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Tuesday, September 25, 2007


...not as though you aren't already. They are trendy, they are popular with the Hollywood set...but Caribou has MUCH better coffee, not to mention much better taste in music.

Have you seen this article?

Joni Mitchell is back after nine years, and she’s on the attack. In the title track to her new album, “Shine,” Mitchell takes a nice swipe at the Catholic Church by name.

“Shine on the Catholic Church/And the prisons that it owns,” she sings. “Shine on all the Churches/that love less and less.”

Mitchell was never one to mince words, but in her triumphant return on Starbucks’ Hear Records, she doesn’t give an inch."

You can read the rest yourself.

OK. I have a degree in Criminal Justice, and I studied in two countries. There were prisons in both. I toured prisons all over Minnesota as part of my education, and took one tour with a friend who worked at one of them. Fascinating thing; the Catholic Church didn't own ANY of them! Some prisons are, in fact, privately owned; it's a fairly new trend. But the Catholic Church is not in on that business. She does supply chaplains, however, to answer to the spiritual needs of those imprisoned, to uphold their dignity as human beings.

Perhaps we should send a Catholic Chaplain to attend to the spiritual needs of Joni Mitchell...she doesn't really have much dignity left. And I think she's consumed BOTH of her feet in this deal, so maybe she's also in need of a ride somewhere. We should be charitable and answer to that.

But then again...I'm not sure I want to subject some poor priest to her animosity.

You can make your thoughts known to Starbucks', and I encourage you to do so. Here's what I had to say:

Hi. Like Joni Mitchell, I am an opinionated artist. Oh... and did I mention that I'm Catholic? Too bad for you, I'm also a very OPINIONATED and OUTSPOKEN Catholic, as are a good number of my friends and acquaintances. I'm opinionated much like Joni Mitchell, but I learned a long time ago not to stick my foot in my mouth by sounding off about things beyond my comprehension.

Additionally, I've learned not to SUPPORT such loose cannons. That's a lesson Starbucks needs to learn.

It just so happens that, in addition to my strong, opinionated personality, I am Catholic AND I have a degree in Criminal Justice. And, just because I'm curious, could you, or she, tell me exactly WHICH prison is owned and operated by the Catholic Church? My goodness, perhaps I could have gotten a job there when I was unemployed after college!

And more importantly, I'm wondering why Starbucks is supporting and promoting the work of an artist who has made a completely unjust and ill-informed attack upon the Catholic Church?

May I remind you that there are a good many customers who happen to be of the Catholic faith? And those Catholics have lots of friends who are NOT Catholic...but don't like to see their friends insulted. And I'd like to remind you also that Catholics and their friends like coffee. A LOT. And if you hope to do any damange control at all, it may be for the best if you remove Joni Mitchell from your playlist, because another facet of Catholicism is that we like to talk to people, and we are NOT afraid to defend our faith. Especially when it's so easy because the "artist" in question is spouting off, not citing facts.

We, the members of the Catholic faith, have the ability to cite facts and figures in direct refute to what Ms. Mitchell has offered. Now, in all charitibility we may surmise that it is not Starbucks making such reckless charges, but in actuality, as the business carrying her music, in fact, you DO bear responsibility for her words and her position.

Does Starbucks REALLY want to support the unintelligent sputter of a dying artist whose last hope of popularity is that of Catholic bashing? or is that the last hope of Starbucks as well?

Please remove this artist from your association. Thank you

I sent in my comment under my name because I don't believe in speaking up to such a thing without being willing to take a hit for it. If we stand for what we believe, we have to be willing sign our signatures to it.

Starbucks has a history of doing controversial things, and they do it to MAKE business, because this kind of thing garners attention. There are those who will now be drawn to Starbucks due to name recognition. There are those who will go BECAUSE they bash the Church. Starbucks knows this. This entire thing is a calculated business move, and they also realize that most Catholics are lackluster as best.


Step up! I think that all or most of my readers are Catholic, so I ask all of you to write to Starbucks here, and tell them of your boycott, and that of your friends. Perhaps some of our non-Catholic friends would be willing to stand in solidarity with us against Starbucks...because, in actuality, they could be next. Perhaps our Muslim friends would be willing to write in to Starbucks and tell them that religious persecution is wrong, and they won't patronize this business anymore, either.

