Coffee-cup holy war escalates


Dunkin’ Donuts has parted the coffee and unveiled its Christmas-themed coffee cup, which some say is a rebuke to Starbucks, whose non-religious cup has prevented people from feeding the poor, housing the homeless, and loving their neighbor.

Some evangelical groups are urging a “buycott” of the East-Coast-based coffee shop because the word “joy” and an image of a stylized wreath are on the coffee cups, the Boston Globe reports.

“By creating cups that specifically message the Joy of the Christmas Season — in sharp constrast to Starbucks’ ‘blank canvas’ – Dunkin’ Donuts has specifically welcomed Faith Driven Consumers, and all Americans who love Christmas.”

Faith Driven Consumer said it has rated 330 major brands for their compatibility with its efforts, and its supporters are expected to spend $30 billion this Christmas season.

Starbucks’ new holiday cups — colored a featureless, warm red around its green logo, instead of its usual white – sparked anger from some Christian groups who protested that the cup didn’t include any explicit acknowledgement of Christmas. The controversy surrounding the cups grew even louder Monday when Donald Trump suggested people boycott the chain.

The cup controversy began when an evangelist started a campaign to boycott Starbucks because their cups, which didn’t force people to embrace a religious holiday, “removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus.”

Related: The Inanity of the Starbucks Christmas Cup ‘Controversy’ (The Atlantic)

  • Gary F

    I’m still mad at Holiday Station Stores from last year. HOW CAN A SNOWMAN DRINK COFFEE? The picture of a snowman drinking coffee really chaps me.

    • jon

      The story of Frosty the snowman has deep christian undertones.

      Frosty was intelligently designed by his creators (a group of children) who bestowed him with free will (via a magic hat) though never intended for him to live longer than one season…

      Much like God destroyed the world with a flood the children planned to destroy frosty with the spring, however since he was pure of heart they simply banished him to the north pole, like kicking him out of the garden of eden.

      Snowmen are the ultimate symbol of christianity (except for maybe christ.)

    • John O.

      I’m told that the modern-day snowman is hip and prefers iced coffee. They think its cool.

      • Gary F

        From what I remember there was steam coming out of the coffee cup. But, that could have been a chunk of dry ice.

  • Jack

    Just another reason why there should be separation of religion and state (as well as religion and business).

    Anyone for true world peace? Forget the darn coffee cups.

  • jon

    So we are boycotting east coast coffee because of “joy” and we are boycotting west coast coffee because of “red.”

    Is this just a “real american” plot to drive business to Midwestern based Caribou?

    (any word on if Caribou is putting some sort of heathen cup out for the holidays? Maybe something with a pitch fork and a tail?)

    • Caribou already has a stylized reindeer on its cups.

      Nothing says “Christ” more than a large, northern-latitude-residing herbivore.

    • Jim in RF

      Until 2012, Caribou was 85% owned by The First Islamic Investment Bank, which was more or less the Emir of Bahrain. Now owned by Peets, so the threat of Sharia law for budging in line is lessened.

      • jon

        Got it, Cup gate is a trick to convince evangelicals to implement sharia law… WAKE UP SHEEPLE!

        • Jim in RF

          Of course it was the Arabs/Muslims who essentially invented coffee.

    • jdaddy

      Take a look again…the word was “buycott”, as in “buy” the east coast coffee. It’s all pretty ridiculous.

  • BReynolds33

    Unless the amount of time it takes to design, review, re-design, review, re-design, review, then present to client, re-design, review, re-present to the client, then send to production and make a couple million cups has been shortened to a week, this has nothing to do with Starbucks.

    In other words, it has nothing to do with Starbucks.

    • Alex

      They’re not exactly a small company. I’m willing to be that they have their own marketing department. So, it’s more like:

      Unless the amount of time it takes to design, review, re-design, review, re-design, review, then present to client, re-design, review, re-present to the client, then send to production and make a couple million cups has been shortened to a week, this design was concocted back in February.

      In other words, this design was concocted back in February.

  • tboom

    It would seem to me “Some evangelical groups” need to cut back on their caffeine.

    BTW, the phrase “some evangelical groups” translates to me as “publicity seeking evangelical groups”.

  • Alex

    The “who the **** cares?” crowd is so overwhelming that I still haven’t actually heard anything from anyone outraged about the cups that wasn’t a quote in a “news” post.

    As such, I’m wondering how this is still a story. It’s early November; I’m supposed to be incensed about the fact that it thunder-stormed last night or local election results or the steady creep of Black Friday onto Thanksgiving despite the fact that this is the second year in a row I’ll be having my Thanksgiving meal in a restaurant also staffed by people who, like retail employees, would rather be at home with their families or literally anything other than a coffee cup.

    Besides, everyone is missing the real point here! These cups are red! Where’s the blue cups?!? Has Big Coffee started a war on Hanukkah? Clearly you aren’t welcome at Starbucks if your star has six points on it, no matter how many bucks you have!

