The Red Cup Controversy
by Jim Josephsen
As though there are not more pressing, serious concerns confronting the world today, somehow the outright lunacy of the recent red cup controversy has made the internet and news reports, leaving many to contemplate the logic of Christians these days.
Perhaps you have read or heard of the recent fiasco, the Red Cup Controversy. If you are not familiar with it, simply Google “Red Cup Controversy” or “2015 Red Starbucks Cup.”
So here’s the low down. A certain individual, who fancies himself as an “America Evangelist, internet, and social media personality,” put out an internet video lambasting a certain, well-established coffee chain, Starbucks, by name. The said individual contends Starbucks is guilty of neglecting Christians and their cherished holiday, Christmas. He accuses this coffee giant of caving to political correctness and perpetuating the “war on Christmas.” He accuses Starbucks of “wanting to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups.” In essence, the accusation leveled is, Starbucks is out to persecute Christians during the upcoming holiday season.
Within the first couple days of November 2015, Starbucks transitioned from its usual, well recognised, and enormously utilized white coffee cups to their holiday-themed red cups. If you care to do a little research, check out the different holiday-themed coffee cups which have been utilized by Starbucks around Christmas time, going back to 2007. Actually, going back to 1997, an annual holiday-themed cup has been made available during the Christmas season, for Starbucks customers to drink from. Of a truth, this year’s cup is a simple vibrant shade of red. A sort of red that could remind Christmas celebrants of Santa Claus.
Perhaps Christians should be glad the color of the Starbucks cup is red and not blue/white (Hanukkah) or black/red/green (Kwanza) or red/blue/green (Ramadan). Perhaps one day Starbucks will display these colors as well. After all, America prides itself on tolerance extended to all religions. After all America is a pluralistic, multi-cultured nation. As such, Christmas red and green cannot be the mainstay any longer. Freedom of religion, all religions, applies to all within the United States. You cannot argue that fact. Many retail shops and major well-known department stores already promote Hanukkah and Kwanza concurrent to the Christmas holiday season. Using the red cup controversy logic, should not Christians go after them as well?
As to the accusation that Starbucks is anti-Christmas. Having recently visited a Starbucks, I noticed “Christmas – Blend Coffee” on sale; next to the “Thanksgiving – Blend Coffee.” I noticed Christmas related tree ornaments and of course, Starbucks offers “Merry Christmas” gift cards. Hurray for Capitalism and Marketing techniques. Wherever there is a way to capitalize on an increased bottom line, American businesses will find a way, even if it means promoting something religious.
As to whether Starbucks’ Administration, Senior Management or Marketing Team, consciously or otherwise, attempted to squash Jesus from its 2015 holiday campaign, unless you sat in the conference, board or creativity room while decisions were made and executed, you would be wise to refrain from comment. Christians ought to remember number 9; “thou shalt not bear false witness.”
Oh, but that’s right. Those Old Testament laws are not for Christians. Well, maybe Christians ought to remember what their Lord said. “Think not that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets … whosever therefore shall break one of these least commandments and teach men so, he shall be least in the Kingdom of Heaven” (cf. Matthew 5:17-19). Moreover, not to forget; “if you will enter into life, keep the commandments” (cf. Matthew 19:17-19). Well back to the controversy at hand!
Starbucks, like most other commercial enterprises, plays it smart when it comes to religion. They are under no obligation to promote one over the other, or diminish one from others. To somehow promote Jesus Christ is not the business of Starbucks or any other corporate entity, no matter how large or small. The business of promoting Jesus is better left to the business of religion.
It is critical that American corporate enterprises understand the climate and culture of America. Each has to consider what advantages and disadvantages there would be to the company’s bottom-line by promoting this or that ideology or belief in light of a multi-cultural nation. Perhaps, by promoting a Babe in the Manger or a crucifix would obligate that company to then promote a Star of David or a Star and Crescent. By no means would a profit-seeking corporation wish to offend anyone among the pluralistic buying public.
No one seems distressed by the fact that you will not necessarily see a Crucifix or manger scene or a Star of David or a Dharma wheel or Vishnu in a Sears Store, Best Buy, Whole Foods, Walmart or in a Ford Dealership or at the local five and dime. Well, maybe in a Walmart store you will find garden-variety or knickknack figurines of Buddha. But that is all in jest – right!?! Just artwork, just decoration?
Perhaps the real irony to this whole controversy is this Christmas thing. Why suffer a coffee chain to unjustified ridicule based on untruths, deception and false doctrines, myth and paganism; all around which the Christmas holiday is based? Christmas has every connection to paganism, being a holiday that is pawned off as having a connection to the birth of the Son of God.
That Jesus Christ was born on December 25 is both historically and scripturally unfounded, groundless and a fabricated lie. But few pay attention to the details these days.
Once again the annual Christian challenge will be confronting those who call themselves by their master’s namesake. While celebrating Christmas and promoting the babe in the manger, the annual lies associated with the folklore of Santa Claus, of the Yule log, of the Tannenbaum, along with all the significant Christmas accoutrements and traditions will once again be perpetrated. “But it’s all for the kids; look how happy and giddy they get” they say. “Oh the pretty lights!” “And the little Lord Jesus away in the manger.” “Joy to the World.” When it is all said and done, the results are still the same. Lying to the children, is all it really is. Perpetuating deception! Honesty, integrity, truthfulness are of no concern when it comes to Christmas. Oh, there’s that number 9 again.
Look up the word “saturnalia.” The general, obvious definition is: an ancient Roman festival of Saturn, occurring in December, which was a period of general merrymaking and was the predecessor of Christmas.
The truth of Christmas is out there, obvious and as evident as the red cup. The internet, the History Channel and of course, religious organizations that reveal and unmask the myriad of Christmas deceptions are all available to view for anyone who desires to learn the truth.
The truth about Christmas is not a mystery, somehow hidden from the public. The facts and history of Christmas are available for the taking.
Are Christians being persecuted this holiday season by this well-known coffee chain or any other retail enterprise? Of course not.
Christians at large in America cannot even begin to understand the first thing about persecution. The only persecution some Christians may be feeling this holiday season will come about, as a result of their own ignorance and embarrassment.
Is there a war on the truth? Absolutely!
Is there a war on Christmas? Of course not. However, you’ve seen nothing yet!
When Jesus Christ return to this earth, as He promises, there will be war. War against all that is pagan and false. War against governments and nations that oppose His truth and His government. War against all religious deceit. War against a religious holiday that mocks Jesus Christ and deceives the world about Him.
War on Christmas? You bet. When Jesus Christ returns, He will see red and it will not be red cups. When Jesus Christ returns, as He promises, He will obliterate all vestiges of this pagan holiday that blasphemes His very namesake.
You can be certain, God is observing, looking for those who see Christmas for what it really is; an observance, the origins of which are deeply rooted in pagan tradition and pagan religious practice, folklore, myth and legend. A celebration that points away from the truth of God and away from the truth of Jesus Christ.
The red cup controversy exposes the real problem; a deceived Christian public, a deceived world.