Are People Really Offended Over the Starbucks Cup?

It seems that the Christmas season begins earlier and earlier each year (and no, this isn’t just us getting older!). Traditionally the ‘Christmas season’  didn’t begin until after Thanksgiving… but things have changed. It’s likely that you’ve already been exposed to a pretty heft dose of X-Mas… think of how many things you see signifying Christmas season just in the first week of November:

  • Stores putting Christmas decorations on display
  • Christmas commercials showing Christmas deals
  • Christmas music playing the day after Halloween

Whether you love it or hate it, this is the new world order. This Christmas season we’ve already got our first Christmas controversy: outrage is brewing over Starbucks and their new holiday cup. This year, it is simply the color red. No fancy Christmas designs, no words, nothing but a solid red cup. The company were hoping that the minimalist design would help feel everyone included, even those who do not celebrate Christmas.

red cup controversy

Once the cup was released, many Christians around the country expressed that they were terribly offended about the release of the cup. These individuals were upset that the company had neglected to make any mention of Christmas on the cups, and had removed all of the Christmas/winter iconography that have been featured on the cups in years past. The red cup controversy spread like wildfire, with memes spreading all around social media telling Christians and other people who were offended by the cup that they should be focused on more important matters, such as orphans and the poor.

Christians Really Offended?

However, the more you look at social media posts, the more you will see a lack of offended people. Almost all Facebook posts and Tweets mentioning the Starbucks cup simply talk about how silly this controversy is, and how no one should be offended by what Starbucks put on their cup. It’s difficult to find posts about people who are actually offended by the cup. In this new media-dominated age, it’s tough to tell how big this controversy actually is.

A Select Few

What we do know is that this controversy has made its way to the national stage. Just last night, Presidential Hopeful Donald Trump urged his supporters to boycott Starbucks and declared that when if he is elected as President “…we’re all going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again”. He appears to have gotten even more people fired up… if you look at the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks, you will see hundreds, if not thousands, of tweets from people genuinely offended by the cups.

Blank Canvas

Starbucks supposedly had no idea their red cups would spark so much controversy. Their claim was that they are giving customers an opportunity to create their own designs on the cup. For years, people have doodled designs on their white cups, so they thought this would be a fun time for them to continue doing so during the Christmas season.

Win for Starbucks

No matter what side of the controversy you are on (if you believe there even is a controversy), we can all probably agree this is good news for Starbucks. After all, almost everybody is talking about them right now. Since the vast majority of people support their red cup or at the very least don’t have a problem with it, it’s likely that whatever boycott does take place won’t cause too much harm to the company’s coffers. All this will do is put Starbucks in the back of people’s heads, and next time they want a freshly brewed coffee or scone, they will pop into their nearest Starbucks to satisfy their craving.

War On Christmas

This does beg the larger question, though. Is there a “war on Christmas”? Seemingly every year there is some “controversy” inspired by Christians upset with what they perceive as an attack on one of their most sacred holidays. Certainly it must be difficult to reconcile the commercial holiday that’s formed with the celebration of Jesus’ birth… can the two ever really share a day?

What do you think?

103 comments

  1. J. Paul Lanier says:

    There is no war on Christmas. There is a war on common decency conducted by right wing Christians who seek to force their bizarre doctrines on everyone.

    1. Randy C. Ford says:

      In a way, there is a war on Christmas. It’s a part of the “war on Christians.” Please, let me explain. I’m going to avoid discussing doctrinal aspects and religious motivations and stick with social and political ones. This is an attempt to explain why reasonable people see it as a head-on attack.

      The United States was founded on principles of individual rights. Of course, those rights have not been uniformly recognized or protected, nor are likely to ever be. Those with more power are better able to be “protected.” Also , many won’t see that a minorities Rights are being suppressed due to their limit views. There are always those trying to take what others have, and those people don’t respect anybodies Rights unless forced to. We live in a land with a “perfect” concept of Rights, with a limited ability to protect them, especially for the weak.

      In this imperfect society, as a “democracy,” larger blocks of voters find it easier to protect their rights. Money and other power also helps. It’s also much easier to defend a Right one already holds. In this country, the “Christian” religions have had the largest hold. I’m grouping, for this discussion, all “mainstream” groups that have “Christ” as the central figure.

      With the advances in communication has come an increase ability of smaller groups to spread their knowledge and ideas. Groups that have felt that their Rights have not been protected have more ability to voice their views. That has lead to increased abilities to gain new people to their groups, and to raise the awareness of their concerns to others. The court system has also become more active in following these cases. This has resulted in more groups having their Rights protected and more awareness of others Rights.

      This has, of course, affected the larger groups, especially the largest group: Christians. There was a time when, in many areas, almost everyone stated that they were Christian because they wanted to avoid anything from negative views to persecution or death. The fear may have been misplaced, or only a few radical people may have been a threat, but the fear and possible outcome was real. Some groups even had a policy that members were to join some mainstream religion to remain out of sight.

      The “hiding” was effective. Most people didn’t see the other groups, even if they were “main-stream, accepted religions.” I’ve heard this question, “Which religion are you, Methodist or Baptist?” There were other groups around–the questioners were ignorant, stupid, or insensitive, but it shows their expectations.

      Who would seriously argue against the city putting up a Christmas display, other than a “radical” who was recognized as a Christian? That isn’t to say that everybody was insensitive, but rather saw Christianity as just a part of almost everyone’s life. Everybody, other than some small Christian groups “celebrated” Christmas and Easter, even if they never participated in any other religious activities. Most people, even if not “raised in a Church,” and never having been active in one, still believe that Christianity was the “true” religion; it was the only one they knew.

      Now we live in an age where those beliefs are no longer “universal.” People object to Santa Clause, even though Christian groups haven’t taught that had anything to do with Christianity. He is part of the “secular” celebration. However, to many non-Christians, he is just part of the Christian religion. Few Christmas parade floats have symbols recognized by Christians as being a part of their religion, but other groups fight against the parades themselves as a symbol of the Religion.

