I feverishly wanted to discuss religion, as its misinterpretations and manipulations brought me to tears every time I looked at the news this week. But since the information on the multiple catastrophes that began overseas last week is changing so rapidly, I thought it best to focus on the heart of a recent extremism problem here in the U.S. and discuss the Starbucks coffee cup.
Never has Facebook seemed more uncool to me than when I saw that a Kevin James look-alike’s screaming post about a paper cup had garnered 12 million views. Hey, friends who still haven’t seen “The Social Network,” Facebook is not a reliable place to get your news. It was created to “socialize” online. And nowadays, some people who have the time to make long video posts only featuring themselves and put them up on Facebook one after another are often highly unemployable. No less, anyone who calls himself a “social media personality” is likely working in that space because no one else wants to pay him for his personality.
Joshua Feuerstein, the “Christian” who misquoted Starbucks’ policy on Christmas, said the company is trying to “take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups” and that the employees are not allowed to tell customers “Merry Christmas.” It might seem that Feuerstein just doesn’t understand that Starbucks isn’t just in his hometown but actually operates around the world, even in other countries where some people don’t even have Christmas. However, he also failed to grasp that America itself is not a “Christian country.” Elementary school history in our country is pretty clear that a founding tenant of our land is that people are free to practice any religion they like here.
Time and time again, though, we have seen that people who are the most incensed by political correctness often lack any correctness at all, as well as kindness, experience, information or taste.
I was relieved to see on Twitter (that would be Facebook’s social media spawn – and a platform that is also dying out for young hip urbanites at only a slightly slower pace than Facebook itself) that many Christians found Feuerstein to be the affront to Christians. I personally would like to request that all zealots of any organized religion who spread their hate on their free social media page in the name of any higher power save their Starbucks money. Instead, use it for therapy during any one of the many hours you spend on the internet.
Even the captain of anti-politically correctness, Donald Trump, commented on the inane Cupgate 2015 saying, “Seriously, I don’t care.” And I was thankful. With so many Republican candidates running for the nomination, I was worried that a few of them, or even all 75, might pose for portraits with Jesus as an alternative coffee cup.
Perhaps we might take a moment to consider how fanatical movements start. Just because Feuerstein’s version of Christian values hit its tipping point over the color of a cup doesn’t mean rage of any kind to a mass of followers in the name of God’s will can’t morph into something more insidious next time. Even this close to Jesus’ birthday.
(Diane Farr is known for her roles in “Californication,” “Numb3rs” and “Rescue Me,” and as the author of “The Girl Code.” You can read her blog at getdianefarr.com, follow her on twitter.com/getdianefarr or contact her on facebook.com/getdianefarr.) c)2016 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.