By Kylee Bagley
Majority of people have heard about the red cup controversy at Starbucks. This issue has been consuming America for the past month. The origin of the confrontation lies in the hands of Josh Feuerstein, an “evangelist” and social media personality. Feuerstein has been posting videos on Youtube and Facebook for close to 10 years, tearing down other religions, feeding viewers misinterpreted bible passages, and telling people what is “wrong” with them.
His most recent claim to fame, other than being featured on WorldStarHipHop.com, is a video he posted on his Facebook wherein he was outraged that Starbucks unveiled minimalist red cups for the 2015 holiday season instead of covering them in snowmen or tree lights.
All it takes is a simple Google search to view Starbucks holiday cups from previous years, none of which sent a valid religious Christmas message. While the cups have displayed Christmas trees, gifts, and ice skaters, none of these things have anything to do with the birth of Jesus.
Christmas has undoubtedly become a commercialized holiday. According to pewresearch.org, a 2013 study shows that while 9 in 10 people in America celebrate Christmas, half of those people view it more as a cultural holiday than a religious one. Feuerstein’s melt down is an obvious act of self-promotion because to clear-minded Christians, Santa does not equate the true meaning of Christmas.
Being a Christian woman, I find it offensive that Feuerstein’s form of Christianity is the one that so many Americans believe is the true form. Feuerstein is an extremist and attempts to condemn people for their sin, but doesn’t the Bible say in many forms to judge our own sin before we judge another’s and that all sin is weighed the same? Isn’t it our job to love our neighbor? Isn’t it our job to seek God in earnest and not try to capitalize off of religion?
A direct quote from Feuerstein’s cringe-worthy website, joshuafeuerstein.com, says, “Feuerstein’s charisma and his bold, passionate and distinctive communication style resonates with the Millennial Generation. Realizing the prevailing disillusionment with society, politics and organized religion, Feuerstein endeavors to speak to and reach people in a way they can relate and understand.” But when you watch Feuerstein’s videos, his tone of voice and the content of his argument is clearly an attempt at belittlement to those who feel differently than him. Truly sparking an apologetic debate doesn’t require “tricks” i.e. when he “tricked” Starbucks by telling them his name, which they then had to write on his cup, was “Merry Christmas.”
Like Hitler, the KKK, and so many others, Feuerstein uses wittiness and a ghostwriter to promote his kind of hateful Christianity. Under the partnership tag on his page, you can donate $10, $20, or $50 per month, but nowhere on his website does it tell you the specific mission your money is funding or what the different tiers represent.
The moral of the story folks, is that not only are the red cups not offensive to true practicing Christians, but the man who created the controversy in the first place and what he stands for, is.