Credit: Courtesy of Starbucks

There are so many reminders that the holiday season is almost upon us–changing leaves, changing weather, and Starbucks changing their cups from white to red. Most years, the coffee slinging mega-chain offers up a festive design featuring snowflakes, ornaments, or fir trees. With the unveiling of this year's minimalist, red artwork though, they have raised ire from some critics who point to the new monochrome cup's existence as another shot fired in the so-called war on Christmas.

In a viral Facebook post, a former pastor launched the accusations of Starbucks' disdain for the Christian holiday by suggesting they "REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate Jesus." He went on to suggest Christians should give their name at the counter as "Merry Christmas" so that it would have to appear on the cups. Although that strategy seems just as likely to result in a bunch of lattes that say “Murray Klinsman” on them. It also seemed not to bother the former pastor that his Christmas greetings would appear next to a topless, heathen seductress.

Whether or not a coffee shop has an obligation to make corporate policy honoring one winter holiday over all others is up for debate. However, based on my devoted Sunday morning attendance alone, Starbucks could be considered the biggest church in the America. Starbucks' vice president of design even went as far as admitting their stores have "become a place of sanctuary during the holidays." So it really is like a church, except the hymns are just Norah Jones songs.