      While many consider these “secular” struggles to be a part of a “war on Christmas,” there are more important ones that are not as straightforward, not as benign, that are influencing Christians to react more strongly to small actions. The most obvious is that Religions that are militantly biased against Christianity in other parts of the world are increasing and becoming better known here. The obvious example is Islam. There are other groups that have been know mostly through children’s stories, but are generally threatening there, such as forms of Witchcraft. It is not as threatening, but groups using the same name are discussed in the Christian Bible.

      Another reason for the belief in the “War” is that there is one. There are groups of people who work diligently at attacking the Rights of Christians, Rights that would be protected in any other group. Some of these attacks are performed in the court system. It’s even more commonly done by threatening groups with limited resources with court action. We see these in the news frequently.

      There is a lie that is being propagated that businesses can’t have religious beliefs. It has always been the case, long before Europeans settled here, and has been reiterated, even recently, in Supreme Court rulings, that an association of individual has the same rights as the individuals. Most religious groups, from churches to denominations, are corporations. Those groups have the same Right to Freedom of Religious Speech as those who hold the corporations do. Individuals who work for companies, including corporations, have their own Rights as well.

      An individual working for someone else retains their rights to Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech. They can refuse to perform an action that violates their religion. The company can legally refuse to perform actions that violate their owners religious beliefs. A state couldn’t legally force businesses owned by people with a religious restriction against handling pork to make pork sandwiches. It’s a simple legal principle.

      However, one sees threats of legal action against individuals and businesses to have them remove Christian symbols and phrases. The legal action would ultimately fail, but the cost of fighting it could destroy the business. One of these pushes is to prevent employees from saying “Merry Christmas,” because “it violates the customer’s Rights.” Hint: we have a Right to Freedom of Speech, not a Right to Freedom to Not Hear other’s Free Speech in public. An employee has a Right to not say “Merry Christmas” if it violates their religious Freedoms. An employee has the Right to say “Merry Christmas” to other employees.

      Another area where a lie is being used to attack religious activities is the “Separation of Church and State.” It isn’t in the Constitution. Look for it. It just isn’t there. What is there is that the Congress can’t pass any law regarding the establishment of religion, and that individuals have Freedoms of Religion and Free Speech. Everywhere forms of the word “establish” is used, it refers to establishing something, not to something already established. Congress can’t pass a law that establishes a Religion. There were already many religions in the colonies. Congress can’t pick one, or, in my opinion, decide if something is a Religion. They can’t stop me from forming a new one.

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

      Congress can’t pass a law favoring one religion. They do not, however, have to entirely separate themselves from religion. We see today that the members of both houses use their “association” freedom to have prayer. People being sworn in can use their choice of religious articles. There is no such thing as “separation of church and state” in the US. It is a lie. It is a lie that is being used to attack Christianity. Gov’t can participate in religious activities as long are they are willing to do so in similar ways with others.

      We see old memorials being forced to change or be destroyed at gov’t expense because they contain religious symbols. It is probably illegal for gov’t funds to be used for that reason, especially if the monument was erected with private monies. They may, where practical, have to allow other religious groups to erect their symbols.

      I completely believe the government must not choose any religion over another, and must protect the Rights of all citizens. What is going on, however, is much more than that. It is an attempt to remove all symbols of Christianity, even those of historical importance, and to prevent the government from in any way acknowledging it, even though it has been an influence since the beginning.

      The effort, thanks to President Obama, seems to have been strongest in the Military. When I was there, all religious symbols were considered sacred. Going to religious activities were worked in however possible, such as by changing watches stood. All religions were handled, well, religiously.

      From what I’ve seen, that has changed. I read that military bands were stopped from playing at religious events, including Christmas ones. People are being reprimanded and discharged based on displaying religious beliefs. Remember, the Draft could start back tomorrow. The military is being converted toward rejection of religion instead of acceptance of religions. I know that most who join the military do so to protect the Rights of others. In effect, we gave up most of our Rights for a limited time to ensure that others could keep theirs. However, there is no need to take away the Right of Religion. The Chaplains were the people you could always turn to. Not only would they try to help you, they were also held in a separate sphere where they had the power to deal with the outside matters. Now, based on numerous media reports, they are being limited in what they can talk about, including their personal beliefs, “so they won’t offend people.”

      Atheism either is or isn’t a Religion. If it is, people have the same Right to it as any other; if not, then there is no Religious Right associated with it. Either way, there is no Right to keep others from practicing, talking about, advertising, or displaying their Religion in public. Freedoms are limited where they intrude on other’s Freedoms, not when the other person doesn’t like your Freedom.

      Privacy is a Right, too. All Rights, including those mentioned in Amendments, are always held by the Individual. Specific Powers are listed and granted to the government. The government can exercise those Powers, but can’t give Rights, because it has none. Nor can it take them. Invading Privacy, if used to determine Religion or Religious affiliation is also an attack. Requiring one to list their religion is an invasion of Privacy. Obamacare, like Social Security, requires one to prove their religious affiliation to get certain exemptions: Few Christians are eligible. If a certain group can hold a religious belief, so can anybody else. A simple statement that it is against one’s belief is all that could properly be asked, but if that would be sufficient, then the issue should just be voluntary anyway.

      While most people are not consciously a part of suppressing religions, many are. Many are being indoctrinated into believing the lies so they can be more effective and used against others later. Once an attack is successful against Christianity, it can be turned to other religions. Even if you trust the ones attacking now, will you trust later groups from using that attack system against any other group? That is part of the war to purge selected religions; Christianity is the biggest target.

      1. Tom Jaynes says:

        Thank you for your thoughts. In large measure I tend to have some agreement with you. I would suggest that a lot of the activity that is perceived to be anti-Christian is in very large measure a reaction to the very actions of many Christians themselves. We are a society that has begun to believe that Liberty means License. We all do have religious liberty when it comes to our beliefs, but this does not give us the license to impose those beliefs on others. Therein lies the heart of the problem. I have no problem with Nativity scenes on the front lawns of churches. It reflects the beliefs of the members of those churches. They do not belong on the lawn of the courthouse which is owned and paid for by people of many faiths, some of whom are not believers in the Nativity or what it stands for. Truth be told, Christian imposition of their beliefs on society has been increasingly less subtle over the years. It has become blatant and any objectors to that are labeled as anti-Christian. Any attempt to tell a religious group to mind its own business suddenly becomes an “anti” something or other.
        If anyone is happy with their religion and find that it works for them, I rejoice, no matter what religion it is. Please refrain from trying to make me a part of it and acknowledge that I, too, have deeply held and personal religious beliefs that may be different than theirs. Let us celebrate our diversity instead. Let us speak to engage in dialogue rather than to enrage with bombast. “We are all children of the same universe”. May whatever good any season of the year holds, be manifest in all your lives, no matter how you choose to celebrate it or Ignore it.

