Yesterday, I was perusing some news sites on the Internet during a break at work. An article about Starbucks and the controversy with Christians over the new Christmas cup caught my eye. I clicked on the link expecting to see that Starbucks was proclaiming “Greed is the reason for the season!” or “All hail, Satan!” or something along those lines.
Instead, I found the flack was over a plain red cup.
Who looks to Starbucks as a Christian company in the first place? I mean, its symbol has always struck me as pretty New Age-ish. I’m not a frequent Starbucks goer since I can’t afford $5 cups of coffee and if I am going to spend that much I want a darn good cup of it. Sorry, Starbucks isn’t my favorite on that front.
So, I don’t get what the fuss is about. I’ve seen holiday cups from Starbucks with snowmen or Christmas trees. I’ve never seen a Nativity scene or Biblical references. Do I think Christians are snubbed sometimes? Sure. And some of those instances need to be addressed. Do I think this is one of those times? Absolutely not. This whole “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays” nonsense has become ridiculous.
Starbucks is a business who – shockingly! – wants to make money. And the holidays are prime time. So it makes sense that the cup is going to be as innocuous as possible. Starbucks still wants the atheist, the Jewish, the Muslim, etc. to come into its shop for a cup of joe, no matter how – or if – they celebrate Christmas. Its job is not to preach the coming of the Lord. Given some of the liberal leanings of the business leaders, quite frankly, I don’t really want it to try.
And the red cup is practical. When December 25 is over, no one wants to be carrying around a Christmas cup. This design is still going to look good through the winter until the stock runs out and the traditional white cup comes back. It’s the same reason that most of my Christmas decorations, except for the tree, are snowmen, deer and cardinals. They stay up until spring.
I could see the problem if Focus on the Family or the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was leaving the Christ out of Christmas. That’s why Christians send their dollars there. But Starbucks? Come on, be serious. I’m not even going to address the fact that the root of Christmas is a pagan holiday in the first place because I don’t want to deal with the hate mail. If Christians want to claim this as a time to celebrate Christ, more power to them. But expecting to control the world and its view is unrealistic. I mean, have you read a Bible? Things aren’t going to get any better on that front, folks.
The part of this that bothers me is the media. If you notice, the media takes every opportunity to latch on to stories about Christians, then paint all of us like a bunch of up-tight, hateful, nut jobs. Good job to all the Starbucks haters for giving the media more ammunition. Go ahead and get your panties in a bunch over this red cup. In the end, it’s just generating free advertising for Starbucks. And making the rest of the world think we’re crazy. Not exactly a win.