An Empty Response to the Starbucks RedCup Controversy

An Empty Response to the Starbucks RedCup Controversy

How could anything non-controversial be of intellectual interest to grown-ups?
— Edward Abbey, Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast

The RedCup Crisis

My social media streams have been filled by many the RedCup rant. I have distilled the arguments into these 4 categories: 

The 2015 Starbucks red cup. No mention of Christmas anywhere. 
  • OMG! They are taking Christ out of Christmas!
  • OMG! The Christians are whining about something new!
  • OMG! With all the injustice in the world how do we have time to fill Twitter with coffee cup controversy!?!
  • OMG! Who Cares?

An official response

Empty Church has four official responses. One to each of these categories

  1. Taking Christ out of Christmas.  No. They are taking a word off of a coffee cup. The cup has zero powers to influence anyone's decision to celebrate or refrain from celebrating a holiday. The 8 letter omission will not affect your church attendance or the billion dollar Christmas gift industry. Most off all Jesus will not be offended. He turns water into wine. Not coffee.
  2. The Christians are whining again.  Every time the culture changes in a way that Christians do not like, they pull the whining, boycott card. Disney, Blockbuster, and Starbucks have all felt the temporary wrath of the masses. It's wasted energy because the caffeine addiction is stronger than the moral outrage. Worst of all, the hoopla ignores that Starbucks proudly sells Christmas blend coffee. Remember Christians, it's whats on the inside that counts
  3. All the injustice! Good point. Though sex-trafficking, poverty, and other disgusting practices just don't interfere with someone's daily life. This is an out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing. Besides, red is a very distracting color. It's our nature to look away from the things that matter and toward our $5.00 latte. 
  4. Who cares? Technically, like, a lot of people. People have the right to care about whatever they want. By simply dismissing their words you accomplish the very thing that the people in group three are outraged over. Too often we say - quietly to ourselves - another sex-trafficking story? Who cares? Another genocide? Who cares? Eventually, no one cares and nothing gets done. 

I understand why the sacredness of a religious holiday is worth fighting for. America is changing and the Christian majority position is being turned on its head. That makes people nervous for their freedoms. Totally justifiable. 

However, I want to leave you a challenge in the name of our Redeemer. He didn't come to save coffee cups (or even recycle them). He came to preach the good news and release the captives. To break the bonds of sin and shame. Here is the challenge: Honor Christmas by fighting against homelessness, drug addiction, sex-slavery, or something else near to your heart. 

Railing against Starbucks and the coffee cups is nothing but hollow chatter. 

Live Empty. Not Hollow. 

About the Author | Josh Schaidt
I love cookies and I still buy music one album at a time. I founded Empty Church so you can follow Jesus.

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This American Church
A place for exploring the Church in the American context. Issues may get political, cultural, and philosophical — but it’s always personal.

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