Life

No ‘Unity’ Over Green Starbucks Cups

Outrage over green Starbucks cups didn’t take long for outrage and even claims of a ‘war on Christmas’ to appear. Why is this an annual thing?

This is why we can’t have nice things. It’s certainly why there’s no unity in this country.

Coffee giant Starbucks decided it would roll out a new coffee cup design: a green cup decorated with the faces of hundreds of people all drawn from a single continuous line. As Starbucks put it:

Starbucks commissioned artist Shogo Ota to create the artwork. His threaded design represents shared humanity and connection, serving as a symbol for stitching people together as a united community.

This time last year, Christians were fuming with Starbucks over the company’s decision to make their traditional red coffee cup plainer, removing the winter icons from it. Some of them somehow came to the conclusion the company was attempting to “take Christ out of Christmas” despite the fact that Christ had never been on Starbucks holiday cups.

This year, I’ve already seen that complaint about the new green design.

Folks, it’s a coffee cup.
It’s a paper coffee cup.
It’s a paper coffee cup that you’ll use one time and then throw away.

How is a design that promotes unity somehow unchristian? Especially when you consider that Jesus Christ was the one who said we should love our neighbor?

From my limited artistic ability with respect to line drawing, the fact that a single line can somehow depict hundreds of people’s faces would almost constitute a miracle.

And last time I checked, green, like red, is a traditional Christmas color. Even if they don’t specifically reference the word Christmas, at least give them a point for getting the colors right.

After all, there’s no law prohibiting you from driving to your neighborhood Starbucks, buying a big ol’ cup of coffee, then getting to the office and pouring the contents into some big, gaudy mug that proclaims your Christianity for the world — or at least your co-workers — to see. If appearances are that important, maybe that should give you pause.

For Christians, isn’t Christ supposed to be alive in all of us? Doesn’t that mean any face of a Christian can represent Christ, even if it’s not that Hollywood-inspired blond-haired, blue-eyed figure that doesn’t reflect what someone born in that region of the world would look like?

And if you honestly believe a paper coffee cup design that doesn’t happen to include what you would consider an “obvious” depiction of Jesus is enough to “take Christ out of Christmas,” I would respectfully suggest that the Christ you are familiar with is a bit too small. There’s a bigger one, I’d argue, out there somewhere who’s actually the Son of God, and who, I’d imagine, really doesn’t care what’s on your coffee cup nearly as much as what’s in your heart.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.