If Starbucks hears from enough people, they might change their tactics.

And it will have more impact if those who address Starbucks mention their faith tradition or lack thereof in denouncing the lyrics of Joni Mitchell.

So those of you who claim to fight for justice...speak up! And Catholics....if you don't speak...who will listen?


Ray from MN said...

Good one, Adoro!

Starbucks in Highland Park is right across the street from Lumen Christi Church (the old St Leo's). I'm going to go ask Starbucks today what they are going to do about this promotion before I drop off the information at St Leo's.

Kevin said...

brew it at home! There are a number of Catholic alternatives including Mystic Monk coffee roasted by the fairly new and growing community of Wyoming Carmelites. A Trappist community in Venezuela also offers coffee beans. Check your local monastery gift shops for other offerings.

Kevin said...

brew it at home! There are a number of Catholic alternatives including Mystic Monk coffee roasted by the fairly new and growing community of Wyoming Carmelites. A Trappist community in Venezuela also offers coffee beans. Check your local monastery gift shops for other offerings.

Ma Beck said...

My contribution to Starbucks' inbox this morning:

It's bad enough that Starbucks has, in an effort to show how hip and progressive it is, changed all its restrooms in the Chicago area to "unisex". Now, I too can enjoy the stench of urine and the sight of urine on the toilet, floor, etc., just like the boys! Aren't we modern?
Now, Starbucks is promoting Joni Mitchell's new CD, which is blatantly anti-Catholic in nature.
I am an orthodox Catholic. I realize that I belong to the one group which it's okay to insult, deride, and slander.
I'd love Mitchell to try and release a CD which talks about Muslim "prisons." In case you're wondering, that'd be the home, for millions of Muslim women.
She wouldn't dare. Why? Because Catholics aren't going to threaten
her life, no matter how vile her words.
Starbucks also pretends to be socially conscious while ripping off coffee farmers. (Good show, by the way, when you trumpeted the fact that Starbucks FINALLY started buying fair trade coffee. I love that you didn't bother to mention that only 3.7% of Starbucks coffee is, in fact, fair trade. Way to keep the peasants down and the bottom line up.
I encounter thousands of people every day at the world's busiest airport. Don't think I won't be shouting from the rooftops about how Starbucks is anti-Catholic.
That's not likely to go over well in this town, where the vast majority of people are Catholic.

Adoro te Devote said...

Thanks for the comment, Kevin!

I do usually brew my coffee at home, because I need it first thing in the morning, BEFORE I drive down the road. But when I do go somewhere to study or just hanker for a good mocha or something, Starbucks is NOT an option, and I don't care if they're the only joint in town. I'd rather die of caffeine withdrawl spasms if faced with that or to patronize this business.

Great mention on the alternatives. :-)

Ma Beck ~ PREACH IT girlfriend!

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

can't afford it anyway!

Cathy_of_Alex said...

I'm with Kevin, I usually brew at home. I rarely buy at the chain coffees. Caribou is better anyway and locally owned.

However, I"m writing!!!!!

I"m sad, because I actually like Joni Mitchell's music.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Cathy of Alex, I generally like her music as well -- have done for years. As a canadian, I used to be somewhat proud of her, but no more. Disappointed, yes. I too brew my morning coffee at home, but when the urge to go afield strikes, here in Canada we have Tim Hortons. Also in downtown Montreal I've gone to Java U, La Brulerie St-Denis, Second Cup, and Timothy's Worldwide (or International, don't remember which). I go to TImothy's mostly because it shares a Christian name with my younger son, lol! I've always thought Starbucks' stuff overpriced anyway. As a patriotic Canadian, I vote for Tim Hortons!

dobrodoc said...

Here's a little talking blues I wrote before I even knew of Joni's album .

"Catholicism 101"

I’ve heard some people talking trash ‘bout the Catholic Church.
Listen to this story and learn from my research.
It all got started about 33 AD.
When Jesus gave the keys to Peter and said keep an eye on things for me.
Rocky your gonna’ let me down and even fall into sin.
But against this Church the gates of hell are never gonna’ win.

