Unlike many people I know, I am not going to start boycotting Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. There has been quite a brouhaha in the conservative and Jewish media I follow, stemming from the ice cream company’s decision not to sell its wares in parts of Israel. While I don’t champion their decision, I can’t start boycotting because I have not been buying Ben and Jerry’s ice cream since the 1990s.
My personal boycott started when one of our daughters heard either Ben or Jerry (I don’t remember which one it was) speak at a conference that took place during the Gulf War. She was appalled at the venom he spewed against our military. While it would have been utterly acceptable to oppose American intervention, he instead wished violent repercussions on the American soldiers themselves. With that, my cravings for Fudge Brownie ice cream ended.
Ben & Jerry’s love affair with socialism and their anti-American leanings have never been a secret. I admit to a certain irritation at those who are “shocked, simply shocked” at this latest manifestation of their political views. Some people simply weren’t paying attention.
My boycott was a private decision made so that I could look at myself in the mirror. My principled ground is shaky; I use many products from companies who meddle in politics in ways that I consider damaging to civilization and in opposition to Godly views. One of my friends draws her private line by not patronizing Starbucks while another has given up using Facebook. Each of us makes our own decisions. Without retreating to a self-sufficient and secluded homestead, it’s almost impossible not to patronize businesses that encourage immoral and harmful positions. My friends and I are aware that we are bailing out a swimming pool with a teaspoon. Yet, we think taking even these limited and somewhat futile steps is worthwhile if only to remind ourselves how easy it is to become accustomed to distorted ideas.
The Ben & Jerry boycott, as well as the rising concern of Asian parents whose children are being discriminated against in education, and the objections of workers whose jobs are being threatened if they don’t vaccinate, share a commonality. As long as we have cultural myopia, focusing only on what affects us and those in “our immediate group,” we move further down the road to a dismal future that will hurt all good and freedom-loving people. To paraphrase Pastor Martin Niemöller’s famous words:
First they came for the white Evangelicals, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a white Evangelical.
Then they came for the male college students, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a male college student.
Then they came for the business owners, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a business owner.
Then they came for black conservatives, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a black conservative.
Then they came for the Trump supporters, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Trump supporter.
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak for me.
The potential stanzas could go on and on, but a society’s timeline does not.
20% Discount – Biblical Blueprint Set
This week our Biblical Blueprints Set is 20% off. These five CDs cover topics including how our speech affects our business lives and social relationships; whether the Ten Commandments have a deeper meaning than most of us realize; why we need to decide whether to relate to time in the way of Israel or of Greece; how to rid our souls of psychological baggage; and what steps we can take to break out of our troubles. Available as a 5-CD Set or as Instant Downloads.
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