Kelly Ladd Bishop

Exploring issues of faith, culture, and spirituality with a focus on women in the church and world

Christians are Outraged That Christians are Supposedly Outraged Over Starbucks Cups

If you look hard enough, or just spend enough time on the internet, you can find a group of people who are upset over just about anything.

It seems that the internet, and now the national media, has picked up on a group of people who are upset about the new design of the Starbucks holiday cup.

I imagine this group of people really does exist, but is probably very small. It all seems to have started with this guy and his “prank” to get Starbucks employees to say, “Merry Christmas” to him. Well done, sir. You made someone write “Merry Christmas” on your cup. Now you have a Starbucks cup with a Christmas message on it, plus a viral video that has been shared millions of times.

You have also probably been a marketing gold mine for Starbucks, as millions of people are jumping to defend the red cups, and denounce the supposed outrage of Christians who would be silly enough to waste their energy on this issue. Of course, that group seems to be limited to the guy who made the video, Donald Trump, and possibly a handful of other people.

There is a much larger group of people taking to social media over this issue. Those are the people who are outraged over the phantom outrage. A large number of these people are Christians, who are quick to defend their status as rational human beings, aware that there are bigger things to worry about than coffee cups. Some of them are also quick to judge the alleged group of outraged Christians, putting them in their places for stirring up controversy over something so silly.

To be fair, I can understand why the average Christian person would want it to be clear that he or she is not especially upset over the lack of reindeer on the Starbucks cups. And when the national news proclaims, “Christians are upset,” and you personally can’t find a single Christian who is upset, it is fair to say, “wait a minute, we are Christians and you aren’t speaking for us.” So I understand the desire to make it clear that Mr. Viral-Video does not necessarily represent your views.

But perhaps people, in general, are more reasonable than we are giving them credit for. Perhaps the outrage over the outrage is actually just outrage over nothing. Perhaps we all know that coffee cups are no big deal, and the media, picking up on this one video, has Christians on the defensive for no real reason.

I suppose it’s because some Christians have become accustomed to being on the defensive when it comes to culture.

But let’s not allow the culture to cause us to argue over nothing.

Instead, Christians, let’s relax and remember that Christ is King.

Jesus is bigger than coffee cups, internet trolls, and even cultural battles. There are certainly battles that are worth fighting, but they have to be fought from a place of grace and humility, and they are worthless unless they lead to true reform and a deeper understanding of scripture. And when we disagree with other Christians, even on big issues, we should remember that we are still the body of Christ. So let’s give our brothers and sisters the benefit of the doubt, and do the hard work to hear and understand each other, because we will never get anywhere if we don’t.

Now, dear Christians, go out there, live your life faithfully for Christ, be compassionate to everyone, including your fellow Christians, try not to get angry over nothing, and have a cup of coffee. Maybe decaf.

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