Sweet Frog; Fro-Yo with a side of God. Wait, what?

sweetfrogIt’s no secret that in today’s ever evolving society a successful business model is going to be dependent upon a well designed, targeted ad campaign. Since the dawn of the social networking age some businesses have taken to the internet to find new ways to reach potential customers.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace which began as ways to keep in touch with friends and family, have all but been taken over by ad after ad promoting everything from zit cream to home refinance. One can hardly fault these businesses for searching out ways to increase their sales and market share, but more recently a liberal social shift has been occurring leaving some companies with religious ties looking for ways to fight back.

It should come as no surprise that business owners have, over time, become very successful at ad campaigns directly aimed at children. Children are impressionable and don’t really have the social development early in life to know when they are being exploited, so it’s our job as parents to be on the lookout. As if making the right decisions for our children isn’t hard enough in today’s society, that job is made even harder by some who only see your children as dollar signs.

Then you have companies like Sweet Frog that think they can take it one step further.

For many of you who don’t know what Sweet Frog is, they offer self-serve frozen yogurt and were founded in 2009 by Derek Cha, who immigrated to the United States from South Korea.  Opening his very first location in Richmond, Virginia during a down economy, his chain has since grown to over 215 stores as of this year.

I would imagine most customers, like me, had no knowledge or suspicion that his company was founded and based on Christian principles, because early on they didn’t make it an obvious connection to their brand. With a pink and green color scheme coupled with two adorable cartoon frogs named “Scoop” and “Cookie,” to the everyday customer they just blend in with everything else around them. To a child, though, it’s the place to go. With a bevy of flavors and any candy topping you can think of, it’s an instant favorite spot for children.

Frequenting the locations in and around the Richmond area, my daughter and I have made it our Friday stop on our way home, and not once had it ever become apparent to me that I was in a Christian establishment.

It seems this was by design. Back in May 2012, Sweet Frog Sales and Development Director Raven Williams was quoted as saying the company would “never want anyone to feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in our stores due to a difference of belief.”

In other words, “We’re gonna hide our religious affiliations because your money is more important than our faith.” I am paraphrasing, of course, but you get the point.

Well, somewhere between that interview and present day that strategy must have changed. With a potential TV show and other plans in the works for the future of his company, it has become obvious that Mr. Cha and Co. feel it’s time to quietly begin pushing that Christian agenda to his most impressionable of customers — the children.

On our last visit, we were in line to check out and the teenager behind the counter with more piercings than teeth asked my daughter if she would like a sticker. A friendly gesture indeed that is intended to make you feel like you and your children are valued customers. She said yes, and I didn’t pay it much mind while swiping my card and draining my account of a half hour’s work.

Once seated, she plunked the sticker down in front of me and asked if she could put it on her shirt. I picked it up and started to peel the backing off, but as I glanced at the sticker, I realized that what my daughter was handed was not just any 3×5 pink and green sticker with some cute frogs on it. Rather, it was a piece of religious propaganda with the words “Fully Rely On God” in bold font up front and center, clearly meant to open the discussion of religion between my child and I.

I hesitated and told her we could put it on later. She pouted a little, and as I began to survey the room I realized why. Nearly every child there had the exact same sticker on their shirt. My denying her the sticker on her shirt meant she couldn’t be like all the other children, and in typical kid fashion she wanted to know why. Which is exactly what the Sweet Frog-employed creator of this ad campaign for God-topped frozen yogurt intended.

With this attempt to introduce my child to his faith, Mr. Cha and his advertising department have overstepped their bounds as a business — and lost a customer for life.

It is not their duty or right to force that discussion through their teenage minimum-wage workers passing out targeted religious advertising. These are employees who couldn’t care less what his motives are for allowing this to take place in his shops, and will happily hand out anything asked — as long as they continue to get their paychecks. They’re just following orders, and I don’t place the blame on them for that.

This is a disgusting and pathetic practice if you ask me, and it’s hard to have any sort of respect for businesses that prey on children in this manner. If you’re like me and don’t want your child being introduced to religion in this way, we need to make it known where it hurts — their bottom line.

Michael Wunderlich

Mike Wunderlich is a single father originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania currently residing in Richmond, VA.He is the founder of Center Ice News (a popular Facebook group dedicated to hockey news), and a self proclaimed professional appreciator of music and art. You can follow him on Twitter @mwunderlichFP.

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  • If you really want to change our society why are you supporting a company that you realize pays the legal minimum to their employees? I boycott every store I can that subjects employees to the grueling pressure of minimum wage existence.

    • toxiclight

      Minimum wage is still better than no wage :/

      • Amy Black

        why am I responding to every comment? lol Minimum wage is unlivable. It’s like saying sweatshops in other countries where people are paid an unlivable wage in unworkable conditions is totally okay because “any job is better than no job”

        Sure there will always be people to work the jobs regardless of conditions and pay, but that sure as hell doesn’t justify it happening.

      • Cliff

        Actually, “sweatshops” pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in Southeast Asia. They did far more to relieve poverty than minimum wage laws ever did. But why let reality intrude into your righteous fantasy? Try actually helping people instead of just feeling good about yourself because you post on message boards about how people should be paid more.

      • Dante Ardenz

        did you get that from Limbaugh? Or maybe from the Koch Brothers political arm:The Tea party? Those ‘slave wage’people have OUR OLD JOBS ! Sent their by the International Bankers who rule us ! Since you like that so much,you can enjoy it,when you must work a low wage job someday! But your probably just sitting around listening to FOX(Owned by Rothchilds,of Federal Reserve:Bank of England/ Saudi Arabia)and Laurence Welk.

      • Dean

        When did we start expecting every job to support a family of four. The median income of a family with a minimum wage worker is over $60,000 a year…because most minimum wage earners aren’t their family’s sole support. Half of minimum wage earners are under 25. Workers with wages at or below the federal minimum make up less than 5% of all workers. To justify the existence of a job, it has to be worth more than you’re paying, otherwise it’s just charity. The person in the job is a treasure beyond price. The job itself has a price, mostly based on how hard it is to replace a worker.

        Instead of wishing for employers to foot the bill of ensuring every person having an adequate income, why not pay for it with taxes and have the government foot the bill for minimum wage increases? Same benefit, most of the unintended consequences mitigated, and all of us workers share the burden.

      • Engage Gray Matter

        Minimum wage was never designed to be a “living wage”. If your over 21 making minimum wage, you made some very bad decisions the first 20 years of your life. If you’re an adult now, YOU are responsible for your decisions. There is still time to correct that. Question is…. How bad do you want it?

      • Daniel Lewis

        They wouldn’t have a damn company if they didn’t have any slaves— er, minimum wage workers!

      • gjbivin

        And that would be for the best.

      • L. Marie

        Actually, that’s not true. When corporations pay employees minimum wage, and they cannot make ends meet (you really can’t) do you know what happens? They’re forced to get government assistance. You and I foot that bill. The republicans tried to demonize people who benefit from welfare but really we should be demonizing the companies that aren’t paying them enough to live.

      • Mtman1944

        L. Marie is completely correct. This is the biggest corporate welfare scheme ever that is not talked about. WalMart is the single largest beneficiary of corporate welfare due simply to their minimum wage pay.

      • Dan T.

        MtMan1944, this is a misconception I’ve been seeing a lot lately on these types of blogs. Walmart DOES NOT pay minimum wage. When I worked there 6 years ago I was making $12/hour. Sure, employees hours get cut now, but supposedly by law Walmart cannot start you at less than $10/hour. Still better than 85% of entry level jobs out there right now. Just sayin’…

      • sn0wed

        False. Walmart starts their employees at $8/hour. I was hired as such. It’s been a year and a half, and I only make $8.40/hour now. Please check facts before posting.

      • Dan T.

        After talking with a friend who still works there he set it straight for me. I guess our Walmart was one that was testing a new, higher wage to see if it worked well. Since that higher wage was “grandfathered” in, wages did not drop after that period. I am truly sorry that you only make $8.40/hr, but I am not lying about how much I made. Now I make $0.00/hr because I am unemployed, so don’t feel so bad haha.

      • Engage Gray Matter

        But you chose to work there for $8/hr. Hopefully you took it upon yourself to take some classes and earn a degree or work skills to either move up or move on. It’s hard, but I raised three kids, worked full time and earned my bachelors and masters. It took several years but I did it. It can be done. And my wife? She stayed at home to raise our children. Now she is completing her 2nd degree. Question is… How bad do you want it?

      • Mtman1944

        @Dan T. – 6 Years ago, WalMart was completely different in my city, back then, if you asked someone on the floor where something was, they could tell you and usually walked you over to it, that stopped about 3 years ago. My Sister worked there for 2 years and left earlier this year, she started out making 8./hr and left making 8.40/hr., and yes, when you work for WalMart now, they teach you how to apply for public assistance. Corporate welfare comes in many forms, in this case, subsidized wages. See the documentary “American Winter”, it is an eye opener.

      • ACMEsalesrep

        “Supposedly by law”? You realize that would imply a minimum wage of $10/hour, right? Which doesn’t exist?

      • Rusti

        Amen. Wal Mart even teaches its people how to apply for public assistance while the siblings that own the corporation have more wealth between them than the lower 40% of Americans!

      • Grazel

        Well if you have no wage then you get MORE government assistance. With minimum wage you are eligible for a smaller share of that assistance, but even with that assistance you still barely scrape by, and you better not get sick.

      • Ellen P Collingsworth

        Not true, minimum wage which is below a living wage hurts ALL of us and sets ALL of our pays, except for the people at the very very top, to be lower than they should be. Then the rich at the top get richer while everyone else gets poorer. Minimum wage was designed to offset the race to zero and was supposed to be set as the minimum amount a person needed to live on. Because of the super low interest rates and the housing scandal inflation has run away from us and minimum wage is now significantly BELOW a living wage. When entry level work is set at half of what a person needs just to survive it is easy to see how a person with experience and even an education making DOUBLE minimum wage barely scrapes by. Why should an educated and experienced person barely scrape by? When did we decide that the American standard of living is to barely scrape by? Especially while the people at the top rake in insane record profits.

      • Dante Ardenz

        Spoken like a true FROG- mean spirited Bible thumping Republican. That is a total mythology! One cannot pay rent,eat(of course you want Food Stamps cut,or eliminated. many low wage people rely on them.part of Contract on ‘Merika’,by pig Gingrich,but targeted by LIES,from the Tea party)),and or anything ,but ‘work’.Oh right,one can hold more than one Job. fatty Limbaugh,and FOX News advice. Very hard. Than of course,you can try a fraud like AMWAY-or Real Estate scheme, or PRAY to Pat Robertson,to survive !

    • Amanda

      That doesn’t make sense, because if people boycott those stores, they can’t afford to even pay their employee’s the minimum wage and they end up fired. So you’re not helping anybody.

      • Mary jane

        Let this business fail! We shouldn’t support businesses we don’t believe in because we’re worried about someone’s job. I NEVER shop at Walmart, and I have a family member that works there.

