The plain red design stirs overcaffeinated complaints about the war on Christmas.
Is there a war against Christmas? There’s certainly a war over the war against Christmas—and it came early this year. The opening skirmish features the Starbucks scarlet cup that, starting in November, signals the end of the pumpkin spice latte days and the beginning of the season to be jolly.
For the first time since 1997, when Starbucks introduced the distinctive containers, the cup isn’t decorated with wreaths, carolers, stars, skaters, snowflakes, snowmen, reindeer, dogs on sleds or any other images conceivably associated with Christmas. It’s a plain red cup, adorned only by the green-and-white Starbucks logo. Though if you squint, you can make out what the Starbucks publicity people call a “two-toned ombré design, with a bright poppy color on top that shades into a darker cranberry below.”
Enter Joshua Feuerstein, a self-described “evangelist” and “social media personality” from Arizona who seems to have a following of Christians who feel beleaguered by a secular society. The 34-year-old Mr. Feuerstein last popped up in April, when he posted a video of himself on the phone asking a Florida bakery known to be LGBT-friendly to produce a cake with a message against gay marriage. The bakery hung up on Mr. Feurstein, but later received angry calls from people around the country.
On Nov. 5 Mr. Feuerstein posted on Facebook: “Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate Jesus.” He created a #MerryChristmasStarbucks hashtag and advised his followers that when Starbucks baristas ask for a name to write on their cups, they should say: “Merry Christmas.”
The post garnered nearly 200,000 likes and more than half a million shares; soon enough tweets from Christians vowing to “never step into a Starbucks again,” as one put it, flooded Twitter.
Oddly enough, the outraged included actor Rob Lowe, who chirped: “Between their program”—initiated after the Ferguson, Mo., riots last summer—“to have baristas lecture me about race and now their removal of ‘Merry Christmas’ I’m officially over @Starbucks.” GOP presidential contender Donald Trump jumped into the act, as he does, declaring at a rally, “Maybe we should boycott Starbucks,” promising that if he won the White House, the Yule-neutral “Happy Holidays” would be dumped and “Merry Christmas” restored.
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SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal