It’s not what the new Starbucks holiday cups say – it’s what they don’t say.
In years past, Starbucks cups have shown holiday designs, but because this year’s cups are plain red without any mention of Christmas, a former Arizona pastor says Starbucks must hate Jesus.
And, at the time of this posting, his Facebook rant has received nearly 13 million views.
Joshua Feuerstein is asking his 1.8 million Facebook followers to head to Starbucks, place their order, then tell the barista their name is “Merry Christmas,” forcing them to write that name on the cup, and therefore recognize the Christian holiday.
Feuerstein is asking Christians to not boycott, but rather to “start a movement,” by taking a Starbucks Merry Christmas coffee selfie.
“Choose to not be politically correct, just correct,” Feuerstein stated in his video.
And his followers took action, posting pictures with the hashtag “MerryChristmasStarbucks” all over social media.
— Vega (@vegacool1) November 7, 2015
— Luyuan Zhang (@luyuan_zhang) November 9, 2015
— Jay Carr (@Jay_Carr) November 6, 2015
But Feuerstein’s mission is also being met with an angry backlash from Starbucks lovers who call the campaign “absurd.”
— Pipeline Wife-to-Be (@Pipeline_Wife) November 9, 2015
I'm convinced some people wake up every day and deliberately look for something to be offended by. #MerryChristmasStarbucks
— Fenway Moose (@fenwaymoose) November 9, 2015
Many are calling the campaign a publicity stunt for the former pastor’s website.
Others say the simple red cup is far from Christian persecution, and the movement is giving Christianity a bad name.
Every time a Christian complains about a coffee cup, an angel loses its wings. #MerryChristmasStarbucks
— Zack Hunt (@ZaackHunt) November 8, 2015
They’re also defending Starbucks, pointing out that the company sells “Merry Christmas” gift cards and sells a coffee with the name “Christmas Blend.”
— Greg Poterala (@GregPoterala) November 9, 2015
Starbucks has replied to the viral response by saying the simple cups are “inclusive,” and like a “blank canvas,” allowing “customers to tell their Christmas stories in their own way.”