Some Evangelical Christians are Unhappy About New Starbucks Holiday Cup Design, Feel That it is an Attack on Christmas

Starbucks’ new holiday cup design

Starbucks’ new holiday cup design is stirring up ire among some evangelical Christians. Photo credit: Instagram/barbiewooluv

A major coffee retailer has found itself in the midst of a firestorm as some evangelical Christians express their dissatisfaction with the new design of Starbucks holiday cups. They consider it an attack on Christmas.

Previously the cups, which are usually used in November and December to acknowledge the arrival of the holiday season, carried symbols and designs emotive of Christmas, such as snowflakes, reindeer, or wintry scenes. This year the cup is a stark ombre red with the Starbucks logo embedded in the center.

This issue has provoked such a strong controversy that Andrea Williams of Christian Concern, a U.K.-based organization, has made an official statement.

“This is a denial of historical reality and the great Christian heritage behind the American Dream that has so benefitted Starbucks. This also denies the hope of Jesus Christ and His story so powerfully at this time of year.”

Reactions on social media have been mixed with some scoffing at the passionate outcry and others voicing their support. A few have taken their protest so far as to tell the barrista that their name is “Merry Christmas” upon the purchase of their beverage so that he will write the words on the cup and also verbally state the greeting.

Starbucks’ vice president of design, Jeffrey Fields, explains this year’s change in design by stating that it is meant to “embrace the simplicity and the quietness” of the holiday season.

Some particularly enterprising ‘conspiracy theorists’ have speculated that the whole controversy is a viral marketing scheme engineered by Starbucks.

Not all Christians share the outrage of those who have been so offended. Rev. Emily Heath expressed her opinion in a blog piece for Huffpost.

“We’re kind of like the religious equivalent those Black Friday shoppers who trample other Black Friday shoppers in order to get a good deal on a flat screen TV. We are so incensed by any perceived omission of our personal faith from the public sphere that we go on a rampage. Except instead of other shoppers, we just trample things like inclusivity, diversity, tolerance, and pluralism instead.”

Former Arizona pastor Joshua Feuerstein had a more impassioned conservative view.

“Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate Jesus.”

His Facebook post has gone viral, and as of last night had garnered roughly 8 million views.

It seems that the uproar is not just strictly limited to here in the United States either. Reactions have been seen coming in from Great Britain and Europe also.

Twitter user @BEBrophy summed up the sentiments of the more moderate camp.

“I doubt Jesus would be mad about a coffee cup. Don’t we have bigger issues to deal with? #MerryChristmas #starbucks #StarbucksRedCup”

Starbucks began using holiday designs on their cups in 1997. The very first of the cups depicted a “jazzy Santa.” Since then, according to a statement on the recent cups, they’ve used reindeer, vintage ornaments, and even shades of blue over the years.

Stay informed about the conversation on social media by using the hashtag, #MerryChristmasStarbucks.

And so the battle continues.


Video: YouTube/CBS Los Angeles

Featured image: Screenshot from

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  1. Rebecca

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