Starbucks’ CEO Cancels Church Speech because of Their Anti-Gay Bigotry

Yesterday was supposed to be the day that Starbucks Chairman/CEO, Howard Schultz, spoke at the (evangelical Christian) Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit.

This is a summit that both Bill Clinton and Bono have spoken at before; this year, speakers include Newark Mayor Cory Booker and marketing guru Seth Godin. Admittedly, the focus is on leadership and not pushing Jesus.

But Schultz was caught in a dilemma because of Willow Creek’s stance on homosexuality.

A couple months ago, Starbucks put out a press release about its “Dedication to Embrace Diversity“:

Starbucks has supported the LGBT community for many years, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.

But if his company is against any form of discrimination, why was Schultz speaking at a conference sponsored by a megachurch that had a relationship with Exodus International — a group that believes you can pray away the gay and promotes gay-to-straight therapy — for decades, opposes gay rights, and has spread lies about gay people in the past? (Willow Creek ended its partnership with Exodus a couple years ago, but their position on homosexuality hasn’t really changed.)

Asher Huey was concerned about that and he began a petition for Schultz to back out of his speaking engagement — or “at the very least, issue an immediate statement denouncing the church’s anti-gay practices and beliefs.”

For what it’s worth, I don’t really think Schultz’s appearance would’ve constituted hypocrisy. More on that below.

Needless to say, the petition worked.

Schultz canceled his appearance. (To their credit, Willow Creek let him back out of the contract without penalty.)

This is where it gets really interesting.

Willow Creek announced how this all went down yesterday (during day one of the two-day conference) (***Update***: The video below now works):

Pastor Bill Hybels told the crowd that he spoke with Starbucks officials…

… explaining to them in no uncertain terms that Willow is not “anti-gay.” But, at the end of the day, they decided that the downside business risk was just too high for them, so Howard and his team decided to cancel and we agreed…

He added that “hundreds” of people with same-sex attraction attend the church every week — so there.

To summarize: Someone accused the Starbucks CEO with attending an event sponsored by an anti-gay church. They church says they’re not anti-gay.

Which is it?

Well, let’s take a look at the facts.

Does Willow support gay marriage? No.

Does Willow support civil unions? No.

Does Willow support monogamous gay partnerships? No.

Does Willow support gay adoption? No. (Fair warning: If you click on that link, an annoying song will start playing.)

In fact, in that same video above, Hybels laid out his church’s current, “loving” stance toward gay people:

… we challenge homosexuals and heterosexuals to live out the sexual ethics taught in the Scriptures — which encourages full sexual expression between a man and a woman in the context of marriage and prescribes sexual abstinence and purity for everybody else.

Aww, isn’t that sweet of them to say? If you’re gay, just repress your sexuality and everything will be fine!

It’s kind of like that parable in which Jesus says to the homosexual: “Put that back in your pants.”

Want to know what else Willow teaches about gay people?

Well, as it turns out, I’ve subscribed to Willow Creek’s podcast for a few years now… every week, I get a new sermon. Good times.

Back in 2007, they uploaded a Hybels sermon called “Modern Day Madness – Part 3: Hope for the Homosexual.” (Edit: I don’t know the actual date the sermon was delivered.)

I still have it in my iTunes folder. It’s one of those sermons you hear and think, “I’m gonna save that one because it’s gonna bite him in the ass one day.”

Damn, I’m glad I did that.

So I gave it another listen last night. And now, you can hear it as well. Here. Download it. Spread it. (Click on: “Click here to start download from sendspace.”)

It’s bigotry at its finest.

In it, Hybels “dispels common myths” about homosexuality:

Myth 1) Homosexuals are born that way. (“This is a widely believed myth!… this myth is often spread aggressively by the gay liberation advocates…”)

Myth 2) Homosexuals lead happy lives. (“The gay life is anything but gay!… the homosexual lifestyle is a horrible lifestyle and a horror-filled lifestyle… did you know that the average — the average! — homosexual, over the course of a full lifetime, will have between 500 and 1000 sexual encounters with different men? It’s less for lesbians. They have fewer casual episodes or sexual encounters.”)

