Wednesday, December 17, 2014

mormon musings

I was thinking about coffee ice cream, and how much I like it, and how much Ike loves Mexican Coke (as if he could tell the difference from American Coke in a blind taste test, 'tis to laugh), and I reflected on how as a young girl I was a little bit scandalized that my uncles drank Pepsi and Coke, which although not forbidden by the Word of Wisdom yet have a disobedient air about them for many Mormons.  

There is a behavior not unique to Mormons that is sometimes called hedge building--take instruction such as "dress modestly" and build a nice big hedge around it so it means "little girls who wear sleeveless sundresses to church should be chastised."   (This is a topic for a different lecture.)  The Word of Wisdom has a directive to avoid hot drinks, and the general consensus has long been that that means coffee and tea, which were the standard hot drinks at the time the revelation was given, and so therefore it must be the caffeine that's against the rules, which means for many Mormons that caffeinated sodas are also out--and there's the hedge.  Caffeine is addictive, y'all!  (Aside:  I would really love to see how much caffeine-free Diet Coke gets consumed in Utah, because caffeine or not, there is a serious problem here.)  

Anyway, because of the hedges it took me a while to figure out that drinking caffeine was not indicative of a serious moral failing, and not equivalent to shooting up in a rat-infested, urine-soaked alley.  Likewise, not drinking Coke or Pepsi or Mt. Dew (my grandma's favorite--it helped keep her awake driving home from her shift at the temple) because of the caffeine is a great thing, because soda is not good for us, but it doesn't mean you're more righteous.  Also coffee ice cream is delicious, and if you like the taste of Coke I guess it's delicious too.  So I don't know if I'm just trying to find a way to justify my lack of orthodoxy, but I think I'm for sure less of a self-righteous prig than I used to be.  So on balance I think it's a win.