It's popular to see jokes on Facebook about how people are too easily offended. These are typically directed at activist groups moving against racism and sexism, and, personally, I think it's extremely inconsiderate to say someone is too easily offended by inequality. Different experiences grant people the right to voice when they feel something is wrong. Minority groups have been oppressed, and it is not fair for jokes to be made about the changes they are asking for.
However, in light of something that has just happened recently, there is one group taking offense to something they have no right to take offense to.
I'm talking about Christians cyber-rioting against Starbucks' red cups.
The hot beverage cup this year is a simple ombre design that moves from a bright poppy red down to a deeper cranberry color. Starbucks released a statement regarding the design: "Starbucks has become a place of sanctuary during the holidays. We’re embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it."
I thought it was a joke when I saw a link to a Buzzfeed article about it. But I was wrong. The article has a collection of tweets from enraged Christians proclaiming their opposition to the style of cups Starbucks designed this season. Tweets, comments on Facebook posts, and articles written directly intending irrational negativity toward the company. Some of the responses on social media are so anger driven that it makes me sad to see the Christian community being represented like this. Is saying "screw them anyway" the right way to bring the focus back to Jesus?
Starbucks does not promote as a Christian company like Chick-fil-A or Hobby Lobby. It isn't their job to remind you celebrate the birth of Jesus. It isn't their job to promote any holiday. Starbucks made a business choice to simplify the design and make it religiously ambiguous.
And can I just say: These are disposable cups. They are recycling waiting to happen.
Ultimately, there are better ways to be a Christian at Starbucks than to Instagram a picture of your Christmas-designed cup. There doesn't need to be a dove or an angel on the piece of cardboard in your hands for you to be a follower of Christ this holiday season. Pay for the person behind you. (Maybe even do it without telling anyone afterward.) Work on your morning devotional at one of the tables. (Only do this if you want to, not to get attention—Jesus wasn't exactly supportive of the Pharisees' boastful prayer. But if someone asks about it, you have a chance to share what you're reading.) And when the barista says, "Happy Holidays," respond with a smile.
Don't cry oppression. This is not an attack on you or your faith. It's a cup.
Enjoy the simplicity. Enjoy your holiday beverage of choice. Enjoy the freedom you have to celebrate any holiday you choose.