Mercer Cluster

The “red cup” debate

A Starbucks simple red cup design has stirred controversy this holiday season as some see it as an affront on religious traditions.

Conner Wood

A Starbucks simple red cup design has stirred controversy this holiday season as some see it as an affront on religious traditions.

Katie Atkinson, Staff Writer

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Optimists see the cup as being half full.  Pessimists insist that it’s half empty.  Give the cup to an idiot, however, and they will be sure to discuss the religious implications of its decorations or lack thereof.  Yes I’m talking about Starbucks.  And when it comes to this topic, I wish we would just put a lid on it already.

If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably already seen numerous Facebook posts about the Starbucks cup, most likely brought to you by your racist uncle’s feed.  The company said farewell to its more festive cup design — instead opting for a plain red design this year.  And, for whatever reason, this has people angry.  Many followers of the Christian faith say that this is an attack on Christmas. A select few have (and this is true) demanded their baristas write “Merry Christmas” on the drinks that they order. People are offended.  If anything, I’m offended that people are offended.

I hate to break it to these people, but Starbucks has never featured any Christian symbols on their cups. The designs have always been winter-themed instead and have featured symbols such as snowflakes and ice skates. This year’s cup is simply a more minimalist approach — not a “war on Christmas” as people have claimed.

In fact, I’d like to point out that Starbucks sells other outright “Christmas-themed” products. Their Christmas Blend coffee is just one example.  

And so, the level of offense people are taking to this is laughable. The cup isn’t an attack on your religion. It isn’t a Scrooge-like dig at those who participate in Christmas. And it isn’t the “we hate Jesus” sign many people are making it out to be.  

It’s just a cup.

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About the Contributors
Conner Wood, Editor in Chief

Conner Wood is a senior journalism student at Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism. She has contributed to The Cluster since her freshman...

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The “red cup” debate