Starbucks CEO Pulls a Mycoskie, Cancels Willow Creek

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has withdrawn his name from the speaking schedule at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit thanks to an online petition at—the same site credited with convincing TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie to issue his puzzling apology to the anti-Focus of the Family crowd last month.

Starbucks officials have reportedly denied that the petition had anything to do with Schultz’s decision to withdraw, but circumstances suggest otherwise. In June a customer’s open letter to Starbucks regarding “one of the most brazen and unapologetic displays of homophobia I have ever witnessed in my entire life” went viral when the customer blogged about seeing a Starbucks manager reprimand a gay employee. In 2008 Joseph Hooks and Dorothy Baker sued the coffee company, claiming they had been fired for being gay.

While Mycoskie’s response to the outcry over his appearance at a Focus on the Family event was clumsy given the shoe company has no history of activism or controversy, Schultz’s withdrawal is at least predictable.

Ironically, this comes just as Willow Creek is rumored to be rethinking its views on homosexuality:

Willow Creek Community Church says it cut ties with Exodus in 2009…

Church spokeswoman Susan DeLay told the paper that Willow’s views on homosexuality had evolved.

“They were one of the few Christian organizations having conversations with people who struggle with being gay,” she said.

Of course, these rumors may really be just rumors:

Willow Creek Community Church, a trend-setting megachurch in suburban Chicago, has quietly ended its partnership with Exodus International, an “ex-gay” organization.

Willow Creek decided to sever ties with the Florida-based ministry in 2009, Christianity Today reported, but the decision only became public in June.

Church officials described the move as a shift in approach rather than a change in belief. Susan DeLay, a spokeswoman for Willow Creek, said the church continues to welcome those who are attracted to people of the same sex.

“Willow Creek has a whole host of ministries for people dealing with these issues, and we would never intend for them to feel sidelined,” she told Christianity Today.

Either way, Starbucks’ and TOMS Shoes’ hesitation to be linked even indirectly to those who minister to homosexuals make it clear that other ministries should expect to be increasingly undermined by both business and political interests—even if those interests are unrelated to the ministry’s work.

image via flickr


From Plato to Picasso to You

An opportunity not to be missed!

From Plato to Picasso to You


Learning Worldviews Through the Arts
Offered by Philadelphia Biblical University
June 10-18, 2009
A Unique 9-day Rome-Florence-Paris
Christian worldview “conference on wheels”
led by Rick and Nancy Pearcey
Join PBU professor and Total Truth author Nancy Pearcey and writer-editor Rick Pearcey on a 9-day worldview excursion through Rome, Florence, and Paris.
Learn on-site how to “decipher” the meaning of the art and artifacts that have shaped the Western mind and continue to influence our lives today. Take a “conference on wheels” to the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican art museum, the Uffizi and Louvre, and the Colosseum and Eiffel Tower — all illuminated by presentations and discussions led by Rick and Nancy Pearcey.
Dr. Nancy Pearcey is PBU’s Scholar for Worldview Studies. She has lectured widely and authored award-winning books on Christian worldview, including the best-selling Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity. Take this exclusive opportunity to get a preview of the material she is working on for her next book.
Rick Pearcey holds two master’s degrees and is formerly managing editor of the Capitol Hill political weekly Human Events and associate editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report. He now edits and publishes The Pearcey Report (archives), where Nancy is editor at large.

You can find out more here, and be sure to check out the rest of the Pearcey Report while you’re there.

Overheard (v. 11)

Though not a big fan of the fantasy genre, the first Narnia earned my eternal goodwill in a single scene. Any film that has Santa Claus handing out weapons to young children is a-okay by me.

– From a review of Prince Caspian at Libertas


Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

President Bush during a a speech to the Knesset in honor of Israel’s 60th anniversary.


It’s easy for people to strike if they’re not working on a regular basis. They already have a restaurant job, they already have another life. That’s just the case of our union. Most people in it don’t work regularly.