    • Alex

      In other news, I’m currently drinking my Starbucks (office-provided) out of a Darth Vader head. I’m fairly certain Darth Vader is more anti-Christian than the color red. I mean, the dude was only the right-hand man of a tyrannical wizard-emperor and blindly did as his master told him, including the mass slaughter of children.

      Get at me, ultra-right-wing Christians…

      • jon

        You know the guy who (allegedly) wrote a good chunk of the new testament was also known for violently persecuting folks who held a faith different from his own (namely christians)

        He found redemption, much like vader did.

        Paul also did his evil deeds under the name of Saul, and then his good works under the name of Paul… not as imaginative as going from Anakin to Vader.

  • >>The cup controversy began when an evangelist started a campaign to boycott Starbucks<<

    He is less "evangelist" and more "charlatan." He's just a huckster looking to whip up outrage and get some media time (for a price of course).

    A little more about this "evangelist":

  • dnarex

    Evangelicals feel they are facing religious discrimination. Of course, their definition of religious discrimination is being prevented from forcing their small minded religious views on the rest of us.

  • Tyler

    I’m getting tired of this stupid brew ha ha.

  • Marlin

    I think this is much ado about nothing. I consider myself to be an evangelical Christian. I have not heard any of my friends at church, on Facebook, in social gatherings, etc complain about the Starbucks’s coffee cup. I heard that Donald Trump suggested a boycott but he is hardly an evangelical Christian. I assume some evangelist somewhere has suggested a boycott. The only place I have heard about this so far has been people from people criticizing evangelical Christians over it. Lets move on already! I’m off to Starbucks to have a cup off coffee and have a Merry Christmas!

  • Fred, Just Fred

    I don’t know what gives me the bigger head ache, the inane Christmas argument, or the left’s smug response to it.

    I’ll just continue to brew my own coffee and put it in the cleanest cup I find in the sink.

  • gus

    Tempest in a, uh, coffee cup.

  • boB from WA

    My favorite meme so far of this “war”.

    • John Hester

      I must have missed the Left-wing Christians story. Do you have a link?

  • crystals

    Huh. Who knew “joy” was a Christian thing?

    And it’s instructive to actually take two minutes and look at what the past Starbucks “holiday” cups designs have been. Nary an explicit Christmas design to be found – just a lot of generic crap. Count me among those who love the plain red cup.

  • Swag Valance

    It’s not Christmas unless I can celebrate Christ’s ultimate sacrifice by throwing billions of paper cups in a landfill in his honor.

  • Stephanie

    Hahha. I love the line about loving neighbors etc. What I still don’t understand is how the blank cup hasn’t been interpreted as a symbol of purity or new life? It seems like an obvious way to frame it for those who have to have some sort of meaning behind it….

  • Jack Ungerleider

    And here I thought Dunkin had taken a page out of the Coca-Cola playbook. You names on cups. You could have: Joy, Faith, Hope, John, Paul, Ralph….

  • Craig

    Slightly off topic, but, I wonder what Jesus would say about a group called Faith Driven Consumer?

  • Bill

    First off, I’m not a card carrying member of the God Squad, but I do respect other peoples right to believe anything they want. I also ‘get it’ when big companies that want billions of dollars from believers and non believers alike during the now very lengthy Christmas Buying Season attempt to remove all vestiges of religion from a clearly religious holiday and people get angry about it.

    But c’mon if I’m wrong and there is a Christ floating around up in the clouds, does anybody really think it matters if Starbucks does or doesn’t wish him a Merry Birthday on their overpriced cups of coffee?

    I say we make a pact that the next one of us who expires, if they are transported through the tunnel of light and find themselves ‘up there’, promises to ask him.

  • jimrussell

    Who let the inmates out?
    What’s the flap all about? Absolutely nothing. It’s being brought to
    you by the delusional that think there’s a Big Guy in the sky. Mom
    finally told them about Santa, the Toothfairy, and Easter Bunny. A
    grown up should have told them about the fantasy Big Guy in the sky too.

  • Tom K

    Bringing an evergreen tree indoors near the winter solstice is a Pagan tradition, right? Where’s the uprage with Dunkin for pushing the Pagan Agenda?

  • Ego Iterum

    A Christmas-themed cup wouldn’t “force” anyone to embrace Christmas, buddy — just as a gigantic gay-worship parade doesn’t “force” straights to gay-marry.

  • Jeff

    I’m told by my partner that she was behind a woman in line at Starbucks this morning. The woman said her name was “Merry Christmas”. The employee pointed to a sign that said “Only one name allowed” and told her it had to be “Merry” or “Christmas”. The woman still insisted saying they have to make it whatever she wants. The employee said “No I don’t”. The woman took off without ordering. I’m thinking Starbucks is getting a little fed up.

  • Evan

    Yes, it’s important for a corporation to prove their support for our Christian holidays, because after all, capitalism is all about religion, isn’t it?
    It’s only right, it’s totally logical that we rate companies by how strongly they express support for Christianity.