Saturday, November 14, 2015


I am interested, more disgusted, by the recent outcry of evangelical Christians worried about the holiday  coffee cup Starbucks created. You would think Christians have more important things to think about. I wrote the following this a.m. thinking about the whole issue, while having my morning cup of coffee out of a Starbucks red cup.


I had a cup of coffee this morning. My usual schedule.  More like a habit. Actually, an addiction. Today I have a new cup. Red. No “Merry Christmas” written on it. No “Joy to the World.” No snowflakes or Christmas trees. I worry: Is this something I should be doing? Drinking from such a heathen cup? I am, after all, a seminary student. There is a lot of fussing going around, particularly in the social media, that Starbucks is involved in some kind of evil plot to take Christ out of Christmas. It all started with a post on Facebook from Joshua Feuerstein, a self-described evangelist. Now I have to worry, am I a part of this evil?

My daughter recently sent me the new Starbucks cup for an early Christmas present. She couldn’t resist. She works at Starbucks. It’s all red, rather than the usual white, with the Starbucks logo on it. Doesn’t seem to be a big deal. This is their usual cup that you get with any coffee order, only it’s red for the Xmas season.  Actually, I probably should not have abbreviated Christmas, since that might suggest I’m trying to take Christ out of Christmas, which doesn’t seem possible. That seems to be the whole point of Christmas, however you spell it, or don’t spell it. A lot of people think their faith is under assault because of such a negligent act by Starbucks.  I don’t think these people have enough to do. They should go downtown and hand out sandwiches to the homeless. Maybe put all their money in the Salvation Army bucket. Or sit down and write a message to President Obama to quit killing people with drones. Or please close the prison in Guantanamo, holding people, some for over fifteen years, who deserve a day in court. How about an editorial condemning everyone carrying guns? I see an article in the paper every night describing  shootings. Today it’s Paris. Christ was interested in a lot of things, none of them having to do with a red cup. Or at least, not in my bible.

I enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. Some people say it’s good for you, others say it’s not. Now I have to worry about the cup I drink it from. There is no escape from the stress righteous living demands.  Frankly, I don’t care if it says, “Worst person alive,” or “You’re full of bull----,” so long as it’s full of coffee. Coffee, by the way, probably picked by workers who are being exploited for their cheap labor. But hey, I’m more worried at the moment about this cup than the contents.

Sitting here, looking out the window, the day is beautiful. The grass is still green; the birds are eating out of the feeder; leaves completely cover the ground, waiting to be racked.  And one in four children will go to bed hungry tonight here in Arkansas. Most of them won’t get anything for Christmas. Not even a  simple plain old red cup.

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