Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mammon: Starbucks and Joni Mitchell

I'm a little slow on the news but here Joni Mitchell, who just released a new Album 'Shine' on the Starbucks record label Hear Records, proposes in one of her songs on the album that the Catholic church has prisons and is loveless. Specifically the lyrics are:
Shine on the Catholic Church
And the prisons that it owns
Shine on all the Churches
that love less and less.
If this isn't an anti-Catholic bias then I don't know what is. On top of that, I don't think I will be getting my coffee from Starbucks any longer. I never liked burnt coffee much anyway. I'll just stick with Community Coffee. Starbucks upset me when they started charging for the internet. Starbucks upset me when I found out that their Frappaccinos aren't made with espresso. Now Starbucks upset me with their welcoming of religious bigotry. Granted, they are from Seattle, a place in the country where religion isn't very welcomed, but that doesn't mean the company needs to spread its own views on religion across the country. Also, the last I checked the company was called Starbucks Coffee and not Starbucks Coffee and Cultural Commentary.

The article said she was trying to be like Kipling. Maybe, but Kipling's Natural Theology is much better written than what Joni is proposing.

Also, if Joni wanted to do something radical and edgy, she should not put on that old, worn-out, hat of anti-catholicism and attack Christianity. She would socially critique Islam, Dufar, and the bum who uses the system. Then again topics of that nature take gumption, which clearly she is lacking in that department. Lastly, what good is critiquing and not doing anything about it? Will Joni put her money where her mouth is? I doubt. So until she is ready to stand in the midst of the storms and help fix the problems and empty whatever prisons she is reffering too and put love back in the churches, she should refrain from critiquing.

Via: The Curt Jester


Anonymous said...

I think all Joni is trying to say is that the Church is not the place to find love, and it should be, and I agree with her. Why does that make her a religious bigot? If there is something wrong with the system, shouldn't we question it? Religion should be about showing God's love not casting stones. Which did Jesus do? Joni just wants more love and less judgment.

Catherine Todd said...

Dear Anonymous, thank you so much for posting your comment. I agree wholeheartedly, and it appears that the judgmental hateful and spiteful people here are the embodiment of what Mitchell is speaking about in her song!

"If there is something wrong with the system, shouldn't we question it? Religion should be about showing God's love not casting stones. Which did Jesus do? Joni just wants more love and less judgment."

Have these people forgotten how the Church treated pedophile priests, protecting them while damaging hundreds if not thousands of children? Does this not mean anything to these hateful people who are angered by someone pointing out the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church? The treatment of women by the Catholic Church?

Soup kitchens and medical care are fine and good, but there's more to the political stance of the Catholic Church than crumbs to the poor. Think about that, and how Catholicism was "planted at the point of a sword."

I know, as I was a former novitiate "raised by the nuns." I loved the nuns dearly and the contemplative life, but the political life of the Catholic Church leaves too much to be desired. It is not a viable caring organization now, and I wonder if it ever was. Run by Mafia money right from the beginning.

Thanks, anonymous; the web needs more people like you.

Paul Cat said...

Right, I forgot. I own prisons. I must be exactly who she is speaking of in her song.

Remember, I didn't fling the first stone. Joni did, and it deserves a response. Plus, I don't think I said anything hateful.

I can't do anything about the past Cathrine. Get over it, move on and do better.

I am sorry you have had such a bitter and sorrowful experience of catholicism. You will be in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Dear Catherine,
There are a lot of accusations being thrown out here at the Catholic Church which I believe are unfair. I'd like to discuss some of the issues and to get some clarifications about what you mean.

First, you bring up the issue of the priest scandal. What has happened is, of course, awful and should never happen again. However, to insist that it is the Catholic Church as a whole which has protected these priests is misleading. Yes, there were those in the Church who covered it up and yes at least one was a cardinal, but as Pope John Paul II pointed out at World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto, think of how many more Catholic priests have done so much good in the service of God and humanity. From what I understand, the percentage of priests were involved in the scandal is less than 1% (I have to admit I am not sure exactly where the statistic came from but I am willing to bet that it is accurate) which is obviously 1% too much but the fact is that you never hear about all the good that is done by priests in the media - which is truly a shame.

I understand that we all expect better from a cardinal but the Church is working extremely hard to ensure it never happens again. Of course, we should all continue to pray for the Church's efforts and for all those who have been hurt.

I strongly disagree with your comment that "It is not a viable caring organization now, and I wonder if it ever was. Run by Mafia money right from the beginning." Certainly, my experience of the Catholic Church, (i.e. the parishes I have worshipped at, the schools I attended, my family, and the vast majority of the priests I have known) has been overwhelmingly one of love and dedication to God. It is very true, though, that not every Catholic and even every Catholic priest does strive to imitate Christ. I would like to suggest that your experience, Catherine, is the minority. Please do not let your bad experiences push you away from the Catholic Church - especially the Lord's presence in the Eucharist - follow Christ's command to forgive and the examples of saints such as St. Francis of Assissi who sought to rebuild the Church from within. Each of us is a member of the Body of Christ and we need every single member if we are to build the kingdom of God on earth.

I am curious to know what you mean by "the political life of the Catholic Church leaves too much to be desired" because I am not sure what precisely you are talking about and I am guessing that it is more of a misunderstanding than anything else. I really don't understand Joni Mitchell's lyric about the Catholic Church owning prisons either.

God bless you Catherine,

Unknown said...

As a lifetime fan of Joni Mitchell, (I consider her the greatest singer-songwriter of what we call the "Pop Music" generation and she is undoubtedly my favorite artist.) I have to admit to being a little disappointed in her slam against the Catholic Church. Joni has included Catholic affectation in a good deal of her past work. This time, it's turned negative. I use the word "disappointed" because I expect more from her. I expect an accomplished artist and thinker like Joni to see the difference between The Catholic Church and the Judases who sometimes occupy various offices and positions within it. She's painting the Church with a proverbial broad brush and I expect Joni to know better than to do that. The Church has always had traitors. It started with Judas and will continue until the end. It's Christ's Church, "warts and all". The problem with what she wrote in "Shine" is that she makes no effort to distinguish between the two. This just fans the flames of ignorant anti-Catholic sentiment. Anti-Catholicism, along with being grossly anti-intellectual, is the last acceptable prejudice and issues like this don't help.

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