Sin juice

Coke and Caffeine: Sin Juice, or Garbage Juice?

The History

Sin juice cup on fire
Sin juice

For a while, there was a bit of confusion in the Mormon Church about whether or not it was acceptable to drink caffeinated soda.  We knew we were to avoid addictive substances, and there were thoughts that caffeine was addictive, thus condemning drinks like Coke to jest-filled nicknames like “sin juice.”

Recently (though not for the first time,) the Church officially let everyone know that the caffeine thing is not doctrine, and there’s no problem with drinking caffeinated drinks (unless you really do become addicted or drink to the point where it seriously affects your health.  Duh.)

Why I’m Bothering To Write About This

As a kid, I was of the camp that caffeinated soda was very not ok.  Even after I grew older and realized that it wasn’t actually a huge problem, I had lost interest in soda at all, and stuck to drinking plain water pretty much always.  I had no desire for carbonated sugar-water.

Well, now I’m out in Peru (at least I was when I wrote this post), and I recently had my first Coke.  I didn’t seek it out, but my host lady served it with dinner, and I decided not to turn it down.  This wasn’t simply out of courtesy (because I do try to turn down as little as possible,) but also because I hear that it helps fight off malaria and other diseases.  We all know the stuff is bad for you; apparently it’s bad for germs and bugs too.

Having never experience Coke before, I have to say that the experience wasn’t quite what I expected.  I quickly came to the conclusion that:

Coke Is Gross

Seriously you guys, Coke is disgusting .  That stuff tastes like the medicine I was drinking it for.  I could feel all the little microbes in my throat screaming for sanctuary as the poison flooded their streets and dissolved their little microbe babies.

However, I would say that this opened my eyes as to how the whole vendetta against caffeinated sodas got started.

I doubt the first people with that idea brought it up for any moral reason.  I think they just wanted a polite way to turn down the sludge when it was offered.  Instead of having to say “I don’t want your garbage juice,” they could say “it’s against my religion.”

War Of Words

So now that the Church has (again) discounted the propaganda that caffeinated soda is evil, I say we tear down the other side of the propaganda.  Namely, Coke’s odd ability to have convinced us that their “liquid grumpiness” is any good.

I feel like we need a real life moment straight out of the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”  You remember that story?  The one where some con-artists trick an Emperor into thinking they’ve given him an incredibly beautiful cloak that can only be seen by people sufficiently smart or virtuous or something.  Everyone goes along pretending they see the cloak (so as not to have people think they’re dumb) as the Emperor parades through town naked.

Eventually a little boy, the purest of them all, points and says “hey!  That guy’s walking around naked!”

We need that moment.  We need some innocent and impartial little boy to point at Coke, and reveal the nakedness of their yucky flavor.

I’m probably not the man for the job, but for what it’s worth, I give all of you, my readers, permission to stop pretending that Coke tastes good just to be part of their Bandwagon, and to start using Coke for its primary function:

A cleaning agent.



Keep seeking truth.

You may also be interested in:
Peru Post 10: Avoiding the Single Story
In Defense of Modesty
TEDxBYU and What I Really Wanted to Say

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