      • L H

        Wrong. If people boycotted all these places, initially people would lose their jobs, yes, but eventually the economy would have to shift to have to take that into account and the business model would change. This isn’t the only way a society can function, and it’s definitely not the best way.

      • Dean

        The business model would change to more automation. You can’t make a job be worth more than it is by wanting it real hard. More automation is coming anyway, and those jobs won’t come back. The same thing that happened to gas station attendants will happen to fast food workers and we’ll be serving ourselves.

      • Souris Optique

        If they can’t afford to pay the number of workers they need, then they have an unworkable business model, and need to go out of business in order to make way for successful businesses that don’t have to mistreat their employees to turn a profit. (Not that these places do — they could *absolutely* pay a living wage and still make a big profit, just not *as* big)

      • Mtman1944

        Souris is correct! A workable business model involves several aspects, from the type of business to the location, the suppliers, and even the workers. Now, all businesses have one thing in common, the need for profit, but nobody said that profit had to be excessive. Prior to the greed that has befallen most companies now, profit was distributed between the owners and the workers, now the owners have become greedy and keep more profit for themselves. This problem was introduced when bean-counters started running businesses instead of people who were passionate about the business.

      • Ellen P Collingsworth

        You must have owned a plantation in a past life. Good for you. I bet you argued that if slavery was abolished then the slaves would lose their “free” room and board so clearly freeing them was not in their best interest.

      • Daniel Lewis

        Fascists always like to act like they are “helping” others.

    • Michael Grove

      My wife works there.. It really is an easy job.. I worked for minimum wage at a gas station who we handled customers, cleaned (college and tourist town was always busy), cooked and stocked. We also had to follow a huge list of things that needed to be done multiple times a day. She weighs the yogurt and checks people out. She cleans the tables and machines. Oh and she make more than minimum wage… Here minimum wage is $9/hr, she makes $10.25…

  • Mary-Beth Featherwolf Wheelock

    In Carytown Richmond, VA, there is a frozen yogurt place right next to Sweet Frog called Yapple, many people have switched over to them, and to be honest, their frozen yogurt tastes better, plus, no religious agenda.

  • areyoukiddingme?

    that’s a perfect opportunity to explain to your daughter the difference of belief between people and how to be tolerant of everyone and their belief even if it’s different from yours. you’re acting like he introduced her to satanism or racism. you have a problem if you’re this upset and maybe you should have looked up sweet frog’s affiliations if it’s that important to you not to be exposed to anything YOU don’t like. grow up. learn how to talk to your child when it’s not the easiest thing to do. you’re a parent. you’re going to be asked questions about things like this. learn how to deal with it.

    • Gizzy N

      And if it WERE something introducing your child to Satanism, then what? I mean, after all, it’s the “perfect opportunity to explain to your [child] the difference of belief between people,” right? Satanism being an actual religion and all.

      How about Islam? Wiccan? Perhaps a bit of Hindu introduction to many-limbed elephant gods?

      I wonder – do you know the religious/ideological affiliations of every single company YOU frequent? I doubt it. I doubt it very much. And I’m certain that when you walk into your local ice cream shop or grocery store or pet food place, you’re not expecting your child to be handed a sticker promoting Satanism.

      But somehow, in your mind, I’m sure “that’s different.”

      Hypocrisy – look it up. Actually, look it up in your bible, to start. It’s a big no-no.

      • areyoukiddingme?

        so you’re telling me that I’m wrong for using an iffy example? because my use of that example makes me a hypocrite? because then I’M not being tolerant of others? …. but at the same time YOU’RE mocking christianity and the bible? oh, okay. maybe you should look up hypocrisy too. I actually do have religious tolerance because I’m constantly being attacked for my religion in a country founded on the basis of religious freedom. sorry, in my mind, I connect Satan with negativity. most people do.

      • Gizzy N

        Oh do PLEASE share with me how I am mocking Christianity or the bible? Knowing nothing of my own religious leanings, I am absolutely on the edge of my seat to know all about your presumptions about my opinions of Christianity and the bible, and in what way I was mocking either.

        Now, I do realize that this may shock you, but since you mentioned how you connect Satan with negativity… let me also point out that there are a growing number of people in this country who associate religion in general – and perhaps ESPECIALLY Christianity, whose more conservative followers seem adamant that the rest of the nation live by the rules of their holy book – with negativity.

      • areyoukiddingme?

        I wasn’t saying I was right for associating it with negativity. I was explaining why I chose that example, which I already expressed was iffy and that maybe I should have realized that, hence the fact that I actually apologized. so please tell me how I’m wrong by realizing that one of the TWO examples I used, I shouldn’t have. I like how you’re splitting hairs when the message I got across was about much more than what you’re making it out to be. and it’s not MY bible, just to be clear. that’s how you’re mocking. don’t be a sarcastic prick then try to pretend you weren’t being one.

      • Gizzy N

        Wait, so you don’t own a bible? Do you just borrow someone else’s? I’m honestly curious… I mean, I’ve got three of them. I’m particularly fond of the ones with red lettering.

        If you haven’t got one of your own, you can have one of mine.

        I’ve also got two Qur’ans, several Vedas and a Talmud. I can’t give you one of those, since I only have one.

        Btw – sarcasm directed at you is NOT the same thing as mocking Christianity or the bible. Just as sarcasm directed at me is NOT the same thing as you mocking green-eyed red headed women.

      • Stacey Hall

        Sadly “areyoukiddingme” with the massive amounts of hate being spewed by “christians” in this country against any single living being that isn’t lock step with the christian agenda, the majority of this country is sick to death of your novel and your behaviors. It’s not just freedom OF religion, it’s freedom FROM religion as the groups that fled Europe to found this country would tell you (and history speaks for them). No, businesses should not be pushing any agenda including religion or a political affiliation unless they expect people to speak out about it. There are plenty of Americans that have learned about the christian crusades and see a very modern version of it in posts like yours that expect us to agree or be scorned, scorn that is often backed up with threats. We don’t have to shut up or like it – THAT is the real beauty of this country. I don’t have to put up with veiled hate coming from christians, muslims, catholics, branch davidians, or even your most vocal baptist sect the Westboro “christians”. If you want to make people think religion is great, try working on not making us think you are all enjoying the surge of idiots that are using freedom of speech/religion as a soap box to word vomit hate on anyone that doesn’t agree with them.

      • Steph

        I think it’s terrible for anyone to be attacked for their religious beliefs, and I will stand up for your right to believe whatever you want, even though it may be very different from what I believe. What I won’t stand up for, of course, is something thinking they have the right to share their religion with anyone and everyone, by way of conversation, stickers, or laws. Keep it to yourself, and I’ll keep mine to myself.

      • Souris Optique

        Gizzy N didn’t “mock christianity and the bible.”
        What are you even talking about? Paranoid much?

    • Amy Black

      Kids aren’t going to understand that in the situation she was put in. Furthermore, religion is already shoved in our faces constantly, sorry if some of us want to try to minimize being forced to put up with other peoples’ religious agendas over and over.

      BTW, there’s nothing wrong with satanism. You know what the difference between the Satanic commandments and the ten commandments are? Satanism has a no rape policy. In Christianity, if you rape a woman you have to marry her and you can never divorce her. Hey, free husband tho, amirite?

      • areyoukiddingme?

        actually, the bible is to be interpreted and not taken literally. there are certain things I don’t think any christian knows the answer to, neither will reading the bible give you that answer. I don’t pretend to be all knowing and right about everything. so please don’t tell me what my own religious beliefs are, especially since you have no way of knowing that. btw, did you realize christianity encompasses so many different sects, that you don’t know which I am or what my beliefs are on any matter?

      • Gizzy N

        Funny – a cry for someone to not decide your own religious leanings, all the while accusing me of mocking Christianity and the bible without knowing even a hint of my own leanings.

        Psst: hypocrisy. You really DO need to look that one up, apparently.

      • areyoukiddingme?

        psst: you really were being a jackass about the bible. you really need to look up how to not be one and take responsibility for the stupid things you say.

      • Gizzy N

        Since when is telling someone to look something up in the bible considered jackassery?

        Or am I the only one who has sat in church and been told, “open your bible to Book _____ Chapter ___ Verse ____” and/or received assignments in Sunday School to look something up?

        Wow – to think every Priest & Pastor I’ve known is a jackass… I just can’t imagine.

      • Souris Optique

        No she wasn’t. You have been, however. Perhaps you should take your own advice, since you haven’t taken responsibility for any of the idiocy you’ve been spewing?

      • thatdamnliberal

        Yet the world is filled with biblical literalists, especially running for office in the US.

      • Steph

        There are a lot of Christian people who haven’t gotten the message that the bible isn’t to be taken literally, and I’m not just talking about the Westboro church. But yeah, if you are going to follow a religion that uses that book as its guide, then you have to be ready to defend the bad parts.

      • jake

        i think you need to get a life…i love how thats always the go-to response when a christian is backed into a corner…the bible is to be interpreted, not taken literally!….says who?!…why did someone write it if not to be taken literally?…did they assume we would know which parts were real and which were left to our interpretation?…why didn’t they just write what they meant then, without all the layers of ambiguity and secret codes that only certain special people could interpret and then pass down to the rest of us ignorant mortals?…occam’s razor…the simplest explanation tends to be true…

      • macabr

        ” In Christianity, if you rape a woman you have to marry
        her and you can never divorce her. ”

        As a Catholic, I can tell you that your comment is absolutely not true. Rape is a crime punishable by time in prison. Your view of Christianity is so far off track it’s laughable yet very sad. “Are you kidding me?” Someone was when they gave you that information.

      • Souris Optique

        “Someone was when they gave you that information.”

        The Bible was kidding? Please go read yours!

      • darkkyn

        Nobody commented on the catholic view. The comment was directed at the bible, the WHOLE bible. Including the parts catholicism chooses to ignore, like the old testament.

        (Deuteronomy
        22:28-29 NLT)
        If a man is caught in the act of raping a young
        woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father.
        Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be
        allowed to divorce her.

        (Deuteronomy
        20:10-14)
        As you approach a town to attack it, first offer
        its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to
        you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they
        refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the
        LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may
        keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You
        may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.

        (Deuteronomy 21:10-14
        NAB)
        “When you go out to war against your
        enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take
        captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of
        her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house.
        But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and
        lay aside her captive’s garb. After she has mourned her father and mother
        for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband
        and she shall be your wife. However, if later on you lose your liking for
        her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell
        her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion.”

    • L. Marie

      A business shouldn’t be deciding for her when to have that discussion with her child. Yeah, it’s a little dramatic but she’s right.

      • areyoukiddingme?

        a business has every right to be affiliated with religion. and it sounds like sweet f.r.o.g. was handing out stickers with part of the name on it. you know, seeing as it was a phrase and not just the word frog. there’s a difference. maybe the parent should have looked into that before voluntarily choosing to enter the establishment. if you don’t want to be exposed, know where you’re going and what it’s about.

      • MURupert

        So, again, you’re saying if you went into a store and your kid was given a satanist sticker, you’d be fine with that?

