« Starbucks says it's launched 150 ideas from "My Starbucks Idea" site | Main | What Starbucks issue haven't we covered this week? Discuss it in the OPEN THREAD »

August 11, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Kay Sharpe

And YET, Mr. Schultz, a huge percentage of your customer base & shareholders are Christians who believe that homosexuality is sin. Some of us are even ex-gay...

Jim  Romenesko

You can always go to Cracker Barrell or Chick-Fil-A, which are more in line with your anti-gay views.


I'm sorry.. As a gay male myself, ex-gay is not a thing.

Barista in the South

Why can't ex-gay not exist? Perhaps Kay Sharpe identified him/herself as a homosexual in the past and has changed and now identifies him/herself as straight.

Pike is here to stay

An anti-gay church? There are PRO-gay churches?


Being an ex-gay is about as real as Michael Jackson being an ex-black. You can supress who you are all you want, but you still are what you are deep down. It would be wise for Howie to steer clear of mixing business with politics and religion.


What's interesting is that this event is a leadership conference, and those of us who happen to be Christian feel a little slighted by the opportunity that we WON'T have to hear Mr. Schultz's leadership truths.

Our churches are open to all. Mr. Schultz is welcome back any time.

Legendarily Lean(er?)

Petie, I'd like like to add to your comment that what you wrote is your opinion held by many -- but not all.


I understand that it's hard to grasp the intended tone of a written message, but it sounds as if Kay sharpe is suggesting that it's ok for the Christian community to be offended by howard's decision not to speak, however it isn't ok for the gay community to feel offended by his decision to speak to an anti-gay group. The only hypothetical situation, that I can see, where the Christian community could be offended by his decision would be if he instead agreed to speak to an anti-Christian group, which didn't happen. Infact howard's decision not to speak to a hateful and bigoted group, which is highly commendable, is only upholding one of Starbucks main platforms that he put in place, to treat everyone with respect and dignity. Yes, a specific percentage of his customers and shareholders are Christian, "huge" is debatable since no statistics or sources have been cited, but does that warrant a reality where he disregards the rest of his customer and shareholder base? It has also been failed to be noted that not all Christians are anti-gay, and therefore should not be included in this "huge" percentage. If you believe that he should cater to Starbucks patrons based on demographics in descending order, then the gay community would logically come before the "ex-gay" community since a population is always larger than an ex-population, or the ex-population would become the societal norm and replace the original population. After all, we are Americans, assuming you're from America, and not ex-British.

To answer pike is here to stay, no, there is no such thing as an pro-gay church. Churches that are "pro" are pro-acceptance and pro-tolerance, which preach to all of "god's children," not just the privileged few that the church leaders have deemed fit to pray and repent at their establishments. "Pro" churches don't distinguish who or what they are pro for, only "anti" churches use qualifiers such as gay.

Tcoffee, again, so it's ok for Christians to feel slighted because he wouldn't speak at an anti-gay church, but it isn't ok for gays to feel slighted that he would? You are more than welcome to hear him speak about leadership at an appropriate venue, without hate.


I'd also like to add that some people still believe
that being black is not as good as being white; though I doubt Howard would think it smart to speak at a leadership conference that was sponsored by the Arian Brotherhood. Or attend one that was backed by a group who thought women should revert to the 40s and stay at home and let the good ol' boys do the work.


Yet another example that reinforces Hitchen's postulate.....religion poisons everything.

Indeed it does


Petie I would like to point out to you that during the 40s women put their children in day cares and went to work building airplanes, ships and other items.


I was in attendance at a church outlet in Linol Lakes, MN. I heard the announcement that Mr. Schultz had canceled because 700+ online petitioners were "starting a boycott" on the basis that Willow Creek is anti-homosexual. The fact is that Mr. Schultz NEVER claimed this is the reason why he canceled and I find it very VERY hard to believe that a CEO of a company that serves 8 million people every single day is canceling a contract he set forth because 700 people were in protest. I feel as if Willow Creek is fabricating a story and making this seem as if homosexuals are responsible for an embarrassing, last minute, star speaker cancellation.


Denise---because of WWII many of them did, but not most. They also were still considered not-as-good as men and were treated and paid as such.


