Friday, July 12, 2013

Samuel Adams Beer- Dropping Deity from Beer

AdamsI am truly torn on this one – and this could be a firebrand for many of my friends (going either way as well).  

Below is an article from The Blacksphere (yes – I do read this blog and follow on Facebook).  I paste it in it’s entirety because it also includes a response from Samuel Adams (and a retort from Ms. Gerwing – which I find fitting) – but please, visit their site as well….they have some great political takes on many subjects as well.

Ok, now – Why am I torn. 

I have been a huge supporter of Samuel Adams – long before I saw Beer Wars and understood what an uphill battle they have undertaken.  In fact, I can say that Sam Adams is one of the beers I cut my teeth on (so to speak) back in 1987 at Ft Devens Mass.

I have loved how they have thumbed their noses at “Big Beer” and InBev along the way, basically starting the Craft Brewing Industry. 

I respect that they can have their own opinion.

HOWEVER – What they are tampering with is a historical document, regardless off the content.

In a recent advertisement (ran over the 4th of July Weekend) – they quoted the Declaration of Independence as saying:

“All men are created equal. They are endowed with certain unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Instead of an actual quote being:

“All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The reason for this omission is addressed below, and it is this omission that has a lot of people upset.

Imagine if the Gettysburg Address was quoted as -

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty.

Omitting - “and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Or if the “I have a Dream” speech was stated as -

“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged”

Leaving out  - “by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Samuel Adams (of whom the Beer Company takes its name) was raised in a religious household (John Adams was a Deacon) – yet he wrote of tolerance of other religions.  I am sure he had an influence (along with many others) on in inclusion of deity – but done so in a manner to be inclusive of as many sects as possible.

In fact, the only use of the word “God” in the Declaration of Independence is -

“…the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them”

Deity is referred a few other times – but again, with the more neutral “Creator”  and “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence”.  This is the beauty of how our Founding Father’s framed the wording.  They tried to be all inclusive, yet as direct as possible.  It is an excellent document, that is very relevant today – I suggest everyone read it (HERE). Declaration

I realize, many people out there are Atheists, Deists, Tree huggers and such.  Many of you know me, and know I honestly try to respect that. I have my own beliefs as well, to which I find the exclusion of the aforementioned wording offensive.  But equally as much, I find the tampering with the wording of one of the most important documents in our history almost as equally so. 

To do so at the advice of the Beer Institute (coincidentally, Alby has sent me something from them yesterday – and I had actually read their guidelines) and taking a stance such as this, in an industry with such beer names as:

  • Duclaw’s Sweet Baby Jesus
  • Evil Twin’ Even More Jesus
  • Cathedral Square’s Holy Moly
  • Cathedral Square’s Repent Rye
  • Cathedral Square’s  Hail Mary
  • ect…

This seems like cherry picking and cowing to a standard set by others, instead of just following your core beliefs….or even the beliefs of the man to which your company is named.

I’m not calling for anyone to quit drinking Samuel Adams Beer.  That is your own personal choice – a choice that was set in motion by the exact same document that they chose to edit.  Me personally, there are way more beers in the world to try…..Sorry Mr. Koch – I won’t be looking back.

Samuel Adams Beer Ejects God from the Declaration of Independence

Last week, while patriotic BlackAmericans celebrated the 237th birthday of our nation’s founding, Samuel Adams Beer commemorated Independence Day by brazenly undermining the very documents upon which our nation was founded.

A television ad, which ran over the Fourth of July weekend, depicts an eighteenth century tavern barkeep citing the Declaration of Independence saying:

“All men are created equal. They are endowed with certain unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

It didn’t take long for Samuel Adams’ Facebook page and Twitter feed to light up with protests from Americans who noticed the small but very significant omission of “by their Creator,” from the beer company’s rendition of the Declaration.

In response to a heated email that I swiftly sent off to the Vice President of Marketing at Samuel Adams, I received this response:

Thank you for your message about our recent TV ad and our use of some words from the Declaration of Independence, without the phrase “by our Creator.” We apologize that the omission offended you. That was never our intent. As you may already know, we adhere to an advertising code, established by the Beer Institute – a beer industry trade organization. The code states, “Beer advertising and marketing materials should not include religion or religious themes.” We agree with that, and follow those guidelines in our advertising and responsibly marketing our products.
Michelle Sullivan
Senior Director of External Relations
Boston Beer Company

Apparently we are to accept the fact that the industry guidelines set by the Beer Industry trump the principles set forth in America’s founding documents? You know, those same founding documents that helped create the free market environment under which Samuel Adams Beer can enterprise and thrive?

It seems that Samuel Adams Relations Executive wants to dismiss this “adherence to guidelines” as a trivial matter. But for those Americans who have been watching the slow and steady devolution of our individual rights by an ever-expanding government, this omission is not insignificant.

If Samuel Adams Beer is going to market and sell beer evoking the name of perhaps our most religious founding father, then maybe they should brush up on their American History.

In the meantime, I penned this response to Ms. Sullivan:

Dear Ms. Sullivan,
Thank you for your prompt response. It’s unfortunate that Samuel Adams Beer and the Beer Industry categorize the Declaration of Independence as a “religious” document. Out of respect for the policies set forth by the Beer Industry, I can no longer in good conscience purchase your product. You see, the currency I use clearly states “in God we trust,” which is a clear violation of your industry standards.

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