We all know what it means to hunger for something. You yearn for it, perhaps even, lust for it. Visions of whatever your particular sugar plums are dance in your head.
Children are no less susceptible than adults to this human trait, especially at Christmas when every commercial is directed towards their twinkly eyes. Star Wars figures, Disney dolls, board games, video games, scooters, hand held game consoles - you name it - there is a child dreaming of it, hungering for it to appear under their tree.
But what about when the word hungering appears in its literal definition?
It manifested today in an email asking for our help. And it broke my heart.
It flowed as do most of the Yes, Virginia emails I receive - tentative, then embarrassed, then hopeful. Asking for help is never easy, even when you know you need it. I understand that by the time I receive one of these emails the parent has struggled with everything from desperation to shame in trying to put the words together. I want you to know - if you reach out, the only thing I am feeling is blessed that you did, and humbled that this community is here to help.
In every year that we have done Yes, Virginia, there are always requests for food. It is heartbreaking, and buying gift cards to grocery stores is done many times a season.
Today's email asked for that kind of assistance and included this line, "none of my kids have asked for toys because they know its just not possible. All they asked for is if each of them could have their own box of cereal."
Their own box of cereal.
I have a dear friend who tells a similar story from her own childhood - when getting a box of Cookie Crisp for Christmas was this magical thing. I have heard her share it often, and have never doubted it for a moment, but today when the real-time experience of it showed up in my inbox, it completely gelled for me.
Yes, Virginia, there is a DGMS - and these children WILL get their boxes of cereal, and Santa WILL make the other magic they think is not theirs to share in.
Please contribute if you can. And tonight, when you look into your own pantry or refrigerator, be mindful of how much you have. Because even if it is not a lot, it is still probably more than someone else.
I have always been an advocate of the internet. I love living in an age where connection to information is immediate, where there is literally nothing I cannot find out - RIGHT NOW - be it breaking news, a cookie recipe, or the age of George Clooney. It's all right there.
I have always loved how it provides connections between people. Friendships are formed, communities grow, support can be found with a few mouse clicks. We share, we console in hardships, we cheer one another on in personal victories, we watch each other's children grow. These virtual friendships often grow deeper than the face-to-face ones we have in our daily lives.
Scrolling through my phone each morning, I stop in to see what cute pics have been uploaded to Instagram. I check in for headlines and short quips on Twitter. And then there's Facebook.
Ahhh, Facebook. What Zuckerberg started as a means of connecting on a college campus has grown into the Goliath of social media.
Friends. Friends of friends. Links. Comments. Pictures. Videos. Memes.
God help us all, the memes.
At their inception, memes were fairly innocent, innocuous. An inspiring quote or thought backed by an equally inspiring sunrise, vista, ocean shore. That share feature was a wonderful way to add it to your own timeline and infect your friends list with the optimism.
And then they took a dark turn.
Easily created, even more easily digested - the pictures became more shocking, the wording meant to incite, anger, rabble rouse. And while I don't have a problem with moving people to effective, responsible action through appealing to their baser instincts, I do have a problem with doing it through lies.
We have seen in glaring detail the past week since Paris was attacked, that ugliness, misinformation, and outright lies are embraced, lapped up, and shared without a thought for fact checking. It's been the truest example of viral. Social media ebola. Social Mebola, if you will.
At no point in time do I remember such a heinous, blood thirsty love of misinformation. Such a willingness to spread a lie before finding out if it bears even a kernel of truth.
And such an openness in being ugly, racist, xenophobic. Therein lies the worst symptom of this social mebola.
Fear has made being stupid and hateful acceptable. And those who are openly practicing it are emboldened by the politicians who did not look at Paris with regret, heartache, disdain, or sympathy - but with glee. Where those of us with hearts saw pain, they saw opportunity. Where a rational mind worried immediately about the backlash for all Muslims, they saw the wedge issue they have been hoping for. And they pounced.
These political "leaders" (and yes, I couch that word in quotes because true leaders do not foment fear, or hate, or oppression, or rage) ran to the nearest microphones and TV cameras and did what they know works. They played to the baser instincts of their base. They pointed a finger and told their followers who to blame, who to fear, and who to hate. And they have not let up.
While the very country that was attacked, FRANCE, has vowed to welcome 30,000 Syrian refugees in the coming year, the United States - well, the lizard brained portion - is actively working to draw the shades, lock the doors, and act like we aren't home.