Myth 3) There is no hope for the homosexual. (“Friends, would you please try to put on the moccasins of a homosexual just one time before we conclude this service?… I frankly have never met a homosexual, or a lesbian, who went all the way to the point of sexual reorientation, sexual wholeness, without the help, without the careful longterm assistance, of a knowledgeable therapist…”)

That’s the kind, gentle, loving treatment of homosexuality you’ll hear at Willow…

So if Hybels honestly thinks his current explanation (that his church is not anti-gay) will change anybody’s perception of Willow Creek, or evangelical Christianity in general, he’s deluded.

They’re as clueless about homosexuality as they ever were. They’re the biggest obstacles we face in the fight for LGBT equal rights. And we need to continue speaking out against them and educating Christians about how misguided their views are.

Ok. All that said, if Schultz did go through with his appearance, would I think he was a hypocrite? No. Just because you speak at a church-sponsored event doesn’t mean you have to agree with all the church’s beliefs. Schultz was going there to talk about leadership, not theology. Mayor Cory Booker, also speaking at this conference, has voiced his support for marriage equality, and I don’t see anyone calling him a hypocrite. Hell, former American Atheists President Frank Zindler once took part in a debate sponsored by Willow Creek — and I know he opposes their beliefs.

On a personal note, I’ve also spoken at a number of churches — including Willow Creek — over the past few years. When I go, I talk openly about my atheism and my perceptions of Christian churches. When the opportunity has come up, I’ve made it clear that the evangelical Christian treatment of gay people has not only been bigoted and based on lies, it’s arguably the most destructive thing they’ve done to their own “brand.” I feel that accepting those invitations is a chance for me to speak about those issues and I appreciate the opportunities. In fact, in my book, I even wrote about how much I liked the sermons I heard at Willow Creek. (They’re not all as disturbing as the one above.)

I think Schultz did a good thing by canceling his appearance. But, to be fair, if he hadn’t canceled, I doubt we’d be talking about his supposed hypocrisy right now.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://considertheteacosy.wordpress.com/ Tea Cosy

    So, when he says “between 500 and 1000 sexual encounters with different men”, does he mean 500-1000 different men? Or just 500-1000 sexual encounters? ‘Cause, well, it seems to me like the latter (which is how I parsed it) would be a little bit low for a lifetime. Especially if we’re talking about a lifetime of sexual excess and promiscuity, which I gather is what the guy’s getting at.Wouldn’t surprise me if it seemed like a high number from his perspective, though. Not that I’m makin’ any assumptions on his ability to get laid, natch. Would never ever ever do a thing like that.

    • Anonymous

      If we take it as 1000 and give a gay man 50 years of screwing it works out at less than 2 shags a month on average.  And this is without counting them as married.

      • Anonymous

        If it’s supposed to be different men, I think I’m behind by a factor of 20 then, and only see myself falling farther behind for the foreseeable future.

        There’s something weird about having a less interesting sex life than a pastor expects you to.

        • http://considertheteacosy.wordpress.com/ Tea Cosy

          “There’s something weird about having a less interesting sex life than a pastor expects you to.”

          Don’t I know it. As a bi atheist chick, I’m sure I’m supposed to be spending my weekend having some particularly lascivious and blasphemous orgies by the flickering (and flattering) light of a burning stack of bibles and korans. I have a feeling that your average homophobic preacher would be desperately disappointed to see me on the sofa in my fluffy slippers with my laptop and a stack of books.

          • Anonymous

            Women wearing comfortable footwear and reading books are the devil’s work.

    • Benthoven

      I keep hearing that gay men have all these “sexual encounters.” That just makes me depressed. I haven’t had an “encounter” in so long I’m not even sure I know how anymore. Personally, if you ask me, 500 to 1000 encounters is just wishful thinking (okay, it’s wishful thinking for me).

  • Matt Law

    I have never much liked their coffee but may pop by for a muffin in support of this stance.

  • Anonymous

    I pretty much agree with your entire position. I’m glad he decided against talking at the event, but I wouldn’t have thought less of him if he had gone ahead with it. It’s simply not reasonable to expect a prominent figure to only interact with organizations that we like. Catholic organizations organize events all the time, and we can’t go getting outraged because certain leaders interact with them, even as we think it’s a toxic organization. If this had been an explicitly religious event, or if the church were more centered than usual on hurting LGBT rights (like the American “Family” Association) it would be a different matter.

