Starbucks is no Grinch

BY KOBI AZOULAY

Staff Writer

Now that Starbucks has removed Christmas symbols from their holiday cups, they must hate Jesus.

That is the ridiculous argument made by Joshua Feuerstein in a viral Facebook video titled “Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate Jesus” that has over 14 million views.

“Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups?” Feuestein said. “That’s why they’re just plain red.”

Starbucks has never featured Christ on their cups as Feuerstein claims. Their past holiday cups have featured tree ornaments and carolers, but those are vague symbols that do not necessarily represent Christmas. Some years they had just snowflakes, which in no way represent the Christian holiday.

Transitioning to plain-red holiday cups does not drastically move away from Christmas as people like Feuerstein state because they never explicitly represented it in the first place.

Those who view the change as an attack on Christmas miss the positive message that was intended to be sent to America’s diverse population.

“In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cups’ designs,” Starbucks Vice President of Design & Content Jeffrey Fields said in a statement. “This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”

The change allowed Starbucks to show they appreciate all cultures, a smart business decision considering more than a quarter of Americans are not Christian according to a 2015 Pew Research Poll.

Alienating a segment of the population would limit potential profits, something no company would want.

Some might argue this move alienates Christians, but considering the cups do not say anything bad about Christmas, there is no basis for complaint. Salisbury University sophomore Jimmy Barker agrees that the new holiday cups were a smart business decision and thinks critics are overreacting.

“The cups have always been an iconic part of Starbucks during the holiday and just because they don’t have an eccentric design on them, doesn’t mean that Starbucks hates Christmas or even Jesus,” Barker said.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump seems like somebody that would understand the benefits of this decision from a business standpoint, but he actually thinks consumers should punish Starbucks for their decision.

“I have one of the most successful Starbucks in Trump Tower,” Trump said at a rally in Springfield, Illinois. “Maybe we should boycott Starbucks? I don’t know. Seriously, I don’t care. By the way, that’s the end of that lease but who cares.”

Boycotting Starbucks over something as insignificant as a plain-red holiday cup seems ridiculous, but maybe Trump is just being bombastic as usual. A short call to the Starbucks in Trump Tower revealed they are still open, so it appears the business mogul has not taken any action on his exaggeratory rhetoric yet.

Technically the cups still carry more symbolism towards Christmas anyway, with the plain-red cup and green Starbucks logo representing colors typically associated with the Christian holiday.

Even if this was not done on purpose, it should be something critics like Feuerstein and Trump can appreciate. The recent terrorist attacks in Paris exemplify one of many more important issues America has to tackle than secular coffee cups.

Let’s get our priorities straight and move on.

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