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!
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 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’!