Guys, the holidays are an extremely exciting time for me. When I walk into Starbucks and see that red menu, I get psyched. The red menu means it’s officially winter: time for gingerbread lattes, cranberry bliss bars, and everything sugar-filled that makes life worth living all served in one of Starbucks’ trademark winter red cups. (Yesterday, I had a gingerbread tea latte and it restored my faith in humanity. The Starbucks winter drink menu is a gift from above.)
This week, the Starbucks red cup controversy took my happy vibe and threw it under the grumpy bus. If you aren’t privy, this year Starbs changed their traditional red cup, decorated with fancy pictures of ornaments, snow, and other biz, to a simple undecorated red cup. Some Christians basically lost it, claiming that Starbucks was anti-Christian and calling other Christians to tell the baristas their name was “Merry Christmas” so that Starbucks would be forced to write the phrase on the cup.
*CUE BIGGEST EYE ROLL EVER, SO BIG THAT MY EYES ALMOST GET STUCK LIKE THAT*
Really? I have a lot of thoughts. First of all, the red cups weren’t “Christian” to start with. Ornaments and snow aren’t Christian. They’re WINTER and secular Christmas. Non-Christians use Christmas ornaments, too. Thus, removing the decorative biz from the cups is not an attack on religion. It is not an attack on anything. IT IS A CUP.
Second of all, as mentioned, IT IS A CUP. The red cup and its lack of bling is not preventing you from sharing the Gospel with others, practicing your faith, or talking to God, It is not able to make you sin. It is not from the “wrong side of the tracks,” picking your daughter up out front of your house on a motorcycle. It’s a cup, a plasticky paper cylinder that holds yumminess. If you are angry about it, don’t go to Starbucks. Pretty simple.
Third of all, can we find some real problems? My professional interest is in the nonprofit sector, so I read every day about some of the most intractable problems facing our society: hunger, severe poverty and homelessness, youth violence, a broken education system.
All this exists, and you’re telling me that you are complaining about the cup in which your $5 cup of coffee comes in? Can we step back for a second and thank God that we are so blessed that we can afford a $5 cup of coffee? If the cup is that upsetting, take your $5 and donate it to a cause that actually matters. Use the social media space that you would have used complaining about a CUP to raise awareness about a more important issue that’s actually affecting Americans on a day-to-day basis, or share a Gospel message instead.
The bottom line is that there are bigger fish to fry than what a coffee shop chain has chosen to do with its coffee cups, you know, like the fact that same coffee shop still can’t spell anyone’s names right.
What are your thoughts on the Starbucks controversy?