Do boycotts work? Is a moral outcry actually an effective tool to take money out of the abortion industry?
It was mid-December when the news broke (in our blog) that Lifeway was publishing a Bible which donated money to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which gave about $700,000 to Planned Parenthood the year before. Upon hearing the connection, the president and CEO of Lifeway Resources, Thom S. Rainer, issued a statement saying “we made a mistake” and immediately pulled the Bible from the shelves. His wise and godly decision resulted in real money being taken from the Komen foundation. It also resulted in people who gave their money to other breast cancer research funds that don’t contribute to the taking of life through abortion (which also increases breast cancer risk).
Weeks later, when Komen temporarily stopped giving money to Planned Parenthood, a move sadly reversed after the abortion provider went “thug” on them in the media and bullied them back into giving them their blood money, almost every major news outlet cited Bound4LIFE and the Komen Bible as part of the connection. It became a piece of the Komen/Planned Parenthood drama. And while the agency sent its funding right back to the nation’s largest abortion provider, the past few weeks news stories have told us that Race for the Cure entries are down. Pro-life people were deeply impacted by the news of Komen’s ironic donations and have pulled back.
Even before the Komen drama came to the forefront, PepsiCo and its subsidiaries were quietly contracting with Senomyx to taste flavor receptors in its products by using the cells from an aborted fetus. HEK 293, the name of the cell line, never went directly into the food and drink, of course, but the idea that the science of our minds that told us something tasted better because of the work profited off the shedding of innocent blood was a bit too much for many pro-lifers.
Our friends at Children of God for Life blasted the news to us all and many pro-life agencies joined in a boycott of Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Gatorade and Quaker (all the same company). Some of us joined in with Kraft and Nestle products too. This week the news came out: PepsiCo had ceased its contractual obligations and was committing specifically to not use fetal cells to create any food or drink product in any way.
Standing in the wings, are people watching the Thirty-One corporation whose giving arm is donating money to many Planned Parenthood connected groups. Some have already stepped aside, eschewing a company that seems to be Christian with its name and purported values but then hands dollars to places that help kill babies in the womb in the name of empowering women.
I can’t tell you how many times I personally have been told my passions are nice but misguided, at best. Often I am told how “mean” I am go to after those nice people who help cure cancer or help women get scholarships—or whatever it is that week. But I continue to maintain that doing some good while killing in the process negates the so-called good. And so I do boycott—sort of. To me the boycott is secondary to the heart connect. I love Jesus. I love the God who says he “hates” the shedding of innocent blood. How can I buy the Nestle creamers to satisfy my taste buds when I know that they are profiting off the shedding of innocent blood? I’m not worried about drinking fetal cells. I’m worried about grieving the heart of God by not walking in the light He’s given me for LIFE.
Some boycott because it makes them mad, and some, like me, see it more as a fast, but the bottom line is when people refuse to put their money where there’s a blatant and obvious connection to the shedding of innocent blood, it matters.
Folks, these changes have happened in less than a year. Things change when people unify toward a goal. Yes, some people laugh and others call you names, and sometimes it doesn’t even feel very spiritual or important. But at the end of the day, it works. Even in our pro-choice culture, corporations listen to what the financial ledger says. When boycotts hit and money fades, whether they care about LIFE or not, they will adjust their business practices to raise their profits. Sometimes you get a godly change like Lifeway, and sometimes you get a practical change like PepsiCo. But at the end of the change is a culture of LIFE prevailing over a culture of death.
So as we continue to contend for Kraft and Nestle to cease their connections with this company’s products, and as we call on Thirty-One to abide by its scriptural principles and give its money to LIFE and godliness, remember it’s not in vain. It’s never in vain in Heaven where the Lord accounts for every “yes” we say to His heart, but these recent results remind us that even in a natural sense, what we do matters.
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).