Jesus Has Been Removed from Starbucks Christmas Cups, Sparking a War on Christmas-Mostly Fiction!

Jesus Removed from Starbucks Christmas Cups, Sparking a War on Christmas-Mostly Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
Jesus and other Christian symbols have been removed from 2015 Starbucks Christmas cups.
The Truth:
Starbucks Christmas cups have never featured Jesus or other religious symbols, so the idea that they have been “removed” this year is false.
The 2015 Starbucks Christmas cup was unveiled in October. The cup features a “two-toned ombre design, with a bright poppy color on top that shades intoa darker cranberry below, the company said on its website:

Since 1997 Starbucks has served its holiday beverages in a unique cup, starting with a jazz-themed design in jewel tones of deeper reds, greens and blues. Every year since, the cup has told a story of the holidays by featuring symbols of the season from vintage ornaments and hand-drawn reindeer to modern vector-illustrated characters.

“In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cups designs,” said Fields. “This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”

In the nearly two decades since the first red Starbucks cup, the company has grown from 1,400 stores in a handful of countries to more than 22,000 stores in 68 markets around the world.

“Starbucks has become a place of sanctuary during the holidays,” he said. “We’re embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it. It’s more open way to usher in the holiday.”

Since the Starbucks Christmas cup was released in 1997, it has never featured religious symbols. The fist year of Starbucks Christmas cup featured a seasonal jazz scene. Another early design featured hand-drawn reindeer. More recently, in 2009, the Starbucks Christmas cup featured pine needles and general words printed on ornaments like “wish” and “hope.“ In 2010, the Starbucks Christmas cup featured carolers. In 2011, Starbucks Christmas cups featured a boy and dog sledding down a hill. In 2014, the Starbucks Christmas cup was strikingly similar to this year’s all-red cup, but it also had abstract brush strokes in the background.
So, the idea that Jesus and other Christian symbols have been “removed” from Starbucks Christmas cups this year aren’t true because religous symbols have never been featured on Starbucks Christmas cups.
Rumors that Jesus and Christian symbols had been removed from Starbucks Christmas cups this year were started by a viral video posted by a former pastor named Joshua Feuerstein. Holding up the two-toned red Starbucks Christmas cup, Feuerstein said that Jesus had been removed from this year’s Starbucks Christmas cups and encouraged customers to tell baristas their name is “Merry Christmas” to trick them into writing it on the Starbucks Christmas cups:

“Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups? That’s why they’re just plain red.

In fact, do you realize that Starbucks isn’t allowed to say Merry Christmas to customers?

…And guess what. Starbucks, I tricked you into putting Merry Christmas on your cup. And I’m challenging all great Americans and Christians around this great nation: Go into Starbucks and take your own coffee selfie.”

In response, Starbucks said its 2015 Christmas cups are intended to be a “blank canvas” that encourages “customers to tell their Christmas stories in their own way.”
So, it’s true that Starbucks Christmas cups don’t say “Merry Christmas,” or feature any Christian references, but that’s not a new development. The company hasn’t featured Christian symbols on its Christmas cups since they were first unveiled in 1997.