        1. randy says:

          you are full of it. I have a right to put up Christmas decorations on public land as I pay taxes and as such I’m an equal owner of that land with you. you have a right to put up a Jewish or Muslim holiday decoration . the constitution is clear our right to freely practice doesn’t mean just in our homes as those on the left would like but in public on public land. the city can even use city funds to put up decorations if the counsel and the majority of their citizens agree with the funds being spend, but must be equally as willing to do so with other religions

          1. Tom Jaynes says:

            Thank you for telling me I am full of it. To clarify, I was speaking about religious symbols on publicly owned land, not plain old Christmas decorations. Nativities are specific to the Christian faith. Christmas tress, wreaths, snowmen and other secular decorations probably go back to pagan times and have little to do with the religious aspects of the Holiday. By the way, what do atheists put on the town suare of their tax dollars are going g to pay for things?

          2. Randy C. Ford says:

            It would be interesting indeed if everybody could add their own decorations to the White House. I am, however, unaware where the Constitution addresses that. Could you enlighten me?

          3. Janet DeMar says:

            Don’t you fools remember 911.

          4. John Wilson says:

            Randy, You can do whatever you want. You are granted religious freedom under the 1st amendment to the constitution. “The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.”

            However, the Jefferson letters show clear intent by the framers to have separation of church and state…..meaning governments should stay out of religion. And that’s why government funds should not be spent on religious displays. Holiday trees and decorations have not been tested in court. Displays of the ten commandments and nativity scenes have lost in court numerous times. I believe in the separation of church and state and I want that separation to be as wide as the Grand Canyon.

        2. Randy C. Ford says:

          Thank you. You are, of course correct. I believe that it is safe to say that there is a tendency for people to overreact to things that could be perceived as an attack on their beliefs. “Christianity” is a very broad and diverse grouping of beliefs that generally aren’t too happy with other belief systems within that same group, and less so other beliefs.

          Many Christian groups don’t celebrate Christmas. I participate in some of the secular family aspects, but can’t see much accurate biblically in the holiday. Oh, yea, Red Cups: I forget what verse that is . Many confuse traditions with belief systems; Christian traditions permeate our culture. Many Christians don’t see the difference and react to changes in traditions as attacks on their belief system. Judging from the low level of response to the Red Cup issue the press has been pushing, fewer Christians are over-reacting as much.

          Diversity in beliefs challenges us to examine our own and give us new ways of seeing things. Respecting others’ beliefs is not just the right way to treat others, but allows the one respecting them to grow as well.

          1. Tom Jaynes says:

            So nicely said. Thank you.

        3. Brent Johnson says:

          Well said!

      2. Marcus says:

        you countered a part of your own argument. You say that businesses can have and abide by beliefs and restrict the actions of their employees, even if the individual employees disagree (such as Hobby Lobby can restrict the reproductive rights of its pro-choice female employees against their wills). You then say that Starbucks cannot stop employees from saying “Merry Christmas” even if the employees want to. By your first argument, they sure can. Your logic needs to be applied even-handedly.

    2. Minister Arthur Jacob Fischer says:

      Everything about Christmas is from a pagan celebration of a Roman god. Our Messiah was not born on December 25th. and the Romans did celebrate the birth of their god on December 25th.
      Also according to Matthew chapter the Magi went into the house and saw the young child. which means they did not go and see a baby in the manger! There is no mention of how many Magi there was and what they gave was not for His birth! When presented to a King they give their respects by giving the King the gifts that are significant for the King. There are no Christmas Trees in any Bible, You don’t read anywhere of the Messiah or His followers celebrating their birth for they knew that birthday celebration is from a mixture of pagan and magic! Only two people in the whole Bible celebrated their birth. Pharaoh when Joseph was in prison and Herod of the New Testament. Both men were evil. Even the Messiah was not a Christian, why are you?

    3. C@ says:

      I believe there are some people who feel religiously persecuted because people having other beliefs makes them nervous. I will never tell people what religion I am because after I do, they look differently on the words that come out of my mouth.

      I can’t weave my words adequately enough other than to give a “for instance”. When I say Happy Holidays, or Season’s Greetings. It’s because I don’t celebrate the same way everyone else does and I am trying to be polite. What I dislike is people correcting my polite behavior by saying “NO! It’s Merry Christmas”.

      I feel like if I were to tell people what I believe (especially lately), I would not be employed (among other problems)- I would be a pariah.

      Never have I felt so AFRAID to share my beliefs with other people. That’s the kind of issue I have with society right now. (Some) Christians feel so persecuted they are lashing out at everyone and everything that opposes them (so it seems).

      I think that is the bigger issue than “CUPS”. Actually when I saw their all red cups I thought it was part of October 11th support for the GLBT community, and I was behind on the times.

      As for “lawn decorations” mentioned by Randy, I have to say you must have felt pretty persecuted to start your reply by “you are full of it”, it made me… almost… discredit your really thought out words- you had a good argument up till that point. I think the lawn decorations is a moot point. Debate it into the ground and you’ll never get anywhere. You feel your tax dollars are used well for decorations and someone from another religion feels shafted their tax dollars aren’t represented in decore in the same manner- save every tax payer declaring their views (maybe in a census) on decorations that is a waste of time and energy. Where both people are right and wrong in their own ways but it’s NOT WORTH debating.

      I try to be mindful, people don’t mean to walk on my views we are just becoming more sensitive about our differences.

      For this holiday season (which includes the New Year) I hope everyone takes “Happy Holidays” not as something offensive but at it’s true value- an intention of wishing well, that you will enjoy all your holidays (New Year, Chanukah, Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Festivus, Kwanzaa or simply family time – unintentionally may have left something out).

