That was then

This Starbucks “tempest in a red cup” has me thinking. When I was a kid, I remember Christians being saddened and upset by the commercialization of Christmas and the increasing tendency of merchants and manufacturers to appropriate Christmas messages as a way of promoting their products for materialistic profits. Today’s Christians howl and threaten boycotts against vendors who fail to commercialize Christmas enough. And when I look at the gap between then and now, I see Rupert Murdock buying a network, and using it to spread pro-business propaganda dressed up as traditional conservatism, or conservative traditionalism, or whatever you want to call it.




  1. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’m not really understanding your point, so I couldn’t say.

    • Deacon Duncan says

      I’m not 100% sure I have one, but I was just thinking off-handedly of how the tenor of Christianity seems to have changed in the decades since I was a teen growing up in a Christian home, and wondering if perhaps Fox News is making believers more materialistic than they used to be. Of course it could also be that it looks different to me because I’m different now. Or maybe the Internet is just exposing Christian beliefs to more people, and exposing more Christians to the beliefs of others, and maybe driving them into more defensive/hypersensitive postures. Or probably a lot of factors. But it did strike me as ironic that Christians today are unhappy that merchants aren’t commercializing Christmas more.

      • StevoR says

        Prosperity gospel. (Also known as the money making sociopathic rich are all somehow uber-good Christians and “justly” (ha!) get rewarded for it by worldly wealth.)

        Quite the reverse of Liberation theology. (That Rabbi Yeshua “the Christ” was a proto-anarcho-communist fighting for freedom for the poor and oppressed as envisioned in some of the ideas / interpretations preached by murdered nuns & priests of a Central American nation – or two?)

        And all the conflicting interpretations of the same text and all the various hypocrises and inconsistancies of an ever shifting, ever contrastingly interpreted and clashingly re-interpreted going back before the days that “Lord Protector” Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans tried to ban Xmas and the Catholics and Eastern Orthodox among others co-opted, syncratised and reimagined the festival with a veneer of symbolism stolen from pagans and Romans and others.

        Solstice is the reason for the season.

        But giving gifts and thoughts and sharing with family and friends is good. Whatever the excuse.

        Oh and human nature is paradox.

  2. jh says

    I’m not sure. After all, we’ve been selling stuff for years in the US. And back then, there were even more christians than there are now. (I’m including tokens because it would be very difficult to asses the portion of christians who are just playing out the role because that’s just the way things are done.)

    I would consider the puritan work ethic and the prosperity gospel (which has been with us for centuries) as another pro-business streak in christianity.

    Maybe the FoxNews effect is just to make it more blatant and energize a conservative base?

  3. grumpyoldfart says

    Christians enjoy the idea that they are the underdogs with the big bad world trying to destroy them. Whatever happens they will spin it until they can tell the story to their advantage.

    They complained about commercialization until they realized they couldn’t stop it.

    Now that they have accepted commercialization they complain there is not enough of it.

    You know the old saying: “Never happy unless they are complaining.”

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