So, let’s just recap this ongoing saga, shall we?
1. Doug Pollard discovers that Gloria Jeans Coffee donated $30,000 to Australia’s leading anti-gay group, the Australian Christian Lobby.
2. A call to boycott Gloria Jeans Coffee follows.
3. It goes viral.
4. Gloria Jeans issues a statement trying to play down their affiliation with anti-gay organisations such as the Australian Christian Lobby, Hillsong church, Mercy Ministries and the Salvation Army (we’re still not sure about Kenneth Copeland Ministries).
Here’s the spin:
“This was a once off donation during the time of the election… in support of the prime ministerial debate only. What’s more, it is important to reiterate that we are not religiously affiliated or affiliated to any other beliefs or preferences, including Hillsong.
By the same token, nor do we discriminate against others based on their beliefs or preferences. We are proud of our culture of equality and embrace diversity across our entire business.
The religious affiliation and preferences of some our management, Franchise Partners or Team Members, is their personal choice and bears no relevance to the way that our business runs day to day.”
4. I do some more digging and find that Gloria Jeans charitable foundation donates to Compassion Australia. Compassion (and its global partner Compassion International) appear to be decidedly anti-gay. Compassion is also closely linked to Hillsong Church and sponsors it annual conferences.
5. And then, the brilliant Dave the Happy Singer from Dave the Happy Singer dot com makes an amazing discovery. Three days ago, it seems, Gloria Jeans logo was proudly displayed online as a ‘partner’ of the Hillsong Conference. But, after the boycott controversy – POOF! – the evidence of Gloria Jeans’ close and continuing ‘partnership’ with Hillsong mysteriously disappeared from the site. Luckily Dave managed to save it with a screen capture! Bet they’re relieved!
What was it Gloria Jeans said in their statement? Oh yes!
“We are not religiously affiliated or affiliated to any other beliefs or preferences, including Hillsong … The religious affiliation and preferences of some our management, Franchise Partners or Team Members, is their personal choice and bears no relevance to the way that our business runs day to day.”
Please visit Dave’s blog for more information!
7. Then comes a most interesting ‘revelation’ from one of my readers, Kas Grigonis, who writes:
The company that is trading as Gloria Jeans is called Jireh International Pty Ltd. Jireh is the Hebrew verb meaning “to provide” and is commonly known in the term “Jehovah jireh”, meaning “God will provide”.
Also, in the book of Genesis, Jehovah-jireh is the place where God told Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering,* (Abraham named the place as such after God provided him with a ram to sacrifice instead of Isaac).
The North American affiliate set up for Jireh International Pty Ltd (trading as Gloria Jeans) is called Praise International North America Incorporated.
The links between church and addictive drug peddling… sorry… coffee selling… to the world couldn’t get much stronger. 🙂
What was that, Gloria Jeans? The line’s breaking up, you’ll have to speak louder! Oh, yes, okay, I can hear you now:
” … it is important to reiterate that we are not religiously affiliated or affiliated to any other beliefs or preferences … The religious affiliation and preferences of some our management, Franchise Partners or Team Members, is their personal choice and bears no relevance to the way that our business runs day to day.”
I’ve been mulling on this overnight and it’s brought to mind an amusing incident from many years ago.
I had just bought a coffee at my local (independent) coffee shop. I took my drink to an outside table and sat down. Just as I looked up I saw at the table opposite, a child of about 6 years old, sitting by himself and shovelling sugar out of the sugar bowl into his mouth. Just as the next teaspoonful rose to his lips, I said, “You’re not going to eat that, are you?”
The child looked at me with wide-eyed innocence, spoonful of sugar still poised centimetres from his mouth, and responded with a sing-song, “Noo–oh.”
Oh, how it reminds me of Gloria Jeans with their hand, caught in the Christian anti-gay cookie jar while flat-out denying their religious affiliations.
Wake up, Gloria Jeans! You’re not six and we’re not stupid.
You’re just making the situation worse.
Meanwhile Starbucks Australia have followed their US parent, done the right thing and publicly announced their support for marriage equality.
*This may explain GJ’s own ‘burnt offerings’!
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It is at times like these, I wouldn’t mind being a huge client of Gloria Jeans … it would make the action of withdrawing support all the more effective. Sadly, I might drink 2 cups of (instant) coffee a day and both of those are made at home. I will however let my coffee-drinking colleagues know about Gloria Jeans. Do you know of any further connections between large companies and the anti-gay stance?
If I knew about them, I’d be writing about them.. I assume Sanitarium is anti-same-sex marriage given they’re owned by the Seventh Day Adventists. The Catholic Church also owns a great many companies, including, I am told a winery and a turf farm. This is rather dated, but still instructive: http://blogs.theage.com.au/business/executivestyle/managementline/archives/brw2906p042-046.pdf
Let’s talk about the companies that SUPPORT marriage equality, though!
Sunrise on Seven
Virgin (Richard Branson has come out in support of marriage equality)
Happy to add to this list if anyone has other suggestions.
On a technical note, the word “jireh” in isolation does not actually mean “provide” in Hebrew. In fact the word “jireh” is not how the word would be pronounced in Hebrew. It would actually be “yireh”, as there is no “j” sound in the Hebrew alphabet (although the ‘j’ sound has been created by modifying the ‘g’ sound in contemporary use).
The word “jireh” as represented in Hebrew is יִרְאֶה and on Google Translate translates in isolation to the word ‘awe’. There are likely to be a range of meaning of the word.