In the space of one week, enabled by social mebola, we have effectively killed what this nation has stood for since its founding. Then again, if we're being honest, this nation was founded in killing those we feared, those in the way, those who dared to be on our land before we got here.
The plaque on the Statue of Liberty is now an homage to hypocrisy. We don't want your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Unless they are Christian, and of a pale pallor.
Our legislators, spurred on by those spurred on by social mebola, quickly wrote legislation based in fear and knee jerking - common sense and facts be damned.
I have repeatedly asked those so loudly protesting Syrian refugees being welcomed here, "Why are you suddenly so concerned? Where was this pants shitting this entire year as we have welcome just under 1,600 of them? And explain to me where your political leaders were with such concerns for your security the past four years as we have welcomed Syrian refugees?"
It's a valid set of questions. And if it makes you even momentarily uneasy with your stance, you should ask yourself why.
The overwhelming response? Silence. No answer. Because they have none. A week ago these people could not find Syria on a map. A week ago they were being told to get angry about red Starbucks cups. Before that they were being told to be mad at Mexican immigrants. Before that they were being whipped into an orgiastic frenzy over ebola.
Someone help me out here. Ebola didn't just up and go away. It's still out there just as it was months ago. I would like one of the people who were so angry and up in arms, fearful and ready to lock up anyone who even flew over Africa, to tell me why did you stop worrying?
Rhetorical. We know why. Your attention was needed elsewhere and your empty gaze willingly followed. That's another symptom of social mebola. A complete lack of awareness to being played.
The other type of response has been vitriol, CAPS LOCK, and a shouting down in the comments. Last night at a Virginia Town Hall meeting, social mebola was there in all its gory when the loudly spewed words, "Everyone of you is a terrorist! I don't care what you say! Every Muslim is a terrorist!" were spat across the room, complete with finger pointing and applause.
Because that is how they think this works.
And here is what I am now accepting this morning. As complex as I like to believe people are, if your main talking point in a debate or discussion is "I don't care what you say!" you lose. You are not worth the intake of my breath to try to talk to you. You don't care about anything but keeping your inner narrative warm and angry. Presented with FACTS, you shout, because that is how your subset works. You believe that if you are louder, you win. Lest anyone still wonder about the appeal of Trump. He is the King of the Dog Whistle, The Prince of the Playground Pugilists, the Loudest Voice With The Littlest Knowledge. And as they continue to embolden the already intellectually compromised, the roused rabble will begin to act out. Because their leaders have made it acceptable. Innocent people will be hurt, will die because hatred and fear have become somehow righteous and right. Just this morning came the news that five white males have been arrested for plotting to attack synagogues and black churches. You know, that "impending race war" and all.
If we are to follow social mebola reasoning, we should immediately be rounding up ALL white males and locking them away lest they might threaten our freedom. Isn't that the lesson of this past week? We can't be too careful.
Look, facts, accurate information, statistics, the entire vetting process for any refugee are all out there. A few taps on a keyboard, a few mouse clicks away. But you have to want it. You have to be intellectually curious. You have to have a desire to continue learning. You have to be willing to risk being wrong.
And then if you still hold your view? OK. As long as you accept that you are allowed your own opinion - we all are - but you are not allowed your own facts. Facts simply are what they are - they do not care which side of a debate they reinforce.
But sadly, that is the biggest symptom of social mebola. A ten word, misspelled, lie filled meme is valued more than an article that has been heavily researched and fact checked.
It's sad and embarrassing because this is how the rest of the world sees us. An infected, screwed up, dim, frightened-into-submission populace.
ISIS doesn't have anything to worry about. Social mebola is slowly killing us all.
Since Paris was rocked by the horrendous attacks Friday night, we have all felt the fallout. The personal, the political, the social media wars raging over refugees many were not even aware of a week ago.
Hearts are heavy, friendships are straining under the weight of diametrically opposing viewpoints, and we move day by day closer to the original refugee story - the one around which Christmas revolves.
The birth story of Jesus begins with two strangers in the night, trying desperately to find refuge, being repeatedly told "No room at the inn." And yet somehow in that desperation, shelter is found, and an incredible story was born with that baby - wise men, gifts, angels, a star.
That story is the original tale of giving. Of welcoming. Of open hearts, hope, joy.
