I’m typically not one for controversy and I don’t usually voice my opinion (HA! At least not publicly!). But with all this Starbucks Red Cup debate going on, I thought I’d maybe put my two cents in for anyone who’s willing to read about it. So here it is. Let me start off by saying, I am Catholic and do believe in God and celebrate Christmas. But the fact of the matter is, this whole dispute was blown way out proportion. Jeffrey Fields, VP of design, said in a statement, “This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories. Starbucks has become a place of sanctuary during the holidays. We’re embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it. It’s a more open way to usher in the holiday.” There you have it, plain and simple. Sorry if you were looking for something more or hoping to hear about how Starbucks is anti-Christian. Starbucks can do whatever it wants with its holiday cups. The company serves millions of cups of coffee around the world every day – 23,000 locations in 68 countries to be exact. It shouldn’t have to cater to one group of people in particular just because they make a riot about it.
There was also an accusation made by Joshua Feuerstein (yep, that’s the “American evangelist, Internet, and social media personality” with the video going around the Internet) claiming that Starbucks isn’t allowed to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to customers. Wrong. A Starbucks spokesperson said in an email that the company’s baristas “are not provided a script or a policy around greeting customers. They are simply encouraged to create a welcoming environment to delight each person who walks through our doors.” However, if you really feel the need to get a Christmas greeting, Joshua Feuerstein gives this advice: Tell the barista your name is “Merry Christmas,” and then she’ll have to say it when she’s fixed your drink. Touché Feuerstein, well played.
While most of us Christians are not plotting ways to “stick it” to Howard Shultz or updating our Twitter feeds over the matter, it still cheapens our Christian identity. No, Starbucks doesn’t have a conspiracy theory about how to get rid of Christmas. And this isn’t about political correctness. Jesus doesn’t care about a holiday cup.