Earlier today I decided to take a drive and I ended up having lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Ravenna. As I was munching on my chips and quac while waiting on my actual lunch to arrive, I found yet another post about the Starbucks red cup thing. Now, like many of you, I’ve seen lots and lots of posts about people complaining about people being offended by this whole mess. But then the thought occurred to me: I’ve yet to see anyone actually complaining about the cups, nor do I even know how this whole thing got started.
Off to the Google I went. And what did I find?
If you’re reading this and you’re one of the people upset because Starbucks decided to remove snowflakes from their cups, you need to know that you have fallen for a scam.
The whole brouhaha was begun by a Facebook and YouTube famous guy named Joshua Feuerstein (I would link his website here normally but I refuse to contribute to his clicks and page views). If his name sounds familiar, that’s because this is the same guy who tried to get a bakery to make a cake with hate speech inscribed on it. When the bakery refused, he took to social media to bash them and this ended in the owners receiving constant abuse, including death threats. He is also a conspiracy theorist who claimed that Walmart and President Obama were in cahoots to round up Christians and kill them. The evidence of this is a video which, for the reasons stated above, I refuse to link to but I watched part of it (as much as I could stand anyway) and he is pretty clear that he really does feel this way.
There are also other allegations against him but I could not find anything other than hearsay about that so I will not link to my sources for that. Feel free to search it out for yourself, however.
Folks, this guy has absolutely no credibility. Based on the number of videos and the fact that he seems to feed off of publicity the guy simply wants attention and we need to stop giving it to him. He certainly is not a voice for the vast majority of Christians, as I stated above that I have seen nothing from anyone who claims to actually be offended by Starbucks’ 2015 holiday cup design. Yet, the media has pounced on this and made it a story. Even Starbucks has taken advantage of this for their own purposes (draw your own conspiracies on that). In short, this is all ridiculous and not worthy of our time.
Stop it, American media. Go cover some real news (but why would you do that? Y’all never do that as it is).
However, I do feel that this speaks to a larger problem that tends to make its presence known more during this time of the year than any other. The problem is the persecution complex that American Christians tend to have. I will see post after post on social media about how Christians are being “oppressed” and “persecuted” simply because a store clerk doesn’t wish them a “merry Christmas” or because a secular company doesn’t have “Christmas” decorations up in their stores.
Quite frankly, I’ve had it with this mentality so I’m just coming out and saying it: STOP IT!
Someone wishing us “happy holidays” is not persecution. We have many examples of real persecution going on throughout the world. We have real suffering going on all over the world. Christians all over the world are losing their lives for their faith and are otherwise discriminated against in a systematic fashion. When you claim that someone not saying the right thing to you after you swipe your credit card for a widget is persecution, you’re marginalizing what real persecution is.
It’s not Christ-like and it needs to stop.
Jesus didn’t come to the world as a baby and eventually die for you to have a latte in a cup that ascribes to your beliefs. Jesus died so that you may live an eternal life in His presence, healed and restored to God, cleansed from your sins. His teachings dictate to us that we are to be transformed and to go out and tell others so that they may love Him as much as he loves them and us. He teaches us to love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves.
He does not teach us to protest over a coffee cup or a glacier display or the phrase “happy holidays.”
If we really want to be upset about some things, I have some suggestions. For example, I live in Powell County, Kentucky which has a poverty rate of almost 30%. Let that sink in. That’s much higher than the national or the state average. Why not be mad about that and take action to help? We have children who would love to be adopted, yet likely will not be and will be turned out on their own with no help once they “age out” of the system. Why don’t we get angry about this? Or, how about we get angry about the fact that domestic violence is often a tolerated sin within Christianity and hardly anyone bats an eye?
Folks, we have got to do better. I can’t help but think Jesus would want us to be more upset about those kinds that actually matter instead of the design of a cup or “happy holidays.”
I know this might be coming across as a little strong but this really fires me up and I just can’t stay quiet about this anymore. The American Christian Persecution Complex has to stop. If it’s going to be changed, we – as in you reading this and I – have to be the ones to start that process. Please, let’s do better. Let us live as redeemed, restored, and Christ-like Christians. To do anything less is a disservice to Jesus.