Jonathan Merritt, author of A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars, a book (for the record) that I have not examined, and which received significant push-back, has written an article for The Atlantic with which I fully resonate. He asks the question: Do we really want a country where people won’t do commerce with those who have beliefs different than their own?
I think most of us would say no, we don’t. We’re happy to buy things from people who disagree with us on any number of issues, provided their products and services are good and/or reasonably priced. Merritt writes:
On both sides of our latest culture war divide, we must learn to have level-headed disagreements without resorting to accusations of hate speech and boycotts. As Josh Ozersky argued on TIME Thursday, “businesses should be judged by their products and their practices, not by their politics.”
I agree: I don’t care how my dry cleaner votes. I just want to know if he/she can press my Oxfords without burning my sleeves. I find no compelling reason to treat sandwiches differently than shirts.
From a business standpoint, some might say Cathy’s comments were imprudent if not downright dumb. But in a society that desperately needs healthy public dialogue, we must resist creating a culture where consumers sort through all their purchases (fast food and otherwise) for an underlying politics not even expressed in the nature of the product itself.
Read the rest of this short, well-reasoned article.