    Having said all that, maybe I’ll stop over for a Frapuccino this weekend.

    • http://fred5.myopenid.com/ fred5

      Would you change your mind if you knew that Willow Creek has been associated with a notorious reparative/conversion therapy group known as Exodus International? Evidently Willow Creek just disassociated themselves after a decade of supporting them  not because they had a problem with the group but because they wanted to clean up their image some.(1,2)

      Sources:
      (1) http://www.christianpost.com/news/willow-creek-homosexuality-and-the-future-of-evangelical-response-53862/
      (2) https://plus.google.com/105502506545735279423/posts/QReEXovMKwj

      I would also commend to you this link for an example of so-called conversion therapy:

      (3) http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/what-are-little-boys-made-of-main

      Having said all that, I would expect the CEO of a major multinational corporation that espouses equality for all to at least be a little more careful with whom he associates with so these situations would not arise.

  • http://www.bricewgilbert.blogspot.com Brice Gilbert

    The good old “hate the sin not the sinner” style approach.

  • Contact

    I’m sorry; i WOULD have thought less of him. If the church
    had stated that they felt it was wrong for blacks and whites to get married,
    would you have been so lenient? When speakers do events at places like this
    they help aid in its pliability and reputation. They need to know that if
    you’re going to be that underhanded in your explanations, you cannot expect the
    support of those around you. I think I can quote YOU with the view that the
    best weapon we have against them is unyielding and overwhelming shame, if you
    take any approach that is anti-intellectual, whether it’s through the oppression
    of gays or the suppression of evolution, you need to know that you will lose
    out.

    I’m sorry; i WOULD have thought less of him. If the church
    had stated that they felt it was wrong for blacks and whites to get married,
    would you have been so lenient? When speakers do events at places like this
    they help aid in its pliability and reputation. They need to know that if
    you’re going to be that underhanded in your explanations, you cannot expect the
    support of those around you. I think I can quote YOU with the view that the
    best weapon we have against them is unyielding and overwhelming shame, if you
    take any approach that is anti-intellectual, whether it’s through the oppression
    of gays or the suppression of evolution, you need to know that you will lose
    out.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    I listened to Bill Hybels’ explanation as to why he doesn’t think Willow is anti gay and it seems to me that his own explanation shows that they ARE anti gay.  All they have a rationalization that works for THEM to ease their own minds.

    I also have to say that I really don’t like Bill Hybels.  I saw a video of his once where he gave tips on effective evangelism where he said it was most effective if you could evangelize to people at their lowest point when they are going through some kind of life crises.  He told everybody to look out for these opportunities.  That just made me sick.

  • Anonymous

    They can say they’re not anti-gay, but if someone tries to befriend you and then tries to change everything you are, and they try to prevent you from being who you are in favor of who they want you to be, are they really your friend?  I don’t think so, they’re just relationship tyrants.

    • Frank

      So I guess you would never consider Jesus your friend.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ben.tousey Ben Tousey

        Frank, Jesus is nobody’s friend.

        He’s exactly the kind of date you want to avoid at all costs. He stalks you, he watches every move you make, either you love him or he tortures you (which is the equivalent to “if I can’t have you nobody can”), he’s over two-thousand years old and he still lives at home, he’s unwilling to commit to a ‘single’ relationship, he insists that we be the ‘bride,’ he’s a martyr (if you won’t love him he crucifies himself), and despite of what he thinks of you, he won’t give up the twelve other men he travels around with everywhere he goes.

        Sure, he’s got amazing abs, but a sexy body doesn’t overcome  emotional instability.

        • Frank

          What an adolescent comment!

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Scoggin/100000044792747 Aaron Scoggin

            *excellent.

            Fixed it for ya, Frank. No need to thank me.

  • Anonymous

    Myth 1) Homosexuals are born that way. - Who cares if people are born gay or if they develop gayness as they grow.  Some people are gay.  Get over it.