    4. Minister Thomas W Cornfield says:

      you are so right but what away to increase sales

    5. Bill says:

      We as Christians do not force anything on anyone, we offer the truth nothing more nothing less, if you are so inclined take a peek at revalations it will tell you what you new to know, then look at John 3:16.

      1. Charles Lee says:

        yeah you offer the truth, so do Muslims, Buddhists, Hindu’s. Your belief are no more the truth than any one elses.

        1. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

          Here, here Charles.

          While I can only trace Christianity back some 2000 years, I can trace my lineage and Pagan lifestyle back to BEFORE the birth of Christ…allegedly. Or the fact that the bible was first written some 400 years AFTER Jesus’ death….

          I’m not bashing Christianity, just saying, as posted above, there is more than just ONE religion.

          How do we expect the world to live in peace when those of us calling ourselves Reverend or Minister cannot even find peace amongst ourselves.

          SHAME on us!!!!!

    6. Bob says:

      When facism finally comes to America, it will be wrapped in an American flag and carrying a bible.

      1. Charles Lee says:

        Amen!!! And again I say Amen!!!!

    7. Ken Waters says:

      Correct!

    8. Robert Blackler says:

      the cups are red and green to me that represents Christmas

    9. Monty says:

      As a Universalist chaplain, I don’t feel there is a war on Christmas. We all know and understand what Christmas is about, even with a tree, presents, egg nog, etc. The coming of our Savior did not require Christmas decorations and lights.
      For those that got up in arms about the red cup, if your faith is that dependent on a cup you need to take a hard look at your faith.

      1. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

        Way to go Monty!!!!

        The birth of Christ is about celebrating Christ’s Mass….not presents and going into debt doing it, not decorations or even a tree…those belong to other religions……WOW!! I can’t get over the ignorance on this site about almost everything.

        Remember WHY we are here…we are supposed to be Reverends or Ministers…not hooligans!

        Thank you Monty for your wise words.

  2. Rev. Dr. Valerie A Ward says:

    It goes without saying how ridiculous this is! My first thought was that Starbucks was saving money by NOT having the special cups and just sticking with red. My second insight was to provide crayons on the tables and let the offended make their own designs. Finally, what is this diverting?? What is going on elsewhere that this over the top insult on people in general, that ‘someone’ doesn’t want us to know about?? Thanks for the rant!

    1. Charles Lee says:

      It is just a few people being childish. Who cares what Starbucks puts on their cup. I mean, seriously people!!!

      1. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

        Absolutely AGREE!!!!!!!!!

  3. Alvin R Jones says:

    As Long as a presentation of any kind is not offensive….LET IT BE! A business has the right to advertise what it wishes at any time. Individuals should focus on seasonal things with their own heart, and personal means of celebration. If one wants to celebrate the birth of Christ in …MAY…it their business. IT WAS JUST A RED CUP! WHERE IS THE FOCUS!

    1. Rob says:

      Who is the one to deem what is offensive and to whom?

  4. George R. Taylor says:

    Christmas is felt the heart and given to others. Nothing in a red cup should stand in the way your special joy for celebrating the birth of baby Jesus.

  5. Alvin R Jones says:

    AMEN!!

  6. Michael says:

    Cups or no cups, I am deeply saddened that the financial needs of the business community are slowly and inexorably changing (undermining?) our cultural and holiday traditions.

    1. Marcus says:

      It does sort of suck when people stop pandering to you specifically, but it certainly doesn’t constitute an attack.

      1. Charles Lee says:

        yes people are becoming more mature and beginning to recognize diversity. Diversity really scares some people.

  7. Ted says:

    I, along with every other human esa given a gift of choice. I opened mine and I use it wisely. I don’t chastise people for their choices, . My choice is to thank God, and keep Christ in my Christmas. I’ll decorate according to my traditions. If I don’t agree with the way some establishments operate, I use my gift of choice and take my business elsewhere. It’s simple, our world is ever changing, I can preach, teach, and minister to the sick and lonely, if they choose to follow, it is their choice. So, have a Very Blessed Christmas. From Pastor Ted.

    1. Charles Lee says:

      at last, an adult. Precisely it is all about respect our diversity and the choices of other. Starbucks has the right to put what they want on their cups.

  8. Nancy says:

    Is it, perhaps, all a distraction to keep us fighting amongst ourselves…started by a handful of unpleasant and unhappy souls? I did see a FB post of a guy with the cup…and a pistol, of all things. Who is he going to shoot over a cup that is green and red?

    1. Steven Collins says:

      Red is my favorite color so they can use these cups year-round. Watch the Charlie Brown Christmas – people may learn something. Christmas is in your heart not on a cup. And Xmas is not disrespecting Christ because the “X” is not an english X but the Greek ‘key’. I celebrate “Christ”mas on April 5th because that is the date scholars believe is most accurate-it’s also my son’s birthday. But it doesn’t matter when Christ was born what matters is He was born.

  9. Carrie Talbott says:

    It seems to be another case of wagging the dog. Keeps people distracted from the real issues, continued hunger, poverty, and homelessness. Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Glorious Yule, or whatever the seasons brings, may it be bright and happy.

  10. Brien says:

    I think people should be able to use whatever holiday greeting.they’re comfortable with without cooperationsaying having to set rules

    1. Charles Lee says:

      I think corporations have a right to decide how they want to officially greet people without narrow minded children getting upset because they don’t agree

      1. Brien says:

        It seems that you may be in need of a little mind expansion. I think corporations need to lighten up on the whole “robot” way of thinking. I am not the one who is offended by others greetings, nor do I know anyone who is. A controversy only occurs when a non issue is made into one, and it is the corporate mind set that generally bears the responsibility of creating the issue in the first place. People are not mindless robots and are capable of making good decisions in the work place. That is called having faith in people, something which most corporations seem to lack. A corporation cannot “greet” people because it is not a person, it is an entity of people that tend to get trapped into what they perceive as being politically correct.

        1. Charles Lee says:

          So people who share a different viewpoint than yours, are somehow defective and in need? Hmm, very mature approach. I assure my mind is great as it is, as I am sure your mind is too. Please act like an adult and keep your judgements to yourself.

