Some people are angry about Starbucks’ new holiday cups. Really angry.
What is the issue, exactly?
In previous years, Starbucks’ iconic holiday cups, which the chain uses in lieu of white cups in November and December, featured wintry or Christmas-themed designs like snowflakes, ornaments and nature scenes. This year, the cups are more minimalist -- a red ombre design that Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks' vice president of design, said was meant to embrace “the simplicity and the quietness” of the holiday season.
This is a huge problem for some people, who feel that the plain red cups are oppressing Christians by insulting Christmas.
“This is a denial of historical reality and the great Christian heritage behind the American Dream that has so benefitted Starbucks,” Andrea Williams of the U.K.-based organization Christian Concern told Breitbart. “This also denies the hope of Jesus Christ and His story so powerfully at this time of year.”
Others have shared similar thoughts on social media.
To clarify, it's not like the previous cups were decked out in crosses and mangers. It’s unclear why a drawing of a winking snowman or a dog sledding, for instance, is more “Christian” than a plain red and green (you know, Christmas colors) cup.
But either way, angry Starbucks patrons have a solution. Former pastor Joshua Feuerstein claimed in a viral Facebook video that he had “pranked” Starbucks by simply telling them his name was “Merry Christmas” -- thus forcing the surely unimpressed barista to write the words “Merry Christmas” on the cup.
Feuerstein also noted that he brought a gun into the coffee shop, in spite of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz' request that patrons leave their firearms at home. Ho ho, good one!
In the video, Feuerstein encouraged people to similarly claim that their names are "Merry Christmas" and to use the hashtag #MerryChristmasStarbucks. Social media users have been expressing their support for the “prank," but at least one person noted a minor issue with the protest:
By Sunday, the anti-Starbucks backlash was getting its own backlash, from those mocking the cup outrage.
Some have even theorized that the controversy is a viral marketing scheme originated by Starbucks itself.
But the vocal minority decrying the red cups does not represent all Christians. Rev. Emily Heath mocked the absurdity of the backlash in a blog piece for HuffPost, and noted that it demonstrated some seriously misplaced priorities:
We're kind of like the religious equivalent those Black Friday shoppers who trample other Black Friday shoppers in order to get a good deal on a flat screen TV. We are so incensed by any perceived omission of our personal faith from the public sphere that we go on a rampage. Except instead of other shoppers, we just trample things like inclusivity, diversity, tolerance, and pluralism instead.
Happy holidays, everyone.
Contact the author at Hilary.Hanson@huffingtonpost.com
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