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Re "OK, Mormons, drink up — Coke and Pepsi are OK" (Tribune, Aug. 31):

We Mormons got into the caffeine-is-bad scene in a good-faith attempt to rationally explain why we don't drink coffee and tea, the two "hot drinks" banned by Joseph Smith's Word of Wisdom (which also forbids alcohol and smoking).

Even though Smith's revelation said "hot drink," hot obviously wasn't the issue, since other hot drinks are OK (herbal tea, hot cocoa and Postum). If hot wasn't the reason, what is? Ah hah! — caffeine; hence, the slur on Coke, Pepsi, et al.

But if, as we've just learned, it's not because of caffeine, we're left wondering why the coffee ban? The bans on booze and cigarettes are understandable, but now there's no rationale for coffee, except, of course: Because God said so.

Like kids, adults hate that answer. If we're abstaining from coffee just because God commanded it, why aren't we similarly obsessed about eating meat "sparingly" or not at all, as also commanded.

Clearly, we're selective in what we obey. This new twist doesn't make anything clearer, except guilt-free Coke drinking.

Justin Taylor

Salt Lake City