The Office‘s Kate Flannery on talk of an actor’s strike.


Warning: If you treat your church like a business, you will treat other churches like your competition.

Jared Wilson


Employees experience a continuous stream of encounters – one defect is a low failure rate. Customers experience a single defect as a 100% failure rate.

— From Mistake-Proofing: Designing Errors Out by Richard B. Chase and Douglas M. Stewart (Via Kevin Kelly)


I don’t think [the upcoming Sex and the City movie] is just for girls. I am a reasonably well-adjusted bloke and I am looking forward to seeing the film with my girlfriend. I am then looking forward to poking my eyes out with red-hot pokers, burning my skin off, and rolling around in salt for a while.

— British filmgoer Phil Mann expressing a sentiment soon to be shared by thousands of American men.

Overheard (v. 10)

This idea that Christians are just as likely to divorce as secular folks is not correct if we factor church attendance into our thinking. Churchgoing evangelical Protestants, churchgoing Catholics, and churchgoing mainline Protestants are all significantly less likely to divorce.

Brad Wilcox, a sociologist, clarifying a much believed myth about Christians and divorce.


Facing the Giants from any serious perspective is a fantasy film. Its message is very dangerous for Christians, and scandalous for pagans. Adult Evangelical Christians watching Facing the Giants is like sex addicts watching the Spice Channel.

Barbara Nicolosi, a Catholic blogger and scriptwriter, in a review of the film Facing the Giants. [HT: Jollyblogger]


If you still, frequently, have to explain to people the difference between emergENT and emergeING, perhaps you need to pick a new moniker. I still don’t know what the difference is. And I’ve never quite figured out what they are “emerging” from. And do you ever quit emerging? Lots of things emerge, but they eventually stop emerging, right (once fully emerged, I mean)? Will the movement change its name to “Emerged” when it’s done? And is this the first movement to have a participle for a name?

Bill from The Thinklings, explaining his difficulty with “emergispeak.”


Women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion, while men have a small country road…I know it is not politically correct to say this but I’ve been torn for years between my politics and what science is telling us. I believe women actually perceive the world differently from men.

Dr. Luan Brizendine, a female psychiatrist who claims that inherent differences between the male and female brain explain why women are naturally more talkative than men.


Continue reading Overheard (v. 10)

Overheard (v. 9)

All traits in existence across the entire animal and vegetable kingdoms get the same seven word explanation: Whatever needs an explanation “arose by accident and was selected for.” How did the elephant get its trunk? It ABAAWSF. How did ants appear? They ABAAWSF. How did the leopard get its spots? ABAAWSF. Etcetera, ad infinitum.

— Tom Bethell summing up the “faith” of neo-Darwinists.


Being hostile to virginity is the ultimate misogyny. It means sneering at the innocence of children, and laughing at women who want sex to mean something more than just a hookup.

— Wendy Shalit, quoted in Rachel Kramer Bussel’s Village Voice column, “Like a Virgin: The Case Against Having Sex.” (HT: The Dawn Patrol)


The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.

— Soren Kierkegaard


Writing blog posts is much easier than writing books as Tim Challies is starting to discover. Since I have done both, I would compare writing a post as being just a little harder than eating a bowl of cereal, while writing a book – which I have several – is the closest thing to giving birth. Just a word of experience for all you bloggers that think blogging and book writing are in the same cosmic hemispheres.

Andy Jackson


Truncheons are for louts. The great masters of social manipulation use language. They know, furthermore, that the establishment of a flexible and subtle language for the ruling classes is only half of what’s needed. The other half is the perpetuation of an ineffective and minimal language among the subjects. Ordinarily, the second half is assured by man’s natural propensity to bother himself as little as possible, but history occasionally requires that the rulers take some special pains to preserve the ignorance of their subjects.
A fluent command of English cannot exist as an isolated skill, a clever stunt. A person who speaks and writes his native tongue clearly and precisely does so because of many other abilities, and those other abilities themselves grow stronger through the fluent manipulation of language. The simple matter of being logical is a function of language. A million high school graduates capable of fluent English would be a million Americans capable of logical thought. What would we do with them[…] ? You think they’re going to buy those lottery tickets and lamps in the shape of Porky Pig?

