Our primary platform for communicating our most deeply-held religious beliefs should be fast food packaging

“I just ate at McDonalds and I’m absolutely beside myself. I’m so upset that I can barely type. Do you know that nowhere on the packaging for their Filet ‘O Fish does it mention that Jesus Christ died for our sins upon a cross? It doesn’t even mention that he was known to have enjoyed the occasional fish sandwich. Can you believe that? Who would have thought that it would come to this… that we’d be living in an America where our most beloved fast food chains aren’t aggressively co-branding with our Lord and Savior.”


Seriously, I just don’t get the whole “We should boycott Starbucks because they aren’t honoring our religion on their disposable coffee cups” thing. It just makes no sense to me. I can see how the inverse might be true. I can see how I might be livid if a corporation sought to commercially exploit my religion by putting certain things on their coffee cups, napkins, burger wrappers, and the like. But I can’t for the life of me imagine being upset that a large corporation chose not to incorporate elements of my religion right there, alongside their logo and the obligatory warning about how hot coffee, if not handled properly, can burn right through your pants and eat away at the flesh of your thighs… Is that what religion has become in America? Instead of worrying about the hungry and the homeless, are we really spending our time debating the prominence of our “brand” on a coffee cup? It would be hilariously funny, if it weren’t so damned sad.

Yesterday Donald Trump got big applause from Christians when he called for people to boycott Starbucks and that’s what Christians are talking about today… instead of the fact that, on the very same day, Trump also said that American wages are too high. And I think that kind of gets at the crux of it.

What the fuck kind of world are we living in where Christians are more upset about coffee cup messaging than the fact that more Americans than ever are slipping into poverty?

We Americans are really stupid. We’re easily distracted. And, when it comes right down to it, all we really care about is ourselves. We don’t give a shit about the poor, regardless of what Jesus might have said. We’d much rather spend our time focusing on Starbucks, demanding that they validate our decision to profess Christianity.

So, yeah, let’s focus on fast food packaging, and how it can be used to disseminate Christian gospel. Clearly that’s what Jesus would have wanted… I know it’s not in the Bible, but I’m sure that, if he were around today, he’d want his followers focussing on increasing brand awareness, instead of clothing and feeding the poor… If he were to come back today, the well-armed JC, I’m sure, would say, “The important thing is that you feel validated. You need to feel good about yourselves. You are, after all, the chosen people. And there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging and celebrating that. The poor will always be with us. We can’t help that. But we can do a better job of staking out our claim on mass culture. So, here’s what I want you to do. Go out to your local tavern and demand that they etch my face on their chalices.” [I’m picturing him delivering this sermon like Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross.]

[interesting fact: Of all the things on the McDonald’s menu, Jesus probably would have liked the Filet O’ Fish best… Fish is the first thing he ate after having risen from the dead. I would have thought, after having been brought back to life, food would have been the last thing on his mind, but apparently he was famished. So, like a bear waking up after having hibernated through the winter, the first thing Jesus did after leaving his cave was go looking for food. Coming across some of his followers, he asked them what they had. And, when they told him, he asked for a piece broiled fish and some honeycomb, which he then proceeded to eat in front of them (Luke 24:42 and 43). And, when he finished, he ascended to heaven… And, forget what I said before. I think that story would make a great addition to the Fillet ‘O Fish box.]

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  1. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    In the original Hebrew Jesus ordered drivethru. He ordered a fish sandwich. He felt victimized when he realized they added tartar sauce and American cheese to his sandwich. At first, Jesus was pissed because he thought he was wronged intentionally–because of who he was. Then, he became less defensive as he remembered that “you always get fucked in the drivethru”. He never realized the truth: McDonald’s just puts that shit on their fish sandwiches.

  2. Peter Larson
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    It’s worth noting that there has never been anything Christian on Starbucks cups. Red, pine trees and snow flakes have nothing to do with Christianity at all. They are all European pagan imagery.

  3. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    I thought Mark was joking about the starbuck’s cup controversy. I just realized people if is a real controversy.

  4. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    Oops. Sorry. I just realized it is a real controversy. Hard to believe. Seriously. What is happening?

  5. Peter Larson
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    There is a Presidential election. Christians feel ignored and sad.

  6. EOS
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    I could not care less that they have a red cup, but I am concerned that they donate to Planned Parenthood. Whatever, I don’t care for their coffee – it tastes bitter to me. It’s hard to boycott something that you never buy in the first place.

  7. EOS
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    By the way, Jesus ate food after the resurrection to show that he was still alive and not a spirit or ghost.

  8. Eel
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    So everyone went running from Jesus thinking that he was a ghost so he said, “Here, give me a piece of fish and I’ll eat it. A ghost wouldn’t do that, would he?”

  9. Eel
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I think we should demand that every restaurant incorporate Jesus into their product offerings. Why couldn’t hash browns be in the shape of a cross? Why couldn’t Burger King wear a crown of thorns? There are a million small things that could be easily done to appease the Christian majority.

  10. Eel
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    So if I understand this correctly, Starbucks is being unchristian for financially supporting women’s health clinics, and we would rather they say Merry Christmas on their cups, as that would be more in line with the teachings of Jesus.