Without knowing the intent of the business it’s hard to say what they actually wanted it to mean but the meaning you’ve been given is probably along the lines of what they meant.
Nice deconstruction, but I doubt anyone will notice because it does not add support the frenzy of activity 😐
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah-jireh it is the right spelling but also can be spelt with a y; means God will provide
Kale, I believe you in saying that’s what the two words together mean, but in isolation “jireh” or “yireh” are not Hebrew words for “provide”, to the best of my understanding.
Your energy level and persistence is so admirable. Behind you all the way!
Thanks Abbie – you’re such a great supporter of this blog. It’s people like you who motivate me to keep on tapping away!
Gloria (oh the irony) does like the word ‘Preference’ 🙂
Westfield Shopping Centres is owned by the Catholic Church…
Really? Do you have a source for that?
Westfield Shopping Centres are owned by Westfield Group. Started by Frank Lowy and John Saunders (deceased) both Jewish Hungarian refugees.
I doubt Mr Lowy is affiliated with the Catholic Church.
Sanitarium donates all it’s profits to the Seventh-day Adventist church, effectively paying no tax (on it’s profits.) Think about that next time you’re tucking into your Weet-bix…
Westfield is a publlicy traded company, and not owned by the Catholic Church. The Church does, however, own an erotic publishing company. Which is heaps funnier.
That’s ringing some bells. Do you have any more info? I did think that if Westfield was owned by the Catholic Church I would have heard of it.
I’m a supporter of marriage equality, and I’m also a Christian. I think all of the discussion drawing connections between the ACL and other organisations is really drawing a very long bow. Two weeks ago, nobody cared one fig about ACL sponsors, but suddenly every affiliate to the ACL is being vilified by mere association. It’s a bit ridiculous.
I’m no fan of Hillsong, but I can’t see the relevance of their supporting the ACL in this instance. I also see no connection between the narrow views of the ACL toward marriage equality and Compassion as an organisation either. Really, the ACL call for a boycott against sponsors of Sunrise and Marie Claire is what started all this. The backlash against Gloria Jeans is a kind of tit for tat, but unfortunately, its really just playing into what was a stupid game to begin with. The appropriate Christian response to the ACL call for a boycott is to get ourselves along to the businesses the ACL says we ought to avoid and show our support for them.
Even if you play a dirty game well, you’re still just playing a dirty game.
Good try, but it doesn’t work on me. What is dirty in my book is for one cent of my money going to support organisations which work against full equality for the LGBTI community. It’s true, it may not always be possible for me to tell. But where I find out that is happening, I will withdraw my business and make it known to as many people as possible.
What if Gloria Jeans was sponsoring a racist organisation? Would you still think it right to patronise them?
What if they were anti-semitic. Would you still be happy to pop in there on a Sunday for your mocha-latte?
There is nothing dirty in standing up for justice and equality. There is nothing dirty in standing up against organisations which contribute to the social environment which causes gay teens to commit suicide at a far greater rate than their peers.
Your post shows clearly how warped one’s mind can become by Christianity.
When you see standing up for people’s rights and refusing to provide oppressors with funds as ‘dirty tactics’ you really need to take a long, hard look at the kind of ‘morality’ you’re embracing.
Love this reply.
And for our next conspiracy theory… Dude, your clearly a little over zealous in your guilty by association.. Oh, and that whole Hebrew root word analysis thing, fuck me I thought I was reading a new Dan Brown novel… How bout you do something useful and tackle the root cause of this issue (being the actual religious groups) rather than pick the low lying fruit? You don’t think these groups don’t make enough of a mint already that a whopping 30k sponsorship deal from some business is going to suddenly boost their cause? Speaking of, I didn’t see any mention about the 30k being a sponsorship for an event that both the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition spoke at either? Was it left out because it didn’t quit fit your argument?
You might like to google me – my work extends far wider than the coffee wars.
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Check out Gloria Jean’s on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloria_Jean's_Coffees#Controversies
Then check out Gloria Jean’s Facebook page’ wiki link
Scroll down to ‘Controversies’
Notice what is missing?
I’m not sure what is missing Robert but they are both sourced from the same place, and they should contain the same content. Perhaps the Facebook version hasn’t caught up with the Wikipedia source copy.
Support of anti-gay groups is missing from the facebook page
I checked this afternoon and saw it there on my laptop web browser, then after you posted the second comment I checked on my phone web browser and that section wasn’t there, and stil isn’t now, when I’m back on a laptop web browser. I don’t quite understand it. The page can’t be edited by anyone except on Wikipedia. Perhaps check back in a day or two and see if there is still a discrepancy.
It’s been that way for the last 10 days.
Jesus accepted all sorts of people whom the religious establishment shunned in his time – there is a difference between some religious organisations and the true spirit of Chistianity – a spirit of love and acceptance of people.
To me, as a Christian, Gene Robinson and Desmond Tutu (who wrote an introduction to Robinsons’s book) show the love of God far more than many of the Conservative Evangelical groups. God is love, and his love is without limits.
So here’s another interesting revelation: “There is also still confusion about our relationship with Hillsong Church. Gloria Jean’s Coffees is a privately owned business and not owned by the Hillsong Church.
This misunderstanding often arises because our founders are active parishioners of their local Hillsong Church. ”
not only are the founders active parishioners, but Mr Nabi Saleh is on the board of directors at Hillsong – and of course the corporate office for GJ’s is just down the road from the Hills Hillsong Campus.