Yo who is even complaining about the Starbucks cups? Because I know a lot of very conservative Christians and none of them have complained…in fact they all seem to think this whole thing is super dumb. I am confused??

#maybe it’s just trolls y’all

So this guy Joshua Feuerstein, who’s some sort of evangelical Internet personality, was the person who put the Starbucks cup thing on the map (apparently inspired by this article from Breitbart London, which would likely have flown right under the radar without his actions)–and he strikes me as very suspect. 

The best thing you could say about him is that he’s out for hits–he’s constantly making videos and pulling stunts to get attention. For example, he got some notice earlier this year when he called up a bakery and asked them to make an anti-gay marriage cake, recording the conversation and putting it online. Similarly, he responded to a man’s Internet video describing his son’s choice of a doll over other toys with a video of his own, dissing the father and boasting about how he teaches his children to shoot (with a toy gun). He’s a guy who courts controversy and Internet attention, in other words. His Facebook page mainly consists of conservative/far right outrage clickbait with the hashtag “#ShareIfYouCare.”

The video wherein he promotes the anti-Starbucks campaign is very strange–not least in that he advocates that “all great Americans” protest the cups by going into Starbucks and buying a drink as a form of protest. He also boasts about how he wore a Jesus t-shirt and brought a gun into Starbucks “since you hate the second amendment.” It’s a descent into parody–not an impossible one, I grant (Poe’s law), but something we should be examining closely.

The link most people are sharing describing how “Christians Strike Back…HARD!” against the minimalist cups is from a website called “The Radicals,” which would appear to be some sort of right-wing Christian news source at first. One thing we should notice immediately, though, is that a large image of Joshua Feuerstein serves as the website banner. The article itself–like many other articles on the site–is posted under the name of “Jordan Riddle,” and the text speaks of “The Radicals” as a group (“Being the Radicals we are…” “…our very own Joshua Feuerstein…”) 

But click the link at the top reading “MEET THE RADICALS” and you’ll get a description of the website as “the official blog of Josh Feuerstein,” along with a brief bio and links to the rest of his social media sites. No other individual is mentioned. 

And what about that hashtag? Well, look up “#merrychristmasstarbucks” on Twitter and you’ll find, mainly, a flood of complaints and jests about these dumb Christians and their Starbucks cups, along with a few scattered instances of people sincerely participating in the hashtag with photos of their drinks. 

This strikes me as a one-man Internet quest to get attention–and it’s working, because, for some reason, the media really cares, really earnestly cares, that one buffoon on the Internet is doing stupid stuff for hits in much the same vein as countless other buffoons on the Internet.

I don’t know, maybe it’s a media attempt to discredit the voices of religious Christians in general so that their reactions will always become a leadup to a carefully-rehearsed public punchline, so that they can’t ever be troubled when their traditions are treated like curse words and their holidays used strictly as moneymaking schemes, so that when they have legitimate concerns, everyone responds with, “you guys just have a persecution complex, I mean, you got upset over Starbucks cups.”

There it is.

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