War on Starbucks?: Religious Right Miffed About Coffee Giant’s Seasonal Cups
For some reason, the Religious Right is ticked off that Starbucks didn’t include religious symbols on its cups this year, even though the Seattle-based corporation has never done so before. The apparent source of this rage against the cups stems from a video posted by a right-wing prevaricator named Joshua Feuerstein, who is a Christian evangelist and self-proclaimed internet personality with more than 1.8 million Facebook followers. (He also likes to perpetuate the tired lie that President Barack Obama is not Christian).
In a video rant that went viral last week, Feuerstein held up one of the new Starbuck’s cups and complained that “Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand-new cups, that’s why they’re just plain red.”
Feuerstein, in what may turn out to be the least effective boycott ever, encouraged his followers to order a drink at Starbucks under the name “Merry Christmas,” so that when their order is ready a Starbucks employee will be “forced” to say that greeting. The horror!
And so begins another battle in the Religious Right’s phony claims of a “war on Christmas.” Feuerstein’s allies took to social media to vent their anger, with thousands of people saying things like, “Starbucks is against our military and apparently against our Lord. I won’t purchase anything Starbucks.” Said a Facebook user: “Starbucks is not a Christian company.”
Never one to miss a chance to make a headline, Donald Trump spoke out about this from the campaign trail, calling on his followers to boycott Starbucks. He also added that if he is elected president “we’re all going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again. That I can tell you.”
(Exactly how Trump intends to enforce that is unknown, since it would be unconstitutional for a president to require anyone to say a particular greeting, let alone a religious one).