Sunday, October 23, 2005

Freethinker Sunday Sermonette: Starbuckling

Sunday again. I'll take the pulpit to reflect on god and mammon.

Or god and coffee. Starbuck's is buckling to the godstruck and reportedly will include in its quotes from writers, scientists, musicians, athletes, politicians and cultural critics on cups a quote from Rev. Rick Warren, author of the metaphysical pot-boiler The Purpose-Driven Life (USA Today, 10/19/05). It will put your mind to sleep no matter how much caffeine you've had.

Starbucks was apparently feeling the heat from America's Taliban. Baylor University (University?) pulled Starbucks cups after a quote from Armistead Maupin appeared saying life was too short (actually "too damn short") to hide being gay. Instead we'll get Warren's pitch for god the creator, sent in after he saw a quote on evolution. Jeez. Talk about gutless. My next cup comes from Peets.

Starbucks now joins In-N-Out Burger and the Forever 21 and XXI clothes outlets, all of whom have a tiny little Bible book, chapter and verse notation (John 3:16) on the bottoms of their shopping bags proclaiming: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Not to mention the Hobby Lobby chain that only plays Christian music on their muzak. Imagine the furor if the godless majority of this country were to launch a campaign to force these stores to put Freethinker quotes on their shopping bags or play Heavy Metal satanism ditties for their customers. I'm not advocating it. The god-addled shouldn't either.

Where will it all end? Someplace like this:
A 26-year-old Missouri woman was refused [Emergency Contraception, the "morning after pill"] when she handed her prescription to a pharmacist at a Target store in Fenton, MO, on September 30. The woman was told by the pharmacist, “I won’t fill it. It’s my right not to fill it.” She was told that she could go to a local Walgreens instead. The woman said, “When the pharmacist told me she wouldn't [fill the prescription], I went from disbelief to shock to anger. I guess I'm still pretty angry. It seems unbelievable to me that a medical professional could/would deny access to a federally approved drug and impose their personal beliefs in a professional setting. I am also grateful that I did not need it filled at that time. I don't know how it would be if I had just been raped or if the condom broke and I was a feeling confusion and panic anyway -- and then was denied access and told to go across the street.”
Starbucks and Target. You're on my shit list. Have a nice Sunday.