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Rev. Dr. Henry Lee Bates - Archived Messages

RevBates.tv Global - Weekly Message To The Masses for July 15, 2007 

           "Sparking conversation in the tradition of coffee houses everywhere, Starbucks has always supported a good, healthy discussion. To get people talking, “The Way I See It” is a collection of thoughts, opinions and expressions provided by notable figures that now appear on our widely shared cups." - Starbucks, The Way I See It

  In the Science of Mind we learn that our thought must be devoid of limitation and fear in order to be open to the greater influx of Infinite Intelligence.  Not everyone understands what this means and even for those who understand it, many do not understand how to apply this practically in their lives.  Everything that we seek to accomplish in Spirit, or through spiritual means, begins with a choice ... and once we arrive at what we "choose" to do, we must make the decision to accomplish it no matter what conditions may subsequently appear.

       A good practical example is an idea that Starbucks put into effect called "The Way I See It."  As you can read from the first paragraph of this message, the idea in and of itself is a very worthwhile one.  As a matter of fact, it was a good decision and of the many ideas that they had to "choose" from ... they "chose" to act on this one.  And for many people this was a great idea and something of benefit ... a quote printed on the cups that gave the coffee customer something that would prompt healthy discussion with their friends.

      But back in 2005, Starbucks received complaints from Conservative Organizations regarding a quote by Armistad Maupin ... the author of "Tales of the City" ... a series of books that followed the 70's lifestyle of San Francisco residents ... especially gay and lesbian residents.  So ... Starbucks had accomplished what they set out to do ... "support a good, healthy discussion."  But, the good, healthy discussion turned ugly when fundamentalist ministers and conservative watchdog groups protested the quote by Maupin.  And of all the people quoted and of all the quotes that were being used ... Starbucks was only using one quote from Armistad Maupin.

     From the Seattle Times newspaper, August 30, 2005:  Maupin's quote — one of several dozen in "The Way I See It" promotion — says his only regret about being gay is that he repressed it for so long.  "I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone.
Don't make that mistake yourself. Life's too damn short."

Now, "The Concerned Women of America" accused Starbucks of promoting a "homosexual agenda" ... not that they don't have an agenda themselves ... otherwise why would they be organized?  But that is not important ... what is important is what Starbucks did.  And what they did, was pull the cups.  And in October, 2005 ... they began using a quote from Rick Warren an Evangelical minister.  Wow ... were they ever scared!!  And I am not kidding ... not only did they bow to the Religious Right ... they groveled before it!  After all, if you want to use Bible quotes you don't need Rick Warren ... just open the Bible and pick one.

    Starbucks continues to use the "The Way I See It" program.  I searched their website for the words "Armistad Maupin" and they could not be found ... however, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, embraced by the religious right, has created a great deal of controversy regarding single parents, working moms, and gay and lesbian people ... Canada labeled her show, "abusively discriminatory" ... her quote is on the Starbucks website today.

    And  now we see that Starbucks really doesn't support their decision for a good, healthy discussion.  Because if we truly believe in our ideas ... we will see them through.  We will not waver in the midst of opposition ... nor will we compromise what we believe to be true because our belief is not shared by everyone.  Starbucks had the opportunity to truly support a "healthy discussion" ... but instead they allowed the discussion to be stifled and limited ... and in so doing ... "the way I see it" ... has become meaningless.

The lesson for all of us in this; we must realize that "ideas" are "spiritual coin."  They can enrich our lives and the lives of others.  They are "gifts" from God and we must respect them and honor the Source.  But as Emerson stated, "God will not have His work made manifest by cowards."  We must go "beyond Starbucks" and know what we shall say to these things; "if God be for us, who can be against us?"


Keep the faith!
Rev. Dr. Henry Lee Bates

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