    Myth 2) Homosexuals lead happy lives. - If people stopped bullying and treating gay people like lepers or at least like freaks then maybe gay people would be a bit happier in their lives.  Maybe if bigots in evangelical churches didn’t stir up hate against them then maybe gay people could just get on with their lives without any interference. 

    Myth 3) There is no hope for the homosexual. - They can take their Christian hope and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.  How dare they conclude that an entire group of people is without hope and in need of therapy.  This is text book bigotry (if you didn’t know already).  The ones with the problem are the bigots, not the gay people.  There is hope but not in the company of people who judge you and want to change you.  

    Good for Schultz and Starbucks for steering clear of these organisations.  They really are toxic and they shouldn’t have the support of businesses and business owners.

    • cc

      I agree whole-heartedly with  what you said Hover, minus one thing. . . Please don’t assume that this bigoted, self-satisfying view-point represents all Christians. Unfortunately the loudest people claim the public view on who they are representing.  In other words, I consider myself to be a Christian, I work as a youth leader in a UCC (United Church of Christ) church, and I would not be either of those things if all Christians had this point of view.  The UCC philosophy is one of acceptance, actual welcome (although in the interest of full disclosure, we are lacking the doormats that say so) and love.

      The UCC accepts openly gay leaders and ministers as well as leads the way on Legal marriage and advocacy.  Not to be one of the “Bible-Thumpers” who get on a blog and insist on quoting scripture, BUT When Jesus was asked what the Greatest Commandment was he responded, ” Love the Lord your God with all your heart , all your mind, and all your strength. That is the greatest commandment followed only by, Love your neighbor as yourself.” For me that kind of sums it all up. If we just love each other and stop worrying about all of the other stuff that gets in the way of that love, I bet we would be a lot happier people!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alexander-Wilkins/1409733600 Alexander Wilkins

        You need to realize that a majority of Christians are anti gay because of their religious stance. You can down play it all you want and act like it’s this tiny but vocal minority but it isn’t.

        • HJ

          You’re totally right. I belong to a UCC church too. I’m gay, so is my pastor. But were the ones in the minority as Chsristians. But I think were growing. And were trying to speak louder but the ultra consevea are larger and have quite a bit more money to speak with. Ugh.

          • Frank

            And the word of God behind them.

        • http://www.facebook.com/ben.tousey Ben Tousey

          While this is true, many Christians aren’t anti-gay, the reality is, the anti-gay stance is built into their philosophy. The creator and founder of Christianity, Paul, was profoundly homophobic and misogynistic, and he built those into his doctrine (yes, I am aware of the arguments used to say that Paul was talking about temple prostitution, but there’s just not enough evidence to support that).

          Jesus never once mentioned it, and there is some evidence (though speculative) that he did have some connection to it in the form of the Roman Centurion. There’s also the “Disciple Whom Jesus Loved,” but that was more than likely Mary Madeline.

          So what I’m saying is that there are many open Christians, and I’m grateful for those, but at some point they are going to have to deal with their book and decide how their’ going to handle their founder’s own attitudes.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks cc and I agree.  I’m not sure what proportion of Christians are bigots but it isn’t 100%. 

      • Anonymous

        To me, it’s like 90% of Christians always ruin things for the other 10%.

  • exe

    More and more it seems to me religion is just being used as a tool by people to make sure THEY have special rights, and no one else does.  I’m seriously starting to think religion is just a form of hate group, and I don’t understand how religions have gotten special leeway over the years (tax-exempt status, prayers to start city council meetings, etc).

    • Fredericka

      Exe, if you want to see what a “hate group” looks like, look around you.

      • Anonymous

        Nah - we just hate ignorance.

      • Anonymous

        Can you explain further?  I see annoyance and anger but no hate.

        • Fredericka

          Hi hoverFrog. See, for example, “Note, by saying this I’m not defending their beliefs, or saying they aren’t a bunch of hateful bastards…”

          Often, if you call people “hateful bastards,” it implies that you do not like them very much.

          • Anonymous

            I see.  You’re taking one comment to mean that all atheists are part of a hate group.  Maybe you’re projecting a bit.  Why not respond to that comment?

