Gatorade!

  6. I know alot of people who have tried to boycott China, or Walmart, or McDonalds or whatever the AFA throws out, but I don’t think you’re really going to make an impact unless it’s massive and organized. If it were a mom and pop shop, it’d work, but against a massive company, it has to be massive.

    If one were to effectively and truly boycott those companies (or walmart mostly I guess) then you’d logically have to boycott all of the sister companies and any manufacturing company that supports their stance too (proctor and gamble) which means……you’ll really have to look hard, or spend more money, and people aren’t going to that, especially now.

  7. Kierstyn,

    Unfortunately (perhaps..then again perhaps not), you are right. It takes a massive amount of people to successfully boycott a large corporation. But, as I pointed out in my blog post, AFA has already successfully orchestrated boycott’s of Wal-Mart (not 100% sucessful depending on how you look at it, but definitely successful in that Wal-Mart backed down and complied with the most significant of AFA’s requests) and McDonald’s, both major corporations.

    However, due to the fact that Pepsi-Cola is more of a conglomerate than either Wal-Mart or McDonalds, I think boycotting them is a more difficult proposition. Perhaps AFA would be better served keying in on a less difficult corporation; I am sure there is one.

    But there is something else to be considered here.

    In these troubled and/or unstable economic times corporations are in reaction mode. Already feeling the pinch of the economic downturn and (more significantly) anticipating worse to come, the last thing any corporation wants is a significantly sized boycott of their company, particularly when the costumers they have lost start buying from their competition (giving their competition an edge). In other words, if ever there were a time to boycott a giant, now would be that time. The timing is right for such actions.

    I hope that made sense. Whatever AFA and other likeminded people do, they can’t just sit idly by and allow this chain of opposition (that ultimately leads to lobbying on Capitol Hill) remain un-contested. Is Pepsi-Cola the right coporation to target? I think there are good reasons for answering yes. The ultimate answer to that question will be seen in the results of the boycott.

  8. My first reaction is to throw out all Pepsi Cola products, put my hands on my hips, stamp my foot and stick my tongue out….THERE! Buuuuttt, I am pretty much convinced that that would not get anyone anywhere, except that I might go through the kitchen floor depending on how hard I stomped.

    After having thought on this for a few days I will now try to gather up my thoughts to post them in some legible way.

    First off I am inclined to think that boycotts are not always the answer, but I think that this situation definitely deserves one. I am willing to join the boycott and not being a big pop drinker I doubt I will be suffering much. One thing to note is that Pepsi-Cola produces a lot more than just Pepsi and Cola. Refer to link for a list of products

    So ultimately yes, I would join the boycott as to if it will work…I am a bit skeptical there, but we will have to wait and see.

  9. whoops sorry! I forgot that I did not need to be Amanda on your blog 😀
    I think the new look is cool btw!

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