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Put your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Buy Your Values

Let me humbly admit that I may have had a Starbucks latte in my hand on the morning my staff told me the unfortunate news. Starbucks doesn't want my money anymore.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sent a clear message that he does not care about the business of anyone who believes that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman, pointedly telling one such investor at Starbucks' annual shareholders meeting, "You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company."

Throwing sound business principles out the window, Schultz essentially stated, "I do not want your business." Seeing as this outburst reportedly followed Schultz's statement that he wanted to "embrace diversity of all kinds," it's clear his diversity does not include individuals who uphold the institution of marriage. So what are conservative coffee connoisseurs to do? This dilemma has left many believers and non-believers questioning if a boycott would be effective or even "Christian."

Let me say that boycotts can be effective and have a variety of impacts. One of the most notorious victories occurred in 1986, when an American Family Association (AFA) boycott successfully convinced 7-Eleven to ban its distribution of Playboy and Penthouse magazines. In 2008, too, an AFA boycott led to a McDonald's executive stepping down from a homosexual rights association board. We win moral victories, but might not always gain ground in the public arena. But if we abandon the argument, then there will be no light in the darkness.

For busy stay-at-home moms and working men and women in small-town U.S.A., who cannot afford the expense of traveling to Washington, D.C., to lobby on Capitol Hill, boycotting a company whose policy embraces an agenda that is opposed to theirs empowers them to embrace the difference their daily choices can make. How easy is it for a mom to bypass Starbucks for another coffee shop on her way to drop her kids off at school?

As an ardent admirer of the free market system, I find voting with your pocketbook both effective and even patriotic. We don't want the government to step in, therefore, we must be willing to exert authority where we are able, that includes what movies we watch, what music we buy, what TV shows we view, and even what coffee we drink. It is wonderful the way we can easily change a company's' behavior if we choose to pull together. In this bountiful country, it's so easy to simply go around the corner and buy brand B instead of A. It's barely even an inconvenience, but it's a venti-sized testament to the free market. Consumers have a say as to where they put their money based on the product and principles within the company. Starbucks has made it clear what they support; we need to do the same. God Bless America!

Seriously, though, do not think for a second that the nine Supreme Court Justices wrongly tasked with defining marriage are immune to public opinion (which leads me to wonder where they get their java in the morning). The outcry of conservative Christians who might otherwise be duped into believing that their values are outdated and unshared by millions of Americans just might offer Justices like Roberts and Scalia the courage they need to hold fast to the defense of marriage. For their sakes, our voices need to be heard. Dumping your caffeine dealer may not lead to the Justices hearing our side completely, but we must not fall to the lie that our hands are tied, that we are helpless bystanders on "the wrong side of history." For those of us that believe marriage between a man and a woman, though often flawed, is to be upheld as the ideal institution for men, women, and children, there is only one side of truth. I'm tired of hearing that same-sex "marriage" in our country is inevitable.

I hear this serious misconception and think, "Is God still on His throne or not?" What if we bought the lie of inevitability back in 1973, when we fought to protect life against Roe v. Wade's sweeping pro-abortion legislation and packed up our pro-life message and went home? Thankfully, organizations like Concerned Women for America (CWA) refused to accept the assumed status quo and stood firm to support and educate women on the emotional and physical dangers of abortion. And the fight for Life has been - and will continue to be - a hostile and fierce culture battle. But there was a tectonic shift and public attitudes drastically changed. Today, 56 percent of Americans take a pro-life position, 72 percent of teens believe abortion is morally wrong, and 80 percent of Americans want stricter limits on abortions. Now we are winning.

Whether it is bucking the head of a major coffee company or calling out the abortion Goliath of Planned Parenthood, CWA has always been - and will continue to be - ridiculed and maligned by the radical Left. We're tough. We can take it. But CWA will never back down and give up. And I will add one last point: whether you change your local café choice, call and e-mail your congressman, or simply teach your children to stand for absolute truth, I hope that you will stand with us, too.

Penny Young Nance is the president of Concerned Women for America (CWA) and CWALAC. Nance most recently served as President of Nance and Associates and as Special Advisor for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), where she advised the Chairman and the Commissioners on media and social issues. Before joining the FCC, Nance was founder and President of the Kids First Coalition, a non-profit organization focused on educating Capitol Hill, the media, and the public on a variety of issues related to children.

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