Willow Creek is not anti-gay. We challenge homosexuals and heterosexuals to live out the sexual ethics taught in Scriptures, which encourage sexual expression between a man and a woman in the context of marriage," The Bible prescribes "sexual abstinence and purity for everyone else.


Sexual orientation is not checked at the door to Willow Creek Church, just like at Starbucks or any other public place. All are welcome through their doors.


@Kay Sharpe

There is no such thing as ex-gay. You are either born gay or not. Don't be stupid.

There are no gods, by the way. Don't buy into fairy stories about invisible people in the sky.

Feed the Christian haters to the lions!


Christians around the world get more persecution than gays and lesbians.


What the hell?

If I had known Starbucks is run by anti-gay Christian haters (the kind who would kill Jesus in a heartbeat if he ever came back to life, because Jesus was about love not hate), I never would have gone there.

Now my boycott is permanent.


"Show some good Christian support" by buying a cup of Starbucks coffee and reading Schultz's latest book, "Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul."



Oh poor Christians... They get hated when they themselves are hated... How sorry I feel for them... not!

Bigotry is founded on cowardice.

Religion is founded on bigotry.




Oh poor Christians... They get hated when they themselves are haters... How sorry I feel for them... not!

Bigotry is founded on cowardice.

Religion is founded on bigotry.

Cowardice encourages religiosity.

Bigotry encourages evil acts.

Evil acts cause guilt (except for psychopaths).

The guilty often use religion to wash away their shame, but rarely to make amends or change their minds.



Religion is founded on historical fact and rooted in love for all people (regardless of their sexual orientation).

Everyone sins and falls short of the glory of God.


For God so loved the world(gays too), that he gave his only Son, that whoever(gays too) believes in him should not die, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16



You are full of Hatred and Bigotry towards Christians!!

SBUX Alum Bill

I am generally very critical about Howard, but he got it right on this one!

James Connolly

Gonna have to agree with SBUX Alum Bill. Generally don't like Schultz, but this was the right thing to do. And I have to say that I don't agree with the religion-bashing, either. I'm not religious, but there are plenty of great people I know who are believers, many of whom have campaigned for gay rights. I see no reason to attack them or anyone else when what they believe causes no harm.


We really don't know why Howard cancelled. Didn't he just have neck surgery? Perhaps it's not healing well? Or maybe he's just freakin exhausted and decided to go to the beach instead? Or maybe he has a stomach virus? There are thousands of reasons why someone cancels their plans.
If he cancelled because the group is anti-gay. Well, I'm good with that too. And I'm straight.



Don't be a fool. You cannot prove your god exists and even if some idiots 2000 years ago wrote a book, that doesn't make what's in it true.



I only hate the haters, because they do actual damage to actual innocent people. The rest of the believers are merely diseased in the head, like someone who has TB. I pity them. But I always know, religious people base their lives on fantasies, and those fantasies tell them they are right based on zero evidence. That is a prescription for hatred against anyone they think is wrong.

PS: No proof of god.


Alfie. Look around you. Were you born with a conscience? How do you think it got there?
Take a long thought about how the human body works. I don't think it's an accident that it generally works perfectly.
There is plenty of proof. You are just close minded.
I'm not a Christian (I tend to believe in Jesus's father a quite a bit more.) But there is no doubt there is a God.


@ Angie, Jim and Ernie

Angie & Jim, willow creek's stance on homosexuality is anti-gay, just worded more politely, and it really concerns me that you can't make that differentiation. Angie, you state that they, "encourage sexual expression between a man and a woman in the context of marriage," which, if you read between the lines, means that they discourage sexual expression between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. In other words, they are anti-sex between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. Again, in other words, they are anti-gay. It just sounds so much nicer they way they phrase. What it reduces down to is willow creek is saying, "it's ok if you're gay. We accept you as long as you don't do anything considered gay." imagine, if you would, that the U.S. Government said, "hey America, it's ok to be a murderer, unless you commit murder." backwards, contradictory and more than confusing. 

Ernie, perhaps today Christians are more persecuted than other groups, i'm not sure if that's true or not, I'm leaning towards not, but historically, that hasn't always been the case. Christianity has been like the bully in the school yard who's been picking on all the other kids, and then the other kids get tired of accepting it and realize that if they ban together, they can take on the bully. 

