Every single holiday season, we are subject to the same tired old stories about the “War on Christmas” from the conservative media and the religious right. If you were to believe the annual narrative, liberals and atheists are in a Grinch-like, devious plot to take Christ out of Christmas.
This year is no different, and the usual howls have begun early. The 2015 supposed persecution of Christians involves Starbucks this time, and their red paper coffee cups. If that sounds ridiculous to you, it is – and the reason shouldn’t be that much of a surprise.
A “Christian” social media celebrity by the name of Joshua Feuerstein wants you to believe that Starbucks is discriminating against Christians, by simply switching to a plain red cup for the holiday season. He even went so far as to film a video where he implores people to use a hashtag to show Starbucks that his followers are Christian. Just to ice the cake of stupidity, he even brings a gun into Starbucks, in case the gun fanatics feel left out.
Feuerstein wants “all great Americans and Christians” to do the same and “take your own coffee selfie” — Jesus, take the wheel — and post with the hashtag #merrychristmasstarbucks, and while the terms “great Americans” and even “Christians” are up for debate here, there are people who are taking him up on this asinine prank. This is why Hobby Lobby should just open a coffee shop and a pharmacy inside every store so the people who follow this guy won’t ever have to be offended by the secular world they live in ever again.
And then (I am not making this up) he pulls out a gun. America! “Starbucks, guess what — just to offend you, I made sure to wear my Jesus Christ shirt into your store AND since you hate the Second Amendment, I even carried my gun.” (Source)
Between pseudo-Christian gun fanatics targeting Starbucks over their choice of cups and Vani Hari (aka Food Babe) using her legion of followers to convince them to mess up their pumpkin spice latte recipe, I kind of feel sorry for Starbucks.
Whether it is Joshua Feuerstein or Vani Hari, the scam is the same: accuse a company of something nefarious, and then rally your supporters behind your social media campaign.
Starbucks is a major corporation that sells coffee – that’s what they’ve been doing for the last couple of decades. They’re not there to involve themselves in social issues like guns or religious views, they’re just trying to make money selling high-priced coffee drinks.
The scam from Joshua Feuerstein is to claim that Starbucks is part of the “War on Christmas,” just like Fox News does every year when they raise the alarms that atheists and liberals hate the holiday that Christians appropriated from pagans.
In a way, you can’t blame Joshua Feuerstein. If you’re a social media celebrity, what better way to draw more followers to your page than to portray yourself as a warrior against an evil, liberal corporation that has joined the dark forces against the persecution of white heterosexual Christians? Adding the gun bit is just icing on the cake, and he knows that.
Here’s the deal: if you’re a Christian, Starbucks changing their holiday coffee cup graphics to plain red instead of generic winter prints like snowflakes should be the least of your concerns. I’m an atheist, but I have a lot respect for Christians who use the season to do good for their fellow man instead of crowding the big box stores on Black Friday to buy discounted electronics that will be discarded or obsolete by the next Christmas.
This is just another instance where the religious right and the conservative media wants you to believe that there is a “War on Christmas” so that they can profit from your misplaced outrage. It’s just as simple as that.
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