Grounds for a Crisis in Faith?

Heathen cup vs. Christian cup?
About the time you think life can't get any weirder, it does. A new battle rages across the land, my friends—one, I'm told, that threatens the survival of Western society as we know it. Go ahead and blame me if society crumbles like a stale muffin, because after this essay I intend to sit on the sidelines. I just can't get all that frothed over images of Christmas as seen from the side of a Starbuck's coffee cup.

If you've been on another planet and missed all of this, let me first tell you how much I envy you. To bring you up to speed, Starbuck's riled Christians of (little) faith by unveiling the paper cup in which December beverages will be served. Shockingly, it's red. Even worse, it has the Starbuck's logo on it! Imagine the nerve of putting the corporate logo of the corporation selling you corporate coffee directly onto the side of a corporate cup. But this isn't all that stirred the sludgy minds of evangelical caffeine addicts. Even worse, that's all that's on the cup­–no Christmas symbols like reindeer, holly, or Santa. If memory serves, didn't Starbuck's have a blue snowflake cup last year? Did that escape comment because it evoked Elvis's "Blue Christmas?" (Maybe the War on Christmas crowd confused Elvis and Elves. That could happen.)  

By contrast, Chris Davis, the head of a North Carolina-based group calling itself Faith Driven Consumer–you can't make it up–has praised Dunkin' Donuts seasonal cup, a pink, green, and orange vegetative design that appears to be half pine and half tarragon, encircling the word "Joy." Well praise the Lord and pass the Half and Half. And thank you for informing me that orange is now a holiday color, that joy is a Christian word, and that consumerism is now officially faith-based. Apparently a new lost text of Matthew 21 reveals that Jesus drove the money-changers from the Temple and then, after a quick stop to get a cup of Dunkin', toddled over to Walmart to do a little Christmas shopping. On the way he regaled the disciples with warm family stories about the manger and how the forgotten fourth Magi, Milkyor, came bearing a thermos full of Joe for his infant self.

Can we just stop with all this War on Christmas nonsense? If one measures Christmas according to a Faith Driven Consumer standard, the war has been won. Last year more than $616 billion was spent during the official holiday season that begins the day after Thanksgiving. That's up a trifling $584 billion over what it was ten years earlier!

Do you want to talk about Christmas outside of the consumer realm? Good luck with that. Adbusters promotes a Buy Nothing Day for Black Friday, but CNN won't run their ads. Did I mention that CNN is owned by a bunch of one-percenters (and I don't mean a coffee additive)? Want to bring back the true spirit of Christmas? Tell Chris Davis that he and his ilk need to stop rendering unto Caesar. And to all whose faith is shaken by a plain red coffee cup I say, "Your faith is weaker than Dunkin' Donuts' coffee."

I'm done now. Go ahead and blame me if the red cup really is the tipping point that leads to Christmas being outlawed. You'd have grounds.  

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