            • Fredericka

              Hi hoverFrog. I have a really hard time seeing how someone can read this blog and see nothing but sweetness and light. I would categorize it as a shabby little hate site. What is the need for all the filthy language?

              • Anonymous

                Again you are building a straw man.  ACN wrote that “Hemant has been nothing but pleasant” and you are committing the fallacy of composition by asserting that all atheists are either as pleasant as Hemant or hateful bigots.  Atheists have one thing in common: we don’t believe in gods.  Such a disparate group will come from a wide variety of backgrounds and hold a wide variety of opinions.

                We come here because Hemant reports news and makes statements that are of interests to atheists.  All too often this is to report that one religious group or another has done something hateful but occasionally it is the opposite.  That Christians do more hateful things than good things is something that you should probably take up with the various Christian denominations.

                Also if you don’t appreciate what Hemant has to say or what the comments say then you are free to interject something constructive or simply to withdraw.

                As for “filthy language” surely you know that there is no such thing.  There is only language that people object to.  The problem lies with the listener or reader. 

  • Corey

    The Bible NEVER says anything against homosexuality, but it does condone incest, rape, killing babies, war, selling your daughters, multiple wives, slavery, etc. Gay marriage was accepted in the Christian church at one point, as was reincarnation, but with any and all religions that become the political power of any nation, the rules, laws and dogma changes supporting who ever has the power at the time to control and oppress the minority. In other words, the only good non-convert is a dead one.

    • Jon

      You are being seriously dishonest here.

    • OverlappingMagisteria

      I have never heard of gay marriage being accepted in the church. Do you have a source for that?
      Also, how do you interpret Lev 18:22 and other verses like it: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

      • http://twitter.com/Cincinatheist Cincinatheist

        But Lev is the Old Testament. I always forget, when are we supposed to interpret the OT literally, and when are we not, and when is the OT deprecated by the NT and when is it not?  Maybe that’s why I’m an atheist. The rules of Christianity are too confusing for my pea brain.

        • OverlappingMagisteria

          Oh its actually very simple! If the Bible says something you agree with, its literal. If it says something that sounds a little off, its either a metaphor or out of context.  And anyone who disagrees is wrong!
          See? Easy! You can be a Christian again now!

  • Wayne D.

    Well…  He’s really saying that they’re no more anti-gay than they are anti-fornication.  If you don’t want to get married to someone of the opposite sex and have sex with that person only, you aren’t to be having sex. 

  • Catherine

    Their leadership conference is a pretty huge event because it is streamed live to other Evangelical megachurches around the country.

     Good for Schultz for stepping down.and I loathe the “we have gay people attending, so we aren’t anti-gay” argument.

    • Dis>illusioned Drew

      Not just around the country, all over the globe.

  • Erin Kohlenberg

    I’m from Seattle. Go Howard, but I agree it wouldn’t have been hypocritical. He’s got a book to promote. But he still sold the SONICS out from Seattle. In Seattle, that’s what really matters!  

  • Tortuga Skeptic

    I’m happy with this CEO’s decision.  It kind of depends for me on whether or not his appearance would have brought more money to this church.  If yes then it is a bigger deal that he backed out of it.  

  • Anonymous

    I will just reiterate what I’ve said before, which is that you can’t advance the idea that gay relationships are sinful without being anti-gay. Advancing the notion that gay relationships are inferior (morally or otherwise) is by definition heterosexist.

    Evangelicals need to learn this. Simple rule: if you can’t honestly say the following sentence, you are actually anti-gay and therefore have no defense. “Sexual relationships between people of the same sex are not any more wrong or sinful than similar relationships between people of the opposite sex.”

    And claiming that it’s just being “anti-fornication” is a cop-out. If you think that marriage is what makes sex OK, and that gay relationships are not good enough for marriage, then that is blatantly, obviously a form of prejudice in itself. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t “feel” hateful or contemptuous. It’s prejudice that’s directed at gay people and makes their lives more difficult.

    I suppose I wouldn’t have blamed the Starbucks CEO for going, partially because I didn’t have much interest in what he does in the first place. But good for him. We need more people who are willing to say that this is a non-negotiable part of their commitment to civil rights.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nolimits4me Lisa Cushing

      I agree completely ! Very well spoken and articulated. 