  11. EOS
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    It is my personal preference that a corporation that holds many beliefs in opposition to Christianity not try to use a religious holiday as a marketing scheme. If Planned Parenthood merely provided health care there would be no controversy. But they kill babies and sell their parts and actively encourage women to kill their babies for financial reasons or convenience. Treating all human life as a sacred gift would be more in the line with the teachings of Jesus.

    As to your other question, the prevailing belief at the time was that spirits were not able to eat.

  12. Jcp2
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    For a white guy with southern roots, it’s a surprise that you know less about Jesus than I do.

  13. Matt Krizowsky
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    All restaurants that don’t serve free unlimited loaves and fishes are anti-Christian.

  14. Scott
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Might want to include the adapted Psalm “Yay, though I walk through the shadow of the valley of gastrointestinal death, I shall fear no Filet-o-Fish.”

  15. Brainless
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    If anybody can find one non-anonymous and sincere local individual who is actually upset about this, I’ll buy you a week’s worth of shitty lattes right now. This entire “controversy” is 100% made up and doesn’t actually reflect anybody’s opinion. It’s just click bait. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Starbucks themselves were behind it.

  16. anonymous
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    So Trump didn’t call for a boycott of Starbucks to loud applause, Brainless?

  17. anonymous
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOe-Bf5iyzI

  18. Lynne
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I don’t think Starbucks is behind this. How could they anticipate such a thing? The whole controversy has been traced to a single guy but it has gained some traction. Still, I admit that I have yet to encounter an actual real life person who is upset about the cup but then, I haven’t encountered anyone who will admit that they are going to vote for Trump except for one friend who is going to because she thinks it would embarrass the GOP if he won and that it would make Hillary a shoe in. Also, this clearly has been good for Starbucks so I can see why people might think that they manufactured the outrage but they didn’t. Still, you know some marketing folks over at Starbucks are having a blast!

  19. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    I first thought it was satire. Then I thought it was real. Now, thanks to brainless,I now think it is satire again. Thank you,I was starting to feel depressed.

  20. Mr. Y
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Could this possibly be the end of the “War on Christmas” meme? Has it finally jumped the shark?

  21. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Damn it. If you want to hold onto the idea that this is satire then do not watch the youtube video that anonymous links.

  22. Pulsing Pumpkin
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I think it’s sacrilege that fish can be served to any non-christian, especially on Fridays.
    How can any person call themselves a true christian when they are wearing clothes clearly made of more than two fabrics, clean shaven, and not stoning all the heathens for not following proper conventions.
    Maybe if “real” Christians started stoning the unbelievers right there at the drive-thru for their offenses against God Starbucks and CrapDonald’s would think twice.
    I wrote to Trump and asked that we bring back the colleseum for public exectutions.

  23. site admin
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Can someone please make a Burger King with a crown of thorns?

  24. jcp2
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    The Filet O’ Fish sandwich was designed to encourage Catholics to patronize McDonald’s on Fridays and during Lent.


  25. Anonymous
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad I read the article until the end, Jcp2. I got to enjoy this line.

    “Groen passed away in May of 2011 and won’t be able to taste the new variation of his original recipe.”

  26. Jean Henry
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    “It is my personal preference that a corporation that holds many beliefs in opposition to Christianity not try to use a religious holiday as a marketing scheme.”
    EOS Most Christians are pro-choice. Christian progressives and moderates increasingly outnumber Christian conservatives. Jesus was very clearly a liberal– albeit a cranky one sometimes. You, EOS, do not get to decide who is and who is not Christian. Sorry. There is that nagging log in your eye problem…
    I personally love religious iconography of all kinds and all faiths and have no problem seeing it everywhere. I do not find it oppressive in any way. Just took a shower with some Dr Bronner’s. That bottle is endlessly entertaining. I think it’s a bit silly that people are offended by expressions of faith. I also like sacrilege and have no problem seeing it everywhere. I like personal expression in many forms– especially ecstatic– all over the damned place. It’s cool. Who cares?

  27. Posted November 11, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I think the cup should sing a Christian hymn to me when I peel open the top to put cream in it. That would be super! I just learned how to play “Battle Hymn of the Republic” (okay maybe not a true hymn but really fun!) on my ukulele, so I could jam with my coffee cup.

    I do agree with EOS…the coffee has a weird bitter taste to it. I tried it once with a “flavor shot” and that made it even worse.

  28. Meta
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink


    “Megamansion-building megachurch pastor says revealing his salary would violate Christ’s teachings”


  29. Jean Henry
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Starbucks coffee is burnt; that’s why it tastes bitter. For a while there people thought burnt coffee was strong coffee. Those who care have figured out the difference. The rest would be better off drinking folgers.

  30. EOS
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Jean Henry –

    A progressive church is one where they say, “You are welcome here and you do not have to change your life”. A legalistic church is one where they say, “You are not welcome here until you clean up your life.” However, Jesus says, “You are welcome here and I will change your life from the inside out” John 8:11 If your church doesn’t change your worldly views then it’s a good sign that you are on the wrong road.

    It’s not cool to worship idols and follow the crowd and false prophets. Who cares? God does.

  31. Jean Henry
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I don’t worship any idols, including God. I’m faith challenged– an ecstatic agnostic. Worldly is ok with me.

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