— Richard Mitchell, in Less than Words Can Say. (HT: Middlebrow)

Overheard (v. 8)

“Throughout this book, I often refer to Christians and Christianity because I am a Christian and I have a fairly good idea of what they believe, but the term is intended to include anyone who subscribes to the Bible of the God of Abraham, including Jews and others.”

— From a footnote on pg. 3 of Ann Coulter’s new book Godless.


“I’m not sure how wise it is to pass resolutions that functionally condemn the actions of Jesus (John 2; Luke 7:33-34; ) and Paul (1 Tim. 5:23). I’m also not sure it’s very wise to prohibit that which God has given as a gift (Deut. 14:26; Ps. 104:15).”

Justin Taylor on the Southern Baptist Convention’s resolution against alcohol.


“Real patriotism cannot be coerced. Our freedom to speak was attacked ‘

Overheard (v. 7)

“When Mr. Biden says things like, “Try to follow me, Judge Alito,” as he goes on one of his long, sterile journeys, I wonder if Judge Alito has to control himself with an act of will. I wonder if he has an inner Regis Philbin, and wants to throw out his arms and say, “Follow you? If I follow you, we’ll both wind up lost!” When Mr. Biden says, “Now this is a somewhat subtle point,” I wonder if Judge Alito wants to say, “Joe, if it were a subtle point you wouldn’t be making it!”

Peggy Noonan on what she imagines Judge Alito thinks of Sen. Joe Biden


“It’s about saying: ‘I’m sorry, if your family is out of control and causing hell for everybody else in the local community we cannot sit there and simply say nothing’s going to happen to you.”

— British Prime Minister Tony Blair on his National Parenting Academy where frustrated parents would be given help in dealing with out-of-control offspring.


“I just know if I saw that movie, the voice inside my head that delights in torturing me would have a field day. “You like those cowboys, don’t you? They’re kind of cute. Go ahead, admit it, they’re cute. You can’t fool me, gay man. Go ahead, stop fighting it. You’re gay! You’re gay!
Not that there’s anything wrong with it.”

Seinfeld creator Larry David, explaining why he refuses to see Brokeback Mountain


Overheard (v. 6)

“This is inevitable — Wi-Fi. It is long overdue. It is to me a fundamental right to have access universally to information…This is a civil rights issue as much as anything else.”

— San Fransico Mayor Gavin Newsom, claiming that wireless Internet access is a fundamental right of all citizens.


“She gives my name four sylllables — E-ye-e-d.”

Judge Ed Kinkeade, who says that Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers talks so slowly that the Senate should add an extra day to her hearings .


“Dr. Smith ‘

Overheard (v. 4)

“The trend among college women has prompted some sexual behavior experts to light-heartedly refer to the term ‘LUG,’ or ‘lesbian until graduation.”

Craig Kinsley, a neuroscientist at the University of Richmond who studies the biology of sexual orientation and gender, discussing a a CDCP report that 11.5 percent of women, ages 18 to 44, said they’ve had at least one sexual experience with another woman in their lifetimes.


“If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”

— From the prologue of the Dalai Lama’s new book, “The Universe in a Single Atom.”


“You’ve got your own demons to live with. I’m not going to judge you.”

— New Orleans police Captain Eddie Hosli — who had only 30 out of his 120 officers reported for duty the day after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city — to the AWOL officers who began trickling back to work after being promised five expenses-paid days in Las Vegas.


“New Orleans is a party town. Get over it.”

— New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin when asked why nearly 60 percent of the force was going to be relaxing in Sin City rather than searching for survivors.


Continue reading Overheard (v. 4)