They say we don’t love the bible, but’s that’s a fallacy.
The Church did canonize it in the 4th Century.
So complete and perfect the word of God highly esteemed.
No one ever thought to question it before 1517.
But Luther found some chapters of which he disagreed.
He made himself the Editor and went down in history.

Catholics don’t worship idols, Mary or the saints.
And we don’t fancy necromancy it’s something we disdain.
The pope don’t walk on the water, can’t wash our sins away
But when he speaks from the seat of Peter we listen and obey.
To say we worship anyone but Jesus Christ our Lord,
Is a fundamental fairytale of which I’m getting bored.

We believe in God the Father, Maker of Heaven and earth,
Who came down from Heaven by the virgin birth.
Crucified for our sins died and rose again.
He’ll judge the living and the dead His kingdom will have no end.
One holy Catholic apostolic church in her we do believe
Under the same management,
since 33 AD!

Tiber Jumper said...

dobrodoc is AKA Tiber Jumper

tara said...

Sheesh--I like Starbucks Coffee--but bashing our church is not free speech--its not funny to me a Catholic--I will boycott them and send them a note through your link.

uncle jim said...

i don't do coffee

but i don't like trashing Catholics

they get one from me, too.

Maria said...

I had my last Starbucks a year and a half ago. And I made one of my best friends sell all her Starbucks stock. I miss my frapuccinos tremendously. I am one of those that likes Starbucks coffee over Caribou. But when they started having those "quotes" on their paper cups and started passing out free coffees at gay parades and other related stuff I said ENOUGH. I suffered at first but now I'm ok. My friend sold all her stock and because of this now has a Catholic financial advisor that invests only in companies that do not support abortion, contraception, hidden agendas, etc.
If we don't know, we are not sinning. But when we are aware of what they are doing, giving them our money is morally wrong.
Thanks for a great post.

Hidden One said...

I've posted a link to this post on my blog.

Terry Nelson said...

I have never been to a Starbucks ever. And Joni Mitchell sucks. She's a has been. Sorry Cath.

Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

I've never been to a Starbucks ever either. But then I don't drink coffee ;-) One of the things I really liked about being in France was that I could roll up to a bar on my bike for my morning 'hot chocolate' and nobody treated me as if I was abnormal!

Father Kyle said...

made a contribution as well

angelmeg said...

I would suspect that Ms Mitchell thinks that the Catholic Church "imprisons all women" by its stance on birth control.

How sad for her that she doesn't bother to find out just how freeing it is to live within the laws of the Church.

Freedom from adiction, freedom from diseases (STD's anyway) freedom to share an intimate relationship with one person for a lifetime without feeling as though one is missing something.


Sadly we could try to tell her, but she is to imprissoned by her own ideas to be able to hear the truth.

ignorant redneck said...

I'm doing the starbucks Boycotte thing too. I don't think it'll make much difference, but it makes a difference to me!

I used to be a Joni Mitchell fan, but I think that the spark is gone!

Karin said...

First, thank you for this post. You like some other bloggers I know have a real way with words (love it)...

I too am doing the boycott thingy...I have also submitted my comments/feedback to Starbucks.

And lastly...I loved your post so much I hope that you dont mind I reposted it on my blog (with a big hat tip of course) :)

Adoro te Devote said...

Thanks, everyone!

Fr. V said...


Finally got around to writing my letter as well.

THanks for the heads up - and happy feast day!

Anonymous said...

The Magdalene Asylums, which were owned and operated by orders of the Roman Catholic Church, were prisons.

Adoro te Devote said...

anon ~ Thank you for your comment. I had not considered that angle although I've heard of it.

I pray you are not basing your opinion on a bad movie, but if you are, have you, yourself, considered there is another angle?

The Magdalene laundaries, according to my research (very brief) were not prisons, but places for unwed mothers, and were an actual better alternative to that which they would have experienced by even your own ilk had they not been there. Here is a description I found:

On reading the CBS report further, I hear a secular tone to it. Some of the practices that are cited are going to daily Mass and having to pray out loud for the forgiveness of their sins. In modern secular society, these are considered atrocities; if you are trying to be a faithful Catholic, they are pretty much necessities.

