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Starbucks cup complaints divide Christian community
Over the weekend, social media sites were buzzing with debates over Starbucks holiday cup design. - photo by Kelsey Dallas
As the pumpkin spice season comes to a close, a tempest has been brewing over Starbucks' newest coffee cup.

The company's annual Red Cup design for this year's holiday season has a red color becoming slightly darker red as it moves toward the bottom of the cup.

"The design looks slightly different than years past, which have featured snowflakes and other wintery icons. This absence of holiday symbols is, of course, making people furious," BuzzFeed News reported.

First came a viral video from Joshua Feuerstein, a Christian social media personality with nearly 2 million fans on his Facebook page. He complained that Starbucks forgoing Christmas symbols like ornaments in favor of a plain red cup design was an insult to the Christian community.

Then, many of Feuerstein's followers took to their social media accounts calling for a boycott of Starbucks for the rest of the holiday season, BuzzFeed News reported.

The controversy over a coffee cup has been covered by a variety of news sites, including The Washington Post and CNN Money. It's also been addressed by Christian writers who say the Starbucks haters are giving their religion a bad name.

"If you need a coffee chain to be your ambassador of Christ you need to re-examine your relationship w/God," tweeted Ron Burr, a comedian and self-described Christian.

This social media squabbling illustrates the challenge of being a member of a diverse Christian community, noted writer Laura Turner in a column for Religion News Service. She highlighted how the actions of one man (in this case, Feuerstein) can affect the way all Christians are talked about and treated.

"None of the articles decrying some amorphous group of 'Christians' for hating on Starbucks took into account that this whole thing was actually about one guy who makes his living creating outrageous content," she wrote. "But neither have the Christian responses, which have roundly condemned 'these people' who want to put Christ back in Starbucks, because they haven't bothered to see if (these people) actually exist."

According to Turner, people need to let go of their outrage, especially if they're focused on mocking fellow Christians.

"We don't need to shed more ink or anguish over why those Christians are doing a ridiculous thing, especially not if the whole point is to separate ourselves and our evolved faith from other people and their immature faith," she wrote.
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