Starbucks red cup

OK people, let’s take a step back and look at the stupidity that is the Starbucks Christmas cup controversy. If you haven’t heard, there is a vocal sub-section of people who are infuriated that, because Starbucks didn’t cover their coffee cups in cute little drawings of holiday themed art, that it means that they’ve deiced that Jesus isn’t a part of Christmas. Let me share just one insane quote:

Joshua Feuerstein, a former television and radio evangelist with more than 1.8 million followers on Facebook, took to the platform to comment on Starbucks’ new cups.

“Starbucks removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus,” he wrote, asking followers to use the hashtag #MerryChristmasStarbucks and to ask baristas to write “Merry Christmas” on their cups instead of their names. (source: CNBC news story)

Let’s stop a moment and think this through… a corporation that is interested mostly in making money has decided that they hate Jesus, and so they express this by removing secular clip-art from their coffee cups that people drink from and throw away? On what planet does this make sense?

It’s a paper coffee cup people. It’s not a religious artifact.

Additionally, how does the removal of secular holiday artwork relate to removing Jesus from Christmas? Isn’t the fact that the artwork is secular ALREADY remove Jesus from the equation? How do pictures of nutcrackers and tree ornaments celebrate the birth of Christ in the first place? They don’t, and therefore their removal means nothing for the religious significance of the holiday.

People have become too over-sensitive regarding the notion of a “war on Christmas.” Christmas is a holiday that means many different things to many different people. Yes, for a large portion of the world’s population it is a holiday that is the culmination of the Advent of Christ, but there are many people in the world who see the holiday as something non-religious. The fact that these individuals have a non-religious meaning for this time of year doesn’t change the Christian view on the meaning of the holiday. Your choice to celebrate the secular meaning of Christmas doesn’t affect my choice to celebrate the religious meaning.

It’s yet another sign of the continuing confusion around being a source of good under society vs. being a force of good over society. Christ never called believers to rule over mankind, he called believers to be servants to the world. In our haste to make our Christian holidays a part our culture, Christians have neglected to realize that this opens up the holidays to re-interpretation. If you look at other religious holidays, many of them are very closed to the community that is practicing them. Because we’ve tried to force Christmas to be a part of our culture, and not just a religious holiday, we must also relinquish the desire to control what it means for those who don’t believe in Christ.

We can’t have it both ways, but for me I’m going to enjoy my attractively colored Starbucks coffee cup, as I sip my Americano, and look forward to celebrating the meaning of Christmas for what it means to me.