I normally try to avoid weighing in on these topics in any sort of public forum, but the "controversy" over the newly designed red cups at Starbucks has pushed me over the edge.
I am a Christian and I am a Starbucks fanatic. If you know me at all, you already know both of these things. So imagine my utter disgust when I checked my Facebook feed over the weekend and saw the story about a guy (a pastor no less) who posted a video that has gone viral declaring war on my favorite coffee shop because they "hate" Jesus.
Admittedly, I did not watch the video. I fully expected it to die out. Yeah, I don't know why I expected that either.
So now that my fiery annoyance has waned a bit, I feel... Sad. Yeah. Sad.
Here's what saddens me. I love Christmas. No, I LOVE Christmas. Like I started listening to Christmas music about three days after Halloween and I am wondering how early I can put up my Christmas tree without being chastised by my loved ones. I've always loved the feeling of the holiday season (spanning from Thanksgiving to New Years people - it encompasses three separate holidays - if you grump at me for using the word "holiday" we may not be able to recover).
I know it's horribly commercialized, but for most of my life I've honestly felt like the spirit of love for all mankind permeated this time of year and from the way I see my beliefs as a Christian, that's kind of the point. Quite frankly in America, Christmas has become a holiday that's celebrated in a far more secular sense than what it's about from a Christian perspective and I understand some of the annoyance there in the sense that it doesn't need to be about what presents you get, but I don't think that has to be damaging.
And when I see people posting anti-Starbucks rants by misguided individuals who happen to share the same religion as me, it just makes me think "please, stop talking before the world thinks we're all like you." I promise, we're not!
Actually because of my Christian beliefs, I believe that if we took the whole season and decided to treat everyone we encounter with love, compassion, understanding, respect and grace; then maybe, just maybe we would actually represent this Jesus that we know to the people around us.
So if you think Starbucks, or any other number of retailers who I'm sure will get blasted some time between now and December 25th, is persecuting you and your beliefs with their expression of celebration during this time, maybe the person declaring war on the real message of Christmas is you.
Just a thought.