So I am hearing a lot about the CEO of Starbucks and his most recent statement about shareholders who oppose gay marriage. According to what I have read, the CEO has stated that such shareholders should invest elsewhere if they feel unable to agree with their position as a company. Now what alarms me about some of the responses I have read is that many Christians have posted or tweeted about boycotting Starbucks because of this issue.
As I reflected on this it saddened me that people were so upset by this, and that again its homosexuality that draws the medias attention towards Christians. I began thinking why are Christians not boycotting companies who exploit people, why do a lot of Christians take action about their shiny diamond rings. Or what about the chocolate we eat or the clothes we wear…why dont Christians care enough to stand up for these issues…? Why is it homosexual marriage that is the thing that Christians get known for standing against.
And why is this so offensive? In a secular society, who does not share the same convictions or beliefs…why should it matter? Does it really change that much about society? It’s already secular!
Supporting diversity as the CEO puts it, should be something we stand for. In diversity we see the image of God, in relationships, in love we find God. Hostility and anger pushes God out, and pushes people further away from experiencing the welcome of God. Maintaining equality whilst it may mean protecting people despite our differences, is an opportunity to communicate that human equality is more important than our differences.When we support human rights and equality we support the dignity and worth of every human life made in the image of God.
I am not proposing we all agree or anything at all like that but rather that we show love in spite of our differences. So what I am really putting forward is the question why don’t we stand for issues of human rights and defend the dignity and worth of every human life.
And if chucking Starbucks or anything else for that matter only ever is a result of a particular homophobic hobby horse campaign then that is sad. There are many other reasons why Christians ought to take stands to defend a deeply biblical principal of justice, and protecting the poor and the oppressed.
Ok so it is mid april, we are in a majority Muslim country and Santa is on display in a local super market. It made us laugh.
Thies is one of the next biggest places after Dakar. We spent a couple of nights with a WEC family. There we visited 4 ministries to children at risk. We really enjoyed are time there and got a real sense of God’s call on us for Senegal and working with street children here who have been Talibe’s.
We are now back in Dakar at the guest house and will visit more of the city over the weekend.
Today we visited a ministry called the Obadiah Project. We visited their school (abc), their drop in for street boys and their home for street boys. We then spent time with one of the missionaries, who spoke to us about the ministry and the phase 2 home for street boys.
It was great seeing what they are doing and getting an insight into how they started and grown.
At the school there are over 100 children 5-11 years old. the school is a partnership with another organization. At the Drop In boys come to shower, eat, play and they can listen to bible stories. Then for those who want to come off the streets phase 1 home is in Dakar where they stay for a few months. For longer term development they can move to Mbour to phase 2 housing.
So now we are off to Thies to visit another project tomorrow. We will stay with some WEC missionaries there.
Now to the bus stop!
People. Everywhere. Traders and sellers, people praying, people begging, talibe’s, yellow taxi’s, a cafe on wheels, food served on the street, market stalls and people offering ‘you come with me, I take you to my shop, just look, no charge’ that is those who spoke English.
We enjoyed some traditional tea called ‘ataya’ a sweet, strong tea with peppermint flavours. We also saw the presidents palace and the palace of independence.