Faux Stokes

Outside Stokes Tea and Coffee in the Lincolnshire town of Grantham is a little sign with a Pride/Transgender flag upon it. Accompanying this is the text "proud to serve everyone". Doubtless, the proprietors feel like trailblazing equality champions for having made such a grand gesture. Some LGBTQ+ customers may also feel gratified that so respected a business is ‘flying the flag’. Yet it is all hogwash. If Stokes, or their competitors, refused to serve tea or coffee to someone on account of their orientation or gender, they would be in breach of at least two Acts of Parliament. So they are ‘proud’ to be doing something that they are legally obliged to do anyway? Perhaps they will provide additional signage stating “We are proud to pay our staff at least the minimum wage”, “We are proud to wash our hands before serving food”, or ‘We are proud to pay Business Rates”. Good for them.

Secondly, the purpose of a business, small or large, is to generate revenue. Why would they refuse the custom of people whose money they crave?

“We are proud to charge all people for our products”

“We are proud to make money out of absolutely everyone”.

Had they put out that little sign in Lincoln in 1892 when Robert Stokes founded the firm, it might have had more significance. Beware cheap gestures and hollow soundbites; unfortunately, the contemporary equality industry is little more. God is the source of our value. Christ serves and saves every group and minority who will come to Him.