It’s Not About the Red Cup


Dear Christians upset about the red cups at Starbucks:

This is why we can’t have nice things. This is why nobody takes us seriously. It’s because we complain about things like snowflake-less cups.

But it’s not about a cup. The whole internet knows this is a ridiculous case of a few irrational people making a fuss over nothing. (Well, not nothing. Coffee is never nothing.) But stop laughing at the stupidity and take another look, because this is a symptom. Usually the deeper problem manifests in less ridiculous ways, but this Starbucks cup uproar is a perfect example of Christian privilege taken to its extreme.

Christians are whiny in this country. We are so eager to be offended that we’re missing the bigger picture.

You ever notice that people don’t make fun of Buddhists for their beliefs? I’ve heard people say, “See how Christianity is the only religion people hate? It’s persecution!” Number one, that’s not true—ask a Muslim or Jew sometime—and number two, maybe it’s because Buddhists don’t run around doing things like playing “pranks” worthy of an eight-year-old on Starbucks baristas and making a hullabaloo about a cup produced by a secular franchise.

It’s not about a cup. It’s about Christians thinking we deserve to have everyone support our holiday. We don’t convince anyone; instead, we cheapen Christmas. If we believe we celebrate something holy, why would we want it diminished to a commercialised doodle?

Christians are so worried about discrimination that we’re blind to our privilege. Whose slogan is on every U.S. coin? Whose Ten Commandments are in courthouses? Whose celebrations are national holidays? I didn’t notice anyone getting days off for Diwali this year, or for Passover, or for Ramadan. This nation was founded on freedom of religion: freedom of every religion—not freedom for Christians to demand acknowledgement.

It’s not about a cup. It’s about people who post pro-life Facebook statuses but judge the lives of unwed mothers—those who demand “Merry Christmas” but ignore the homeless whose Christmas is anything but merry—those who insist God is love while hating the LGBT+ community—those who sue for prayer in schools but neglect the millions of children who don’t have schools.

If this were the only instance of out of proportion pettiness, it might be a good laugh. But it’s not. It’s the natural outcome of a mindset that we’ve all lived in too long.

Instead of getting sucked into argument, consider spending the effort on someone in need. Here are a few good ways:

Make Christmas a little brighter for children with parents incarcerated.

Donate to help the homeless.

Provide food for a needy family.

Help children around the world through the Red Cross.

Support a VA hospital.

Give a Christmas gift to a less fortunate child in your area.

This Christmas, let’s fix what the red cup symbolises.



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