I have focused on it much over the past four days. Yes, my overtly religious days are behind me. But the meaning found during this season is not. The lessons are as alive as ever. It is why I first asked this community to come together and help others. Because there is need. There is sadness attached to that need. And behind every email I receive there are children. Children who have no control over the economy. Children who did not ask for their lot in life. Children who simply want what so many of our children have always been able to take for granted.
That at this special time of year, as carols ring out, as brightly colored lights twinkle, that someone remembers them. That the magic still available in the hearts and minds of the innocent can happen for them, too.
With each email I have received, all I see is the request for hope. The desire to make even the tiniest bit of magic for a child. I don't see politics. I don't see memes. I don't see anything but what we all are when stripped of the noise and conflict and brought low by life - human beings who are hurting; human beings who are hoping that other human beings will extend a helping hand.
The days are flying by as this holiday season approaches. If you can help bolster our Yes, Virginia coffers, I promise to make every cent do its utmost to make as much magic as possible. The link is always open that explains our fund. And donating is as easy as heading to Paypal and entering email@example.com.
Like so many of my friends, I have watched in disgust and horror as my Facebook feed has been filled with vile condemnations, sweeping generalizations, and prideful ignorance in the wake of the attacks in Paris.
Yes, there have also been tremendous shows of solidarity, prayers, and common sense statements about Islam, refugees, etc., but the ignorance has been on full blast.
It has been sickening.
It has also been played into by politicians playing at politics instead of being leaders of sound mind, rational thought, broad world views. The conservative right has co-opted what happened in France to pull their very predictable my-balls-are-bigger-than-your-balls act and stoke the fears already in their constituency. It is shameful.
As of tonight, 31 governors have signed on as states where Syrian refugees are persona non grata. (Forget the fact that many of these same states already have Syrian refugees in them) because one sneaky ISIS bastard might slip through and ruin our shopping on Black Friday.
Look, if that is your true fear, I have news for you. They are already here. And they have been for a while.
Frankly, I am more afraid, on a day-to-day basis, of being in the wrong place at the wrong time when another born and bred American, second amendment loophole lunatic decides to take out his or her frustrations, delusions, or terroristic plans and plots on the public at large.
THAT is far more likely in this society we have created in which mass casualty shootings happen with more frequency than most people take healthy shits.
We don't actively address the terrorists we grow here on our own soil, and you want to point fingers at the Syrian refugees?
Let me tell you who they are.
The refugees are doctors, lawyers, mothers, fathers, store clerks, teachers, electricians, plumbers, musicians, athletes, and CHILDREN. Lots and lots of children.
Like this one.
Remember him? He washed up on a Turkish shore several months ago after the boat he was in with his family capsized as they tried to escape ISIS.
LOOK. AT. HIM.
Now look at your own child and imagine how bad things would have to be in your life for you to believe that a leaky boat with too many people is the best option to stay alive.
It takes one quick Google to see that refugees are drowning with gut wrenching regularity. 22 one day. 8 another. 15 another.
Because they are fleeing ISIS. They are running from their entire lives for their entire lives.
I cannot understand how heartless and cowed a person has to be to turn their back on people so desperate, who want only the basics - oxygen, food, shelter.
And it all comes down to one word: FEAR.
I have to hand it to the fear mongers in the USA - you have done a masterful job of making people hate for no good, goddamned reason. You have equated an entire religion with terrorism. You have taken a skin color (shared by MANY different parts of the world) and turned it into an immediate indictment of a human being. Brown = Bad.
The Donald Trumps and Mike Huckabees and Tom Cottons and Ted Cruzes are playing you like cheap fiddles. Donald muses about closing mosques. Ted grabs his crotch and in his best John Wayne tells you we need to accept killing more innocent people. Huckabee makes lowbrow humor - "wake up and smell the falafel" - out of human suffering. And Tom Cotton, who truly has cotton between his ears in introducing more legislation to get the bad guys, feasibility be damned.
And people are lapping this shit up. They are growing more ugly and more vocal in their blanket condemnations, their refusal to even SEE the refugees as desperate people. All they see are terrorists.
I find great irony that the majority of these people, and yes, their leaders, call themselves Christians. As we approach the season where the mother of all refugee stories (yes, any person seeking refuge, shelter, security is a refugee) takes center stage; where the story with darker skinned people from the middle east are at the heart of that manger scene; the time of year when love and kindness and the lessons of giving are supposed to be at their most valued - backs are being turned on those in need.