Another line buried in the article is this: "And for many, the laundries were the only things that stood between them and the street." These Magdalene Laundries were not operating in a vacuum

I did a search for this and found only a web site with an agenda; a link to a movie, which, clearly, exists for the purpose of making money.

While I do believe these laundries exist, I do NOT endorse the relativistic dismissal of sin. Guess what! It is a sin to have sex prior to marriage! Big surprise!

And the practice of self-loving families even here in the US has caused women to be moved from their homes to other places so that the wome could bear their illgetimate children.

So I'd argue that the larger sin is not with the Church, which offers Redemption, but with the families, that prevent their daughters from being redeemed by hiding the sin,calling it "normal", and separating the sinner from the Sacraments. You know what I see in that movie and those who promote it?

A bunch of self-serving people who can't see sin for what it is and wants to see their own sin acceptd in popular culture.

Anon, not saying that about you...I have no knowledge of you, but in reality, the info out there is not conclusive. If this laundry existed, it did so outside of Cathholic Teaching, doing what it did on behalf of people who did not know mercy or the Lord.

Anonymous said...

So you support the imprisonment of unwed mothers?

Adoro te Devote said...

anon ~ You didn't read my comment, did you? I didn't say any such thing.

Anonymous said...

You merely suggest they're better off imprisoned.

Adoro te Devote said...

No...the laundries were not a prison. That's YOUR word.

Do you have a point here, because the topic at hand happens to be the fact that Starbucks is anti-Catholic.

And the fact that the Catholic church does not own prisons. The Laundries you cited were not prisons, but by your misguided definition.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that an institution which holds women against their will and bars them from contact with the outside world is a prison. It appears that your understanding is that any comment on this is ant-Catholic.

Adoro te Devote said...

anon ~ I see no evidence that those women were barred from the outside world.

It was common practice in many areas to send girls away who got pregnant out of wedlock...until they gave birth. And this, sadly, was done more to protect the "reputation" of the family, as opposed to the good of the girl. Although, at times it WAS for th good of the girl to protect HER from damaging results in society. Very sad, indeed.

In the case of the laundries, that was more a cultural than a Catholic thing. It was something perhaps we could equate, say, with Hospice or Nursing Homes (some of them) in our own society. They aren't prisons, either, although there are those who would argue otherwise.

The reality is that they laundries certainly weren't the way to handle things, but people, not the Church, made this decision.

I am not condoning it. My position is that I did not find a lot of information (see my first response to you), only a secular article that actually didn't paint such a dismal picture that you did.

Personally, going to Mass and having access to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, prayer, etc., those are GOOD things and many of us CHOOSE this willingly for it makes our lives better. Apparently you see such practices as enslaving. And if this is the case, then that's your opinion and you're entitled to it.

The fact is that if you want to call it a prison, fine, but your definition isn't actually based on what the laundries really WERE, nor is your opinion based on any facts that you've been able to provide.

You have made an accusation, but provided no support for it. I went and looked up info which didn't say anything to meet your accusation. If the laundries were, in fact, prisons, as you contend, then the burden of proof is upon YOU, my friend, to back it up.

If you're not willing to support your accusation with anything other than a personal definition based on....nothing, well, then I have no further incentive to continue this conversation.

And may I ask...why is it that people who make such unsupported accusations always do so as "anonymous". Could it be that those who do such things have no ground to stand on and are ashamed?

So carry on, brave anon...accuse away. At least be willing to show your "face" and give yourself some semblance of credibility.

Anonymous said...

What hospice or nursing home are you aware of that imprisons women in conditions of involuntary servitude profiting the owner of the institution? There is much documentation of the abuses in the Magdalene Laundries and it is easily found. You ignore it and defend the institution.

And you may also, if you wish, check the Catholic Encylopedia, available online to read other references to ecclesiastical prisons. Not a secular source.

Anonymous said...

anon ~ * sigh * You're the one who brought them up. If you have links to provide, provide them. I'm trying to study for 3 classes and I don't have time to do your research for you.

