Starbucks Cup
Yesterday I was at the Central Station of Utrecht. There we decided to get some coffee at one of the Starbucks there.
Every year Stabucks has a specially designed cup for the Holidays Season. So they have this year, a colourful and bright design I would say. I really like it, but again is not everybody happy with it.

Again? It happens very often that people are not happy with the design of their Holiday Cup. And who are not happy with it? Conservative christians! Who else I am close to say?

According these folks Starbucks is supporting the LGBTQ community. First thing that hits me here right away is: And if they do, what is wrong with that?
But with the statement in my head echoing that Starbucks supports the LGBTO community and I look at the cup, I hear myself say “Wot???”.

It seems that it has been decided that the two hands holdings each other are the hands of two women. And we all know that two women holding hands are lesbians (duh, my head starts to hurt).
The thing is, there is no official statement about the gender of the hands. And I really wonder why should there be an official statement.
Even the designer of the cup says nothing about this none-issue created by people who seem to have nothing better to do. He stated: “I like the idea of hands at the center point, a symbol of connection, love and giving joy — whether it’s wrapping presents or decorating a tree, writing cards or enjoying a mug of cocoa”. And that is all there is to it.

Maybe this year’s promotional video of Starbucks is related to this controversy. There are at a certain moment two women holding hands… and yes, clearly for these people two women holding hands are lesbians (argggghhh… my head). And even it was meant as two lesbians? Nothing wrong with that I would say. Not everyone is that narrow minded and people should finally stop with pressing their own opinions, convictions and beliefs upon others. Sadly, I have say that specially religions are guilty of doing this (but not alone…).

Conservative christians having problems with the Holiday Cup of Starbucks are nothing new, It is a recurring event since 1997 when they made the cup purple! Yes, I mean purple! How can they make a cup purple? Bah, purple is a lovely colour. How can you have problems with a colour, apart from liking it or not?

You can see here all the holiday cups since 1997: 20 Years of Starbucks Holiday Cups.

And as far it concerns me: Go to Starbucks to enjoy their coffee. If you don’t like their coffee, then stay away from there. But please stop creating this kind of stupid none-issues.

Starbucks - Centraal Station Utrecht

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About religion…

by Rob on

Religion is always something tricky to talk about. Before you know it (and without meaning so), you insult people or making them angry. Misunderstandings are easy to take place.
And yet I will write about religion in this article. This because I notice lately much confusion with people around me about how I think about religion and as said, it has lead to misunderstandings.

Let me first explain my person views on religion… Well, those are simple: I don’t believe in gods or any kind of mystical powers. I am convinced that anything we don’t understand now (and often are related to gods or mystical powers) can be explained in time by pure science. Nothing more then that.
So yes, I am convinced that there is no after-life. This life we have here and now is all we have and we better make the best of it.
Some will say that this makes life poor and meaningless. I don’t agree. In my opinion it gives life a lot more value, because it makes you fully responsible for your life. No gods or goddess to hide behind. It is you and only you. And yes, “complete free will” is also a direct result from this.

Now the tricky question: Do I hate religion? Ermm no, not at all. As long a religion keeps to their own group, don’t enforce their believes and opinions upon others… and have the respect for others that have chosen another way of living, even when it is not according their own views… that nobody gets hurt in whatever way… If that is the case, I don’t have any problems with a person or groups religion and believes.
Sadly there is it where often goes wrong.
Having said that, I also think that a certain group of atheists may show more respect and understanding towards those that have chosen to believe.

And yes, I will show often that I am atheist. Use quotations that show why I am an atheist. Explain the things that makes me an atheist. But this is not, as so often is misunderstood, to convince anyone at all. See it more as to make my point in a world that is flooded by all kind religions and the influences that these religions have on every day live.

And sure, I love to show the contradictions that religion and their followers often display. As example claiming that homosexuality is evil because the bible says so, while having a tattoo and eating pork (which are also not allowed according the bible).
Or more literal contradictions as: “God gives freely to those who ask” (James 1:5/ Luke 11:10) and “God withholds his blessings and prevents men from receiving them” (John 12:40/ Josh 11:20/ Is 63:17). Or “God tempts men” (Gen 22:1/ 2 Sam 24:1/ Jer 20:7/ Matt 6:13) and “God tempts no man” (James 1:13). And these are just two examples out of a very long list. Pretty inconsistent for such a “holy” book, if you ask me.

But as said, I have no problems with religions at all, when they respect that others can be different and will their live in their own way.

And yet just one look at the news on TV and you will see that everyday there are people killing each other because of religion (and of course every religion claims to be one of peace, compassion and empathy… duh).

And yes, to the extremes and fanatics of religion I will react. And sadly there are many of extreme actions and reactions “in the name of religion”. Sadly also of this too many examples.
As the Russian bishop claiming that paedophilia is mainly caused by divorced parents. The Catholic church should know better by now!
Or Richard Murdock (American christian, politician) who claims that pregnancy caused by rape, then it was something that god intended to happen. Such a nice god that has rape as intended to happen. Even if I would believe in gods, with such a god I don’t want have to do anything.
Kevin Swanson (American radio paster) who claims “The Nazi party had their birth in a homosexual bar in the 1910’s, 1920’s. Just keep that in mind, keep that in mind”. This delusional person should have a look at history before things that are completely wrong.

And so I could continue for hours… without exaggeration.
Then we don’t even touched the subject of the hate that so many religions seems to have against homosexuality. And as this concerns some very good friends of mine, I react often on it. It makes me angry and sad that these religions cannot handle something that is so normal by nature. That some even murder for it. And even more that want to ban homosexuals for society or want “to cure them”.

But it is not only homosexuality, but also some matters as abortion and women’s rights that are handled so wrong by religion in my opinion.
First of all a woman herself has the first right to decide about an abortion. Law, health and such are also of influence in my opinion… but religion should stay away from it, specially when it concerns someone that doesn’t follow that religion.

And yes, men and women are different. I won’t deny that. Maybe they even differ is quite some ways, but not when it comes down to rights. Man and woman should have equal rights. I say “should have”, because that is sadly still not the case (and not only within religions).

And so there are more things where I complete disagree with how some things are arranged within certain religions.

My strongest weapon when it comes down to religion? Humour! And they make it so easy to use it…

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Today on my way to my work I did read in a newspaper that the pope did undo the ex-communication of 4 bishops of the conservative Pius X, one of these bishops has denied the murdering of Jews during the second worldwar in the gaschambers of the Nazi’s. In my opinion this is outrageous.

In the same newspaper I read that pope claims that suicide is not the right solution for incurable diseased people or for long term coma patients. So this pope is in favor of people letting suffering of diseases that kill them day by day? And he wants to press a heavy burden on people with relatives who have been for many and many years in coma and for who that change of waking is very slightly? And if the later does happen the chance in (mental) damage is enormous? Where is compassion and caring in that? I would almost call it cruel and brute.
In my opinion only the person himself/herself have something to say about their own lives, specially when there are incurable diseases. Only exceptions are matters as long term coma’s patients, where the closest relatives have to say something.
Sure, specially in the last mentioned matter, people should checked firmly for the protection of the person who it is about. But that a matter of laws… and not religion.

Then today I also read on the Internet that the pope has appointed an assistant bishop who claims that the Harry Potter movies are satanic… I mean, what the **censored**. We are talking here about fantasy movies to watch for enjoyment. In that way of thinking all fantasy, SF and romans are easily to call satanic, which is of course a complete joke!

As said, this Catholic Church doesn’t belong in this age anymore…. because as far as I know we have left the Dark Middle Ages way behind us…

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