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Plain red cups an affront to Christmas' beginnings 

Starbucks' decision to strip its holiday cups of any element that alludes to the true meaning of Christmas is an attack on the faith of millions of Americans. I can not stand idly by as another multi-million dollar corporation perpetuates the war on Christmas and so, I invite you to reflect on the events surrounding Jesus' birth with me. Here is a reminder of what the season is really about:

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph. The virgin's name was Mary.

The angel — enjoying a venti non-fat latte with caramel drizzle at the time — went to her and said, "Mary, you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will lead us unto an era of great consumerism. Neighbors will trample each other over highly discounted electronic goods in his name. Families will go into debt in order to properly celebrate his glory. He will reign via elaborate light displays forever and ever."

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered, taking a sip of her grande soy frappuccino (extra whipped cream). "May your word to me be fulfilled."

In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. So, Joseph grabbed a tall double espresso macchiato, and headed to the town of Bethlehem with Mary, who was expecting the child.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in sacks of (fair-traded) coffee and placed him on a bed of arabica beans because there was no guest room available for them.

And in the nearby fields were singing snowmen, sledding penguins, flying reindeer and anthropomorphous nutcrackers, all drinking pumpkin spice lattes and watching over their elves. Suddenly a great host of angels appeared, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest and on Earth, Black Friday sales and decorative cups to men."

And it came to pass that this incongruous band of pumpkin spice latte aficionados came upon Bethlehem and found Mary, Joseph and the babe lying upon the coffee beans. And they all enjoyed overpriced caffeinated beverages together.

And the snowmen, penguins, reindeer and nutcrackers returned, glorifying God for all the things they had heard and seen. Amen.

After meditating on the Christmas story, it is obvious that Starbucks is making a terrible mistake. How can this company show such blatant disregard for the spirit of the season? Their new, simple, unassuming red cups contain no element of commercialism or greed. Rather, they almost intimate a certain humility and highlight a bizarre lack of glitz and ostentation that is unheard of in December.

Starbucks' new cups are putting us on a slippery slope that has the potential to dismantle every holiday tradition we hold dear. What's next? An emphasis on peace and goodwill? A version of the Christmas story that makes no mention of overpriced coffee drinks? A humbled, defenseless baby Jesus that inspires us to be loving and meek? Absolutely ridiculous.

We cannot allow crucial elements of the Christmas story to be erased from our culture. We yearn for the cups of years past, which were branded with sacred symbols like snowflakes, tree ornaments and puppies wearing scarves. These plain red cups are an abomination.

Let us ban together against Starbucks' attack on Christmas. Some might want to boycott the company, but that kind of attitude stands in stark contrast with the consumerist spirit of the season. No. We must buy more coffee. As people of faith, we must flood every Starbucks in the nation with our money, we must carry on our calling to buy all the things.

One idea that has been touted is to go into Starbucks and tell the baristas that your name is "Merry Christmas" as a way to reinforce the holiday we are celebrating. This is a good idea, but simply saying "Merry Christmas" is not enough; it does not tell the whole story, it does not convey the complete meaning of the season.

I propose a different approach. Let us instead walk into Starbucks, order a skinny venti iced half-caff ristretto, and give the baristas the only name that truly describes our faith and relationship to the Christmas season, "Bigoted Consumerist Asshole."

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