Just for perspective on a story in the United States that has a lot of Christians on edge and calling for a boycott of Starbucks, a great American business success even if some of us don’t like their politics, today is November 12 and Thanksgiving – an honest to goodness real American Holiday – is two weeks away. We have weeks to go in this whole tar baby.
About a week ago, Starbucks introduced its annual November/December disposable cup. In line with the idea of the “holiday season” in this country from November until January (it really starts on October 31, with the adult version of dress-up), every year the barista chain turns its normally white cups to red. In years past, there have been festive images and greetings on them in line with the secular trappings of a most important Christian celebration. This year, nothing. Nada. Just red.
For Christians – people who profess that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God and follow His word and dictates – this “erasure” of Christmas from the public consciousness was decried as another battle in the War on Christianity. For their troubles, the people were ridiculed as outlined by Mark Dice in one of his videos:
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This Christian, Catholic of the Latin Rite to be specific, really is not as apocalyptic about the whole matter as some others are. Christmas, as a Holy Day* verses a holiday, has traveled far from its roots as the celebration of the Nativity and more toward a shopping fest and pagan ritual of showing off light displays than it is a solemn religious celebration. Merchants are getting ahead of the ball with in store displays that are decried by a lot of us who go with the religious aspect of the Solemnity. Seriously, the tree doesn’t go up in the Limits house until between December 8 and 13. In modern America, that is considered to be late. (Yes, we are unfashionably liturgical in our house. We even use an Advent wreath. The tree doesn’t come down until after Epiphany, either.)
But, that does not address a merchant voluntarily changing its marketing to celebrate a season. That is a choice they make. Starbucks does this – and regularly offers compact discs of Christmas season music – freely and without any prompting. Is it really something to decry when coffee cups turn red rather than Chanukah blue (don’t really have a problem with this), or Islamic black? Starbucks could not change them at all, and then what would Christians do?
Yes, there is a war on Christianity going on in the world. There has been since Christ began teaching after His baptism in the desert by St. John the Baptist almost 2,000 years ago. Persecution is to be expected. Because we are to be patient and tolerant, and we turn the other cheek, we are picked on. A lot. Rather than complaining about it, embracing and offing up the pain of the mortification…oh, wait, sorry. That’s the Catholic coming out.
BOYCOTT STARBUCKS! Go right ahead if you like. Personally, I’m going to boycott the stores opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving before I’ve had my s’mores and apple pie. That’s just rude.
* This writer will not argue with those who profess Christianity and then decry the December 25 date when we celebrate Christ’s birth. It doesn’t matter if it is the actual date or not. What matters is celebrating the Nativity. Okay, back to Midnight Mass rehearsal.