The holiday season approaches and Starbucks has rolled out bright red cups, adorned only with the Starbucks logo, in celebration.
There's nothing to attack, nothing to cause offense, right? Well, not exactly.
A few Christian activists have mounted a campaign against the coffee shop chain, saying its plain and simple design is an attack on Christmas.
A Christian evangelist took to Facebook to denounce the lack of any kind of holiday image on the holiday themed cups. Where are the snowflakes, the reindeer, the ribbons that adorned the cups in seasons past, he asked?
Joshua Feuerstein's Facebook videos have gone viral after he claimed Starbucks “hates Jesus.”
Starbucks says it was simply a design decision. The cup is actually a two-tone shade of red, accentuating the green company logo. The company said it was not trying to make a statement, either for or against Christmas.
This is the second cup controversy this year for the Seattle-based purveyor of coffee. In March, it introduced the “Race Together” campaign, in which baristas were encouraged to write “Race Together” on cups, along with customers' names, in an effort to spur “a conversation about race.”
Admittedly, it was one of those corporate ideas that sounded great in the board room, but no one bothered to ask someone on the front lines how practical it was. It was quickly abandoned.
The latest “brew-ha-ha” over coffee cups seems to be an outgrowth of a growing insistence among some consumers that companies reflect their personal values in order to benefit from their support. But in this latest case, not everyone sympathetic to the Christian cause has a problem with Starbucks' cup design.
Not all Christians are offended
Conservative radio host Todd Starnes, who has written books about what he sees as the attack on traditional values, penned a piece on FoxNews.com to tell his fellow Christians to lighten up.
“It’s not the Holy Grail, folks,” he writes. “It’s a cranberry-colored, environmentally-friendly coffee cup.”
Starnes says he stopped patronizing Starbucks years ago when he decided the company wasn't catering to people like him. So he doesn't expect any secular corporation – Starbucks or any other company-- to embrace Christian values.
“It wasn’t too long ago that many of the same folks complaining about Starbucks were defending Christian-owned bakeries and flower shops.” Starnes concludes. “The way I see it, we ought not to be telling bakeries and florists how to run their business and we ought not to be telling Starbucks how to run theirs.”