Does this offend you?

November 12th, 2015

‘Tis the season to be jolly.


Or not.


Time Magazine reported this week that some Christians are speaking out against Starbucks’ holiday cup this year. The token red cup, which usually includes some sort of holiday symbol such as snowflakes, reindeer, ornaments and so on, is now void of these designs and instead fades from bright red up top to dark red at the bottom.


Honestly, I couldn’t be bothered with the redesign. The only reason I even noticed the return of the red cup was because it also means the return of the peppermint mocha flavor, my favorite.


However, some Christians are protesting the cup because it “is conspicuously devoid of images of both Christmas and Jesus Christ himself,” according to Time.


Joshua Feuerstein, an “American evangelist, Internet and social media personality,” according to his website, responded with a Facebook post that has been viewed over 10 million times, in which he encourages similar-minded Christians to give baristas the name “Merry Christmas” with their orders so as to force employees to write it on the cup say it when finished with customers’ orders.


Feuerstein and other Christians who are offended by this fail to acknowledge that, not only has Starbucks always called the red cups “holiday cups,” but that the company also carries a Christmas blend coffee and gift cards reading, “Merry Christmas.”


Seriously, if you’re actually offended by this, please re-evaluate your priorities. It’s a cup of coffee, not an attack on your religious views.


For me, however, this raises the question—why are some people so easily offended over ridiculously minute occurrences? I’m not just pointing the finger at religious individuals; it’s pretty common among most demographics.


For instance, I know women who are offended when men open doors or pull out chairs for them. They claim this is sexist, as men are perceiving them as weak and incapable of doing these things for themselves.


Or, you know, it’s a common courtesy. But, alright.


Another one that really grinds my gears is when people of opposing political beliefs are offended by one another.


I’m not talking about people with heinously irrational views, like Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s comments that Mexicans are rapists and drug smugglers; I’m talking about sane beliefs. For instance, let’s say Person A believes that state universities should be free for in-state students to attend, and Person B disagrees, believing that people should have to pay to attend college. It would not be reasonably sound of Person A to be actually offended by Person B, or vice versa; offense is not equivalent to disagreement.


A personal favorite incident of mine occurred in September, when Frito-Lay introduced Doritos Rainbows inspired by the LGBTQ Pride flag. Some individuals against same-sex marriage protested the chips and vowed never to buy anything from the company again.


I’m sure that came as such a tremendous loss to Frito-Lay (cue the sarcasm).


The kicker was that the chips were never sold in stores; one would have had to go through Frito-Lay’s website to make a $10 or more donation to the It Gets Better Project, a charity supporting LGBTQ youths.


My message to easily offended individuals this holiday season: stop. Please, for the love of God, just stop.


You are entitled to disagree with actions you don’t favor. That’s a given. But don’t expect to be taken seriously in the slightest if you’re kicking up a fuss over a cup off coffee for which you just paid $4.