18/03/08 - for the latest on this story, please visit this link to my G'Day World blog.
John Safran covered this story on his show last Sunday night. I heard it on his podcast today. It struck me because I was in a Gloria Jean's with the boys just this afternoon and was looking at the ad in question.
On 8th and 9th of October, Gloria Jean’s coffee houses around Australia are hosting a special event, Cappuccino for a Cause, to support the work of Mercy Ministries. When you buy a Cappuccino or Cappuccino Chiller over the event weekend, 50 cents from each sale will be donated to Mercy Ministries.
What is Mercy Ministries?
Mercy Australia runs a residential program for young women aged between 16 and 28 years with life controlling issues. These issues range from eating disorders, unplanned pregnancies, substance abuse, eating disorders, self harm, suicidal tendencies, depression and anxiety, and the effects of sexual and physical abuse. The average stay for a resident is approx 10 months, depending on each individual girl.
The program is very structured and is based on Christian principles. The residents have class time and bible study daily.
The founders of Gloria Jeans, Mr Irvine and Nabi Saleh, are both members of the Hillsong Church.
Hillsong, as most Aussies by now know, is a pretty scary evangelical church based in Sydney that is making a major push to get its members elected to Federal Parliament, and had some recent successes. The church has attracted several high profile Australian politicians to its events. The line between Church and State in this country is blurring and it scares the hell out of me. How long before we end up like the US?
What many Aussies may not know, however, is that the church has it's share of skeletons, including the founder's father, who held senior positions in the church, but was forced to resign in 2000 "following exposure of his homosexual paedophile activities whilst ministering in New Zealand some thirty years earlier."
Hillsong also, allegedly, makes a LOT of tax-free money. On 3 August, 2005, The Australian reported that both Brian and Bobbie Houston were under investigation by the Office of Fair Trading for failing to file financial statements.
Hmmmm... Mick, maybe we should register TPN as a church. There's a lot of profit in being a prophet.
So, anyway, the bottom line is - if you buy coffee from Gloria Jean's on Oct 8 & 9, be aware that those funds are going to go towards the fundamentalist Christian brainwashing of some already pretty messed up young women. Telling them that they were born into sin and are damned to eternal hellfire if they don't worship a guy who died 2000 years ago is really what they DON'T need right now.