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