      • I’m not kidding you

        Open up a business and start spewing this crap right away and see how far you get in business.

      • L. Marie

        Except my comment did not say that a business does not have the right to be affiliated with religion. I said it shouldn’t decide for parents when is the right time to talk about religion. Your overwhelming need to have people pay attention to your opinion is pointless when you can’t stay on topic. and no, imnotkiddingyou.

      • L. Marie

        Also, I love how you call it “f.r.o.g.” as if that’s what the business is using in their logo or something. They’re not. They call it sweetFrog. You can, too.

      • veganforever

        I agree that a business has the right to be affiliated with a religion but I reserve the right to not give them my business (I.e. money). I do not give my business to Walmart, Dominoes, Hobby Lobby and, as a vegan, would not go to Chic Fil A anyway.

      • jake

        do you research every place you walk in to before doing business there?…should we have to?!…

      • Miss Moeesha

        Many years ago I took my daughter to a “Girl Scout Sunday” event at the local Catholic Church. We are not Catholic but I felt that it would to no harm to expose my then 8 year old daughter to other beliefs. The church was filled with Brownies, Girl Scouts and confirmation kids. When it came time for the sermon the priest welcomed all the kids and then went on with his sermon about the horror of abortion. My daughter looked puzzled, this was a subject we had never discussed with her. I was mortified and became even more upset when we left the church and in the lobby there were tables set up with photos of aborted fetuses. On the ride home my daughter asked me what “bortion” was and why were there pictures of dead babies at church. The church should not have decided for me when to have that discussion with my child and neither should a business. It’s one thing to do it at a Christian bookstore, you know why you are there. But a frozen yogurt shop? No.

      • areyoukiddingme?

        REALLY? you took your child to a catholic church knowing full well that it was a catholic church and that you weren’t catholic and you’re actually mad that they were teaching exactly what the church was founded to teach? that’s stupidity on your part and I can’t believe you even just tried to tell me that a church shouldn’t have the right to preach it’s beliefs. maybe you should not go places you don’t want to have to deal with. that would be like me going to a kkk meeting then being upset they preach racism. get out of here with that nonsense.

      • Gizzy N

        Knowing that this is likely to give “areyoukiddingme?” a heart attack, I actually have to say that I agree with him/her.

        Sorry, but while most people would not expect to be proselytized to at their local ice cream shop, I can’t imagine anyone would be surprised to find it happening in an actual church. Where, yanno, that sort of thing actually BELONGS.

        Now, do I think it was in bad taste for the Priest to choose such a topic on a day he knew there would be Scouts of many faiths in attendance? Yes. That seems like an extremely unfortunate – and not well-intentioned – choice on his part. I guess I was fortunate with my kids… the church their troops went to for Scout Sunday always had sermons on things like loving ones neighbor, respecting ones parents, conducting oneself with honor, etc.

        I’d have walked out of ANY service, even in my own place of worship, where someone was taking about abortions and displaying pictures of dead babies to my children.

      • Ann Burlingham

        It seems like something done in extremely bad faith, to a captive audience.

      • jake

        talking out both sides of your mouth gizzy…first it’s ok to “proselitize” in a church…but the subject mater was just unfortunate…churches are for preaching, not indoctrinating…as you later state correctly, more suitable topics for sermons would be loving your neighbors, respecting your parents, or conducting yourself with honor…when my sunday morning family time turns into an hour of FOX news regurgitation, it’s time to go…the catholic church is in its death throes….

      • thatdamnliberal

        The Bible says nothing about abortion. The church was not founded to show dead fetuses in their lobbies. It is a perversion of faith.

      • Ann Burlingham

        Uh, no. When I was a Girl Scout, we had an annual day at a different local church each year. I don’t remember anything remarkable. I have a feeling the topics were along the lines of “Welcome, Scouts! Isn’t it great that you and the adult volunteers are involved in our community? Keep it up!” with possibly a dose of “god is good!”

        I feel pretty certain that no anti-abortion sermons were given. And that my leaders would have given the priest a good dressing down if it had been. It was completely inappropriate.

      • Steph

        The church was founded to teach the horrors of abortion to young children?

      • Amy Moon River

        I was raised catholic and my church never preached about abortion. That’s not what they talk about normally. The Bible makes no reference to abortion. smh

        I’ve been a recovering catholic for 20 years.

      • Souris Optique

        I grew up Catholic and we were *never* exposed to garbage like that.

      • L. Marie

        The Catholic church DOES NOT teach that. I’ve been to Catholic Church countless times and have never heard them mention abortion. Extremists within the church harp on pro-life sermons. It’s not as common as media would make it out to be.

      • MK03

        You *do* realize you just equated religion with the Klan, don’t you?

      • Sieben Stern

        *slow slow slow facepalm*
        It was a sunday for girl scouts – i don’t think they passed out a list of events that said ‘dead babies at 5pm’ then ‘dinner buffet 6:30’

        if the woman would have known this was going to be the case I doubt she would have brought her child.

      • jake

        here he goes again…dragging his knuckles behind him…i’m catholic, and i still don’t expect to hear sermons about abortion on sunday mornings with my wife and kids…thats for another place and time…and i’ve been going to catholic mass for over 50 years…all this political BS is a very recent phenomenon and has no place at what should be a simple sunday morning family worship time…it’s also the reason i’m shopping for a new church…i’m fed up with all the strident nonsense…

      • Wowee

        It amazes me to hear that considering Girl Scouts are constantly accused of promoting abortion and birth control (all untrue). The local Catholic church won’t let girl scouts meet at their church any more because of girl scouts alleged ties to planned parenthood.

      • thatdamnliberal

        Ugh, I’m so sorry. I have vowed that when hubby and I have kids, they are NEVER exposed to the Catholic church.

      • MK03

        Sounds more like an evangelical church to me. The evangelical community tends to be about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the face.

    • Melinda Robinson

      Satanism? I would almost be happier if my kid was subjected to Satanist beliefs than Christian ones. I’ve known Satanists and at least they don’t tend to be judgmental hypocrites who want to shove their religion down one’s throat. They’re not bad, evil people. Most folks don’t even understand what Satanism – NOT Satan-worship, which is a far different animal altogether – really is. So before you lump it in with racism, which is a despicable, sickening thing, why not learn what it really is instead of spreading fallacies.

      • Dave Garry

        THAT is twisted. If Satanism has NOTHING to do with Satan, then WHY call it that?? Why not call it something else?

      • Gizzy N

        Given the fact that the way an alarming number of self-proclaimed Christians practice their faith, in direct conflict with what…yanno… CHRIST actually taught… this shouldn’t come as any particular surprise that other religions cause the same confusion. 😉

      • Steph

        You get a gold star! 🙂

      • MURupert

        So many Christians ignore being Christ-like. Why not call it something else?

      • Souris Optique

        Because it was a good metaphor, and worked with the way they felt they fit within the general culture.

        Why has Christianity twisted “Satan” into some super-powerful font of all evil, when in the original texts, he’s relatively powerless and works for God?

    • David_in_Houston

      “…and how to be tolerant of everyone and their belief even if it’s different from yours.”

      Why would you expect the customer to be tolerant of everyone else’s beliefs when the owner wasn’t respecting the customer’s beliefs — or lack thereof? They were literally forcing their religious beliefs on every child that walked through their doors. I think the word I’m looking for is “indoctrination”. If parents want to force religion of their own children, that’s one thing. But they have no right to proselytize to anyone else. That’s not the job of a yogurt shop. Their ONLY job is to serve yogurt. The fact that you’re unable to acknowledge that fact is simply mind boggling. Had the sticker said “Mohammed is great!”, I don’t think you’d be supporting the yogurt shop. Just a hunch.

    • Souris Optique

      Somehow I doubt you’d be as happy about sharing differences in belief if I were distributing “The Charge of the Goddess” in cartoon form to your children.

    • JenniferAnn

      I believe the issue with a company setting up that “perfect opportunity” to talk with your child about any religion is that its set up to happen in public. From personal experience it is impossible to speak publicly about Christianity without other people seeing it as an open door to inject themselves and their personal beliefs into the conversation. Not every parent has an interest in having to point and counterpoint another person while trying to have a discussion with their children, when all they walked in for some ice cream and father/daughter quality time.

  • Ann Burlingham

    And here we see the difference between op-ed writing and journalism. Besides the negative tone of the piece – and the sheer willful mischaracterization of this:

    “It seems this was by design. Back in May 2012, Sweet Frog Sales and Development Director Raven Williams was quoted as saying the company would “never want anyone to feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in our stores due to a difference of belief.”

    In other words, “We’re gonna hide our religious affiliations because your money is more important than our faith.” I am paraphrasing, of course, but you get the point.”

    there is no sign that the author asked the workers, store manager, or corporation for comment. Were the stickers being given out as a corporate policy? He assumes so and would have us do so, but provides no information to back that assumption. Not even a picture of the sticker.

    As journalism and consumer advocacy go, I’ll give this a D.

    • Amy Black

      “Were the stickers being given out as a corporate policy? He assumes so and would have us do so, but provides no information to back that assumption. Not even a picture of the sticker.”

      I seriously doubt a single store was passing out religious propaganda and it was unrelated to corporate policy. That’s a little ridiculous.

      • Sarah R.

        In case you didn’t notice, Fully Rely On God spells out F.R.O.G. So obviously its a corporate thing, its entrenched in their company symbol for Frog’s sake.

      • Ann Burlingham

        Whoosh. I certainly missed that. Glad someone mentioned it. Perhaps it’s more obvious if you’ve been in the stores.

        There’s a business near me called Elitsac. It took me a number of years when I was a kid to figure out what that stood for.

      • Ann Burlingham

        There’s really no way to know when the author provides no more information and apparently failed to seek any.

        As a consumer, I talk to the business I’m dealing with to express my reaction to something like this, to let the know the impression they have created, and to find out if the situation was an aberration, corporate policy or something in between.

        I’ve read too many stories over the years of, say, a McDonald’s or a Burger King having a sign that was in no way approved by the corporation but was in fact the (poor) decision of a store manager, not to mention people complaining that “X chain did this to me, they must have an anti-Y policy!” based on one interaction or bad customer service experience, which, when brought to the business’s attention, often led to both disclaimers of having any said policy and/or discipline of the responsible parties to be willing to go along with assumptions about what happened here. I have also experienced individual staff in businesses saying and doing things that, when I checked with management about it, were in no way their business policy. I also have a simple sense of wanting people to back up claims with evidence of having done a diligent attempt to find find out and provide all the facts. Reading a well-researched, even-handed, factual article about something outrageous will generally lead to my being outraged and often moves me to action. Telling me to! be! Outraged!!! in the style of this piece relies on an appeal to emotion that puts me off much more than the marketing (and all the motives imputed to it) involved.

        It’s certainly very possible that this is a corporate marketing decision, but only the fact that a commenter reported that the stores display a sign using the same phrase that the writer reports being on the stickers gave evidence pointing that way.

        Perhaps a local journalist will look into the matter, and find those facts.

