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Satanists may not be getting a monument on Oklahoma state Capitol grounds, but the devil worshippers are tasting some success at Starbucks.
For years, Christians have complained about Starbucks’ so-called Jezebelic logo. But an artistic, devil-inspired barista took demonic to a whole new level with one lady’s latte.
Megan K. Pinion, a practicing Catholic, was shocked and dismayed when she saw satanic symbols carefully crafted with caramel drizzle atop her foamy caffeinated beverage. She logged on to Facebook to describe the horrifying experience of being served coffee with a pentagram and the numbers “666” confronting her faith.
“I just purchased two coffees at your Mall of Louisiana location,” she wrote on Facebook on Sunday. “This is how my coffee was served to me. ... I am a teacher in the public school system and if I were to present a child of atheist or pagan believers with a Christian art project I could be sued in a heartbeat. I am of Catholic faith and would love to share in my beliefs daily. Fortunately I have enough common sense to present myself with professionalism and follow an ethics code. Perhaps that could be suggested to that particular location.”
Starbucks has not indicated whether or not the employee will be disciplined for forcing his beliefs on a customer in such an offensive way. And there’s the double standard, which Pinion pointed out so articulately: If a Starbucks barista preached the gospel to a customer waiting in one of the coffeehouse’s notoriously long lines, I suspect that faithful servant would see himself suspended in a heartbeat.
Starbucks did apologize: “This obviously is not the type of experience we want to provide any of our customers, and is not representative of the customer service our partners provide to millions of customers every day.”
The way Starbucks is handling the satanic latte is at least somewhat representative of the direction the coffee chain is heading. Last March, at Starbucks’ annual shareholders meeting, CEO Howard Shultz blasted an investor who suggested the company’s support of gay marriage in Washington was the reason for the its less-than-stellar earnings reports. Schultz said some things are not a financial decision and then suggested Christians could take their money elsewhere.
“If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country," he said. "You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.”
Starbucks has made its commitment to diversity and clearly has no qualms about offending Christians—or losing believers’ business. I’m frankly surprised Pinion received an apology for the satanic dribbles and sincerely wonder if Starbucks would have said sorry if the foam showcased a caramelized gay pride symbol instead of a pentagram.
Based on Shultz’ March 2013 quip, it’s clear where he stands and where the line is drawn. Starbucks' apology to Pinion is somewhat hypocritical, then, considering the CEO essentially invited her last year to go drink coffee somewhere else. Maybe now she will. I hear Dunkin' Donuts has a mean latte.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Making of a Prophet. You can email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.
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