Is the Starbucks Red Cup Debacle Just a Marketing Ploy?

I don’t drink Starbucks coffee that often because honestly, it usually tastes a little burnt and I prefer my Nespresso but the other day, on the way to physical therapy we stopped in for a chai latte and I noticed the cup was red which to me signaled my brain that it was the start of the holiday season.

A couple days later I saw a video that was being circulated around the Internet, Joshua Feuerstein, an Arizona-based evangelist who describes himself as a “social media personality,” was up in arms because the cup was too minimalist for his liking.He posted on his Facebook page that this year’s spartan red cup illustrated Starbucks’ dismissal of Christmas as a Christian holiday in favor of political correctness. He went on to crack jokes and decided to fight against the “war on Christmas” by giving his name as “Merry Christmas” when ordering. To really stick it to “the man” he wore his Jesus shirt and carried his concealed weapon into Starbucks. (I found that part the most offensive and scary myself).

In the video, Feuerstein says that Starbucks “wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups. That’s why they’re just plain red.” Feuerstein said that instead of boycotting the coffee chain, he wanted to start a “movement,” so he went into a Starbucks–with his gun, as Arizona has an open-carry law and Starbucks has not outright banned firearms–ordered a hot drink, and told the barista that his name was “Merry Christmas,” which was subsequently scribbled on his red cup.

“So guess what, Starbucks? I tricked you into putting Merry Christmas on your cup,” Feuerstein said in his video. He urged his Facebook followers to do the same. The video has been watched about 12 million times and nearly 500,000 people have shared it.

Anyways, the video and verbiage in it made me feel like maybe the entire thing was a marketing stunt on Starbucks’ behalf, honestly. Anyways, I carried on and then I began to see all sorts of social media posts about some people being outraged that “Christmas” had been removed from Starbucks and then the rest of the people were outraged that the Christians were outraged. It quickly escalated to religious persecution by way of making a mountain out of a molehill.

Me, I am a Christian of what some might say is the worst kind, a Catholic, and this is what I think. If you don’t like Starbucks’ cups or you feel that they are stepping on your right to religious freedom, don’t buy their coffee. Don’t give them your money if you are so offended. But what I don’t say is to get over it because if it bothers you and is important to you, then draw your line in the sand. Mine however is not over coffee cups. That, my friends, is not the deciding factor to my ever-lasting salvation. I get my religion at mass and at home, I don’t need it on my coffee cup for validation.

On the other hand, if you feel that you can tell the Christians to get over their butt hurt over the cups, I hope you are not one of those ridiculous people who enjoy the benefit of all the Christmas holiday rituals (and time off) but don’t actually believe in or celebrate the birth of Jesus (yes, I already know that is not his actual birthday. I have the History channel.) P.S. A holiday tree is not a real thing people. It’s a Christmas tree. You can’t have your anti-Christian beliefs and celebrate Christmas too. Well, you can but then that makes you kind of an asshole.It’s like pretending to be homeless for the free food.

Like it or not, Christmas is a religious observance holiday and if you don’t believe in the religion then you shouldn’t be celebrating the holiday. If you want to celebrate the winter solstice or whatever, fine but it’s not Christmas so lets not pretend that we are celebrating the same thing. Celebrating “Christmas” and not being a Christian is the same as having a quincinera and not being a 15-year-old Latina girl or having a Bat Mitzvah and not being Jewish. These are religious celebrations. Christmas (not Winter Solstice) is a religious celebration.

So while you’re making fun of the Christians being up in arms over their coffee cups, I’ll be over here at drop off sipping my Chai Latte minding my own business. And if anyone wants to wish me a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanza I will happily accept it because even though I may not celebrate all of those holidays, I do accept well wishes and good tidings from all. I will smile and I will thank you because I don’t think you are trying to convert me. In my mind, you are saying, “Debi, live long and prosper!”

Are red cups worth getting upset over to me? No. It’s a cup, people. But if it really offends you, you have every right to not buy your coffee from Starbucks and I can respect that because I am an adult and as long as you’re not making the decisions for me, it’s not my business.

When did we start living in a world where people feel like they have to run every single thought, word and coffee cup design through a filter before they say it out loud? Stop that. I’d rather I know you, the real you, no matter who you are than only know some diluted, politically correct version of you. By over thinking every single word that comes out of our mouth, we are diminishing any hope of establishing true human connections.

Be happy, people. Just be yourself and let others be.

Do you find the Starbucks Red Cups offensive and why?

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