          1. Brien says:

            I stand but what I posted and it is obvious that you only read the first sentence. Having said that, you may also kindly keep your judgements to yourself We “so called” Christians will overlook your accidental or intentional ignorance

          2. Charles Lee says:

            “I stand but what I posted” Oh dear my life is ruined.
            If your peace is so easily distressed by a coffee cup. You know nothing of Christ or the “Peace that passes all understanding.” Just another angry soul trying to bully someone who sees things other than how you do.

  11. Charles Lee says:

    I think, the so-called Christians who take offense because someone doesn’t want to say Merry Christmas need to check them selves. This is a free country. No one and I mean no one is going to force me to celebrate Christmas if I don’t want to. And that is what the so-called “Christians” don’t seem to understand. They are no different than what they claim whose lives are Muslims are. They want everybody to kowtow to their beliefs. That is what is known as childish behavior. If someone does not wish to say Merry Christmas, or believe is I believe, it is my responsibility to be an adult. God bless Starbucks, atheist, the right wing, the left-wing, but it bless Starbucks, atheist, the right wing, the left-wing, moderates, muslims, Buddhist, Hindus, Wiccans, and all the other belief systems. One is no better than the other. It is time for people to act like adults, and deal with their control issues .

    1. Brien says:

      Again you use the term “so called christian” as if it is a bad thing to be a christian. Maybe it is those types of views that are making people defensive. I do not care about a coffee cup. I do care when someone tells me that I cannot say “Merry Christmas”, as if doing so will somehow cause a tear in the fabric of space. It is simply a well wishing, a greeting or a parting, that is all it is. Yes, the ritual of Christmas has been christianized, but that does not mean it cannot be celebrated by all, and in celebrating togetherness will not make you a christian. I have friends who celebrate Kwanzaa and I join them. I have friends that celebrate hanukkah and I join them. I do not see either one of those traditions being attacked EVERY year. My point is, these holidays are meant to be a time of peace. We need to treat them as such and stop the arguing. If you have to have a negative opinion as to whether or not someone says merry christmas or happy kwanzaa, then you truly have missed the point and NO amount of discussion will help you. Merry Christmas and have a safe holiday season

      1. Charles Lee says:

        I think I see what raised you ire now. When I say “so called christians” I am talking about that boisterous minority that is always angrily complaining. I am not talking about Christianity itself. Just a few who claim to be members, but their fruits would show otherwise. Those few angry voices have nothing to do with what Christianity is all about.

        Merry Christmas to you, and may the light of Christ shine in all you do.

      2. Johna says:

        If you haven’t noticed,it is ok to bash Christmas and Christians.but don’t you dare mention some other faith,they will put you in jail. Don’t agree with me? Don’t forget I warned you. GOD BLESS.

    2. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

      I agree with you Charles and to answer Brien’s query, I believe the term “so called” Christians is because a REAL Christian does NOT make such demands on other people. They are humble and does not disrespect another for their beliefs.

      P.S. a little info about the colour red around Christmas time. The colour red and especially a RED SANTA was introduced in the 20’s by the Coca Cola Company to boost sales during the depression. Coca Cola is predominately RED. So again….who cares it’s just a colour on a cup!!!

  12. Charles Lee says:

    Sorry for the typos above, I was using voice to text and it didn’t work out well.

    I think, the so-called Christians who take offense because someone doesn’t want to say Merry Christmas need to check them selves. This is a free country. No one and I mean no one is going to force me to celebrate Christmas if I don’t want to. And that is what the so-called “Christians” don’t seem to understand. They are no different than what they claim Muslims are. They want everybody to kowtow to their beliefs. That is what is known as childish behavior. If someone does not wish to say Merry Christmas, or believe as I believe, it is my responsibility to be an adult. God bless Starbucks, atheist, the right wing, the left-wing,moderates, Muslims, Buddhist, Hindus, Wiccans, and all the other belief systems. One is no better than the other. It is time for people to act like adults, and deal with their control issues .

    Because someone disagrees with my beliefs does not constitute a war. That is just a tantrum reaction, “Wah, you don’t think like I do, Wah”. It’s getting old.

    1. Debra Battles says:

      Well said. I am getting tired of all this selfish wining.

      As I remember back to my childhood, I recall cards and songs saying “Happy Holidays”. In 1962, Andy Williams recorded the song “Happy Holidays”. I know social media back then was non-existent and wonder if his beautiful song would have been boycotted.

      I am a 50’s baby and I always thought that Happy Holidays meant Christmas and New Years. So in our growing multi-cultural society if it encompasses all others traditions, so be it.

      If we express our upset and anger over something so silly, we are in the infant stage of ISIS, Hitler, and Bin Laden, only to name a few. It will only be a matter of time until a crazed organization arises.

      But also with our changing society, I do believe we should close our borders to all. Not for prejudiced reasons, but for the sole purpose of taking care of our own. Some 21 million children live in poverty. Social security is taking a nose dive leaving our seniors living in poverty and our Veterans coming back from war and getting inadequate care. No matter what country you look at, there is poverty. When we can take care of and fund ourselves then we should help others.

      1. Glinda says:

        Well said!!!

    2. Arthur Fischer says:

      People should look into the origins of Christmas. Many like myself have found that is is from a pagan origins. You won’t find Christmas in any Bible, because Rome celebrated the birth of their god on the same day many celebrate today. The Christmas Tree comes from Germany, and we all know there is no Santa so why mix in another fantasy? In Matthew 2, we read that the Magi went into the house and saw the young child and yet today three men are placed at a manger! Need I say more about a common day. The Bible makes it very clear that death is more than life. The scriptures tells us that we are to rejoice, not celebrate! Our Messiah was born to die for all of mankind, not for people to celebrate His birth on a day no one knows about! There is no mention anywhere on the day He was born on, so why of all days is it in Winter! Israel has Winter too so again He could not have been born in December anyway. Luke 2 tells us that the shepherds were out in the fields at night keeping watch over their flocks. They would not do that in December at night, it’s too cold at night that time of year for the flocks! So check it all out and find that all of this is just paganism. I know about religious freedom and yet the Bible speaks of One Faith, not many religions that we do have here. Even non-believers celebrate this day of pagan practice and man made traditions.

