A recent move from Starbucks to release a minimalist red cup design for the holiday season has caused some Christians to criticize the coffee-serving franchise for helping declare a war against Christmas. On the heels of this stir, reports are saying that the U.S. Postal Service will not carry a religious-themed stamp this year. This leads to the question of what stance a Christian should take against these business decisions.
According to CNN Money, Starbucks vice president Jeffrey Fields said the company "wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design the welcomes all of our stories". In the past, the company has had holiday images like reindeer and ornaments on their cups for the holiday season, but this year's model are very simple shades of red.
This decision has created a controversy as Joshua Feuerstein, a former pastor who calls himself a "social media personality" posted a video to Facebook saying that Starbucks removed "Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus". This video has recently gone viral with more than 10 million views and has caused a lot of people talking about the decision and its effects.
One of the responses comes from Starbucks, who says that the company is trying to "create a culture of belonging, inclusion, and diversity", and that the cup is a "blank canvas" to encourage "customers to tell their Christmas stories in their own way".
This is one of those issues where some Christians side with former Pastor Feuerstein, simply because many Christians are offended by those that insist on saying an inclusive "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". However, if these feelings of these Christians are nurtured, then many would be getting upset that Starbucks' cups from last year didn't have any images of the nativity on them.
By this logic, these Christians could also be upset at the Postal Service, as Linns states that there will be no new U.S. stamps with religious themes that are planned this year. It was traditional for a stamp with the Virgin Mary and similar religious themes to be released for the holiday season, but the reason for a new stamp has to do with a "substantial backlog of Christmas stamps with religious subjects".
In other words, it is a business decision that prompted the Post Office not to put out a new religious subject. The USPS did put out a new series of holiday stamps this year based on A Charlie Brown Christmas. The television special celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and its message that Christmas is about Jesus, including Linus reading from Scripture, has not been toned down at all.
The issue with the new holiday cups from Starbucks and non-religious postage stamps is that it can be viewed both ways. While Starbucks may have gone for a minimalist holiday look on their cups, the fact is they went out of their way to change their cups, which shows that they still care about their customers' feelings for the season that includes Christmas. The same can be said about USPS, offering customers a stamp that actually does celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, even if it is in a subtle way.