"religion is founded on historical fact & rooted in love for all people." wow. There is NOTHING true in that quote, at least not pertaining to today's Christianity. First off, be specific. What religion are you talking about? Judaism? Paganism?Wiccan? Muslim? Satanism? Is it one big umbrella term that you're using for all of they above? I'm going to assume not and you're using religion to refer to christianity because you're so ignorant to believe that christianity is the only true religion. historical facts point that Christianity is rooted in war and blood. I know that they don't teach these in Sunday school but I'm hoping that the following sound familiar: the torture, execution and eventual forced conversion of the pagans due to fear of further persecution of the catholic church, the holy wars, the Spanish inquisition, persecution of the gypsies, the mass genocide of the indigenous American people. The list goes on. When the conquistadors came to the Americas to save the "savage" mayans by converting them to Christians, they held their king, montezuma, hostage and demanded a ransom of a room filled with gold to above their heads. Once the mayans produced this extravagant amount of gold to the Christian spreading conquistadors, they executed montezuma and enslaved most of the rest of the Mayan . Is this the love your religion is founded on? Because these are the historical facts it's founded on. I don't know what historical facts your referring to. Is it the historically accepted fact that the red sea parted? Nope. Is it the historically accepted fact that two of every animal fit on to one boat to avoid extinction? That's not it. Perhaps it's the historically accepted fact that a burning bush decreed 10 rules to live by? Yeah, I don't think that's it either. I'm not prepared to argue that there wasn't a man named Jesus Christ. I think that if his story is true, he would have accepted everyone, since we're all created in god's image; straight or gay, man or woman, black or white etc.

I would like to end this post with a very poignant and appropriate quote from mohandas gandhi. "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." 



The human body has had thousands of years of evolution to work "perfectly," and in my personal opinion, I don't consider myself or my body to be perfect. I don't know about you, but my body can't produce its own energy. I have to eat and drink something to get it to work. Imperfect. I have to sleep to recharge. Imperfect. I need to inhale and exhale every few seconds just to remain alive. Imperfect. My feet and legs get tired if I walk to far. Imperfect. I can't fly or breath under water. Imperfect. I get hot and cold. Imperfect. My immune system doesn't always work and I catch colds. Imperfect. There are substances that grown on this planet that are poisonous and my body can't digest. Imperfect. This list of imperfections goes on and on. Unless your some type of super human, your body is imperfect too.

You're not born with conscience. It's something that your environment shapes. This is a scientifically Proven fact. If we were all born with a conscience, the crime rate in every country would be at 0%. Some people's conscience tells them that crossing the street against a walking signal is wrong, for others it isn't. My conscience would never let me eat dog, but for others it's a perfectly fine meal. In India, it goes against their conscience to eat beef. How many people do you know that have eaten some type of cow? I had a hamburger last night, and I slept fine.

There is 0 proof that there is a god. That's why it's called faith.


Hahaha, my body allows me to make typos. Imperfect.


Regardless of why Howard cancelled, he is a hypocrite.

Someone in my district was fired for supposedly making gay jokes. The guy fired was gay. So Howard's contention that Starbucks has zero tolerance for discrimination is full of crap.

Starbucks has settled several discrimination lawsuits. If the company really had zero tolerance for discrimination, these employees would not have been fired in the first place.


"Someone in my district was fired for supposedly making gay jokes. The guy fired was gay. So Howard's contention that Starbucks has zero tolerance for discrimination is full of crap. "

Actually, that sounds as though it proves the zero tolerance policy. The person's gender was irrelevant. What mattered was that he was making jokes that were inappropriate in the work place.

that guy


This video shows Willow Creek's response to the cancellation. It is clear, concise, and while this organization definitely has an opinion based on age-old scriptures to which they unapologetically hold, I do not see where the "hate" and "persecution" is coming from. The leader says, "This is where we stand. We would love for you to hear us out." He doesn't say "We hate you and want you to die." Where is the hatred coming from?

I think Howard Schultz made the right decision in staying neutral and refraining from commenting or participating. I think it was gracious of the church to be understanding on the issue, but you can't blame them for being disappointed. They wanted a leader to look up to, and they gave him another opportunity to make a leadership decision. He chose to stand by the company's belief and policy. Willow Creek is only doing the same. The only hatred I see in this situation is coming from the petitioners who feel slighted by the existence of dialogue which had nothing to do with them in the first place.


that guy, I know some people who have unapologetic views based on scripture about different races....but that doesn't mean those views are just as hateful as any other discriminatory viewpoint. I guess it's okay to site religion to discriminate against gays, but not okay to discriminate against blacks, interracial couples, women, etc. because of religious beliefs.