    • Richard Smothers

      Don’t be so disingenuous, the stickers are clearly handed out to the individual franchises for distribution, not made and distributed by the particular franchisee, who would not only be extremely unlikely to do so with his own money but would also potentially risk admonishment and losing his franchise for doing so on his own. Face it, dude, this chain is trying to push its religious agenda on people’s kids. Go back to watching Fox News.

      • Ann Burlingham

        Sorry for bringing critical thinking skills to bear on a poorly-written op-ed piece. Disgraceful of me.

    • veger7

      Not reasonable to expect journalism from any site that labels its political/societal beliefs up front for all to see. The danger lies in the organizations that hide their affiliation and promote their agenda through propaganda disguised as journalism such as Fox News.

      • Ann Burlingham

        Well, as someone who started reading Mother Jones and The Progressive as a teenager, I beg to differ. I see fine, even-handed journalism in many openly liberal and leftist news sources. Polemic rarely persuades. Having unassailable facts on one’s side is far more convincing.

      • Guest

        Mother Jones has never hidden its agenda so I do expect objective journalism from them, and that has been my experience. Look at their topics explored.

      • veger7

        Mother Jones has never hidden its agenda so I do not expect objective
        journalism from them, and that has been my experience. Look at their
        topics explored.

    • MURupert

      I’m sure it was a complete accident that the words on the sticker just happen to spell out “FROG” in a store named Sweet Frog.

      • Ann Burlingham

        You mean the initials spell that? As I wrote, someone else – not the author – pointed out that the stores have signs with the same phrase, which certainly would have been good information to include in the initial writing, but nope, until you pointed it out, I did not see the connection between the initials of the phrase and the company name.

        Am I failing to make my point that there is a big difference between being told to be outraged and being provided with enough evidence to decide for myself if I am outraged? In other words, the difference between an appeal to authority, even if only the author’s authority, and a presentation of facts, with the reader respected enough to be allowed to draw their own conclusions?

      • Souris Optique

        ” nope, until you pointed it out, I did not see the connection between the initials of the phrase and the company name.”

        Then PERHAPS you should quit insulting the integrity of others just because they don’t spell out obvious details that you are just too slow to catch?”

      • Ann Burlingham

        yeah, that’s what’s going on here.

        gosh, i miss usenet.

  • Runnergirl

    Good read!

  • Amy Black

    What’s up with the “more piercings than teeth” comment. Do you think having piercings are unacceptable, or do you have some sort of pre-judgement regarding people with piercings.

    As someone who is heavily pierced and deals with stereotyping from everyone, I think your comment was innapropriate and it certainly made me lose interest in your article.

    • Bunnyman09

      The author said nothing negative about piercings. He merely made an observation. It’s your irrational hypersensitivity that creates a problem where there was none. Maybe you should take a closer look at your own extreme lack of self-esteem and your compulsion to mutilate your own body before you try to drag other people down into your morass of psychological problems.

      • Souris Optique

        “your own extreme lack of self-esteem and your compulsion to mutilate your own body”
        Where do you get this strange assumption?
        Oh yeah, you’re a neutral party. Why do you feel the need to insult strangers over a difference in fashion?

      • susie

        take your meds bunny…yes it was an observation, but a totally unnecessary one…ascribing a “lack of self-esteem and compulsion to mutilate” to someone you don’t even know speaks more to your ignorance and bigotry than anything…every woman in the world with pierced ears has low self-esteem and mutilation issues?…pick your knuckles off the ground, dude…the big words aren’t disguising your ignorance…

      • Bunnyman09

        How dare you say things like that without knowing me? What a horrible, useless piece of trash you are. You are a very strong argument in favor of mandatory clitorectomies.

    • Alierias

      I think the piercing point comes from the biblical prohibition from marking/altering your body. A obstensible “christian” company is chooosing employee’s that don’t reflect “christian values”

      • CrucialCausality

        I honestly do not think the writer thought that far ahead when writing this, as nice as that sounds in retrospect.

    • mbws

      I think the comment was aimed at the dearth of teeth more than anything else.

    • Sieben Stern

      regardless you shouldn’t be wearing any jewelry when working in food service as it isn’t sanitary.

    • Pipercat

      As someone with no piercings, I found that rather curious too. One person made a point regarding certain prohibitions. That may be the case but, sort of irrelevant to the overall point he was trying to make.

  • kesmarn

    I understand what you’re saying, but I think it could be said with a little less hyperventilation. Also, initially you scold the company for “hiding its religious affiliation” in order to get your bucks, and then you scold them for being open about their religious affiliation. What would be considered “ethical” then? Yes, this is a little pushy, but calling it “preying on children” is a bit over the top.

    • MURupert

      No, it isn’t They still hide their affiliation, then present it to children. You can’t see that?

      • Ellistrey

        it kinda isn’t “hidden” if you knew about it though right? I would have LOOKED at the sticker before allowing my child to have it…that’s just good parenting.

  • Samantha Fetty

    This is just plain dumb. Rather than being in support of someone trying to be a leading cause in this country NOT losing faith, you want to bash them because of it. How you raise your child is your business. You don’t like the store, simply do not shop there. But you do not need to teach your child the shallow mindset in which you have. If you are any type of a good parent to your child, let your child make their own decisions. If you raised them right they will see things the way you do. What do you have against the Christian belief anyways? If you dont believe in Christianity that’s fine. It’s not like they were handing out a Bible with each sticker. They were not infringing upon your rights. But at the least I am happy to know I wont have to be standing in line behind you or your child at Sweet F.R.O.Gs or Chick-fil-a.

    • Mary-Beth Featherwolf Wheelock

      I don’t think its so much the belief, its the people who claim the belief. You have to admit, there are a lot of zealots who pick Christianity as a crutch for a lot of things and are very closed minded. But I may be wrong in my assumption.

    • Sarah R.

      Your argument was ALMOST valid until you brought up Chick-fil-a. You are obviously a Christian. It’s not a shallow mindset to not want people to rudely shove their religious propaganda in your face. People of the Christian faith need to learn their religion is NOT the main religion, and do not have a right to passive-aggressively push their beliefs onto their customers. There’s actually a thing in sales called the ‘nag factor,’ meaning purposely trying to get kids to whine to their parents in order to buy something. Have fun with your clogged arteries at Chick-fil-a.

      • Mary-Beth Featherwolf Wheelock

        They do that with a lot of fast foods, advertising to kids so they will nag their parents.

    • ohiolibrarian

      I hope you are not one of those people who complain about schools ‘indoctrinating’ kids by teaching them accurate sex ed and evolution. Because that would be a “shallow mindset”.

    • Melinda Robinson

      So Samantha, would you have been happy if it had been you and your child, and the child was handed a sticker that said “Allah akbar”? Hey, Islam is still faith!

      • Amy Butler

        I would be just as offended at any of those as I would be at the Christian propaganda. A business, that is not a “religious” store, has no business handing out propaganda for their religion. I won’t shop in them. They can get their money from the people who approve of their behavior.

      • LaurenV

        Hail Satan and God is dead are negative comments and if my kids got one of the other stickers I probably would not care that much and if I like the place I would still go there

      • Melinda Robinson

        This is really old, I know, but… how are “Hail Satan!” and “God is dead” negative comments? They’re not even comments for one thing, For another, do you even know who Nietzsche is? *chuckle*

    • Samantha Fetty

      I was raised in a christian belief but over the years I have wandered and dabbled in other beliefs trying to make my own sound decision on who (if any) are correct in their beliefs. I’m more spiritual than anything.

      If some store gave my son a sticker I did not like I’d simply throw it away. If my son asked why I’d simply tell him because I do not want you to have it. I am after all his parent and I make all and final decisions. Not my child.

      Oh and “OhioLibrarian” I’m very open with my child about sex. It’s pretty clear how that works and no question in how things are made from it. So, No. Shallow is not part of this gal.

      Oh and as far as Sara R.’s clogged arteries comment, you know you would ALMOST be funny with that accept I do not eat there, I was just using it to make a point. That if you are simply against something, you DO NOT SHOP THERE. Not make a rant and try to piss in everyone else’s cheerios just because you are dis-satisfied.

    • MURupert

      So, Samantha, I run a Satanist workshop on Sundays. How about dropping your kids off so they can make up their own minds?

      • Samantha Fetty

        Sure, and you are located where?

      • MURupert

        New Carlisle, Ohio

      • Samantha Fetty

        Perfect my mother lives in Ohio, so when I visit, I’ll look you up. Once you have my child you’ll see your God in the flesh. LOL

      • MURupert

        What God?

      • Samantha Fetty

        Your Satan God. DUH.

      • MURupert

        I said I run a workshop, I didn’t say I believed in it. DUH.

      • Samantha Fetty

        Well then shall I suggest you PRACTICE what you preach?

      • Samantha Fetty

        Or would that just mean you are a hypocrite of what you teach.?

      • Mary-Beth Featherwolf Wheelock

        Running a workshop doesn’t necessarily mean you practice or believe in it, just means you’ve studied it to have a better understanding.

      • MURupert

        I also do a workshop on Christianity. Just because you teach about a belief doesn’t mean you have to worship that god. How can you not understand that?

      • Souris Optique

        The phrase “hypocrite of what you teach” does not even make sense.

        “Hypocrisy: The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense”

      • MURupert

        Who said anything about preaching? My my, don’t you make a lot of assumptions.

      • Samantha Fetty

        Ok well then maybe not preach but shouldn’t you practice what you claim then? Since you took the time to study it and run it??

      • MURupert

        Does this mean you’ve believed everything you’ve studied? And again, I’ve made no claims. Why do you make so many unfounded assumptions?

      • Souris Optique

        You clearly have no idea what Satanism is, and you are telling someone to “practice what they preach?”
        You are an idiot.

      • fergmcdogg

        That you would even consider you child as satan in the flesh, is of itself, very, very sad.

      • Souris Optique

        Satanists don’t have a god, you moron.

      • BigDum1

        Your mistaken. And here is a little advice. Don’t call people morons unless you are capable of being objective. Some more. When an individual assumes, they make an ‘ass’ of ‘u’ and ‘me’.

      • Ann Burlingham

        I’ve been wondering starting informational classes on world religions, including, say, wicca, would finally put the kibosh on the local schools’ Wednesday afternoon “release” time for “religious instruction”. I just don’t have the energy. Kudos to you for enlightening people.

    • Mickey Fay

      What you holier than thou christians forget is not everyone in this country subscribes to your religion and that does NOT make them bad people. I do NOT want to be subjected to store owners’ religious views when I shop at their stores. Yes, they are entitled to their beliefs, as I am entitled to mine. I am glad this man spoke out because if one of these shops opens in my area I will not go there. And why does it make him a bad parent if he doesn’t want his child subjected to other’s views while eating a freaking yogurt. It is unnecessary. And the religious zealots are popping up more and more. Why are you happy to know you won’t be standing behind his child in the yogurt shop of Chick-fil-a? Because he doesn’t subscribe to your beliefs? That’s a nice christian way of thinking.

