09 November 2015

Starbucks and a false alarm in the war on Christmas

Personally, I find the very flavor of coffee to be both abhorrent and disgusting. In fact, so distasteful is the flavor of coffee to my palette that I do not even enjoy a piece of tiramisu. This partly explains my confusion as to why people seem to have worked themselves up so over the decision Starbucks' has made this year regarding its holiday cups.
N.B.: See this post regarding why I am not too concerned about someone's decision to say "Happy holidays!" instead of "Merry Christmas!".
Jeffrey Fields, Vice President of Starbucks, said the decision was made with the intention "to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories." Fair enough. We could all do with a simplification and a purification of the way in which we celebrate Christmas. We have become far too concerned about materialistic considerations and have begun, both individually and societal, to lose sight of the humility of the Incarnation of the only begotten Son of God. Seen in this way, Starbucks' decision can be heard as a clarion call for us to return, as it were, to the basics.

What horrendous decision did the coffee franchise make to cause a furor on social media? Starbucks has decided that its holiday cups will simply be red:

Photo: Starbucks
Apparently this decision for a simplified cup was enough to lead to Joshua Feuerstein - a former Protestant pastor and televangelist - to claim that Starbucks "wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups" and is calling on people to say their name is "Merry Christmas" so the Merry Christmas will be called out throughout the coffee shops. Leaving aside the moral question of lying regarding a person's name, this is, in my opinion, simply ridiculous.

Because I do not frequent Starbucks, I had no idea what designs their cups had in previous years. A simple Google image search (for both "Starbucks Christmas cups" and "Starbucks holiday cups"), however, turned up cups with snowflakes, reindeer, carolers, a nutcracker, ornaments, and even Santa Claus , but I could not find a single cup with Christ or Christmas on them, which completely debunks Feuerstein's claim and shows the ignorance of those who quickly jumped on his angry bandwagon.

If we look realistically at the cup design for the 2015 holiday season, the cups are red and green (look at the circle around the mermaid). Are red and green not generally recognized as Christmas colors? Are these colors any less religious than the designs used in previous years? Of course not. There is nothing explicitly Christian or religious in any of the designs on Starbucks cups.

Consequently, I am calling Feuerstein's call to arms a false alarm in the war on Christmas.

For reasons I do not fully understand, American's today seem to enjoy being angry at any little thing, but when there is significant about which they should be righteously angry, they do not give not two hoots about it. Maybe Americans drink too much coffee and just need to calm down.

The celebration of Christmas is about immensity of the love of God shown so clearly in the Birth of Jesus the Christ. How does becoming angry about the design of a coffee cup, inciting others to anger over a coffee cup, and basically calling others to yell at a coffee company help reveal the love of God?

All Feuerstein's call does is make Christians look angry and unreasonable. This is certainly not the message of Christmas.

No comments:

Post a Comment