Much of the time when we shop we’re probably not assuming the store owner shares our particular values and beliefs. This is true of both small businesses and larger corporations: the thought of shared values didn’t cross my mind at the local hot dog joint on Thursday or while buying ice at Walgreens on Sunday morning. There are, however, certain brands that ask for more than our dollars; they’re interested in our identities. They hope we will align ourselves with what they’re selling. This makes great sense for the company but much less so for us. Discovering something about our favorite brands that obviously clashes with who we hope to be creates – to slightly overstate it – an identity crisis.
So we are left to boycott a company we love not because of gross exploitation – again, we don’t think this way about many of the companies we frequent – but because of how closely we’ve become identified with their products and experiences.
Christians are people who don’t construct our identities but, rather, have them secured for us in Jesus. We are who we are because of who God is rather than anything so profane as a corporate marketing strategy. Does this mean Christians of all political leanings shouldn’t boycott? I don’t think so. But living differentiated from the shallow identities of savvy corporations may allow us to think differently about what what we abstain from, and why.
Read all of David’s post here.