Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Atheist cups and safe zones

Normally my columns appear on Fridays -- when they appear at all. But since I've missed several over the last 18-or-so months, I figure a make-up Tuesday column is okay.

Today I'd like to tackle the two most important issues in the world right now. No, not terrorism and poverty. The atheist cups at Starbucks ... and press being denied access to the quad at the University of Missouri.

Let's discuss the latter first since it is a much bigger deal to me as a journalist.

Mizzou students, you committed the number one faux pas of dealing with the media: You allowed the media to make themselves the story. See, about 99 percent of people who refer to themselves professionally as "press" would be classified as megalomaniacal. So when mass communications professor Melissa Click asks for help getting rid of a photojournalist -- “Hey who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? … I need some muscle over here.” -- she shifted the story from your cause of crushing racism on campus to crushing those that would oppose the media.

Advice: Don't make enemies of people who "buy ink by the barrel" -- or their digital, audio or video counterparts.

On the topic of the evil red cups at Starbucks, my advice goes to the rabid fanatical delusional "Christians" who believe the move by the coffee company is just the latest liberal maneuver in the so-called "War on Christmas." Stop. Just stop. You're giving the rest of us non-crazy Christians a bad name. You're hurting our cause.

The red-cup controversy is Venti stupid for so many reasons.

First of all, Starbucks has never had "Christmas" cups. Starting in 2009, the "holiday" cups had Christmas ornaments on them that said "wish" and "hope." The following year, they had snowflakes on them and said "stories are gifts." In 2011, they featured a sledder. 2012 was met with a snowman. Christmas ornaments again adorned the cups in 2013. Last year, they were red with swishy shapes. And finally, just plain red this year. No baby Jesus. No wise men. No "Merry Christmas." Ever.

Secondly, if you need a Christmas-themed coffee cup to affirm your religion, you have much bigger issues than coffee. Enjoy your religion. Celebrate it. Share it if you choose. But don't force it on anyone. And stop whining that other people that don't participate in it are somehow engaged in a "war" against it -- especially if that war is in the form of a 20-ounce, $6.64 coffee cup. If they were really anti-Christian, they'd find a way to charge you two more cents. Or three less cents in Erie County where they're $6.69.

Third, to those of you who have decided to "show the man" by telling your minimum-wage earning barista that your name is "Merry Christmas," thereby getting a "Merry Christmas" cup, grow up. Your juvenile behavior is not going to turn that barista towards God. And it may result in your coffee having something extra added to it aside from the two pumps of caramel that you requested. To paraphrase Monty in the movie "Waiting," don't mess with the people that make your food.

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:13. And I feel strongly that God would not be glorified by your idiocy.

We now return to your regular news already in progress.

This column was originally published on East Niagara Post.