FONDUE LAKE, WISCONSIN — A local story out of the Cheese State has murmurs of the so-called “War on Christmas” echoing throughout the country once again. As reported by local TV-station WWISC, a man named Bill Ricci — self-described “Christian first conservative” — made the news when he refused to give a homeless man a quarter because he would have had to put into the red Starbucks holiday cup that the homeless man was holding. Ricci hosts a weekly right-wing podcast and told his listeners about the confrontation.
“I’m walking into the grocery store, and out in the parking lot is a homeless,” Ricci told his audience, “and he asks me if I have any change. Now, normally this is when I’d give him my tried and true homeless guy lecture I’ve developed about how if I give him a quarter today he’d spend it on booze or drugs or whatever a homeless would spend it on. But I happened to be in a mega-hurry that day, so I reached into my pocket and fished out a quarter.”
But, Ricci says, as he was about to give the homeless man the quarter, he noticed that the homeless man was holding a red cup from Starbucks. Ricci says he quickly put the quarter back in his pocket. He advised the homeless man that he cannot, “as a good Christian” give the man money when “it would end up in Satan’s drinking vessel.” Ricci says he firmly believes Starbucks is a key perpetrator in the War on Christmas, and he refuses to buy coffee there, as well as make any charitable gifts to homeless people holding said red cups.
“Why can’t they just give we Christians one more cultural wink and a nod,” Ricci asked, “why can’t their cups have a big ol’ nativity scene on them with big bold letters that say, ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM JESUS CHRIST AND STARBUCKS!’ In my day, companies would have fallen all over themselves to placate my religious beliefs. That’s changed, and I don’t like change.”
Ricci told his audience that he explained his hesitance to show him a charitable spirit as best he could.
“I told him,” Mr. Ricci said, “that if he wants Christian charity from me, he has to give me a Christian vessel to put it in. You know, like when Jesus says in the Bible that blessed are those who make the least fortunate jump through ideological hoops before helping them.”
As he closed out the segment, Mr. Ricci explained why he’s glad that President-elect Donald Trump won the election, and how it plays into this interaction with “the homeless.”
“The homeless I talked to,” Ricci said, “would never even have the gumption to ask me, a taxpayer for help once Trump’s been office long enough. Just like when Ronald Reagan was president, or when either of the brilliant, terrific Bushes were in office, Trump will end homelessness, make our economy grow at 12.8% per quarter, and help us culturally shame poor people into leaving us normals alone. Well, one of those things is true and going to happen at least.”
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.