    • LaurenV

      Raising my child right has NOTHING to do with wanting him to see things as I do. I want him to be able to think for himself and not just believe what I want him to. I would NEVER ever go to a Chick-fil-a. The from of supposed christianity they practice is anthema to everything I believe in. I know that the man Jesus and Jesus the Christ would accept, love, and invite gay people with an open mind and heart. If you go to that business you don’t like gays, and are a hater and are NOT by defination a Christian

  • Daniel Lewis

    The same reason I won’t eat at Chic Fil A..Of course, Chic is excessively religious and feels like entering an LDS home. Funny how Jesus was essentially a Marxist who believed in giving to the poor, yet these companies all pay their workers nearly nothing. I guess Christianity only applies so far as it makes money.

    • Pipercat

      Don’t forget the overpriced and dried out chicken breasts…

      • Daniel Lewis

        🙂

    • katherine norton malek

      Amen … excuse the pun.

    • You never know

      It was lovely to see how many people in my town would wait in traffic for 2 hours for a free piece of chicken, but won’t lift a hand to help anyone in need.

      • Daniel Lewis

        Unfortunately, those are the same people who go to church on Sunday morning and on Sunday afternoon complain when they see beggars.

  • justjojo

    Yeah, I would most likely stop frequenting that business too. Mostly because I would never give a cent to a “Christian” organization. Having a talk with your child about God and Christianity is not a bad thing even at a young age because those kids will need to understand the fairy tale narrative that most of their fellow citizens subscribe to.
    BTW: “Between my child and me…”

  • R. Taylor

    A bit of an overreaction, I think. Just explain it to her…it’s not that big a deal. So you don’t believe in Christianity, ok, tell her what you do believe. As a parent, you should be doing that anyway.

    • jake

      it is a big deal and its sad that you just dont get it…young impressionable kids dont have the life experience to process information about religion and its many nuances and shouldnt have to when all they want is ice cream…

  • xibluebelleix

    Wow. People are so quick to get offended at something so small. It’s a sticker.

  • Confused

    Okay, first you’re mad because they think money is more important than faith, then you’re mad because they think faith is more important than money. Make up your mind!

  • Gene Conway

    I certainly can blame business for fostering trust and then exploiting it, while taking umbrage in the communal store front of theology. Society is sick, and the cure is not more sickness!

  • Jason

    I’m all for protesting against companies run by religious people who use their companies to support and propagate hateful messages, such as the Chick Fil’A situation a year ago. But to get your underwear all knotted up because a company run by religious people has the nerve to display their faith in joyful ways? Grow up. Feel free not to be a customer, but don’t complain about their existence. You don’t have the right to never be exposed to other people’s belief systems, just like they don’t have the right to not be exposed to yours. It’s their establishment, they can do what they want.

    • MURupert

      Yet every time an Atheist or a Theist of another religion sticks up for their beliefs, it’s “forcing it down our throats.” And yes, it’s their establishment and they can do what they want. At the same time, as consumers, we can criticize them and boycott them for it. Capitalism works in both directions.

    • Kryssi K.

      “Waaah, I’m the type of person that cries when people don’t agree with me and what I believe in. Waaah.”

      Excuse me, sir. I believe you’ve dropped your pacifier.

  • Mittwoch21

    I’m sorry but the writer of this article comes off as super uptight and apparently isn’t very observant b/c I knew FROG stood for Fully Rely On God the first time I went there. He should’ve realized a long time ago and stopped taking his daughter for yogurt if there was an issue. But now he’s all upset b/c they gave his daughter a sticker that said “Fully Rely On God” which is part of the name of the company? I don’t think so. Not buying it. Let’s reverse the rolls here. Take a strict Christian family who doesn’t believe in evolution. Should they boycott a place b/c someone gave their child a dinosaur sticker? I mean really? Come on guys! I don’t know about you but I welcome my child’s questions b/c it gives me a chance to teach my child diversity without hate.

  • td

    The religion thing aside, why in the world would you feed your child this cup of sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors anyway?

    • Runnergirl

      I see nothing wrong with treating your child to ice cream once a week. That’s probably way less than the average child consumes anyway. Once a week won’t kill ya. Everything in moderation.

  • megan browne

    Because I’m sure a child really cares what a sticker says…..they just like stickers. Wow. And to stop your business just because of a religious affiliation. I worked at a place where people were iffy about coming in due to the owners religion, it’s crazy. If you don’t like the service, then don’t go. If you don’t like stickers that say something about God, then don’t accept them. Pay attention to what people are handing your child. But when your child simply wants to wear a sticker and probably doesn’t understand or need to at the moment, who cares? It’ll fall off in about a half hour anyway.

    • David_in_Houston

      Generally speaking, most parents wouldn’t expect a yogurt shop to hand out stickers that promote religion. Nor would I expect a parent to analyze a cartoon sticker for hidden agendas.

      “And to stop your business just because of a religious affiliation.”

      No. That’s NOT the issue. The business was forcing their religious beliefs on customer’s children. They have no right to do that. That’s the parent’s job, not a yogurt shop’s.

      • Ellistrey

        “forcing” lol really? Do you want a sticker is now forcing?

  • Mary-Beth Featherwolf Wheelock

    Okay, so simple solution to all of this, don’t like a place being of obvious religious affiliation, don’t go to those stores when you find out. No need to complain, so far, from what I do know of Sweet Frog, yes they are a Christian business, but if there are people with piercings and tattoos working there, then they aren’t completely hard core and probably don’t discriminate, wouldn’t know, haven’t really tested them. Chic-fil-a on the other hand was not only discriminating against people, but funded hate groups, so really, Sweet Frog doesn’t sound so bad. As a parent, I plan on exposing my son to all religions, letting him go to church if he asks, heck, I will even take him myself, I want him to have the exposure I didn’t have, I want him to be able to understand that there are many people and many paths to choose from. I am Pagan, so I don’t agree with everything Christian, but I do not deny that the true meaning of that religion (when following the original teachings) is about love, of ones self and of others. I plan on expressing that to him and any other child that may come in the future, it is my way of expressing tolerance, because that is all I ask for in return. I have been bashed and told I was going to hell for years now, I don’t want my child being exposed to that mindset, so I tend to stay away from people and places that are like that. I will raise him in my view points but informing him my way isn’t the only way and that he will soon enough begin his journey to find his path. I’m not completely comfortable at Sweet Frog because of the people it draws in, the people, not the religion. So I prefer Yapple, but it won’t stop me from going in there if there is no other frozen yogurt place.

  • Krissy K.

    Wait, so. Since the person who served you had, and I quote, “more piercings than she has teeth”, you automatically assume that she doesn’t believe in God? That is a very disturbing and uncalled for assumptions, but I guess when you lack Christ in your life, you lack common courtesy as the ability to keep your judgmental thoughts to yourself, as well.

    I don’t know about anyone else, so I can only speak for myself. You are complaining about other’s pushing their beliefs on you and your family, yet you could have simply denied the sticker. Shouldn’t society be more worried about the fact that you didn’t check out what a stranger was giving your daughter before you accepted it? Hell, my mother inspected every piece of candy in my Halloween bag before I ate it when I was a child. You are complaining about other’s pushing their beliefs on you and your family, but have you ever taken into consideration the hypocritical nature of your entire report? What if I WANT to walk into an establishment that was based upon Christian beliefs and receive a sticker that says “Fully Rely On God”? I have to sacrifice my right to publicly display my faith to make you feel comfortable?

    In conclusion: Do not blame society for your poor parenting skills. One day your daughter will grow up, and despite what you’ve pressed into her skull through the years, she will make her own decisions on every aspect of her life. Sometimes, not even consulting you first(I know, the horror!). Whether she finds Christ or finds it more fulfilling worshiping a foreign God, or none at all.. you can only “protect” your child for so long. (And I use the word “protect” as a reflection of your blatant need to shelter her from anything you find best for yourself.)

    This article is worthless. It only proves that ignorance is inherited, but hopefully not without cure. I think we’re done here.

    • Kryssi K.

      P.S. I’m surprised the writer of this waste of bandwidth hasn’t caused a shit storm about the “No Matter What Trust GOD” signs all over the Hampton Roads area. Oh damn, did I just give her an idea for her next article? Sorry, guys.

      • Mickey Fay

        Looks to me like the author was a man from the photo at the end. I couldn’t keep up with whether you were berating the writer of agreeing. You say that you do not go to other Christian owned business yet you hand this author their ass because they wrote an article detailing why they will no longer be a customer in this yogurt shop? To this writer, it was more than an innocent sticker. I agree with him and I will not stop at one of these yogurt shops in the future. I appreciate that he shared his story. If this article offended you, why did you read it? I think it was very clear what the story was going to be about before you clicked on it. As I said, I am not sure of where exactly you stand with your very long back and forth comments.

      • Kryssi K.

        I think you have me mistaken for someone else. No where in my reply does it state that I would boycott establishments that are Christian based. Do not put words in my mouth, woman. It only proves your ignorance.

        If the yogurt is good, I’m going to eat it, regardless of whether or not the owner is a Christian and shows it. Do you know why? Because I’m alive. Because I am an adult and I do not easily let other’s influence my opinions or beliefs.

        This article is worthless. It is a wooden spoon made to specifically stir the pot, and it has worked. You are a tool. Go back to your shed.

      • Souris Optique

        You sure do like to insult people who have done nothing to you. Do you think that little “tool” quip makes you sound clever? Get off your high horse!

      • Ann Burlingham

        So, how come several people think the guy in the photo whose name is on the piece is a woman?

      • Kryssi K.

        I have just realized my mistake and re-posted with the correction.

      • Souris Optique

        How many times are you going to repost this and whine about those MEAN OLD INTOLERANT HYPOCRITES deleting your post? Can you delete my post? Well gee, then…

  • daindc

    You don’t say how old your daughter is, but we started talking to our son about religion as soon as we knew he was aware of the onslaught of (mainly Christian) religious messages. We simply explained to him that some people believe this, and some people believe that, and we believe such-and-such, etc. It certainly would have been easy enough to say “I don’t want you to wear this sticker because it promotes a religious belief that we don’t share.” And if she pressed you for more, then giver her a deeper explanation. Parenting is chock full of opportunities like this, and it’s far easier to embrace them than run from them.
    Also, it is perfectly acceptable to choose not to patronize a business for whatever reason you think worthy. If you don’t agree with the business owner’s religious beliefs, religious practices, politics, etc., then by all means, don’t patronize that business. That’s why I won’t eat at Chik-Fil-A, for example, and why I will certainly avoid Sweet Frog, if I ever run across one. It is within the owner’s rights to run his business any way he wants, and if he wants to promote his religion to his customers, then have at it. But he has to realize that that will possibly (likely?) result in a net loss of customers. But that’s his problem.
    I think your entire article could have been boiled down to “Sweet Frog yogurt tries to promote Christianity to child customers. If you don’t like that, then don’t patronize Sweet Frog.”

