David Badash reports that the American Family Association has launched a new company, Thomas Street Coffee, which combines Americans’ insatiable desire for a great cup of a coffee with the AFA’s unceasing obsession with fomenting anti-gay, misogynistic hatred in the developing world. The official announcement was made today on the Facebook page of the “One Million” Moms, the affiliate of the American Family Association which had forty-five members at one point, but rumor has it (I’m making this rumor up as I go) several of the younger women had to be disappeared after accidentally becoming possessed by the devil upon seeing a partially naked man in a salad dressing ad. Here is the statement from OMM:
One Million Moms is extremely excited to introduce the American Family Association’s newest division, Thomas Street Coffee Company. With every sip of this delicious coffee, you can know you are helping share the Good News with those around the world. If you, your family or your church is mission driven, want to support a Godly cause or just love great coffee then this is the coffee for you.
It’s hard to imagine that something as common as coffee can help share the gospel of Christ with unreached people. At Thomas Street Coffee, every bean is picked, roasted, packaged and delivered with that goal in mind.
TSC purchases beans from farmers in Ethiopia, Uganda, Honduras, Indonesia and other countries where 40% of unreached people groups live. Through strategic partnerships, those purchases contribute to evangelistic efforts, schools, libraries, medical facilities, women’s literacy programs, clean water wells, church planting, financial instruction and agricultural education.
Then, through sales of specialty coffee in the United States, TSC helps underwrite the ministry of our parent organization, The American Family Association.
Let’s translate that out of wingnut and into English. They are attempting to make money selling their bizarre, extremist version of Christianity in the developing world and in the United States by enticing people with coffee. They are not doing this really to help people in developing nations, but rather to evangelize them. They very well may build schools and libraries, but it will all come laced with the bathtub meth of anti-science, anti-gay, anti-woman American Family Association bigotry. In the very parts of world that need family planning the most, they will likely open up medical facilities that promote the idea that contraception is evil, sex education is a gateway to sin, and that abstinence is the only way. Of course, abstinence-only education is well documented to only make things worse. Clean water wells and agricultural education are great, but they don’t do much in the face of the uncontrollable population growth that results from fundamentalist Christian teachings on health and sex. But don’t worry, they’ll use some of this money to hurt LGBT people and women in the United States too, through their parent hate group, the American Family Association.
David Badash expounds on some of the specifics of what these activities will look like:
The coffee is sold in blends with names like “Courage,” and “Relationship,” and by country of origin, like Honduras, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda — a favorite of American evangelicals.
Thomas Street Coffee apparently will be able to give cover to any American Family Association presence in Uganda, a country besieged by American evangelicals who have used religion to turn the small African nation into a raging pool of hate and homophobia. American evangelicals have been blamed by Uganda’s LGBT activists as being the impetus for their country’s “Kill The Gays” bill, and even for the 2011 death of Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato.
David also points to the story of one of the growers they support, as they gleefully report that they’re able to evade the laws of some nations where they work:
For Mark McKee, founder of Passionate Harvest, the response is obvious: We want coffee, they need Christ.
“Coffee is the world’s second most traded commodity (after oil),” he pointed out. “And the countries that produce coffee are also the countries in the 10-40 window, the 10% of the world’s landmass where 40% of unreached people groups live, such as Ethiopia, Uganda, Malaysia, Yemen, Indonesia, Thailand. So that opens up a vast territory to be reached.”
It’s the ideal territory for a non-traditional missionary like McKee. Although he began a missionary career with Youth With A Mission, God led him aside, into the restaurant business and then the coffee industry.
One day, it became clear to him – since the coffee growing regions and the 10-40 window are nearly identical, coffee was his route to missions. When buying coffee means making inroads into places where Christ is not known or welcome, it opens up a vast landscape typically closed to missionary efforts.
“The gospel is often very feared in those countries,” McKee explained. “It’s illegal in many of those areas to proselytize. Missionaries would normally get kicked out by the government.”
And so what may have once seemed to McKee like a detour from his missionary calling has proved to be the most direct route to reach lost nations. All in the name of coffee, Mark travels to these countries, establishes contact with growers and works to improve the quality of their coffee, something that also means a better quality of life for them. In the process, people hear the name of Christ, and native Christians are born to carry on with evangelism after McKee has gone.
“I come in and say, ‘I’m an expert on coffee and I want to work with you to make your coffee better and give you more money for it. And we’re going to provide schools and help provide for your kids,’” McKee said. “And they think, ‘Wow, we really like what these Christians are doing.’ So, it actually opens doors for sharing the gospel.
“They look at a Christian who is sent and supported by a missionary organization like, ‘That’s a professional Christian; he gets paid to share his Jesus with me.’ But when someone’s there to help them set up a business and make money, they see a different view of it. And it allows missionaries to stay in countries where you can’t have a missionary visa.”
Basically, it’s the difference between “he gets paid to share his Jesus with me” and “he gets paid a LOT to share his Jesus with me, part of which is used by the parent organization to hurt people.” That much is admitted later in the piece:
Purchasing beans from McKee contributes upfront to the funding of mission efforts, schools, libraries, medical facilities, women’s literacy programs, water wells, church planting, financial instruction and agricultural education supported by Passionate Harvest. And when Thomas Street coffees are sold, the sale supports the work of AFA.
“Any revenue generated through this coffee is, at the discretion of AFA, used to further its mission, whether that might be producing pro-life DVDs, providing free rent for pregnancy resource centers or writing a check to a crisis pregnancy center,” Thomas Street Coffee Company director Greg Sanders said. “By marketing this coffee, we fulfill the mission of AFA, which is very gospel centered.”
Wow, even crisis pregnancy centers! How nice, to be able to co-opt the problems of poor people in Uganda in order to lie to women in the United States! They must be patting themselves on the back at AFA headquarters in Tupelo.