  13. Alvin R Jones says:

    AMEN AGAIN!!!

  14. Alvin R Jones says:

    I DO BELIEVE WE ARE ON TRACK WITH THE PHILOSOPHY OF ULC……LIVE AND LET LIVE!

    1. Charles Lee says:

      Amen!!!!

  15. Minister Rob says:

    What’s the problem? Starbucks made the cups red to celebrate the holiday season for EVERYBODY. Add your own cross, dradel, pentagram, snowflake, conifer, Santa CLAUS (no E), or red – nosed Spaghetti Monster.

  16. Minister Randy Harrington says:

    here’s my opinion. as someone who served in the US Marines.
    the color of the cup and lack of any holiday designs doesn’t mean anything except you have a plain looking cup.
    we have to many real issues to worry about . there are prophesy to be watching in these times . there’s aggression from Russia in their part of the world theirs a new deal putting Iran closer to nukes and in ten years will have lifted all sanctions and will allow them that capability. people need to wake up and start focusing on what really matters ! they better realize we as a nation are becoming like sodom and gamoria and have turned our backs on God. To anyone who says this nation is a Christian one I say it was once and it’s only hope is to become one once again before time runs out!!!
    http://youtu.be/b7NuhYZv-ZY

    1. Jailyn says:

      It never was, never should be. I say that as a Christian.

    2. Minister Rob says:

      The USA has NEVER been a Christian nation. The USA is supposed to be, by law, a melting pot of tolerance for diversity. The Bill of Rights enumerates the right to freedom of religion. Read your Constitution, Leatherneck. The concept of a god is not necessarily Christian either. Many non-Christians believe in a god or creator. Learn about world religions from unbiased sources on Youtube.

      1. randy says:

        the constitution doesn’t mention this being a Christian nation but when you look at the other evidence such as all the original schools being Christian schools or the fact that our laws can be directly found in the Christian bible you have no choice but to conseade that this nation was founded on Christian principles.tolerance and diversity yea but it seems the left don’t think Christians have. right to practice their faith

        1. Charles Lee says:

          Randy, please study history. There are at least a dozen quotes from the founding fathers stating that this is a country of religious freedom The LIE about this being a Christian country was fabricated by certain industrialist in the late 29’s to try and control the minds of those silly enough to believe them.

  17. Pastor Randy Harrington says:

    please go listen to this I think it will bring peace to some and inspire all!
    http://youtu.be/4LxjeY9indM

  18. Randy C. Ford says:

    How many Christians agree with me that they would prefer that the secular and commercial aspects of Christmas would just go away, leaving us with a day to spend with our friends, families and Churches?

    My preference would be to toss all of the decorations; that includes the massive amount gathered from other religions’ New Years and Winter Solstice celebrations–let them display their own as they see fit. I’d rather the pseudo-mandatory gift-giving went away as well.

    1. Brien says:

      Amen. I too wish for a day with family and friends, and for the most part I do manage to get some time for that, but I do believe that retail has just gone out of control. Just an opinion.

  19. Alvin R Jones says:

    Christmas is a season…..not a day. There are at least 30 days you can set aside to be with family and friends during this “SEASON”..(SMILE). Merry Christmas! And may the God of your understanding continue to give you Revelations about all Spiritual matters.

  20. Pastor Mary says:

    I’m just going to say, merry Christmas, happy birthday Jesus, happy new year, happy easter and all the other holidays. People are offended by EVERYTHING these days. This is my favorite season of the year. A time for family, togetherness, and many blessings.
    And last…… It’s a cup. Something to drink your coffee from. Just a cup.

    1. Charles Lee says:

      that is all well and good but December 25th is not the day Jesus was born!!! Please get the facts straight.

      1. Pastor Mary says:

        I’m sorry, I mentioned that as an example of what others believe. I agree completely,.

        1. Charles Lee says:

          Sorry for the harsh tone, Pastor Mary. Just a little worked up right now. Probably something I need to work on.

          1. Pastor Mary says:

            No worries dear like I said it’s Christmas time to me that means decorations, presents, cristmas tree and filling the stocking for the lil ones with candy cause I don’t have to get them to bed,lol

    2. cullyann says:

      More than anything, Christians and other religions are trying to force the other to be like them. They are probably afraid of anyone not like themselves, especially with so many Muslims emigrating to the US.

      This country was not designated as a Christian nation by the founding fathers. Everyone in the US is entitled, constitutionally, to believe whatever they feel is right for them. At the same time, everyone is also entitled to believe in nothing. We are never going to make everyone Christians. It can’t happen. ISIS intends to make the world Muslim; that won’t happen either. It’s impossible. And it’s ridiculous. How boring would the world be if everyone thought the same?

      Something as small as a coffee cup is as inoffensive as you can get. Anyone who doesn’t like it can choose to buy their coffee elsewhere. There are people who own Starbucks. That ownership gives them the right to use whatever cups they want. I don’t see any Jewish people ranting over the cups not having a menorah on them. Why should Christians have a hissy fit over no Christmas patterns on them?

      Seems like people don’t have enough to think about. It is just a cup.

  21. Cherie says:

    I must say, I found all of your comments very entertaining today. I work with a company that told its employees to only say, “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings.” Most of the employees felt restricted by the ambiguity of it all. I found most of the customers thought is was an unnecessary restriction as well. My philosophy is just to live and let live. I do my thing and you do yours as long as we don’t harm each other in doing so. The “war” on religion and peoples’ rights and freedoms has always been. But in this age of technology we are more aware. I nearly laughed to death when a few years ago people demanded for a group to take their large nativity scene down that over looked a highway. I said, why don’t the other religions put up their own display if they want to, right beside it. I don’t think God nor Jesus would mind. But no, although the group had put up that display for many years (on public property) they had to take it down because a few people decided they didn’t like it. [sigh] I, my family, and all the people I know think other religions and cultures are pretty cool, and we love learning about them. It would be a much better place if we all could feel the same.