Your Bible - that tome you profess to hold all your answers, to be the guiding light for your life; the words you utter in your pew each Sunday? It is not unclear in this situation.
The book may have its faults. May be up for interpretation in many areas. May be woefully out of date in others. But in this? Matthew 25: "Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."
I find zero room for interpretation. It seems pretty cut and dried. No real room to warp the meaning. The lines before it speak of the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the thirsty, the desperate.
And it is here I posit the following: Perhaps God, in His infinite wisdom, has finally had enough of fake Christianity. Perhaps, just perhaps, God is setting up the ultimate test of humanity - your humanity. Seeing exactly where the rubber meets the road in each of you. Are you capable, hell, willing, to walk the walk, not just mouth the talk in church. Is your heart worthy of His grace, His love, His kingdom?
With every post I see; with every vile, bile laden Facebook meme that gets made and shared; with every desperate refugee who is summarily tossed on the scrapheap of your nonexistent compassion; and with every breath you take in the comfort of your home where you choose to feed your fear instead of your brain - you are failing HIM badly. And that Hell you supposedly believe in and fear? It is growing an annex to house all of the faux Christians who were never really Christians to begin with. Because acting in a true Christian fashion is hard. It takes sacrifice. It takes an open heart, an open mind, and a giving soul. And it takes bravery, not fear.
Fear is easy. It is also a cancer. But it has a cure. You just have to be willing to take the medicine: EDUCATE YOURSELF.
And tomorrow, when we wake up to another senseless shooting in this country, carried out by someone with a birth certificate that reads Ohio or Arkansas or Pennsylvania - tell me again how you are more afraid of this.
We live in a world where crisis, catastrophe, inhumanity, terrorism are not a matter of if but sadly a matter of when.
Today, as we made our ways home from work, out to shop, meet friends for a Friday night beverage - Twitter feeds began to fill with 140 character updates. News broadcasts hit the BREAKING NEWS graphic buttons, and slowly Facebook feeds began to fill with shock and awe.
In a world of not if but when, the when was tonight, the where was Paris, France. Yes, for those of us here in the bosom of the States, an ocean and several countries away, we are watching open mouthed as an ally is again attacked from within on multiple fronts.
As I sit here typing, the latest figure stands at 129 dead. Innocent citizens, tourists, young, old. Shots rang out near a restaurant and bar. Explosions shook the stadium where the national soccer teams for France and Germany were mid-game. Video shows the moment the players heard the first explosion. They stopped mid-run, mid-kick. At least 87 lay dead inside a concert hall where they had gone for a night of revelry and frolicking with American band Eagles of Death Metal. In all, six separate attacks took place across the city.
Blood runs in the streets, shock courses through the veins of those now under curfew, in a country that has now closed all of its borders.
That this is terrorism is not in question. Calculated, coordinated, cunning. Heartless, hellish, heinous, and completely devoid of humanity - all the calling cards of terrorists.
ISIS/ISIL? You would be hardpressed to find many laypeople tonight who are not readily pointing the finger at an entity as elusive as smoke, as deadly as a raging inferno. Will official confirmation eventually come? Almost certainly. Whether it is based on braggadocio across various social media platforms; identification of two of the gunmen who now lay dead with their murdered hostages in the concert hall - confirmation will come.
And when it does, it will be met with more anguished cries, more impotent rage, more kneejerk demands directed at our world leaders.
We are, tonight, being reminded of our fragility, that no place is safe, that evil is alive and unwell and simply waiting in the dark to strike.
The problem with the kneejerk reactions - while as I said - UNDERSTANDABLE - is that ISIS/ISIL is not a country. It is not a building. It is an ideology. And it is virtually impossible to carpet bomb an ideology.
It would be like trying to bomb Catholicism. Sure, you could drop a bomb on the Vatican. Hang back and target churches as people meet, then strike. But you will never kill the ideology of the religion, you will never be able to fully track down and sever the lifeblood of every person who adheres to the tenets.
The same with ISIS.
While the media basically masturbated all day about the purported killing of Jihadi John, I kept listening thinking, "OK, cool. Great. But it doesn't stop the machine that he is a part of."
