I can’t believe plain red cups are the biggest trending story in social media this week but like I’ve said before no news is good news. So let me put on my Christian blogger hat and do the dance.
Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave, you probably recognize former pastor Joshua Feuerstein from his viral video. He infamously pranked Starbucks into selling him a $4 cup of coffee. The evangelist is outraged over Starbucks “war on Christmas” that produced this year’s plain red holiday cup. The lack of snowflakes, doves and trees led Feuerstein to declare that Starbucks hates Jesus. The video describing the prank – that’s a screenshot on the left, no I’m not linking to it – has been viewed 14.5 million times since last Thursday. He told the barista his name was Merry Christmas so they would have to write that on his cup. He’s been drinking the Charlie Sheen Kool-Aid and considers this “winning.” Like I say, he tricked them into selling him coffee. They never saw it coming.
Red and green are holiday colors, a tradition that predates our celebration of Christmas and the birth of Christ. Starbucks didn’t remove Jesus from their cups, he was never on there in the first place. Someone check me if I’m wrong, but their cups didn’t say Merry Christmas last year or the year before that. I don’t know if they ever did. And let me go on record with this statement of which I am absolutely certain: Plain red cups do not constitute a war on Christmas nor equate to Christian persecution. It was a prank video that created a viral following, and news media outlets started reporting that Christian evangelists are outraged. The number of people responding, both positively and negatively, have made this a newsworthy story. As the days passed an increasing number of people, Christians included, took to social media and rallied for cooler heads and common sense.
I went to the Starbucks Twitter page to apologize for stupid Christians; No response from them yet. While there I saw a tweet about their Advent Calendar. The Starbucks Advent Calendar features 44 reusable ornaments with a treat in each one and includes a $5 Starbucks card. It retails for $44.95 and you can order one here. But no one is talking about the Advent Calendar because it conflicts with the notion that Starbucks hates Jesus.
In the end all the free publicity (including this blog post, yeah I know) may benefit their bottom line this quarter. Those red cups have been reposted and retweeted about a billion times, by people mad at Starbucks for selling them and mad at Christians for complaining about it. There is neither a Christian chicken sandwich nor an agnostic cup of coffee. I don’t normally buy any $4 cup of coffee but I may just go out and get one of those snazzy red cups. Then tweet out selfies of me and said cup, because you know, who couldn’t use 14 million page views?