Thursday, December 8, 2016

Starbucks

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starbucks cup

Actress Candace Cameron Bure is slamming her fellow Christians—over missing the whole point with the Starbucks Christmas cup controversy.

In an Instagram post, featuring the Starbucks Christmas cup for this year, Bure said: “It’s a red cup, folks. Until Starbucks puts a baby Jesus or nativity scene on the cup while saying Merry Christmas, then pulls it because they say it’s offensive, let’s talk. I don’t remember Starbucks ever being a Christian company, do you?”

Bure–who starred as D.J. Tanner on Full House and is now a co-host on The View, representing more conservative viewpoints—has long been vocal about her conservative values and her Christian faith. Her willingness to defend both in a variety of contexts has caused more than a few controversies on the Left over the past few years.

Starbucks has been under fire by many conservatives for changing their annual Christmas cup design. The controversy has gone all the way up to Donald Trump—who suggested a boycott of Starbucks.

“If I become president, we’re all going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again,” he said. “That I can tell you. That I can tell you! Unbelievable.”

In the past, Starbucks has featured secular but holiday-oriented images—like a snowflake or ice skates—to make their red cups a little more festive.

This year, however, the cups are plain—in an effort the be more inclusive, according to the company spokesman, and let people tell their own holiday stories.

Cups have never featured a religious design, and the company still sells Advent calendars and features a “Christmas Blend” of coffee.

But while many Christians—and Donald Trump—are angered by the perceived slight, Bure points out that the previous cups were never religious to begin with. And, as such, if a private, non-Christian company decides to have a plain cup instead of one decorated with snowflakes, that really shouldn’t matter to Christians.

“A Santa, a snowflake, some holly, a polar bear, some jingle bells or plain red cup don’t define Christmas for me as a Christian,” added Bure. “My relationship with Jesus does.”

“So, I will joyfully sip on my Starbucks coffee, in a plain red cup, and instead of complaining about the lack of decorations, I will lovingly share the good news of Jesus Christ with friends and co-workers or anyone who’s willing to engage in conversation.”

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Starbucks released the design of its annual Christmas cup–and it’s drawing a surprising amount of controversy.

This year’s design is a solid red cup, with the green and white Starbucks logo in the center.

Despite being in Christmas colors, the simplicity of the design–devoid of the holiday themes of years past–has led many to claim that Starbucks is quietly attempting to minimize Christmas.

Joshua Feuerstein, an Arizona pastor, took to social media to express his frustration with the international coffee giant.

In a video viewed 11 million times, Feuerstein asserts that Starbucks employees are “banned from saying Merry Christmas” and that the company is trying to play the Grinch this year because they “hate Jesus.”

He urged supporters to give their name as “Merry Christmas” when ordering at Starbucks, so baristas would have to write it on their cups.

Feuerstein, who gained attention last year when he demanded a Florida baker make him an anti-gay cake as a protest to businesses being forced to make cakes for gay weddings, is one of the louder voices on social media.

But he’s not alone in wondering whether Starbucks is intentionally trying to be less Christmas-focused with their Christmas design. In fact, many have taken Twitter by storm, using the hashtag #MerryChristmasStarbucks, to express their displeasure.

Starbucks, however, claims that the design was simply for aesthetics–and wasn’t intended to offend:

“In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cups designs,” said Starbucks’ Vice President of Design & Content, Jeffrey Fields. “This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”

He added: “Starbucks has become a place of sanctuary during the holidays. We’re embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it.”

But the controversy over Starbucks might be overblown. Starbucks continues to sell its seasonal “Christmas Blend” coffee, has holiday symbols on its gift cards, and even sells Advent calendars.

It’s also worth noting that the “Christmas symbols” from past years’ cup designs were more themed around winter than Christmas. While designs were on a bright red cup, they usually featured ice skates, snowflakes, and snowmen–there was never any religious or even overtly Christmas-specific imagery.

Regardless of the controversy, Starbucks seems to have no intention of changing their cups–so, this Christmas, it’s solid red or nothing.

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starbucks

Starbucks just pulled the plug on its controversial “Race Together” campaign–after less than a week.

Just a few days ago, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz–who has a long history in liberal activism–announced that baristas would be writing, “Race Together,” on coffee cups they give to consumers, to spark a conversation about racism in America.

Schultz stressed that this campaign was “so vitally important to the country… Let me assure we didn’t expect universal praise. We leaned in because we believe starting this dialogue is what matters most.”

Does that sound like an awkward to have over your morning coffee? You’re not alone.

“Race Together” didn’t get anything close to “universal praise.” Almost immediately, it faced mounting criticism on social media that even Starbuck’s senior vice president admitted was “a cascade of negativity.”

NPR host Karen Grigsby Bates summed up popular opinion best: “Well, some people think it’s just a naked marketing ploy, kind of a catalyst for free advertising… Other people think it was well-intentioned but really poorly executed.”

Even liberal comedians–like Larry Wilmore, the star of “The Nightly Show” and formerly a correspondent Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show”–have been having a field day with making fun of “Race Together.”

Whether or not Starbucks was sincere about starting a conversation on race, it’s clear that the ham-handed idea of having a Starbucks barista strike up a conversation with customers about race over their morning coffee was universally seen as strange and uncomfortable.

And, thankfully, the Starbucks management team has seen the writing on the wall–and agreed to allow America to drink their morning coffee in peace.

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