Starbucks has been all over the news and social media over this last week. People are up in arms and fighting like crazy at the mention of this coffee giant's name. Why? Cups.
Throughout the years, Starbucks has adorned their cups each year with the trademarks of the holiday season: snowflakes, snowmen, polar bears, pine trees, and all things holiday have had their time to shine on the traditional red cup of December at Starbucks. However, this year Starbucks chose to leave the cup a simple red. A festive, season-appropriate choice that avoided any holiday bias. Starbucks has now come under fire as Christians from around the world have banded together to declare this the newest strike in "The War on Christmas."
Okay... let's try to break this down.
Those who argue that this color choice by Starbucks is some sort of religious insult have forgotten something very, very important -- Starbucks is not now, nor has it ever been, a Christian company. They have absolutely no obligation to honor Christmas as a holiday. "The people" do not run Starbucks, nor do they have any say in the promotional decisions the company makes. It is a private company that can choose to express the holidays in any way that it chooses, including choosing not to celebrate any of them at all.
Many Christians have the mindset that the United States is a country that is meant to live or die by Christian values, and I truly hate to have to break this to them all, but this country does not revolve around those beliefs. That includes American companies like Starbucks. Starbucks, much like the melting pot of individuals that is our society, has the freedom to decide their religious preferences, and Starbucks has made the brilliant choice of choosing none at all.
Starbucks is a successful business that makes smart choices when it comes to their business practices, as well as doing their part to make sustainable choices as a company. Choosing to go neutral when it comes to their holiday cups is the smartest decision that Starbucks could have made. Starbucks does not advertise to a strictly Christian consumer marker; they advertise to everyone, which means that in order to make all of their customers comfortable and included, they must retain a neutral part in aspects such as religion.
Traditions that favor Christianity in the United States have led to a ridiculous level of entitlement in those who believe that the religion is above any laws or social customs that would apply to any other religions. Notice there was never an outcry from those of other prominent religions in the country (Judaism, Islam or Buddhism, for example) when Christmas trees donned the Starbucks cups. Christians are not owed anything more than any other religious or non-religious persons in this country, and that includes the public celebration of Christmas.
Enjoy your peppermint mocha, and relax.