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Delivering News From The Source

Cupgate 2015: A look inside the Starbucks controversy

Starbucks is in hot water over a cup. Photo by Megan Brandrup

Starbucks is in hot water over a cup. Photo by Megan Brandrup

By Megan Brandrup

It all began with a Facebook post. Joshua¬†Feuerstein, internet sensation, began the “movement” by posting a video to his popular Facebook page. In this video, Feuerstein complained about the appearance of the new Starbuck’s holiday cups. American Evangelists have taken this simple change in cup design, and declared that Starbucks has begun a “War on Christmas.” Feuerstein claims in his video this is because that Starbucks “is taking the Christ, out of Chistmas.”

This statement sparked anger among his follows and the movement #MerryChristmasStarbucks was started. Those who supported the vlogger’s ideas were to use the hashtag #MerryChristmasStarbucks when ordering their coffee and telling the baristas that their names were Merry Christmas. The idea behind this was to in fact put Merry Christmas back onto the cups.

The movement has been mocked by many. David Silverman, president of American Atheists, called this controversy “an artificial issue,” in an interview with He also believes this cup design change is equivalent to telling someone, “Happy Holidays,” instead of, “Merry Christmas.”

The Catholic League has also chimed in. In a tweet sent from the Catholic League account on November 10, they stated “Since the media has been asking, it is silly to get worked up about Starbucks’s silly Christmas cup–it hardly merits a condemnation.” ¬†Many other Catholic followers have criticized the movement.

Starbucks has also responded to the controversy saying they changed the cup design to inspire more of their artistic customers to doodle on the cups. They also stated they have a long-running history of being accepting of others and they believe in inclusion and diversity of all cultures and religions.

This issue has mainly been viewed as ridiculous. It is truly ridiculous to claim Starbucks hates Christians and Christmas. As a Catholic, I celebrate Christmas with my family every year. However, as a human being, I understand that not everyone is like me. There are people who do not celebrate Christmas all over the world.

Claiming a simple and disposable cup is going to be what “ends Christmas” is simply ridiculous. In our modern society, it should not be viewed as dumb or stupid to allow other people to express their religions and culture. Perhaps Starbucks wants to be socially accepting of all. Maybe they do not want to limit themselves to a single group of people and for that reason, I give them praise.

I believe if you have faith in something then you should need constant reassurance in it. You should simply just believe in it. During the holidays, we should be more focused on the bigger picture. Actually, this idea should be something we embrace all year. So instead of complaining about the lack of religious symbols on your $5 coffee, why not instead direct that energy into something more important.

Instead of complaining about your ridiculous coffee cups, why not buy a homeless person a cup of coffee. I guarantee the homeless person will appreciate that cup of coffee and your help, and not the fact the cup is not displaying religious symbols. All I am saying about this topic is to think about the bigger picture, and please realize these cups are silly.