There are most assuredly many standing ready to step in, fill the void, and pick up the bloody knife of decapitation wielded so horrendously by their predecessor.
What we are seeing tonight is that an ideology is not like a sports team. It does not need to meet to carry out an objective. It is not a church where its members must congregate to effect change or plan. And it is not a stationary target that may be crosshaired into oblivion.
For the very many who do not keep up with the goings on in the Middle East beyond a cursory glance, a sigh when last week's airliner was brought down, or a fistpump to the air when some wetbrained presidential wannabe - I am looking at YOU, Trump - says HE would "bomb the shit out of them" - I would encourage you to pay less attention to a goddamned red Starbuck's cup and more attention to the world in which you live.
We live in a time where information is literally a keystroke, a mouseclick away, yet the number of people who adopt an "ignorance is bliss" stance is shameful. Ignorance is, in the time in which we live, AN ACTIVE CHOICE.
And when you make it, it is no surprise that your immediate response is "BOMB IT! BOMB IT! BOMB IT!" When you don't even have a clear understanding of what "IT" is. That reaction would be like people demanding we bomb the entire city of Aurora when Holmes shot up the movie theater - just to be sure we got him and anyone who might be in cahoots.
Or how about we demand that our government carpet bomb the states where most of our unenlightened, racist, homegrown terroristic KKK citizens live? To hell with those of you who are in Mississippi or Florida or Georgia just trying to get to the Walmart for diapers - Collateral Damage is your new name. We know you won't mind - greater good and all. Or perhaps, we just nuke Paris? After all, we know some of those crafty, slithering motherf**kers are there right now.
And please do not start with the Muslim/Islam bullshit. ISIS is as much to true Islam as Josh Feurerstein and his red cup brigade or Westboro Baptist are to true Christianity.
True Muslims are as horrified tonight as are true Christians as are true atheists as are, hell, anyone with a moral compass. This is a matter of humanity, of decency, and of understanding that blanket condemnations will accomplish nothing.
Yes, if you haven't quite picked up on it yet, I am as angry and raging inside at the carnage as are you. Yes, the death toll, sure to keep rising as we sleep, is sickening. And yes, I want that death toll to rise only in numbers of ISIS/ISIL vermin being exterminated.
No, I do not care how that makes me sound. I want them gone. All of them. The problem is that ALL OF THEM are literally everywhere. Silently waiting, watching, planning, plotting. We all know that the where can be anywhere, the when can be any time. There simply is no IF anymore.
Our demands of our world leaders must be in a unified voice. We in the States cannot sit here ignorantly thinking our concert halls are safe. That our sports stadiums are somehow sacrosanct. That our Walmarts are safely guarded by old people in blue vests trying to make enough money to cover their blood pressure meds.
Global citizens, which is the title you OWE yourself, your children, must unite. The blood that runs tonight in Paris is the blood that runs in your veins. The tears being cried are the same that stand ready to fall from your own eyes. This is not a matter of thinking you are safe in middle America, or Japan, or England or Brazil.
Our ennui must be replaced with action. Our take-for-granted air replaced by true vigilance. And for the love of all that is good and decent in this world, we have to stop believing we are somehow impervious to this danger. Paris is an advanced, cosmopolitan, multicultural city. It is not some backwoods, hick, unenlightened hamlet. And it happened there. AGAIN.
It can happen to Nashville. It can happen to Austin. It can happen to Milwaukee, Dayton, Denver, and any town in between. Our blood is no more sacred just because of our flag, or our often distorted image of superiority over equally advanced (if not more so than ours) countries.
So tonight, I beg of you - ENGAGE. Read, inform yourself. Learn what is going on where. Look at a map. See how one place relates to another, what countries actually touch. Say a prayer for the country of France, the people caught in this latest nightmare. But say a prayer also for those trapped in the Middle East, those fleeing Syria, those who only want what you want - to feed your child, to see them smile, to watch another sunrise and another sunset.
The answers to this will not be found in simplistic bumper sticker bravado. It will be found in nuance, in an informed, engaged public, in a globe that finally acknowledges no man, or country, is an island.
It starts with you. It starts with me. Because there are over 140 yous and mes laying dead under white sheets tonight in Paris. We are them. They are us. And it is only together that we will ultimately root out and destroy the ideology that threatens us all.
