The Starbucks Christmas cup designs have always been the rage when the holidays roll in but in 2015, the rage is quite literal. The outrage began with Joshua Feuerstein, a former television and radio evangelist, who claims in a viral video on his Facebook Account that there is a "War on Christmas" and that the Starbucks red holiday cup is its way of removing Christmas.
Absurd as it may sound, Feuerstein's followers ate up his claims and added fuel to the misguided fire and the "issue" exploded in social media. The red cup became the center of a social media war between those who believe Feuerstein's claims and those who find it ridiculous.
There are some who believe that Feuerstein has a point and the matter was even egged on when presidential candidate Donald Trump weighed in on the matter on Nov. 9 during his campaign rally. "Maybe we should boycott Starbucks? I don't know. Seriously. I don't care," Trump said.
— Timothy I. Milligan (@WWETheTim) November 8, 2015
Here are some other individuals who shared other "offending" observations.
I'm offended this red fire truck isn't adorned with snowflakes and stuff. #boycottstarbucks #StarbucksRedCup pic.twitter.com/EyO8JPaCeD — bennydiego (@bennydiego) November 9, 2015
— Darren Bailey (@Darren_Bailey) November 9, 2015
This poor Christian being persecuted by this #StarbucksRedCup. It's practically attacking her! #starbuckschristmas pic.twitter.com/t1PUdAbABs — DCHomos (@DCHomos) November 8, 2015
Some opted to redirect everyone's attention to more pressing issues.
If you're a Christian who is really worried about the #StarbucksRedCup I'm not sure you understand Christ. Jesus doesn't need coffee cups.
— Emily C. Heath (@emilycheath) November 8, 2015
If ppl re-directed their anger toward real issues rather than CUPS there would be more positive change in the world... #StarbucksRedCup — Shelby Young (@shelby_young) November 8, 2015
If you’re outraged over #StarbucksRedCup, wait til you see how LGBT kids are ushered out of churches.
— Thomas Riggs (@anglibyerian) November 8, 2015
Some preferred to question motives and the actions of those who are offended by the red cups.
To my fellow Christians all pissed off about Starbucks am I to assume the hungry are fed and naked clothed where you are? #StarbucksRedCup — FrKeithV (@frkeithv) November 8, 2015
— Rev. Eric Atcheson (@RevEricAtcheson) November 8, 2015
Of course, some are just funny.
I fear tomorrow. #StarbucksRedCup pic.twitter.com/mLjW1tW4pm — Jason DeRusha (@DeRushaJ) November 9, 2015
— Paul Ludwig (@paulludwig) November 9, 2015
I see now. I was ignorant of the fact that snowmen are a Christian symbol. He melted for your sins, you know. #StarbucksRedCup — Kathryn NicDhàna (@nicdhana) November 8, 2015
I don't get the fuss over Starbucks. I have a religious experience every time I go there: "$7.00 for coffee? Jesus Christ!" #StarbucksRedCup
— Andy Bray (@TheAndyBray) November 9, 2015
I'll have a tall transgender fetal tissue frappuccino®, please. My name? Satan. #StarbucksRedCup #starbucks pic.twitter.com/ArLs0xhW3i — Danny Hellman (@dannyhellman) November 8, 2015
Starbucks, however, has never identified itself as a Christian brand and its red cup designs have never shown anything remotely Christian. The company chose to decorate its iconic red holiday cups with more generic holiday symbols such as Christmas trees, which is in no way a Christian symbolism, and snowflakes. Likewise, the design team had a different idea in mind when it came up with the plain design.
"This year, we focused on the simplicity note regarding design. Simplicity is the hardest thing to achieve... That's where the ombré effect came into play. What it did really is weight the cup and give it a beautiful intention. It was depth," Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks vice president of Design + Content, explained.