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So today I am taking on a controversial subject. This morning listening to the news I heard a story about a pastor from somewhere else (I didn’t pay attention well enough to know and frankly I don’t care and don’t want to give him any more publicity so I don’t care to even look it up) had a hissy fit about Starbucks Red Christmas cups this year. He was upset that Starbucks cups are plain this year. His argument was that Starbucks hates Christmas and Jesus because they took the Christmas decorations off the cups. So this “Christian” is complaining that the secular Christmas decorations were removed from a coffee cup? Why does this guy in the name of Jesus have to complain about how a business that is owned by a Jewish guy ring in Christmas (oh by the way it is even before Thanksgiving). I remember when I was growing up hear adults in the church we went to complain about jingle bells and snowmen NOT being Christmas. “That is not what Christmas is about” they say. Someone needs to tell this guy that Howard Shultz is Jewish! Why is he not putting the Menorah on all the cups instead of Christmas décor. I am pretty sure Starbucks sells Christmas ornaments in their stores (I know this because I have bought quite a few of them) they play holiday music and one other thing….they sell Coffee and coffee cups and you are complaining that they don’t say “Merry Christmas” because that is your agenda…Stop bad mouthing them in the name of your religion.

I grew up in church. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I don’t usually claim to be Christian anymore because of people like this wacko and the groups of “Christians” that go to fallen soldiers funerals to protest the military’s don’t ask don’t tell policy. I recently heard (not sure if it’s true probably shouldn’t quote this but I am a blogger and fly by the seat of my pants) that the Mormon Church won’t allow a child of a same sex couple to join their church (yeah I am sure God hates them because their parents loved each other and that is a sin). Who are we to judge. What happened to “judge not lest ye be judged” Matthew 7:1.

Jesus sat at a table with Judas right before Judas betrayed him. The Bible says he knew that was going to happen. And he sat there and enjoyed a meal with a guy he thought was a friend but knew was going to betray him. What better example of tolerance, acceptance and love. He said on the cross “they know not what they do.” To be Christian it means to be Christ like. He was not judgmental. When a prostitute came to him he allowed her to wash his feet (apparently that was a big deal back then) the uppities in the church were not pleased and there are still conspiracy theorist that think there was more to that but why do we not take that as a lesson to accept everyone! God loves everyone! “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8 and how about the flagship verse John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” Where in that does it say that you have to follow God’s no, it’s not God’s, it’s the churches rules. Or these crazy people who call themselves Christian.

We in this country have freedom of religion. Freedom of religion means we get to choose how to be religious. Be it quietly in your own head praying or outwardly worshiping. You are free to worship God and Jesus or Allah or shoes. Freedom of religion does not mean random school teacher can require or lead a class in prayer to his “God” or “Higher Power” It means that student in the second row can pray quietly right before a test and not get in trouble for it. It does not mean you can push your religion or religious beliefs on everyone else and stifle those of the people who disagree with you. I means I can stand on my year and shout that Jesus lives and you can shout from your yard God is not real. But neither of us get to tell the other what to believe! Why can’t we all understand this. Just because you are Muslim you do not get to fly airplanes into the side of a building in the name or your religion, but everyone else who is part of that religion still get freedom to peacefully belong to and be Muslim. The best way for Christians to get their message across is to be good people stop picking on the Muslims or Atheists or Same Sex Couples! How about you try sitting at a table with one of those people and showing love and acceptance. That is what Jesus did!

So let’s stop costing school districts thousands of dollars to keep freedom of prayer, and stop tricking Starbucks to say Merry Christmas on their cups because guess what, they decided to go a different way with their Holiday Campaign this year. Get over it. Get your own company and make whatever exclusive rules you want to show your “Christianity” but let Howard Shultz do his thing. I love the new Starbucks cups and I love the idea of being inclusive. We all need a little more love and little more Jesus like things to happen in our life. If our friends knew we were going to betray them how many would sit with us and share a meal. It’s hard enough for a person to get a friend to share a meal and we aren’t planning their murder! So let’s be more inclusive this year! Let’s Celebrate the holidays however you would like! I am pretty sure I am not going to offend my Atheist friends for saying Merry Christmas. I have friends and family who are Jehovah’s Witness and they don’t celebrate Christmas and I have never heard any of them complain about the lights and decorations or the paid holiday’s they hanukwanzmasgladly work so those who do celebrate can be there with their families. Everyone has their own story stop forcing yours on everyone else.

Happy Holiday Season everyone! Go get your red cup on, buy a dreidel play it by the Christmas Tree and learn a Kwanza carol (I know nothing about kwanza but wanted to include it) and share the love this season. That is what it is about regardless of who’s bible you read. Family, sharing, giving, accepting. Let’s practice tolerance and show love like Jesus did!

(So I rambled, it was a bit of a rough start, I had a lot more to get out than time so I didn’t edit super well yet but it is a late post and I wanted to get this out today. Hope I didn’t offend you but if I did, sorry I’m not sorry. It’s my opinion and I will allow you to have your opinion and won’t take it personal! I just want to be understood, have I ever told you I am not a “writer”)