The so-called war on Christians or Christmas by Starbucks offers an example of my post a couple of days ago entitled “Social Media: Tearing Down or Building Up.” This is not a new war, but Starbucks is the new villain. And social media is lit up like a massive display of fireworks. People on either side of this brewing controversy feel free to call each other all kinds of names, and they don’t even know each other.
In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t like Starbucks coffee. I’m talking about the coffee, not the company. I’m partial to a simple cup of Joe.
This war (which now includes the Starbucks skirmish) started several years ago when some Christians felt the effort by retailers and others to encourage a greeting of “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” was an affront to Christianity. I have found no scripture that addresses this controversy. There’s nothing that specifies the greeting Christians should use during the year-end holiday season.
I’m inclined to think retailers don’t use Happy Holidays to attack Christian beliefs. They use whatever slogan or anything else they think will help them make the most money. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much what Christmas is about these days.
My favorite social media comment on the Starbucks controversy went something like this: “The only thing that upsets me about all this is that it’s not even Thanksgiving.” When we begin buying Christmas presents before Halloween, Thanksgiving almost seems irrelevant. Maybe that’s what we should be mad about.
One of my favorite thanksgiving scriptures is the brief, simple passage from I Chronicles 16:34 (NIV): “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” That’s what we should be discussing. Not on social media. Maybe in person over a cup of coffee.