If you can't be bothered to actually provide the direct links and quotations (versus telling me to look them up and do the searches myself) then I won't be continuing this conversation. It's very interesting, but please understand I'm incredibly busy and I don't have time to do your scut work.

Thank you for understanding.

If you provide links, fine...but it will be a few days before I get to reading them.

~ Adoro

Anonymous said...

Obviously unless an imposing building is put up across the street from your with a big sign saying "Catholic Prison" on it, you feel there's no need for research before damning Joni Mitchell and calling the faithful to boycott of Starbucks. There's plenty of time for that, it seems.

Terry Nelson said...

Adoro - How come you always get the juicy anonymous comments? LOL!

Adoro te Devote said...

anon ~ I supported my contention by quoting the words of your heroine.

You, on the other hand, did not bother to support your own contentions.

As far as my "time", let's remember that I control this blog; it does not control me. I write when I have time and inspiration. And I have no more time to have a battle of wits with an unarmed anonymous person who can't be bothered to provide any sense of credibility.

Any further comments without support will be deleted. I have been reasonable in my requests to you; you have not returned the respect.

I have no time for that. Good night.

Ray from MN said...


It is so tiresome to read charges by people virtually ignorant of history that apply 21st century morals to 19th century cultures.

The purpose of the Magdalene Laundries was originally to provide shelter and an income to prostitutes who at a time when women rarely worked outside of the home would not normally have been able to find husbands or employment for themselves.

Some of my great grandfather's sisters worked in laundries until they found their husbands.

No doubt the nuns who supervised these operations intended to keep these women from returning to prostitution and imposed strict limits on their behavior.

Nuns like priests and laypeople are sinners and there may have been abuses in some cases.

But the Wikipedia article on these operations, while referring to them as prisons, state that "Asylum records show that in the early history of the Magdalene movement, many women entered and left the institutions on their own accord, sometimes repeatedly."

It also mentions "that the women in Philadelphia's Protestant asylum, "sought a refuge and a respite from disease, the prison or almshouse, unhappy family situations, abusive men and dire economic circumstances."

Inmates were required until the 1970s to address all staff regardless of age, as "mother", and were called "children". . . . To enforce order and maintain a monastic atmosphere, the inmates were required to observe strict silence for much of the day.

That's all that Wikipedia mentions. Doesn't sound like too much of a prison to me.

Rather than make charges of "prisons", Anonymous, why don't you come up with some evidence that indicates that they were prisons?

They certainly weren't fun places, but they were probably much better than a life as a street prostitute.

And while you're at it, why not show us what it was like for child labor and women in the inhuman factories of the English capitalists in those days?

And please post it to the Wikipedia article and we'll see if their reviewers will accept your research.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this article?

Adoro te Devote said...

anon ~ See my first reply to you in which I cited the connection between this idea and a movie. It's a typical sensationalist media trip in which facts are not considered in favor of journalistic license (read: innaccuracies used for the purpose of ratings and bias).

In other words, I don't take it seriously. CBS is NOT fact. Even Catholic religion reporters don't get the facts straight about the Church. CBS, when talking about a movie that allegedly involves the Catholic Church is not interested in truth, nor are the creators over at Miramax.

See also Ray's family, my friend.

And even if it IS accurate...what does it prove? That the Catholic Church involves human beings? Shocking.

The Laundries closed several years ago. So, in fact, they are no longer "owned". So my contention and original question still stands. What prisons are owned by the Catholic Church? You have failed to prove your contention. CBS talking about a movie is not proof of anything.

You can't be bothered to go outside of popular media to get the facts. Are you Dan Brown? Or Lorraine Boettner?

Ray from MN said...

One really wonders about people who love to pick arguments anonymously.

Are they so uncertain of their facts that they are afraid to put their name behind them?

Adoro, because of her good heart, wastes too much time on people such as "anonymous."

I totally do not accept the description of the Magdalene Laundries as prisons. That description no doubt came from an individual who was opposed to the Church before they knew about the story of them.

The real issue is the teaching and beliefs of the Church but they are not qualified to debate them.