Effect Measure is displeased by Starbucks' decision to bow to fundamentalist pressure, and include Christian aphorisms on its coffee cups:
Starbucks was apparently feeling the heat from America's Taliban. Baylor University (University?) pulled Starbucks cups after a quote from Armistead Maupin appeared saying life was too short (actually "too damn short") to hide being gay....Jeez. Talk about gutless. My next cup comes from Peets.To my mind, this story represents a confluence of two distinctly American forms of peabrained fucking idiocy.
Somewhere along the line, we decided that we'd make quasi-religious heroes of entrepreneurs and CEOs, and that we'd base our society on that quasi-religious abstraction, the Free Market. What we end up with, as often as not, is corporate cowardice precisely like that displayed by Starbucks. They'll timorously kow-tow to some gaggle of neurasthenic God-bullies and idolaters, because cost/benefit analysis tells them it's the path of least resistance. Meanwhile, pressure groups that want Starbucks to do something positive for labor or the environment, at home or abroad, have to work ten times as hard for half as much gain, because real morality - real concern for the oppressed - costs more than Starbucks generally cares to spend.
Should we humor pseudo-religious bigots by pimping their woefully cheapened Scripture in the marketplace? Sure! Should we completely purge exploitative practices from Starbucks' supply chain? Perhaps not...it could hurt the bottom line.
Meanwhile, the Christian Right is so power-mad, and so disinterested in those portions of the Bible that condemn self-aggrandizing public displays of piety, that it actually believes its God will be honored if it can extort a nonbelieving entity into paying cynical lip service to Christian rhetoric...on disposable goddamn coffee cups, no less! What saints they are, these strongarm enforcers of corporate hypocrisy. Surely, their reward will be great in Heaven.
But then, as we all know, American fundamentalism isn't about glorifying God. It's about glorifying the bullies, psychosexual cripples, and sad-sack attention-whores who fill its ranks, by giving them the power that wounded and weak souls so often crave. At its most harmless, this power degrades faith by elevating empty representations of piety over moral duties like compassion. At its most dangerous, of course, it gets people killed.