I'll have a decaff grande and something uplifting

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The Independent US

Starbucks, the Seattle-based coffee and pound-cake chain, will soon be adding more than just froth and cinnamon to their lattes and cappuccinos. At no extra charge, it will shortly also be giving customers in America gentle tuition on God's purpose for us on Earth.

This is not a java-jolt from the blue. Recently, the company began printing pithy and hopefully inspirational quotes on its cups by writers, scientists, artists and cultural figures from Gandhi to Quincy Jones and Deepak Chopra. None of the 63 quotes mentions God.

But conservative groups called for a boycott of Starbucks because of one quote, by Armistead Maupin, the gay author of the Tales of the City books. It reads: "My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it for so long. I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don't make that mistake yourself. Life's too damn short." Now Starbucks has promised to introduce a text next year from the Rev Rick Warren, a West Coast evangelist.

"You are not an accident," his message says. "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 real 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."

Right-wing groups, including Concerned Women for America, had accused Starbucks of "promoting homosexuality" by citing Maupin. In Texas, the Baptist Church-affiliated Baylor University has banned Starbucks cups.

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