@ that guy
It wasn't gracious of the church to be understanding, it was a good PR move. Loosing 717 customers would hardly be considered a "business risk."  those 717 gay or pro gay rights signers of the petition are being used as scapegoats. If "willow is not anti-gay" and he claims that it wasn't founded on that, then why was willow creek ever a part of exodus international, whose objectives would have clearly conflicted with their own, and never would have merited a partnership. What he says and what willow creek actually stands for are polar opposites. If willow creek truly was formed on acceptance for all, then Willow creek's stance should support equal rights for all and gay marriage. But it isn't and he, himself, admits to it in his own speech by stating that a man and a woman can enter in to marriage and " sexual expression" while gay people cannot enter in to marriage and must abstain.  like politicians, he will never be held accountable for what he publicly says. In a previous post I explained the hate that lies in his quote about "sexual expression" and "abstinence," and if you can't see the hate and bigotry, then it's because your eyes closed. You say that the hatred comes from the "petitioners(the gays) who feel slighted by the existence of dialogue which has nothing to do them in the first place." then logically you can see why the gay community is upset that straight people are dictating the right and legality of equal rights and gay marriage, when gay rights and marriage have, in your own words, "nothing to do with them(straight people) in the first place." open up your eyes and see that that's where the hatred lies. Just because it's sugar coated doesn't mean it hurts any less. The next and future generations will study this oppression in school, and imagine the disappointment they will feel from the people on the wrong side of the fence in this issue, just as I'm disappointed in my grandparents for ever denying African Americans the right to vote, sit where they want to on buses, share drinking fountains with majority of the population at that time, marry who they fell in love with regardless of the color of their skin. Again, if you can't draw these parallels and see these injustices, the blame can only be placed on your closed eyes. Don't listen to the words, but listen to what's being said. There is a clear and drastic difference.  


@that guy

Also, how do you see the hatred from the petitioners? The petitioners didn't say to willow creek, "we hate you and we want you to die," just as willow creek didn't say that to them. the petitioners simply pointed out to Howard that the group he agreed to talk with conflicted with his business's platforms on moral ethics and respect and dignity for all. You're pulling conclusions out of thin air, formulating arguments with a foundation built on quicksand and putting words in to people's mouths that were never said. Also, the church should be apologetic about upholding the scriptures, which spell out the hate that you have a hard time seeing. After all these scriptures were written in a time that is, for all intensive purposes, irrelevant to this time. They come from a time before electricity, indoor plumbing, proper education, a time when the world was flat. How can anyone choose to believe in one thought of the "dark ages," but willing to abandon the rest? 

On a side note, I used the word persecution to describe the actions of Christianity back when 1) The Americas had yet to be discovered and 2) to the time immediately following the discovery of the Americas and when the continents were referred to as "the new worlds." you (accurately) brought the term "persecution" to this modern day issue. I commend you for subconsciously realizing that there still are contemporary examples of Christianity persecuting groups of people. That is the most astute observation in your post. The only other mention of the word persecution in this thread is used to describe a theory that today, Christians are persecuted against more than gay and lesbians, which I agree with what you wrote; " I do not see... Where the persecution is coming from." after all, in some countries being gay is an offense that, if found guilty, merits the death penalty. However, there is no country that has a law stating that being a Christian is an offense worthy of death. 


Patricksaurus, there are countries in the world with laws stating that Christians should be killed. And there are countries where, even if it is not law, Christians are killed for that belief.

America is not like the rest of the world. People don't realize how good we have it here. All this bickering and finger pointing about who is more hateful just drives me up a wall. Tolerance is more of a fantasy than God.



1) there is no country in the world today that holds Capitol punishment towards Christianity. There are only countries that don't allow religious freedom and choice to its citizens. 

2) murder and execution are two different things. I never said that somewhere in this world Christians aren't murdered for what they are, but not in this country. It must be nice that Christians don't have to worry about that fear in this country. Maybe someday the gay population of America will be able to know how nice that is too, since some are murdered for what they are in this country.

