Brewing Controversy

Those conversation-inspiring quotes that Starbucks has been slapping on its cups for a couple of years now keep getting the company in hot water. (Or maybe just the mildly warm water of extra publicity.)

Jim Romenesko’s as-useful-as-it-is-entertaining site Starbucks Gossip points to a Dayton Daily News story about an admitted Starbucks addict who went cold turkey after reading this quote on her daily cup of house-brewed coffee with nonfat milk and two Splendas:

Why in moments of crisis do we ask God for strength and help? As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome? After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure.

Uh-oh. That sounds mildly irreligious.

But the cups aren’t necessarily a haven for liberal antichurch thought. A few months ago, there was controversy around this quote:

Darwinism’s impact on traditional social values has not been as benign as its advocates would like us to believe. Despite the efforts of its modern defenders to distance themselves from its baleful social consequences, Darwinism’s connection with eugenics, abortion and racism is a matter of historical record. And the record is not pretty.

Although I applaud a corporation that’s willing to inspire coffee drinkers of all stripe to get their panties in a bunch, perhaps Starbucks should stick to the type of inoffensive quotes we can all agree on, like this one from reading advocate Wally Amos:

Reading is a child’s first subject. A parent is a child’s first teacher. Reading aloud is Early Childhood Development. Reading aloud helps a child build a strong foundation for life. Reading takes you everywhere.

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