Starbucks confirms it will add "a God-filled quote from the Rev. Rick Warren" to its "provocative quote campaign," reports Cathy Lynn Grossman in USA Today. The Starbucks campaign, called "The Way I See It," involves "printing 63 quotes from writers, scientists, musicians, athletes, politicians and cultural critics on cups for company run and licensed locations." The idea is to "carry on the coffeehouse tradition of conversation and debate." Seems to be working. The Reverend, author of "The Purpose-Driven Life," says he was moved to submit a quote to Starbucks after "seeing a Starbucks quote on evolution from paleontologist Louise Leakey."
His quote, of course, doubles as a mighty fine promotion for his book. It reads:
"You are not an accident. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He wanted you alive and created you for a purpose. Focusing on yourself will never reveal your purpose. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense. Only in God do we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny."
(By the way, October 19th happens to be National Evaluate Your Life Day.) The The Starbucks cups do "carry a disclaimer that the opinions 'do not necessarily reflect the views of Starbucks.'"
In any case, Starbucks is far from alone in including "clues to Christianity" in its product packaging. The In-and-Out Burger Chain "has included tiny notations for Bible verses" in its packaging since 1987. Don Chang, founder of the Forever 21 and XXI clothing chains stamps "the Bible book, chapter and verse notation on the bottom of his stores' shopping bags. Chik-fil-A advertises that its "sandwich shops nationwide are closed on Sundays to free employees to focus on faith and family ... Alaska Airlines has put baseball card size prayer cards on hot-meal trays for 30 years 'just to differentiate ourselves from the competition,'" according to a spokesperson. Comments sociologist David Halle: "Americans are more accepting of overt religiosity these days, and corporations are good at figuring out how to do it with a light touch, one that's not going to scare off unbelievers."