Here is a place to begin to add to your knowledge. ISIS draws much of its operating revenues from the oil fields it has taken. Here's a great article that breaks down how they fund themselves. READ IT.
I interrupt your regularly scheduled Sunday to bring you breaking news...
The War On Christmas - that years long, emotionally sapping slog - surely to be remembered in history books alongside WW1, WW2, and Iraq Uno & Dos - is now being waged on a whole new, unexpected, yet deviant front.
Emerging from the shadows of a Fall dominated by everything pumpkin spice - from lattes to litter to bath bombs - the holiday season has unfurled in a blatant act of war against Christianity.
Gird your loins, people. And shield the eyes of your youngest. They simply should not see images of such horror, such lack of decency, such, such CARNAGE.
Yes, the Starbucks cup is RED.
Oh, the humanity!!!!
OK, enough with the hyperbole - hopefully you get the point.
But with the conservative Christian outrage, rending of garments, and shitting of snowpants - you would think Starbucks redesigned holiday cups contain body parts not Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.
Think I'm exaggerating? These are but a sampling of actual comments:
I'm officially banning Starbucks from my life. It's been on my heart for a while. With the CEO of the company telling those who support pro-life that they don't want their money and now the Red Holiday cups with nothing that might tie to Christmas on them because they want to be politically correct...
Find a local coffee shop and start supporting them instead.
My Christmas mentality: If a store won't promote Christmas re Starbucks, I'm not spending my hard earned money there.
And this gem - surely the apocuplypse is nigh:
“This is a denial of historical reality and the great Christian heritage behind the American Dream that has so benefited Starbucks,” Andrea Williams of the U.K.-based organization Christian Concern told Breitbart. “This also denies the hope of Jesus Christ and His story so powerfully at this time of year.”
Perhaps, "Oh, the INANITY" (Christinanity?) is a better expression for this garbage. Climb down off your emotional crucifixes, people.
Can someone help me out here? As far back as I can remember the colors most closely associated with Christmas ARE red and green. Correct? So one (well, one with critical thinking skills and a cerebellum not fed a steady diet of Bill O'Reilly) would think the cups now practically genuflect to the spirit of the Christian holiday.
And as for these dullards now boycotting over the change? Please explain to me what past cup designs had to do with 12/25?
"...denies the hope of Jesus and His story..."?
Did I miss something in my Catholic upbringing about the birth of Jesus? Were the Wise Men actually Nutcrackers that rolled in on skis? Were snowmen actually mistaken for sheep? Camels were, in fact, reindeer with jaunty headpieces? Oh, and the snowflakes!
Away in an igloo no crib or a sled, the little Lord Jesus got snow on his head...
Look, the faux indignation and manufactured outrage each year at this time has always been laughable. The number of sphincters clinching over Happy Holidays being said to them instead of the entire populace bowing to THEIR chosen belief system with Merry Christmas is just sad.
They cry that Christ is being removed from Christmas. I would argue, on the flip side, that they are inserting Him into my and many others' lives. I know that more and more I find myself watching these people and muttering, "Jeeeeesus Christ..."
Why is it so hard to acknowledge that this time of year contains many observances beyond the Christian one?
And in point of fact, not that facts matter in the minds of the persecuted, Merry Christmas can only be traced back to about 1534. That means a helluva lot of years rolled past after that snowy manger scene without so much as a whisper of MC. And even then, it took 300 more years before it started showing up in literature, greetings, and crass commercialism.
There is no war on Christmas. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. A war on Christians thinking only they matter in this world? Damned skippy. And I am all for that war. War being defined as acknowledging that people of many faiths inhabit this world of ours and that Happy Holidays is simply a way of wishing folks of all stripes, or no stripes at all, HAPPINESS.
You know, glad tidings, peace, time with family?
Being reminded that the world does not revolve around you, even at this time of the year, does not make you a victim. No one is chaining your church doors shut. Nobody is outlawing your twinkle lights, or throwing you in prison for setting up some hideous home lawn display of Jesus riding in the Red Baron with Snoopy and Santa.
And the red and green cups are not some atheistic Eff U either. They are simply CUPS decked out in the colors of YOUR season. Just like this guy:
Surely you recognize him?
But you poor, persecuted, wholly unChristian behaving folks go ahead and boycott the Buck all you want. It will just make it that much quicker for me to get my latte in the drive thru.