This week, Starbucks decided to remove the “Christmas-like” designs on their cups in favor for a more “neutral” red and green. Predictably, the Religious Right saw this as yet another attack in the infamous “War on Christmas.”
Equally predictably, my Facebook newsfeed – full of people i love, most of whom are progressive Christians – responded in kind with articles and memes that said things like: “If one family in one out of every 3 churches adopted a child, there would be no more orphans in the USA … but please, tell me more about how offensive this red cup is” … or, “Honey, if your faith is threatened by this coffee cup, you need Jesus” et cetera, et cetera.
It’s not that i disagree with any of the above statements about Christianity being, well, more complicated than a coffee cup. My concern is this: in most of these memes, which boast of good things that good Christians ought to be doing or thinking about, the Starbucks brand is clearly visible. And whether or not this is the intention of the person posting, or the words on the meme itself, what this visually signals is that Starbucks – a massive corporation – should be associated with good Christian things.