This past week I learned that apparently a LOT of Christians are in an uproar over Starbucks and the color of their cups. Or at least thats what everyone told me. I have yet to see one post from a legitimate Christian source being mad at Starbucks. The handful of people mad about the Starbucks cups were wannabe internet celebrities. Yet this did not stop the avalanche of outrage posts from Christians and non-Christians about how awful Christians are for being mad over Starbucks cups. My Facebook feed was filled with response after response. All of them used the same red cup graphic so Starbucks got tons of unpaid advertising. The problem is that all those blogs were bigger than the actual outrage to begin with. As the old saying goes, “Never bring a gun to a knife fight.”
Have we reached critical mass in our ability to be outraged? I think we have confused things we should be outraged about with things that we shouldn’t be outraged about. Tony Campolo used to begin his speech this way,
I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.
Our anger becomes misplaced when we are fighting a handful of people on the internet over the color of Starbucks cups. There are too many things in this world that we should be outraged over that we can do something about. Outrage is biblical, but outrage in the Bible is about what design you have on a coffee cup or even what a handful of people may have tweeted. Jesus didn’t overturn tables in the Temple because of the color of the coffee cups.
So what should we be outrage over?
- Lost in the kerfuffle over sexuality was something important in the Central Conference Bishops’ statement. The plight of refugees around the world should unite the church in outrage.
- Human Trafficking
- Modern Day Slavery
- Ending Malaria
- Or even the amount of garbage that all those little red cups generate? (Seriously, bring your own cup next time you go to the coffee shop. Your coffee will taste better. Thank me later. Better yet if you are a pastor bring two cups. One to buy someone a coffee in and give away!)
There are many many things that we as Christians should be united in our outrage over. Whether or not someone is mad about Starbucks cups isn’t one of those things.
Author’s note: If you are still drinking Starbucks coffee, I would encourage you to try third wave coffee. Coffee has taste beyond the burnt flavor you are liable to get at Starbucks. I recommend fair trade Africa varieties roasted in the last week at a micro roaster.