By: Aiyana Moore ~Staff Writer~
Starbucks’ holiday cups are one of the main reasons that patrons look forward to the Christmas season. The decorated cups remind consumers that the holiday season is quickly coming up. This year’s cups, however, have caused quite a stir with their minimalist, red design because some people feel they do not recognize Christmas as a Christian holiday.
I feel as if I need a disclaimer – I live in an ideal world where people can say, “Merry Christmas,” without backlash from everyone about their religion. However, my world also allows people to say, “Happy Holidays,” without backlash about not being Christian. In my ideal world, two people passing on the street could stop and greet one another. One says, “Merry Christmas,” and the other, “Happy Holidays,” and both go along their merry ways happy that someone even stopped to acknowledge the holiday season.
In this age of political correctness, it’s become taboo to refer to Christmas in any form – tt’s not a Christmas tree, it’s a holiday tree just as people are supposed to say, “Happy Holidays,” in a public setting and not, “Merry Christmas.” After all, we don’t want to offend anyone with our beliefs.
That is what the Starbucks’ cup controversy stems from. Former TV evangelist, Joshua Feuerstein, is often the man pointed to as the start of the controversy. After the cups were revealed, he commented on their lack of design by saying, “Starbucks removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus.”
Here’s the thing about the Starbucks cups – they didn’t say, “Merry Christmas,” on them in the first place. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, the cups were never really Christmas themed, but reflected the holiday season.
After all, the cups didn’t display anything that was specific to Christmas. Past years have had designs such as snowflakes, ornaments and nutcrackers. What makes these items specifically Christmas themed as opposed to being holiday or winter themed?
Some believe that if Starbucks wants to use Christmas themed items and make money off of a Christian holiday, then it should have to recognize it as such. I refer to my previous question – what makes snowflakes or evergreen trees or anything else Starbucks previously put on its cups specifically Christmas items? Who’s to say that its making money off of Christmas instead of people’s love of winter?
How can Starbucks possibly be refusing to acknowledge Christmas as a Christian holiday when the cups weren’t specifically “Christmas” themed to begin with? Let’s not forget that, even though Starbucks’ cups lack a design, the company still sells a “Christmas blend” coffee.
Also, why do people care so much about what Starbucks chooses to put on its cups? Would there have been so many issues if Starbucks had decided to put a Menorah on their cups instead of something seen as decidedly Christmas themed?
After all, if the argument is that winter is the Christmas season, people have to understand that it’s the Hanukah season as well.
If the U.S. truly is a country founded on the principle of religious freedom,
why is it only alright for companies to align themselves with Christian ideals? After the Chick-fil-a CEO announced that he opposed gay marriage, Christians celebrated. Now that Starbucks has decided to remove holiday themed decorations from its cups, many Christians are complaining about the “War on Christmas.”
Obviously, no matter what anyone chooses, someone is going to be unhappy with the choice. We can’t make everyone happy, no matter how hard we try.
If people want to boycott Starbucks because of the removal of wintery items from their cups, then by all means. That just means there will be a shorter line for me.
I think the biggest question that comes out of this is, “Why can’t we express our opinions freely, without being chastised for it?” Starbucks never said it was a Christian company and never featured obviously Christian designs, such as Jesus or a nativity scene.
If Starbucks wants to celebrate the season with a generic red cup, then it should have the right to do so. Freedom of religion, after all, shouldn’t only be extended to Christians, but to every U.S. citizen.