    • Ann Burlingham

      As a parent, a consumer, and a small business owner, I also believe in giving feedback. If the quote in the article was sincere – and I do know plenty of Christians who are perfectly sincere that they don’t want to impose their beliefs, and who would be horrified at making someone feel uncomfortable about not sharing them (although I think many Christians also do not realise how much of their religion is already inescapable in American culture) – they should appreciate hearing that they have failed to provide a place welcoming to all customers, after all.

      As an atheist parent, I never stopped my child from taking the occasional sticker or balloon animal or whatever he was offered by, well, friendly zealots. It’s, as you say, my job to teach him our beliefs and how to handle all sorts of things in the world. Including one I feel strongly about, which is respecting his friends’ beliefs. None of that requires him to share their beliefs.

      I’ve been open in my very small, rural, conservative town about my atheism lately – as I said to some Christians, I’m pretty sure their faith won’t be shaken by knowing that fact. Any more than my child will be swayed to convert to a religion by being given a cutesy sticker.

  • Kevin

    I think you’re being a little over dramatic with take on what the owner intended. I doubt he wanted to force you into an uncomfortable conversation with your daughter. Given what I know of Virgina, I doubt most of the patrons took much of an issue even IF they noticed it. If you don’t like the sticker, don’t take it next time. If you find out they give money to gay therapy places or something like that, let us know.

  • bamcintyre

    I want to thank most of those that have added comments to this story. There is a variety of opinions, but mostly given with respect to the authors. I just happen to side with the author of the article, and find that most modern “Christians” are closer to the Taliban than their Jesus.

  • Jenny

    If this were a liberal establishment handing out stickers with a rainbow and some word or phrase supporting gay rights and a “Christian” customer were outraged that the sticker was offered to their child and published a blog article explaining so, that person would get pummeled with stones…called a hater and would be accused of discriminating.

    You don’t see Christians complaining about fortune cookies, do you? I’m sure there are some, but no one is publishing public blogs about it.

    No one is ever happy with anything anymore.

    Seriously, it’s not some conspiracy on an attempt brain wash kids. Religion separated from the state, not the other way around and no establishment should be discriminated against. An establishment simply explaining a well-meaning acronym isn’t this big of a deal. If the Christian music wasn’t the FIRST CLUE, then perhaps you just can’t hear. Because it’s blatantly clear.

    I just hate when someone discriminates a business for being based on Christian beliefs. Stop calling the kettle black, put on your big girl panties, and deal with it. Let your kid wear the sticker, or throw it away. They will live either way you choose. Temper tantrum? Oh, just handle it any way you would normally. Is the child older? Just simply say you can discuss it later. And honestly, I think it’s incredibly closed minded to not let your child have exposure to different ways of thinking. It’s like never offering chocolate ice cream, having only ever offered vanilla or strawberry. Purposely NOT exposing your child to a way of belief is just as bad as the parent who shoves the Bible down their kid’s throat forcing them into a rebellious lifestyle.

    People say “Let them choose” – but then they don’t…how is that any better? lol

    You cannot possibly research every. single. establishment to see what they believe in. Its a waste of time.

    If you don’t like Sweet Frog, don’t go. Being a Christian, I don’t boycott companies like Disney or even try to look up business’s beliefs so that I make sure not to spend my money there.

    • Jenny

      Everyone screams tolerance…but then they don’t. Pretty contradictory, don’t you think?

    • Gizzy N

      Google “One Million Moms”. It’s an entire organization founded on the idea of boycotting companies who dare to make the decision to do something like include gay or lesbian couples in their clothing catalogs (like JCPenny).

      The AFA, the FRC, NOM, CWA, etc. all go to great lengths to tell their VERY Christian, VERY conservative followers to put pressure on companies to stop including LGBT families in any of their advertising, in offering benefits to employees, etc.

      These organizations have dozens of sub-organizations (of which OMM is one) that publish blogs, websites & FB pages to target any company (or TV show, or movie, or whatever) that isn’t in lockstep with their “family values.” And they have MILLIONS of followers jumping on their bandwagons of bigotry.

      And they… by the way… claim to speak for Christians such as yourself.

    • Ann Burlingham

      … Christians don’t like… fortune cookies? Do tell. I’m not sure all the Christians I know got the memo.

    • Kryssi K.

      You cannot speak for all Christians.

      I am born and raised Catholic and some of the best people I know are gay. Do I believe in it? Not really. Do I write a 2 page article to them, explaining WHY I don’t believe in it and why it’s wrong to publicly display their love? No.

      Why?

      I don’t give a shit. I am an adult and I do not let other’s easily influence my decisions and beliefs. I am alive, so I live my life the way I want to live it and I give the same courtesy to other’s.

      The yogurt is damn good, so I will continue to go to this establishment. NOT because I found out that the owner is a Christian, but because my taste buds tell me it’s a good idea.

  • LaurenV

    I agree with the article. I probably would not have minded when my son was gone to learn of the Christian affiliation of a business I was used to going to and would have let him put on the sticker because I am Christian. But the market place is NOT the place to indoctrinate kids into any religion whatsoever unless it is clear to the public from the start that the business does have a religious connection. Satanism IS a religion, by the way. I would have used the sticker as a learning opportunity too and if the business was Buddist affiliated I would use that as well and my son actually did go to a Buddist temple as part of a Confirmation class that was Lutheran. He is no longer Christian due to a bad exposure to a cult like church that hit little kids on their bottoms with sticks. It does not bother me too much that he tends to be atheist but I wish we could have avoided the above terrible exposure. the difference here is that this yougurt shop did not focus the owner’s beliefs into his business practices in an open way at the begining and then started preaching religion to someone elses kids in somewhat of a sneaky way. I know that Hobby Lobby is a Christian business and if it was closes to me I would probably go there for my supplies but not because it is a Christian business. I actually would prefer to go elsewhere though and am kind of glad it is not conveniently located because I do not want to support a business that interfers in their female employees choices with regard to their own personal reproductive health care.
    I am tired of persons who call themselves Christian and espouse very extreme right sing conservative political beliefs tangling religion and politics up into a wad of string that they are trying to us to confine the rest of the country into believe exactly what they want us to. I am Christian and progressive and this country is not, never has been, and never will be Christian. Politics and religion are two totally different things and do NOT belong together

  • mograph

    I used to get irritated when attending extended-family church events, as if God The Bearded Old Guy were being thrust down my throat. Then in order to deal with the cognitive dissonance, I recast the idea of God. To me, it doesn’t have to be a Bearded Old Guy any more, it can be the Not-Me That’s Bigger Than Me (NMTBTM). And I was fine with that, as I considered that Bearded Old Guy is just one possible interpretation of NMTBTM, and a lot of scriptures can make sense with NMTBTM in the place of “God.”

    And I found peace.

    But when we start saying that we know what NMTBTM’s purpose is, or start acting on behalf of NMTBTM, or using NMTBTM to legitimize our own agendas … that’s just wrong.

    But more to the point, trying to persuade kids to adopt your beliefs? Wrong too. Leave those kids alone, Cha.

    • Sieben Stern

      Why didn’t you just pretend you were at a harry potter convention. same difference. they are both fiction.

  • Jenae Snyder Young

    That is your right not to go there,but frankly, I think everyone is always making a big deal out of a whole lot of nothing!

  • Kryssi K.

    Why did you delete my reply? That is no better than a 5 year old pushing peas under a place-mat to avoid the bad taste. Here, let me keep re-posting.

    Wait, so. Since the person who served you had, and I quote, “more piercings than she has teeth”, you automatically assume that she doesn’t believe in God? That is a very disturbing and uncalled for assumption, but I guess when you lack Christ in your life, you lack common courtesy as the ability to keep your judgmental thoughts to yourself, as well.

    I don’t know about anyone else, so I can only speak for myself. You are complaining about other’s pushing their beliefs on you and your family, yet you could have simply denied the sticker. Shouldn’t society be more worried about the fact that you didn’t check out what a stranger was giving your daughter before you accepted it? Hell, my mother inspected every piece of candy in my Halloween bag before I ate it when I was a child. You are complaining about other’s pushing their beliefs on you and your family, but have you ever taken into consideration the hypocritical nature of your entire report? What if I WANT to walk into an establishment that was based upon Christian beliefs and receive a sticker that says “Fully Rely On God”? I have to sacrifice my right to publicly display my faith to make you feel comfortable?

    In conclusion: Do not blame society for your poor parenting skills. One day your daughter will grow up, and despite what you’ve pressed into her skull through the years, she will make her own decisions on every aspect of her life. Sometimes, not even consulting you first(I know, the horror!). Whether she finds Christ or finds it more fulfilling worshiping a foreign God, or none at all.. you can only “protect” your child for so long. (And I use the word “protect” as a reflection of your blatant need to shelter her from anything you find best for yourself.)

    This article is worthless. It only proves that ignorance is inherited, but hopefully not without cure. I think we’re done here.

    (I’m surprised this same man has not raised hell about the, “NO MATTER WHAT, TRUST GOD” signs scattered throughout Hampton Roads. Oh shit.. did I just give him his next article? Sorry, guys.)

    • Gizzy N

      Your reply wasn’t deleted… it’s a few posts below this one. Perhaps you might want to change your view from “Best” to “Newest” at the upper left side of the comment section.

      • Kryssi K.

        I did. Much appreciated.

    • Christine Pierson

      You have talked about tolerance but I see none in your own posts. “but I guess when you lack Christ in your life, you lack common courtesy
      as the ability to keep your judgmental thoughts to yourself, as well.” You are being quite judgmental don’t you think? “that’s a perfect opportunity to explain to your daughter the difference
      of belief between people and how to be tolerant of everyone and their
      belief even if it’s different from yours. you’re acting like he
      introduced her to satanism or racism.” Who are you to tell someone else when the right time is to explain someone’s beliefs to their children? I have 2 children and have explained my beliefs to them. One believes in God and one doesn’t. But as a parent, it is my responsibility to do this, not you or anyone else. I wouldn’t frequent this establishment based on the fact that I don’t agree with their beliefs and don’t want their beliefs pushed on me or my children. I appreciate stories like this that educate the public on companies that have their own agendas. I

      • Kryssi K.

        When did I ever accuse this man of being a horrible father? Where in my paragraph did I tell this man he is raising his daughter WRONG?

        I simply stated that he was over-reacting. That is not a judgement, it’s an observation of fact

        As I previously stated, this article is a wooden spoon, created specifically to stir the pot. It’s fulfilled it’s purpose.

        Do you know what I’d do if my child was ever handed a sticker that said, “No matter what, trust SATAN”? I wouldn’t do anything, because that scenario will NEVER happen. Do you know why? Because I would check to see what my child was receiving before they received it. Because today’s world is a scary one. Because now-a-days, the contents on the back of the sticker could consist of chemicals harmful to my child’s health (I honestly wouldn’t put it past people to target children in today’s world). I would see first, and deny. Because I am an observant person. Not because I try to push my beliefs on other’s.

