This is something I’ve noticed about my daily Facebook feed: The top 10 posts (and therefore, the most popular, as determined by the free market of my Facebook friends) tend to be pictures of people with their family. Those are the things that naturally earn the most Facebook “likes.”
If I keep scrolling down past those, before I get to the comic relief categories of “sarcastic memes” and “cat pictures”, and eventually the underworld “domestic life drama,” there is what I classify as “pop culture headline news.”
Last night, a couple of the stories in this category were referring to how an “internet pastor” named Joshua Feuerstein is “outraged” about the secular coffee giant Starbucks (which is ran by a Jewish CEO, Howard Schultz) “removing Christmas” from their cups.
(With a name like Joshua Feuerstein, I’m actually surprised he’s not Jewish, himself.)
By writing this blog post today, I just want to take a moment to remind the free world that there are Christians in America who simply don’t care at all about Starbucks cups.
I believe it’s safe to say that the overwhelming majority of Christians don’t care at all about this “issue” of the non-Christmas Starbucks cups. I am part of that 99.9% majority.
As a Christian, there are countless other issues that concern me which I can, to some degree, help for the better. By being involved in my local Christian church, I know that a portion of my weekly tithe goes to helping people across the world have access to clean drinking water; and for widows and orphans to be cared for.
For most of our 7 year marriage, my wife and I have been financially supporting a little boy in South America; via World Vision. I say this not to brag, but to show you that I am passionate enough about serving others, the way Jesus taught us to be, that I literally put my money towards actually fixing this problem.
It’s one thing to say the cliche to someone, “Have a blessed day,” but another to actually bless their day.
But those issues of serving others are boring. They don’t go viral with such over-the-top fascination. “Internet pastor is offended by coffee cups” is sensational, therefore it goes viral.
I believe that when someone is already indifferent about an issue, the way much of the “outside world” sees Christianity, it’s easier for them to examine the most extreme specimens of Christianity as a deciding factor on whether or not Christianity is legitimate.
This “Internet pastor is offended by Starbucks cups” story serves as perfect fodder to help paint all Christians as extremely right wingers who believe they are entitled to everything. I imagine that for an agnostic or an atheist or a person of a different religion, it could be natural to stereotype all, or most, Christians into the category of these Starbucks Cup Christians.
But in reality, this one Internet pastor does not represent the majority. By this story going viral though, it does potentially provide an opportunity for people to believe that the .01% of the population represents the 99.9%.
So allow me to be the voice of reason. It doesn’t.
This is simply another sensational “pop culture headline news” story that was just asinine enough to go viral. It’s entertainment and nothing more.
These types of stories often involve cartoonish characters, where it’s easy for people to pay attention to an assumed villain making a scene in a public square.
But no one can offend me with a coffee cup.
Not to mention, I stopped drinking coffee 2 years ago when I realized I was truly addicted to caffeine; the world’s most popular, unregulated, psychoactive drug in the world. And I was often paying close to $5 for a cup of this stuff; which is what a person who is addicted to nicotine pays for a pack of cigarettes.
Now, please go buy your coffee in peace, or don’t buy it at all. Whatever you do, just don’t believe that this Internet pastor Joshua Feuerstein represents my own feelings (or most Christians’ feeling) on the cups you see at Starbucks.