Many are aware by now that Starbucks this year has decided to remove “symbols of the season” to “usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories” (as the company’s vice president has stated). It is stirring up a lot of controversy, with many Christians quite upset, calling it a “war” on Christmas, even to the point that Donald Trump suggested the company should be boycotted.
I’ve got three things to say—to Starbucks, to Christians, and on behalf of Christians—and although many may not agree, here’s my take:
You have EVERY opportunity to use all the secularized aspects of the season which have nothing to do with Christ, and yet you can’t even do that? Snowflakes? Reindeer? Ribbon? Really? This season has become about everything BUT the reason for the season and yet you can’t even do that.
While I hate to see yet another company doing away with Christianity in some fashion, I am not in agreement with how many Christians are reacting to this.
I love Christmas, and want all to know and come to the knowledge of Christ (1 Tim. 2:4), but why do Christians expect every company must cater to our religious beliefs? It is s a “war” on Christmas if they ATTACK it. It’s not a war if they simply refrain from fighting.
What if you lived in a predominantly Muslim country like Egypt and each Muslim holiday was blasted on loud speakers throughout the country, and all the big companies shoved it in your face. Stop thinking as if this country will always have a large proportion of Christians because where we are headed now is somewhere different unfortunately.
Some people have tried to challenge the situation by “tricking” the baristas to write “Merry Christmas” on their cups instead of their name to identify who the drink belongs to. REALLY? Do you think that is cute? What if you were the barista and a Muslim forced you to write some Quranic verse that offended you? Or a Satan worshiper asked you to write something? Subjecting those folks to this does not support freedom of religion but rather subjects them to religious statements against their will. And forcing it down their throats reminds me of the malady of conquering nations and forcing all to convert to Catholicism. I don’t know why we have this urge to force acceptance of our religious traditions and beliefs on others who don’t have to, in this land of the free. It makes people feel like we are saying freedom of religion is fine so long as it is Christianity. That’s a dangerous statement because if the majority of this country became some religion or belief system other than Christianity, the minority Christians wouldn’t want to be subject to the same sort of standard we are setting.
ON BEHALF OF CHRISTIANS
Look, I think this sucks, just like everyone else, but why do we all hate this? I think what we are sad to see is that people, and companies, and the government and society in general, keep choosing to remove God and godliness from our presence.
But I want you to broaden your thoughts and consider this: it’s not just them, but it is us Christians too. Before you go and talk about how much you hate what THEY are doing, have you considered what WE have done? Christian principles have gone absolutely down hill. For example, what ever happened to modesty? Christians, even ones who detest “Tradition” and who call the Bible their only source of religious beliefs seem to forget that Christ said in Scripture that if anyone even looks at a girl in lust it is adultery (Mt. 5:27–28), yet at the same time we have Christian girls intentionally dressing in a way to provoke the lust of men. And we have Christian men looking without even feeling guilty anymore!
Yes, I’m sad that our government, our companies, people in general, and worst of all, us Christians, are slowly relegating God to the confines of just the church or one’s personal space when He is in fact ruler of all and this place belongs to Him. This last episode by Starbucks reminds us of the fact that our country and this entire world has declined in its desire to recognize God as sovereign and godliness as goodness.
That reminder is what drives us Christians to so much sadness as we see yet another entity jump ship. Yes, although they are entitled to, it is still sad to see. While it has always been nice to feel like the U.S. was a “Christian” country, things are changing and it’s hard for us to accept. We can’t do much to fix that.
What can we fix? Make sure that we Christians aren’t changing too.
IMAGE CREDITS/COPYRIGHT: All images belong to the copyright holder, Starbucks. They are utilized in this article under the legal concept of “fair use,” for the purpose of criticism.