Facing diminishing returns on their annual “War on Christmas” outrage machine, conservatives have become increasingly desperate to drum up a new villain to justify the effort. This year, things are kicking off early with a hilariously misguided boycott against Starbucks for the unforgivable crime of… making their cups red for the holidays.
In late October, Starbucks announced they would be changing the design of their iconic coffee cups to get into the holiday spirit. Because they aren’t Hobby Lobby, the goal of the design was to be festive but inclusive to everyone. They hit upon a simple red cup with their logo still in green.
Not according to many conservative Christians, who somehow found issues with the design and quickly labeled it as part of a broader “war on Christmas” that is meant to persecute Christians.
The problem, so say the put-upon conservatives, is that in previous years Starbucks has included wintery drawings on the cups like ice skates and snowflakes. Despite those previous symbols of winter fun having absolutely NOTHING to do with Christmas, the astute writers at conservative website Breitbart saw through the changes and ruled that this was no mere redesign. This was liberal “political correctness” run amok. In one article they described it – apparently with a straight face – “emblematic of the Christian culture cleansing of the West.” They even managed to get a conservative British politician (?) on record to claim this was offensive:
“The Starbucks coffee cup change smells more of political correctness than a consumer-led change.”
They also noted that Christian groups were incensed as well:
His concerns were echoed by Christian groups who branded them “scrooges” and accused them of trying to hide the religious message behind Christmas.
Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute told Breitbart London: “What is it about Christmas that Starbucks are afraid of celebrating? Haven’t they heard it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the season of good will to ALL men? They should get involved and stop being scrooges.”
Like any minor thing that upsets the delicate flowers on the right, the all-red cups have been greeted with calls for a boycott. Conservatives, having just lifted themselves off of the fainting couches after finding out how many companies support Planned Parenthood, are already vowing to not get their coffee from the chain. At this rate, a large swath of the American public will be limited to eating at Chick-fil-A and shopping at Hobby Lobby exclusively or risk being labeled hypocrites.
people on right we r only ones working our $ carries a lot of weight boycott starbucks, tarantino & anyone else who hates what america is
— Riley Jenkins (@Riley_Jenkins1) November 7, 2015
My Christmas mentality: If a store won't promote Christmas re Starbucks, I'm not spending my hard earned money there https://t.co/dfNTiwSojI
— Chuck Nellis (@ChuckNellis) November 5, 2015
And for those who want to feel like they are doing something, but can’t sacrifice their lattes, one particularly obnoxious right-wing internet “pastor” came up with a way to still go to Starbucks but stick it to the company (or at least the hapless cashier who has to put up with you for $9 an hour). He instructed his flock to go to Starbucks and say their names were “Merry Christmas” so that hapless cashier will have to put the holiday greeting on the cup. It’s only been two weeks, and it looks like things have already reached Peak Stupid.
While laughing at this painfully desperate attempt to make a mountain out of a mole hill, it’s important to remember that it’s these sorts of things that conservatives mean when they say they are being discriminated against in America. The “victimhood” of Christians is so minor that it can center around the design of a Starbucks cup. No insult can be too trivial for the chronically-aggrieved Christian Right to throw a fit over. Christians were once fed to lions, now they face the harrowing experience of having to drink out of a cup with no snowflake on it. Good grief.
And it’s not even December yet.