        My parents raised me to make my own decisions when it comes to issues such as this. Of course I went to church with them as a child. I was a part of many amazing activities and socialized with many beautiful people because of it. Did that have some type of influence on my personal decisions today? Of course. I would be a liar if I said it didn’t, but I also still know a lot of those people that participated in those activities with me but decided to follow another path. Do I think that makes them bad people? Of course not. I am an adult, I can make my way down a path without forcing other’s to hold my hand.

        The purpose of my response was to point out the blatant hypocrisy in the entire article. “Stop displaying what you believe in so that I don’t have to work so hard to hide it from my children because *I* don’t believe in it.” If there were examples in the dictionary, surely this article would be one of them.

  • kerapolis

    Wow, did we run out of all the other first world problems to write about on this day?

  • sfwmson

    this is why I never go to a Bess Eaton donut shop. They have scripture on their cups and bags.

    • sfwmson

      or they did. they went belly up in 2004

  • ed b

    wow really?a sticker with God on it?this is what has you all worked up and reading all this into it?propaganda to mention God?No wonder this world is so messed up,,,try having a slightly open mind and get off the PC train

  • jeczaja

    How deliciously righteous outrage feels. Look, how about contacting the company and telling them you don’t like their passing out stickers that mention God? Instead of writing a blog and encouraging a big boycott? The owner of that store is a human being who may see your position as a reasonable one.

  • sfwmson

    so if FROG means fully rely on god, what the heck does SCOOP stand for? stupid companies offending other prophets?

  • good_reader1

    In and Out burgers has scripture reference on the bottom of their cups, look close.

  • Rusti

    The so-called “Christians” these days are the ones that need to learn what true Christianity is, because it has nothing to do with their brand, FROG or otherwise. God has many different names, none of which matter. What matters is that you recognize that this Supreme Creator is love and live by that. They definitely don’t!

  • Jenae Snyder Young

    I find it odd that this on the Forward progressives page. I don’t find this article forward thinking for a progressive action at all!

  • LuluFlynn

    All I can say is replace religion with race & then ask your self if you are being a bigot. There is no good reason to be intolerant of religion just because you have none. Nor to lump all members of one religion into one stereotype. It means you are no better than the people who objected to desegregation in the 60s.

    • JB

      I don’t feel they are intolerant of religion. They are intolerant of proselytizing in a yogurt shop. Practicing the religion of Christianity is a choice, plain and simple. Your race is not a choice. People have a right to practice whatever religion they want, but don’t people who don’t practice that religion have the right to be free from that religion as well? The stickers are inappropriate, unless he was serving yogurt at a religious function.

      • LuluFlynn

        It’s still an issue of discrimination and bigotry. Just because they hand out a sticker that has the word GOD on it, does NOT mean it infringes on the right of the customer to be free of religion! They are STILL FREE to not believe in any religion! Being free of the religion does not mean everyone who has a religion has to hide it for fear of annoying non religious people. It just seems like childish behavior to throw a fit over a sticker. Throw the sticker away! If I went to a local Bosnian Muslim’s small business who makes Gyros & found they were handing out stickers that said Praise Allah, I would not care. I would buy my Gyro, enjoy it & throw the sticker away. They are not forcing anything on me!

      • LuluFlynn

        If you claim they are tolerant of religion, then they should be tolerant of the religion’s beliefs, otherwise they are not tolerant. Part of Christianity’s beliefs are that they are to “witness” to the world. So let them practice their religion and witness. That’s what they do, oh well, that’s not hurting anyone. That does not infringe on your right to remain without religion.

      • JB

        That is a BS argument and you know it. Christianity also says that you should stone an adulterer and I don’t see you advocating for that. It comes down to religion is a personal thing for everyone and it has no place on stickers being given to children in a sneaky way. It’s gross.

      • Pipercat

        The stickers are a pitch. For whatever reason, the owners are taking some risk. I don’t know if this is a marketing gimmick or not. One thing as business owner I can pass on is this old adage: Never engage in politics, risque banter or religion with your customers/clients.

    • Krissy K.

      Beautiful response. Very well said.

  • Scott

    I would teach my kid to make fun of Christians at an early age, because their beliefs are laughable

    • Krissy K.

      For a parent to teach their child to laugh at anyone simply due to the fact that they different is despicable. I do hope that you haven’t found anyone dumb enough to reproduce with you.

  • Kaysa Alexander

    This IS still America! Private businesses have the right to hand their customers stickers! Starbucks & others promote their causes/consciences- what’s the difference? Oh wait- it depends on WHAT beliefs they have whether libs believe they should have freedom of speech or not! UNBELIEVABLE HYPOCRISY!

  • Kevin E.

    I largely agree with your article and completely agree with your decision to no longer patronize that franchise. However I have an issue with the following part of your article:

    “It seems this was by design. Back in May 2012, Sweet Frog Sales and Development Director Raven Williams was quoted as saying the company would “never want anyone to feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in our stores due to a difference of belief.”

    In other words, “We’re gonna hide our religious affiliations because
    your money is more important than our faith.” I am paraphrasing, of
    course, but you get the point.”

    When it comes to tolerance of everyone’s religion, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t ask people to keep their religions to themselves, then accuse them of ‘hiding their religious affiliations’ when they do. In fact it’s clear that your entire complaint is that they have ceased ‘hiding their religious affiliations’.

  • AL

    “It is not their duty or right to force that discussion…”

    While I completely agree that what this company did was, IMO, distasteful, they have every “right” to run their business as they see fit, and WE have every right to spend our money elsewhere.

    • Pipercat

      Indeed!

  • VT Girl

    My head is spinning from the nonsense being spewed over this post. How is having the expectation of a religiously-neutral dessert experience grounds for such ridicule? How is making an innocent little girl crave inclusion in a movement that she couldnt possibly understand ok (and I dare say most of those being targetted do not either)? To pilfer a religious agenda through cute, fun, seemingly harmless characters SHOULD enrage parents and any business owner “marketing” any religious material in an otherwise non-religious forum should expect financial consequences. If there was no intent of deceit then the signage on their establishments should CLEARLY indicate a religious offiliation instead of waiting for a sale to be final to pounce on their prey. If a child molester lured a child to a vehicle or alley with sweet treats and stuffed animals we would call that pre-meditation. This is nothing short of a pre-meditated attack on impressionable youth and this company should be ashamed. Glad they do not exist in VT and if they ever do I will be the first to boycott!

  • SKV2

    This is a despicable practice, I agree, but the way this article is written, the company is damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Either they DON’T trumpet their religious beliefs, in which case they’re hiding them because “your money is more important than our faith”, or they DO trumpet them and lose you as a customer.
    How could this company not offend?

  • mdicarlo

    Yikes! Or should I write Yuk? We saw it on one of the T-shirts they wear, it’s the only good yogurt place in our neighborhood…but I cringe by the fact that they are marketing a religion! I told the teenager behind the counter they should also have a T-shirt with a Buddha version…I don’t think she really understood what/why I suggested that…I just want an ice cream that does not have a religious flavor!

  • Scotty joan

    I love In n Out but did you know…
    In-N-Out prints discreet references to Bible verses on their paper containers. These consist of the book, chapter, and number of the verse, not the text of the passage, in small print on an inconspicuous area of the item. The practice began in the 1980s during Rich Snyder’s presidency,[36] a reflection of the Christian beliefs held by the Snyder family.
    The difference here is discreet….

  • DocWu

    I get a creepy feeling whenever I deal with a company or proprietor that insinuates their religion into everything, as if God, not hard work, and the labor of their employees, made them successful.

    Of course, I get a similar feeling of disgust dealing with amoral, over-capitalistic companies that worship profits over their employees.

    I guess any hidden agenda sets off alarm bells, when I only want to make a simple business transaction.

  • Cara_L_M

    Do you have any objection to your child laughing and wanting to throw coins into the ‘wishing well’ at chinese food places, that tend to feature the Gods of the realm? How about the Hindu gods that are typically displayed at Indian restaurants? If your main objection is just that the stickers are not big enough (and thus seem underhanded because they slipped past your view), I can understand that. But unless you plan on never eating at a foreign food restaurant again to reiterate your point, I think this is a slight overreaction to giving your kid a sticker to play with.

    • Krissy K.

      Thank you for this little piece of brilliance, Carla. It’s about time someone uses logic over their own personal feelings when responding to this article. Bravo. 🙂

    • Pipercat

      I’m sorry but this is a false dilemma. What you are describing is something that is intrinsic to ethnic businesses. From what I read, his child was offered something from the establishment. Passive decorations and overt promotion are two different things.

      • Cara_L_M

        By your definition, though, christianity can be an ‘ethnic’ display as well. As a Christian, i see no difference between a fortune cookie with buddhist sayings and a sticker mentioning God. And i certainly don’t plan on never eating Chinese food again. To each their own of course, and I’m not saying he should eat where he feels uncomfortable. But reacting anger seems a bit much.

      • Pipercat

        Sorry but, my definition was in response to your precise examples of the wishing well, the gods of the realm and the Hindu images. You also argued with those examples in response to what transpired in the piece above. Consequently, the notion of whether, or not, Christianity can be considered ethnic is, I’m afraid, irrelevant. The fortune cookie is creating another false dilemma because they are a known quantity when dining at Chinese restaurants; whereas in this case, the sticker was a surprise.

        I must thank you for your reply, by the way. So, my take is not so much the content of the sticker; but, the delivery. If you read the comments here, there is a lot of tangent exploration which seems to miss his overall point. Once you strip away the outrage, you can see what Wunderlich was basically complaining about. He felt ambushed.

      • Cara_L_M

        I understand feeling ambushed (as I stated in my original post about the stickers being small enough to slip past his notice to gain access to his kid). I guess it just doesn’t bother me as much as it does him, partially perhaps because I have had access to so many religions being plied my way (as a former member of the US Navy). On a slight tangent, I suppose it doesn’t bother me because any religion’s most basic call to action is to spread that religion. For me, a cause to start that conversation is a good thing, provided all parties are willing to be reasonable. In this case, He felt ambushed by a corporation, rather than asked by an individual, and I can certainly see how that would be unwelcome. Before I chose Christianity as an adult, I vehemently despised anyone who tried to force anything down my throat. I guess through experience I’ve just come to better understand the reasoning behind their attempts, and through understanding have gained empathy. I still don’t try to force my particular faith of choice down someone’s throat, because I know how it feels to have it done. But I do welcome the opportunity to discuss it. Thank you also, for your reply, btw. 🙂 It’s nice to have a civil conversation on here for once. 😉

      • Pipercat

        Indeed, and very well put. I must confess to having my chops earned on Yahoo! Civility is one of those words that gets the squiggly red line underneath over there. A little heat in a argument or disagreement is fine. Vile effluent is something entirely different.

  • Anna Lada

    You know what I say.. “F.U.” F.r.o.g.

    • Krissy K.

      VERY mature, Anna Lada. Do you see this, Michael Wunderlich? This is your following.

  • Mel

    I went to their website. It took me a long time before I found anything about their acronym. It was hard to find too. I had to go into their apparel store and it was on a t shirt. There was nothing outright about it if you were hopping on the site to find locations or something. So even if she had gone online to find out what religious affiliation it was, cause people do that, she would have had to look very hard. I do not think it is Ok to pass out christian themed stickers at a business unless it is obvious I am in a Christian establishment. I think it’s a sneaky way of sharing your faith. If they want to be an acronym be an acronym but don’t hide it.

  • Anna

    I applaud sweet frog for being able to show who has blessed them

  • Matthew Reece

    “These are employees who couldn’t care less what his motives are for
    allowing this to take place in his shops, and will happily hand out
    anything asked — as long as they continue to get their paychecks.
    They’re just following orders, and I don’t place the blame on them for
    that.”
    Let us apply this reasoning to a different situation. Shall we excuse the low-ranking SS members for Nazi atrocities?

    • Pipercat

      Extreme false equivalency. Regardless of your underlying reasoning, the employees are not setting the policy. Furthermore, they are in retail food service, not members of an infamous, and murderous, ideological military organization.

      • Matthew Reece

        The low-ranking SS members also did not set policy. As for the rest, I said that I was applying the logic to a different situation. The purpose for doing this is to show the logic to be invalid, as valid logic can be applied to any situation, no matter how extreme.

      • Pipercat

        With respect, your logic is fallacious and not valid. For the logic to be valid, the equivalency must be somewhat similar. Since you, or even I for that matter, have no direct knowledge of what was known by the employees in question, you cannot make the association with any certainty. If you are trying to claim Wunderlich’s assertion is fallacious, you should have said so; instead of creating a fallacy of you own.

        I was a little curious as to why he described the employee with such detail in the first place. I don’t see how it actually relates to the issue he was upset with; moreover, why he felt it necessary to absolve the employee of any transgression. Honestly, what the employee knew or not is really inconsequential to his overall issue.

      • Pipercat

        With respect, applying Wunderlich’s conclusion to a disparate situation to show it’s illogical doesn’t make your argument any less fallacious. The arguable equivalency must at least be somewhat similar. If your intention was to say his argument was fallacious you should have said so; instead of creating a fallacy of your own. You, or I for that matter, have no direct knowledge of what the employee in question knew or did no know. This means they are, basically, inconsequential to Wunderlich’s overall issue.

        I was a little curious why he decided to describe the employee in such detail. Right off the bat, I was wondering why that even mattered. Moreover why he felt it necessary to later absolve the employee for any perceived transgression.

  • Dan T.

    MtMan1944, this is a misconception I’ve been seeing a lot lately on these types of blogs. Walmart DOES NOT pay minimum wage. When I worked there 6 years ago I was making $12/hour. Sure, employees hours get cut now, but supposedly by law Walmart cannot start you at less than $10/hour. Still better than 85% of entry level jobs out there right now. Just sayin’…

  • Jake Earnest

    I agree and I would never go back either. Small picky nit… “clearly meant to open the discussion of religion between my child and I.” Should be “clearly meant to open the discussion of religion between my child and me.”

  • ffidaj

    Well, I have never been to a Sweet Frog. However after reading this article, I’ll be sure to make my way to one. It is a shame you are so threatened by such a wonderful gift that you have been given. I would challenge you to read the Bible before you make such a permanent choice of rejection.

    BTW, when you say that “It is not their duty or right to force that discussion” I wonder when/how he lost that “right”. And it is more than his duty, it is his obligation. We have all been commissioned to spread the good news.

    Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations….teaching them

    Best of luck to you-

  • Victor

    Media in its various forms have transformed society and continue to push the edges of morality.

    Media and technology have a our kids hooked gadgets and shows that are eroding values we have held for centuries.

    They have affected family values and our physical health. As a result, divorce has sky-rocketed in all corners of our society, religious and non-religious. We now experience diseases which are linked to our lifestyle.

    With the invention of the light bulb, “intelligent” humanity now assumes it is OK to stay up late watching TV. In the morning we wonder why we are not feeling well.

    TV is feeding our minds with propaganda about religion. Holidays and movies promote kids dressing up as ugly and scary characters. If we dress up as angels, we do so to promote sexuality.

    We are a conflicting society. We allow homosexuality to be legal and imposed on the majority based on civil rights and sexual preference. Well, if sexual preference is the point, why do we discriminate those who subscribe to polyamory, polygamy or bestiality?

    We human beings have taken it upon ourselves to redefine morality.

    Yet, when sincere Christians look to impact their society to reach the hearts of people to return to reality, to return to God, there are some among us who call that “disgusting and pathetic practice.”

    What we are becoming is “disgusting and pathetic practice.” A confused people that no longer are able to tell the difference between good and evil.

    True, in centuries past Medieval so-called Christians overstepped their boundaries by murdering those who disagreed with their beliefs –murdered other Christians. The French gave a blow to Christianity when in 1798 the Pope was taken to die in exile.

    Today, that same institution which statistics reveal 70% of their priests are homosexual continues to prey on children. How did we allow that to happen? Do I hear us complaining about their crimes against humanity?

    We allow it! We do not protest! We do not ask for such foreign Church-State to return across the pond. Instead, we embrace it.

    Many of the complaint here are about the horrible witness of Christianity. I can see how one can be upset. But let us keep things in perspective. Christianity is not the problem, Christians are –professed Christians passing on as representatives of God on earth.

    Teaching your children to depend on God is a good thing. Christians have been teaching children for years to trust their Creator. With the advent of media and the development of technology, the minds of children are being exposed to murder, sexual misconduct, damaging adult themes and more.

    Youth are texting 100 messages a day and more. They are losing interpersonal skills. I wish I could hear someone complain.

    The other day, an orphan young girl sent naked pictures of herself to boys in her list. I bet you have a phone and would prefer to wink you eye to it.

    The problem is not God, the problem is people without God.

    So, here is a message for all who need to know who God is:
    ————
    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

    Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

    This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

    Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

    But
    whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen
    plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
    ———–
    The verdict is out: ” Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. ”

    I pray that the Lord will someday allow you to see His light, you so no longer live in darkness.

  • Wait, so the the whole point of this article is to express how offended you are by the statement “Fully Rely on God”? What do you tell your child? “Fully rely on yourself”? Your child had the right to be sad by how you’re treating her by denying such a kind and life-giving sticker. So very “forward thinking and progressive” of you. The fact that you are offended by such a gesture is telling – as the truth indeed is offensive to those who deny it. Sad.

  • gail nelson

    Thank God we live in a free country where we are all entitled to ( and expressing) our own opinions.

  • croyer

    I think Sweet Frog’s is a great company! My son and I love it! This is AMERICA where you can express religion how you want!

  • Brooke Obst

    For the record, as American citizens, aren’t we given the rights of freedom of speech and religion? Doesn’t that mean that if we want to make stickers with our religious expressions on it, we can? And if we want to create a business based on it, we can? If you don’t want to see it, then yes- don’t go to the stores who practice these rights, but don’t act like they are going beyond their rights. You chose to go to the store or not. You choose to bring your child there. It’s your job not to put them in that kind of environment if you don’t want them exposed to Christianity, not SweetFrog’s.

    Also, Christianity is a faith. The people within it are just that- people with different opinions and different actions. Everyone lives out their faith differently. So, don’t judge individuals who claims to be Christian by the actions of others who claim Christianity. There is one thing that Christianity and American society have in common; the value of the individual. So, do just that. If your going to pretend your superior to someone else and judge them based on their beliefs and actions, then judge the indivisual and not the faith and everyone else in it. Some might find it surprising that not everyone lives everyday a hypocrite.

    God bless,

  • Brooke

    Just a thought, but have you guys even looked into all the good that they have been doing in our communities? Go to their website and check it out, because I think we should look at the big picture before we make a complete judgement.

  • Dante Ardenz

    I just went to FIRMLY RELY ON GOD YOGURT. I got a weird vibe,and new something was up. I thought the name,and logo ,very corny,and assumed it was local ! Why would anyone mix a frog,with yogurt?I thought! Now I wonder why anyone would with ‘God’. Well I ,and my friend hated it! To costly,for NOTHING. They weigh it! Two mediums were over 10 dollars ! Bland tasting. It was like wet card board with fruit! Nothing to drink available ! Being run by religious nuts will keep me out FOREVER !

  • Robert Baker

    As a Christian, and a conservative (Libertarian a la Ron Paul), permit me to present my view on this matter. A good deal of this boils down to humility and tolerance. I believe that a company not publicly traded or held by shareholders or public investors should be able to hold sny view they wish. After all, nobody can demand you hold a certain view. My problem comes with indoctrination – left or right, liberal or conservative, whatever. Nobody should ever be forced or coerced into certain views. Just as it is inappropriate for a professor at a college to fail a student for not holding liberal secularist beliefs, no Christian conservative business owner should push their agenda either. Now, if the owner makes a public statement about their beliefs, we should not penalize them for that either. That is wrong too. I believe we are all allowed our individual views and persuasions. I believe we may all make public statements without persecution. I believe too, though, we must not attempt to push our beliefs onto others, trying to make their views, our views.

  • guest

    Oh please shut up. You act as though they are teaching your kids to be murderers or commit arson. So they believe in god, is that so wrong? That is his business and he is allowed to run it how he wants and if it’s on moral principles rather than solely capital gain I can’t think of anything wrong with that at all. Stop whining and wake up to the actual evils of the world.

  • MarylandGal1

    Fascinating.

    The author makes a valid critical evaluation that keeping quite on an owner’s/founder’s faith does sound a lot like “[w]e’re gonna hide our religious affiliations because your money is more important than our faith.” And several commentators make equally valid criticisms of people espousing Christianity but not actually showing compassion to people in need (incidentally, the same criticisms Jesus Himself said He would lodge against people who followed him in name only).

    However, when a business person decides to stop “hiding” and interject a notion of reliance on God (no mention of the Cross, Jesus, sin, the bloody sacrifice, no call to repent or anything close, just “rely on God”), the author expresses strong distaste. Why? If this was any retail place with a sticker referencing Santa Claus or elves or magical elephants or talking dogs would it have triggered a second thought? Most unlikely. Again I ask: Why?

    I used to think a lot of people / things were neutral. But the longer I live the more I realize: we’re either A) in rebellion against our Maker (this will likely trigger a protest “what Maker – “I don’t believe in a god” though I’ve yet to meet a single person who formed themselves!) OR B) willing to surrender / submit to our Maker. A good number of us probably have gone back-and-forth at times in our lives between these two points. But to the extent a simply passing reference to God (with a capital “G”) pits people for or against, it probably is a good thing. We’re all in a battle, just might not realize it.

    I’ve walked some on the other side — at one point agnostic (or something along the lines), but there is a Maker and maybe we should consider why we get irritated. I know, there are a hundred reasons we might SAY we’re irritated — people start wars in gods’ names, people manipulate others with religion, so forth and so on – but is that really what bothers us? Is it possible we’re actually bothered by the nagging realization, however buried, that someone made us and just might have something to say about our lives? Just take a single day (or 1/2 day if that is too much) out of your life to get away somewhere quiet and say to the unknown Person known as God: if you’re real and out there I’m willing to listen. And then actually listen.