Re: *Quaker* cornflakes?

Lawrence D. Rupp (
Thu, 12 Jun 1997 21:18:51 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 21:18:51 -0500
From: "Lawrence D. Rupp" <>
To: Memetics <>
Subject: Re: *Quaker* cornflakes?

Marshall Massey wrote: (To Ecotheology)
> Larry, I'm afraid I have no idea why the box of cornflakes was
> referred to as "Quaker".
> As far as I know, there are no Quaker creationists in Europe,
> where Mario Vaneechoutte resides. European Quakerism tends to be
> centrist or liberal and pro-scientific.
> It is very possible that there may be evangelical Friends here in
> the U.S. who are creationists -- their branch of Quakerism is rather
> right-wing and reactionary -- but I have not heard that the
> evangelical Friends make cornflakes. The other varieties of Friends
> here in the U.S. are not, so far as I know, inclined toward
> creationism.
> The Quaker Oats Company may make cornflakes, but they are not
> actually owned or managed by Quakers, and have no connection with the
> Religious Society of Friends. (In fact, I am told that their founder
> was actually a Baptist.) And since they have no connection with our
> Society, I don't really know much about what they're up to; but I have
> never heard of them pushing a religious agenda. It seems, in fact,
> unlike them. We Quakers have from time to time had reason to complain
> about the behavior of the Quaker Oats Company, down through the years,
> precisely because the company has never seemed to display any
> religious consciousness or sensitivity whatsoever. For example, a few
> years ago they were running TV commercials for children's cereal
> featuring "Popeye the Quaker Man", who defeats monsters with one blow
> of his mighty, cereal-nourished fist. This is so far away from the
> pacifism of actual Quakers as to be laughable! For such a company to
> suddenly begin campaigning for a religious position, such as
> creationism, seems to me to be rather out of character.
> The Quaker testimony of integrity forbids such deceptive and
> manipulative packaging of a message as Mario describes. If one is a
> Quaker, one is expected, taught, even openly *pressured* to speak
> one's views plainly, and to relate to others without playing games.
> Of course, it is still possible to be *unconsciously* gamey, or to
> fail to realize that one has not yet spoken plainly -- and we are all
> guilty of such things from time to time, are we not? But a cereal box
> is a very deliberately designed thing: its manipulative qualities are
> very consciously planned. And thus the package Mario describes just
> doesn't sound like Quaker behavior to me. That doesn't mean that it
> *can't possibly* be Quaker behavior -- but if it *is* Quaker behavior,
> it's something outside my experience.
> If you happen to learn more about this "Quaker cornflakes" stuff,
> I'd like to hear about it. Please keep me informed.
> Regards,
> Marshall Massey personal mail: <>
> *earthwitness project*: <>

What must we do to create the greatest good for an optimum number of
people over the long run?
"Good fences make good neighbors"

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