3) I don't think anyone has made the argument that America isn't a nice place  live.

4) I'm sorry that all of this has driven you up the wall, but I'm confused as to why you decided to involve yourself in it then.

5) tolerance starts with you... Well, not you personally since you believe that it's a fantasy, making you part of the problem, and not part of the solution. Get on the right side of the fence here. 


I am a Christian, and with that, I mean, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. A lot of the hate towards the church is quite justified - especially concerning the events of the past as cited above.

A quote I love, and some food for thought, from my old friend St. Augustine:

"The Church is a whore - but she's my mother."

She is the unfaithful, wayward, hypocrite bride-of-Christ. She has trampled on those she is supposed to love. She's a whore.

But, she has also preserved the Truth - the message of Christ - for thousands of years, despite her flaws. Without her, I would not have life. She's my mother.

One more from a pastor friend of mine:

"A lot of people confuse Jesus and the "church" (people who call themselves Christians) - and end up hating and walking away from them both."


Most of the Christians I know appreciate diversity and welcome lively discussions surrounding faith based, political, and moral issues. And while I can’t speak for all Christians, I have never met a Christian who is “anti-gay.” Just because our views regarding certain issues may be divergent does not suggest that we can’t love, inspire and challenge, and learn from one another. The Leadership Summit is a perfect example of this so I find it ironic that change.org would resort to such tactics.

I do recognize that there is a minority of people who claim to be Christians who are anti-gay but they don't represent the vast majority of Christians.

I think change.org misinterpreted Willow’s views on gays and lesbians along with the entire purpose of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. These same dissenters who are screaming for tolerance are demonstrating their intolerance by doing all they can to undermine the efforts of an organization that is endeavoring to open themselves to healthy dialogue; not just with fellow Christians, but with leaders from all walks of life, perspectives, and faith persuasions.

I think that Bill Hybels was amazingly gracious in his response to Schultz considering how irresponsible it was to cancel at the last minute.

Is Schultz not aware that literally millions of Christians around the world support Starbucks? If Evangelicals alone were to boycott Starbucks in the same way change.org has threatened, it would do more damage to Starbucks than any response change.org could ever muster.

Fortunately for Starbucks, Hybels recognizes that healthy dialogue and grace will go much further in transforming our culture than hate mongering. I hope Schultz will have the courage to do the right thing and that change.org will do more research and fact-checking before initiating their next petition.


It's classic Schultz to cancel after being pressured but then to not say why he cancelled. Typical lack of courage / soul / any real sense of ethics. Net worth is intact, so all is good. Hey, how about some flavored instant coffee? Anyone?? Why does anyone take this guy seriously anymore?

Coffee Drinker

I haven't read this entire thread in detail. I'd like to add to the mix that some of the finest religious and Christian people I've met were in SAAF (Southern Arizona Aids Foundation) in Tucson. I was referred to volunteer and possibly work there by my gay priest.

I don't know Howard of what goes through his mind; I choose not to take what I read online, especially re famous people, as fact though sometimes one does get a gut feeling.

I'm glad Starbucks gossip and coffee drinkers are open to chatting about it all. Now back to coffee.

I swung by my local yesterday to use my coupon. Had a venti red eye. I'm disappointed to admit it really wasn't that good. I hadn't been in there for nearly two weeks, having gone to my indie. Either that Starbucks is now making consistently bad coffee, and/or my palate is getting re educated.

I've patronized SBUX all over the U.S. and in other countries for over 30 years...I really hope it's my personal taste changing, and that the Starbucks goodness is still intact.


Jim, the headline of this blog entry reads like a national inquirer article. Willow creek has not been a member of exodus intl for several years now and has never been nor will ever be anti gay. I know you can copy and paste, but how about fact checking?


Willow Creek is anti-gay and has NEVER not been anti-gay. They still do work and references with "ex-gay" therapies, just not blatant ones like Exodus. They still harm those who just want to be accepted for loving someone of the same sex. Willow Creek, like many churches, will word things to sound like they're coming from "love" but they're coming from religious delusion.

Coffee Drinker



Speaking at a venure that does not embrace diversity is inconsistent with the Starbucks culture and the company's core values (although I don't think diversity is embraced enough at the store level). Cancelling was a smart move, but I am curious to know why the event was booked in the first place?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search Site

Ads (2)