    1. Pastor Mary says:

      Amen. I was brought up with Santa, Christmas elves, 8 tiny reindeer. The nativity as I got a grew older. My mom decorated the day after Thanksgiving, with everything from the above to everything beautiful about winter. But we always appreciated everyone’s beliefs. As an adult, I love to learn about other cultures. I love to learn PERIOD. just my opinion? Everywhere we go, people are different. We should learn about each other instead of fighting over beliefs and red cups.

      1. Charles Lee says:

        Well said. But some people are afraid of diversity and use their religion to justify their fears.

        1. Pastor Mary says:

          Ppl fearwhat theydont understand so why not learn? Because they are closed minded

  22. Alvin R Jones says:

    Love That “Key Word” SEASON!

  23. Herb Moyer says:

    Christmas is a PAGAN ritual and the Starbucks logo is PAGAN in origin. Christians should be more offended by their own ignorance.

    1. Charles Lee says:

      Amen!!!!

  24. John Wilson says:

    Look at the organizations and people that are making an issue over nothing and that explains it all. Some can be very expansive on the attacks on religion and Christianity in general but here’s a thought………..
    I read that in the U.S. for every convert to Christianity there are four people that leave it. Until religion comes to grips with the message being delivered this trend will continue. While I don’t have the answer zi wouldn’t be surprised if the financial burden of belonging to mainstream religion isn’t a factor.

  25. Chuck costa says:

    I’m afraid to say this, but it’s not a big deal.. The cup has holiday colors..
    Seriously I feel there bigger rats in the pantry, we need to focus on!!
    If you don’t like the cup, do not go to Starbucks & that’s that!!
    “Christians” have waged wars on everything & one over the years & it must stop!!
    At times, I’m ashamed to admit I’m a Christian!!
    You “Hate” gays, other religions, cups & thousands of other things & people!!
    I’m not sure if you realize this, but God & Jesus Christ were about Loving, not hating!!!

    1. Pastor Mary says:

      I’m Christian, but not like them. I have a very open minded personality. And I appreciate ppl and their beliefs, and your right. It’s embarrassing to be a Christian cuz of the individuals that are idiots. I be sure to tell ppl I’m not closed minded like the rest

      1. johna says:

        Embarrassed? Jesus is not embarrassed by you.

  26. Ed says:

    Christmas is in my heart. Not on a cup. I don’t need snowflakes, Christmas trees or wreaths to feel the joy of this season. We all need to take a collective breath.

  27. bryan says:

    All I will say is my grandfather loved christmas so much and so do I it was and is my favorite time of year he would go all out and I very much looked forward to going to his house around the holidays, I miss him very much but he believed and so do I that christmas is not about how much we can get or the color of a cup but a feeling of peace and a time to gather in love and friendship with friends and family.

  28. Michelle Martin says:

    I don’t think there ever was an “issue”. Great advertising gimmick that many fell for. $$$ for Starbucks!

  29. Ray Wales says:

    After reading these wonderful responses I have but one question why can’t we all just get along at least at Christmas time ?????

    1. Pastor Mary says:

      🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌

  30. The Rev. William C, Millhouse says:

    Much ado about nothing

  31. Pastor Mary says:

    Again, its winter, Christmas to some, Jesus birth to others, to each their own celebration. I for one am doing what we have been doing since childhood. Decorating with snowflakes, Santa, elves, all Christmas in our apartment ! Even the dogs have Santa suits! Starbucks put out a cup which should have included a sharpie marker so ppl can draw whatever they want to on the damn cup. Celebrate what you will! If it offends you, then remove yourself from the situation like a big kid, set an example. Pardon my language, and this is not intended for my ULC family. But people need to quite their bitching, celebrate however they do, and stop trying to convert ppl.
    Merry Christmas, happy holidays, happy everything else for all Holiday’s no matter what we all believe!.
    Peace, Love and happiness to the world in my eyes.

  32. Gwendolyn Lord says:

    All religions are rife with asshats. Each one seems to think that they are better then the next, and have the all powerful connection to the BIG KAHUANA. Each one assumes they have the answers. I long ago left organized groups, with the exception of a two year stint in one group, which merely reinforced my statement above. People who think they are “enlightened” are deluded, since real enlightenment is when you realize that you know very little, and do not have the answers, and that you question your own goodness and integrity, and examine just how fragile your goodness really is. I know I know nothing (for sure) and can only hope that my simple human mind and soul earns some small bag of marbles to toss among the stars after my body conks out. Honor and morals mean nothing to anyone, at least not in common practice. I personally don’t give a fiddler’s f–k what is on the mug, cup or glass of any corporate enterprise. In a world which suffers such afflictions as war, famine, poverty, and illness, with children, the elderly, the disabled, minorities and animals ignored and suffering, watching idiots blather over a corporate logo shines a beacon on the hypocrisy, pettiness, and stupidity of those who claim superiority over the rest of us. (And I work in a nursing home, have volunteered at both a women’s shelter, and a homeless shelter, have collected toys for poor kids, have done animal rescue and care of abandoned animals, and worked in a drug rehab. So, I have attempted to not just run my mouth, but live mindfully and make the world a teensy bit more humane. We won’t count all the friends who crashed on my couch while they were in recovery, just out of a relationship, or needed shelter for a short period of time, until they got it together. If everyone minded their own business, but extended a kind hand and word to others, then crap like cups would not be on the radar.

    1. Pastor Mary says:

      You are great!!!!!! Can I post this to my fb,lol. Just kidding. I’m a health care worker too, 12 patient care, always helping others in need. Trained one of my dogs for service after the first one was done with the help of a trainer. Constantly putting others in front of me. Your a part of a rare breed it seems. Couldn’t agree with you more .

