The Church of Starbucks


I went to my local church, Starbucks yesterday because yes, I am white enough to crave a Pumpkin Spice latte now and again. I say, “white”, because every time I think about getting a PSL, a very funny twitter quote comes to mind: “I’m white, but not I can’t wait for PSL season, white”. I groaned and laughed because it showed up on my Twitter feed the day I bought my first PSL of the season.

As much as I love Starbucks lattes, I’ve never had one bring on a feeling of religious ecstasy or made me want to convert. I will admit, at times, that first morning cup of coffee produces a warm tingling feeling of delight and satisfaction, more akin to a orgasm than religious fervor. But apparently for some, Starbucks is the Church of Coffee and therefor is responsible for keeping the Christian holiday holy. WTF?

For those of you who are unaware, it’s not the meek that shall inherit the earth; rather it’s those who seek the red cup. For it is written:

If thou wilt be perfect, go and give to Starbucks all that thou hast, and give to the poor barista and thou shalt have treasure in heaven and a red cup: and come and follow me. (Matthew 19.21)

I won’t bother to give airtime to how this started; I don’t want to name the idiot who decided Starbucks has now engaged in the “war on Christmas”. You can Google him (he’s on Youtube). I wish it was just one guy with a beef with Starbucks, but sadly his followers are legion. What’s all the fuss about, you ask? Well, it turns out that this year Starbucks made the fatal decision to forgo it’s usual red cup with snowflakes, ad instead rolled out a plain red cup! Oh the humanity! Grab the children and get to your nearest church, the apocalypse is upon us and it starting with a plain red cup!

I'm outraged because Starbucks no longer serves Gingerbread Molasses lattes. Now this is a sin!
I’m outraged because Starbucks no longer serves Gingerbread Molasses lattes. Now this is a sin!

I have no idea what snowflakes have to do with Christmas as it pertains to the holy holiday. It is snowing as I write this, and I presume there are a lot of snowflakes on my lawn and roof, but so far, no wandering Middle Eastern family has showed up at my door asking for a room. Not even directions to the nearest Starbucks. I’m sure you can feel my disappointment with this turn of events. Snowflakes yes, baby Jesus no. Maybe I should tack some big fake snowflakes to my front door…

I wonder if baby Jesus would accept this offering?
I wonder if baby Jesus would accept this offering?

I’m tired of this manufactured “war on Christmas” and I am tired of the whining: “Oh, they won’t allow Nativity scenes on government property”(It’s called the separation of Church and State, no, it’s not in the Constitution but is in the founding fathers’ letters*. Learn some history), “I want everyone to say Merry Christmas, damn it! (Some of us say “Happy Holidays” because there is more than one holiday in December. It’s called being inclusive, look that up too).

That there is more than one holiday in December is the reason given by Starbucks to forgo the snowflake. They say:

Creating a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity is one of the core values of Starbucks, and each year during the holidays the company aims to bring customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season,”. “Starbucks will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world.”

And it should be noted, that they routinely change the picture on the holiday cup, though it’s always been geared towards Christmas.

The other issue with this “war on Christmas” is the fact that the battle is not being fought over the right problem. If Christmas is so sacred, why do we as a nation worship Black Friday deals and the like so much? Why are we so driven by consumer greed (which by the way is a sin in Jesus’ eyes) that we’ve replaced the true meaning of Christmas with the demand of Thanksgiving shopping and every day leading up to Christmas? Every years millions of Christians will spend Thanksgiving evening standing in line, then stamping in herds, in order to lavish their families with gifts bought at low, low prices. Where is Jesus in all of this? This to me is the true war on Christmas.

What does a snowflake on a cup have to do with Christmas anyway? Why does Starbucks have to act as your church leader? As @arrpeebee wrote on Twitter:

If you need a coffee chain to be your ambassador of Christ you need to re-examine your relationship w/God”

I couldn’t have put it better myself. So, here’s to everyone. I tip my plain red cup to you and wish you a very Happy Holiday Season. You’ll get a Merry Christmas out of me when it is in fact, Christmas.


*I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” Thomas Jefferson, Letter to the Danbury Baptists, January 1, 1802


Starbucks. Com. The Story Behind the Design of Starbucks Red Holiday Cups for 2015

The King James – Starbucks- Bible. Mathew 19.21

Author: sarij

I'm a writer, lifelong bibliophile ,and researcher. I hold a Bachelors in Humanities & History and a Master's in Humanities. When I'm not reading or talking about Shakespeare or history, you can usually find me in the garden discussing science or politics with my cat.

8 thoughts on “The Church of Starbucks”

  1. Clearly this is not, Sari, what we’d call in Britain a storm in a teacup. It’s odd that the UK, where there is an established church, is relatively non religious while the reverse holds true in the US. I could not imagine this Starbucks controversy erupting in quite the same way over here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have come to the conclusion America is to complicated to explain. Why are we so concerned with religion when we are supposed to be the country where you are free to believe or not believe? Our country is so messed up, culturally and morally we fight among ourselves over red corporate cups. Crazy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We now have the backlash to the backlash, claiming that people are getting upset over one nut who doesn’t even represent a significant number of evangelical Christians. Which maybe true. The problem is that this is representative of the trivialities that have made up the “War on Christmas.”

    Where I live is Dunkin’ Donuts country, anyhow. We have bigger problems than the color of holiday cups. No, the big question here is whether the local DD still has Pumpkin Spice coffee available.

    It’s the coffee, not the cup; it’s the Golden Rule, not nativity scenes.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. one of the things that scares me is how quickly this non-issue became a big concern with many Christians. We may laugh and think it is one nut, but now that the story is out, people are commenting that he is right. I was surprised that one silly meme on a friend’s FB wall led to a battle over Christmas and what is considered faithful or profane. The lack of snowflakes moved Starbucks to the second category. I’ve talked to two people who, like Trump, want to boycott the coffee chain. This is all led me to write the silly post. It was either laugh or cry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So why IS there a “War on Christmas,” or, rather, why do certain kinds of Christians believe there is one? I’m not sure myself. Partly, they do fear they’ve been losing their grip on America at least as far back as the Supreme Court’s ruling against school prayer. And partly it must be because they can’t admit to their own failings. If you protest the absence of Christian symbols of Christmas you need not concern yourself about the commercialization of Christmas, as you point out; if you fight against gay marriage, you need not face the high divorce rate in the more religious parts of the country.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you are one to something. It is because they cannot admit to their own failings and to some extent to how the season has changed. For better or worse, the Christmas season is not about spending time with the family, it’s about getting things for the family. Maybe, just maybe if people spent more times with family engaging in holiday activities this war may end.

        Liked by 2 people

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