  • Annie

    Anyone else having trouble viewing the video?

    • Rich Wilson

      ya, looks like they made it private.  Embarrassed?

    • Miss Coconut

      Yes, it says it’s private for me.

  • Anonymous

    ” . . . both Bill Clinton and Bono have spoke at before . . .”
    spoken

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1742797601 Deanna Joy Lyons

    We were inspired by these events to throw down a new podcast episode. Thanks Hemant!  

  • Fredericka

    “They’re the biggest obstacles we face in the fight for LGBT equal rights. And we need to continue speaking out against them and educating Christians about how misguided their views are.”

    Given that scarcely any evangelical Christians read gay-rights blogs such as this one, they are unlikely to be ‘educated’ by your efforts. Come to think of it, that’s a good thing…

    • ACN

      Which raises an interesting question. If by hanging around gay-rights blogs, they run the risk of being “educated” (your words, and your negative connotation) by our efforts, why in Zuul’s name do YOU keep hanging out around these gay-rights blogs?

      • Fredericka

        Hi ACN. I keep waiting and expecting to hear Mr. Friendly say something friendly. I like friendly people. If you call yourself ‘The FriendlyAtheist,’ then you must be friendly, right? Otherwise that would be deceptive advertising like saying, ‘You can be good without God.’

        • ACN

          Hemant has been nothing but pleasant. You however, are being a disgusting little troll. If you’d like to twist the definition of morality to a priori exclude people who don’t believe your supernatural habberdashery, take your ball and go home. No one will miss you.

          • Fredericka

            Hi ACN. My, aren’t you sweet. Please explain to me why gay atheists, merely by existing, have the right to dictate to others what they religious beliefs must be.

            • Anonymous

              That’s a straw man.  No gay people, merely by existing, are dictating religious beliefs.  Gay people want and deserve equal rights in the eyes of the law.  They want, deserve and are getting the law to recognise same sex marriage.  Your right to free religious expression aren’t impinged.  You may even choose to carry a banner round that proclaims to the world how you and your god hate gay people.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    The really insidious part of this sort of thing is that this pastor and his church, in all likelihood, genuinely and sincerely believe they are not “anti-gay.” Any attempt to correct them on this or point out how hateful their rhetoric, is likely to go right over their heads and make them feel “persecuted.” This, in turn, will trigger defensiveness in them, and make them dig their heels in even harder on the matter, and could stoke their paranoia even more.

    Note, by saying this I’m not defending their beliefs, or saying they aren’t a bunch of hateful bastards. Just saying that they’ve framed themselves and their views of homosexuality (mainly, by asserting it’s a “choice” and not an inherent quality) in such a way that they truly believe they aren’t hateful at all.

    The problem with this, of course, is that ultimately, even this reasoning — as erroneous as it is — fails utterly, even if one accepts it as a given, especially in light of the doctrine that everyone is a sinner. They continue to rage and fume about the “homosexual lifestyle,” without realizing there are lots of “lifestyles” that people engage in, some of which really are detrimental. Take, for example, the habitual domestic abuser. How often do you hear anyone behind a pulpit talk about “the abusive lifestyle” and how horrid and sinful it is?

    These people are, in a word, hypocrites (and thus are disobeying Jesus’ injunctions against hypocrisy), picking and choosing “sins” to rail against and to ignore. And they’re engaging in “public piety” by openly decrying those “sin” they dislike and implying they, themselves, are “free” of that “sin.” In that regard they are also disobeying Jesus’ injunctions against displays of public piety.

    So they’ve proven themselves non-Christian in their behavior, on two separate counts. Really nice, huh?

    • Dis>illusioned Drew

      I think you’re right that they sincerely feel they are being open and loving. They feel they are staying true to the principles in the bible and only passing along ‘what god said’. But as another commentor pointed out, there are so many principles that xians pick and choose to serve their own needs. Your comment that homosexuality is a ‘sin’ that many xians can clearly say ‘well I’m not engaging in that sin’ is quite likely why it’s such a big focus for them. As a former Xian, I was indoctrinated to believe that the Bible was THE ultimate truth and many xians view the bible as ‘infallible’, so until they realize that’s not true, they’re almost compelled to act like this about homosexuality and other issues. Sad, but very true. Pray for them :-P or better yet encourage them to think critically by asking curious questions.

      • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

        About the “public piety” angle, lots of people accuse some anti-gay Christians of being anti-gay because they’re actually gay themselves, it upsets them that they are, so they become “self-hating” opponents of their own nature. I admit this is true for some (e.g. George Alan Rekers and Ted Haggard). But for most I think it’s as simple as knowing that, since they’re heterosexual themselves, that homosexuality is a “sin” they can never engage in and can never be accused of. So they’re very public about announcing that, and about denouncing it as a “sin.”

      • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

        About the “public piety” angle, lots of people accuse some anti-gay Christians of being anti-gay because they’re actually gay themselves, it upsets them that they are, so they become “self-hating” opponents of their own nature. I admit this is true for some (e.g. George Alan Rekers and Ted Haggard). But for most I think it’s as simple as knowing that, since they’re heterosexual themselves, that homosexuality is a “sin” they can never engage in and can never be accused of. So they’re very public about announcing that, and about denouncing it as a “sin.”

  • Joshua Fisher

    I’m sorry, you can’t claim to be anti gay just because you pitty gays instead of hating them. Doesn’t work that way.

  • FisherL

    real christians do not endorse hate! God does not endorse hate!! So for people to say “hate gays” you people are sick and twisted, God loves everybody. it is simple. stop making it complicated by bringing in your endless questions with your pointless points. :)

    • Anonymous

      This is a No True Scotsman argument.  Real Christians do endorse hate.  Not all of them to be sure but enough to be obvious.  A Christian is someone who self identifies as a Christian.  There isn’t an entry requirement.  I wish there were so we’d have fewer of you but there isn’t.

      • Dis>illusioned Drew

        As a former Xian, we had this stupid phrase ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ that made us feel justified in our stance. Total bs in retrospect.

      • Rich Wilson

        “I wish there were so we’d have fewer of you but there isn’t.”

        Well, depending on the entry requirement, we might have more like FisherL and less like Bill Hybels.  Which would be good IMO.

      • Rich Wilson

        “I wish there were so we’d have fewer of you but there isn’t.”

        Well, depending on the entry requirement, we might have more like FisherL and less like Bill Hybels.  Which would be good IMO.

  • anaisninja

    I attended Willow Creek back in the day. That’s where I was baptized, which is a big deal if you are “born again.” The last time I visited Willow Creek it looked like a mall inside. They even had their own food court. I would not be surprised if they have their own Starbucks by now. Although a megachurch and a multinational corporation are two peas in a pod – and not in a good way – Mr. Shultz made the right decision.

    I’ve had at least two friends who are LGBT who made an honest sincere attempt over many many years to adhere to this particular type of Christian doctrine about homosexuality. One of them underwent exorcisms, joined a cult, and underwent ‘pray the gay away’ counseling. Twenty years later he is underemployed, living in a basement, and still living a guilt-ridden double life. In his 40s. The other one joined a cult, left the cult, attended an anti-gay church, and asphyxiated herself in her garage at the ripe old age of 30.

    It matters to those 2 souls that Mr. Schultz was going to speak at Willow Creek. And it matters to them that he chose to cancel.

    PS – I’m sitting in a Starbucks as I type this.

  • Rich Wilson

    For anyone following the comments in email, please note the video is back up.  I would sum it up as “We’re not anti-gay because we say we’re not anti-gay.   We don’t really know what it means, but aren’t anti-anything, so we can’t be anti-gay.”

    He encourages people to write to Starbucks telling them they’d love to have Howard Shultz back another year.  Once I’m done here, I’m going to write to Starbucks telling them they made the right decision.

  • Rich Wilson

    For everyone’s consideration-

    I think the pet has shown the colors of a varmint, and it’s time to exercise extreme restraint in feeding.

  • http://www.effectualagents.org Marc Barnhill

    Wow, surprisingly edgy move there, urging congregants to “put on the moccasins of a homosexual just one time.” That’s bound to lead to some cognitive dissonance.


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