  33. Gwendolyn Lord says:

    Now having read several posts…
    A couple of facts:
    Jesus was Jewish (born of Mary, Jewish, raised in Jewish tradition.) Technically, Jesus was considered a rabbi/teacher, long before He was seen as a Messiah.
    Nor was He born on 12/25
    12/25—the whole week prior was the Feast of Saturnalia. (Big Roman Keg Party w sex, too!)
    Other religions celebrate “Festivals of Light” at this time. (Jewish faith and Hinduism, multiple pagan traditions.)
    All the trappings of “Christmas” with the exception of nativity scenes, are pagan in origin.
    People, all people, long for light, and Light. Why spoil the fun for anyone? Lets celebrate EVERYTHING!!!
    One world of happiness and feast days, and enjoying the company and culture of others! Sounds like more fun then arguing over a stupid corporate cup, heh?
    Our Founding Fathers were at best, agnostic. They wanted the separation of church and state for the simple reason that as men of their time (The Age of Reason) people were questioning the influence of religion in regard to restricting the freedom of thought, practice and lifestyle, as promulgated by 18th century philosophers. There was a real backlash against the orthodox way of thinking, and the rigidity of monarchy, class, and religious restrictive belief and practices. Try reading the bios of some of our Fathers, starting with Benj. Franklin, and continue with the others—They were down with Thomas Paine, and “The Rights of Man” much more then any Bible or scripture teachings. If anyone truly knew history, they would realize that our Founders, with perhaps the exception of Adams, were all a bit on the rakish, and libertine side. Hardly stout conservative Christians, in practice or belief.

    Although I would not be so bold as to speak for Jesus Himself, I don’t think He would be overly concerned about what form of decoration anyone utilized for any holiday. He would be asking “Have you fed the poor?”, “Have you visited the sick?”, and most likely would have wondered why all His “Devout Followers” were a bunch of puerile bickering idiots. Read the Gospel according to John, and see and hear His anger, that His message was not being heard or followed back then, let alone now. If anyone wants to worry about the design on a cup, they have too much time on their hands, and need to GET OUT THERE AND HELP SOMEONE ELSE. Ego, ego, ego to think that they know the Way! It is only through the gift of faith and the blessings of Infinite Spirit that in our ignorance we can see any light in the darkness. We are so very un-evolved. By the way, I am a practicing Feminist Goddess Witch (Who also loves Jesus, respects The Buddha, and does not claim moral or spiritual superiority over anyone. I only know my own faith path, and how it developed. Would not want to force it down anyone else’s throat, since I believe that faith is PERSONAL not to be mandated by governments or popular decree, but is a unique and sincere undertaking for each individual soul to explore and manifest.
    AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!!!! BLESSINGS, HEALTH, PROSPERITY, LOVE AND FELLOWSHIP. MAY ALL WALK IN LOVE AND IN LIGHT AND HAVE THE COMFORT OF INFINATE SPIRIT.

    1. Pastor Mary says:

      Beautiful!

    2. Charles Lee says:

      Preach!!!!

  34. Cabbage says:

    The church across from our home regularly puts up a huge electric cone with giant baby heads floating in it and blasts Christmas music 24/7 for entire month of December, so I may just be crabby for lack of sleep, but I’m kind of tired of Christmas already, and it’s still two weeks away.
    Personally, I feel that if anything is killing the holidays, it’s celebrating them two months in advance. I actually used to enjoy Christmas. A week or so before, people would put up lights, everyone would be nicer for a week, etc. Now that people have started celebrating the day after Halloween, it seems watered down.
    It was nice to be able to get excited about a festive day or even a festive week, but after two months of listening to 90% Christmas music on the radio, watching hundreds of Christmas themed advertisements, and seeing the same Christmas displays up really dulls the holiday for me, especially when other holidays that are in progress really get ignored in favor of something that’s weeks away.
    At least in the area I’m in, it’s nearly impossible to find a store that isn’t overloaded with Christmas themed items right now (including the adult bookstore). I think it’s kind of nice to be able to go to get coffee and not have yet another Christmas decoration shoved in my face. I think it’s also nice that they aren’t just catering to the one religious group. If you think about it, Christmas is ONE DAY out of the whole year. It’s pretty silly to have a Christmas cup for an entire season. A week at most would make a lot more sense.
    I don’t know anyone who decorates their home for Halloween in August, Valentine’s day in December, Hanukkah in September, or Easter in January.
    If New Years were celebrated constantly for two full months prior, with the ball dropping every night at midnight, and people getting hammered and blowing party horns, you’d maybe start to think priorities needed to be reevaluated.
    Less is more here.
    I’m not telling anyone they CAN’T celebrate when they want to, but it seems like a lot of the early celebration is a lot more of people trying to sell things and people trying to make a statement that Christmas is better than other holidays, than it is about people just liking the holiday. If you enjoy the holiday, enjoy it, celebrate, whatever, but don’t get pissed at other people if they’re just not as into it as you are.

  35. Janet DeMar says:

    I am so at peace today it will be my first Christmas in twenty something years I an 56 year old disabled woman who always does the right thing even if it hurts me to help someone else I found me today I just accepted I am in pain every day but I am not alone everyone has issues .I have happy tears this morning I have accepted that I am just me. I get Christmas this year I never celebrate it. I just set myself free. I love this country I still believe that kindness respect honor and the truth will always win. So drink from a pink cup it really doesn’t matter. Christmas is in my heart. I love dogs cant have one so what I just became just ok .Some people don’t have any coffee at all I try to help everyone it cant be done help what is really just a little way I feel better about myself .So if you believe in yourself you don’t need a red cup you have everything you need. Merry Christmas to all that believe in something . Its your right I am free I am not alone anymore . God bless America God look its me please help the weak and I want my country back its not about money its being about choices .I want to make people think about what really happened on 911 but they don’t to . I am free.

  36. Ray says:

    There are possibly thousands of different colored cups on the market and people seem to be able to single out a RED cup as a declaration of WAR against Christmas !! Satan takes on many forms and sadly it was a RED cup.

  37. Minister Rob says:

    What does a green cup signify? A green and red cup? A white cup with green and red polka dots? A white cup with blue snowflakes? A white cup with a set of crayons and multicultural holiday stickers next to it?

  38. Sheryl Bueno says:

    Slightly off topic but in the same vein as this discussion: I recently signed up for an email from a store selling religious goods, specifically Christian goods. I received an email earlier this week with the usual sales and promotions. One of the featured items was a sales on journaling Bibles promoted by the statement Channel your inner creativity. The following day I received an email from the company apologizing because they used Channel and that might be construed as new age, apparently because of shopper’s complaints! Wow. With all the problems in the world to address and solve…

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