Tis the season to be outraged.
Last week, Internet evangelist Joshua Feuerstein fired the opening shots in this years war on Christmas when he posted a video lambasting Starbucks for failing to feature any images on their seasonal beakers. Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups? he indignantly asked. On Monday, Feuerstein gained an ally in Donald Trump, who indicated Christians boycott Starbucks. If I become president, were all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, Trump said. The reaction on social media wasnt kind, with several people tweeting #ChristianitySoFragile to taunt the disagreement 😛 TAGEND
#ChristianitySoFragile is a play on the #MasculinitySoFragile hashtag, which trended earlier this year. While there are some important differences between the two, both are highlighting similar issues of structural power. When you challenge masculinity, it hits a nerve, Anthony Williams, the creator of #MasuclinitySoFragile, told the L.A. Times in September. It makes some humen nervous, he said, because it challenges notions of male ownership of female bodies and the assumption that men are superior to womens. Similarly, the annual #WarOnChristmas conservatives claim to fight is not, as they say, about maintaining Christ in Christmas but asserting predominance over American culture.
#MasculinitySoFragile was useful because it served to illustrate just how society defines manhood at the expense of marginalized groups, particularly women. The women and men using the hashtag were quick to point out how masculinity can be threatened by the most trivial of things, such as a woman turning down romantic advances or a son played with a Barbie. What should be innocuous, everyday occurrences( an adult getting told no, a child played with a toy) are seen as threats to the very foundations of society.
Shortly after the hashtag took off, people began using it to highlight needlessly gendered products, ranging from sunscreen to loofahs, ridiculing the notion that someones manhood might be compromised if he didnt use a manly cotton swab.
Sound familiar? The uproar Feuerstein has created over the Starbucks cup exposes just how fragile some Christians faith can be. Writing as a Christian myself, if your gala of the nativity is somehow compromised by a plain coffee cup, you should probably be in a church , not a coffeehouse. Its a phase The View s Candace Cameron Bure, herself an evangelical Christian, summed up in an Instagram post. A Santa, a snowflake, some holly, a polar bear, some jingle-jangle buzzers or plain red cup dont define Christmas for me as a Christian. My relationship with Jesus does.