Caffeine debates always get a little sticky for Mormons. I don’t like trying to answer questions about my standards in this area, and I usually end up with something like “We don’t drink tea, but some tea is ok, we don’t drink coffee, but decaf is ok. Coke and Pepsi are ok, even though they have some caffeine, and, uh, …” I’m usually just grateful they didn’t ask about Red Bull or Rock Star or those other tastes-like-a-diaper drinks (according to a friend: ). I suppose they’re not “hot drinks,” but some have as much caffeine as coffee.
This problem in clarity is probably why the three most prominent Mormons in the media (President Hinckley, Mitt Romney, and Napoleon Dynamite) have all said simply that we don’t drink caffeine.
“It’s been a while since the last big (and pointless) caffeine-and-Mormons debate. During one such debate several years ago, I received a letter from a group of Baptist seminary students demanding biblical proof for the LDS stand on caffeine. I sent them Deuteronomy 25:13 and said, “I don’t know how the Lord could possibly make it any clearer.” They wrote back that I was “an unserious man” and to “enjoy myself in Hell.” …Still, the “official” Mormon obedience factor regarding caffeinated soft drinks depends on the Mormon. Liberal Mormons tend to think it’s their own business. Conservative Mormons might drink a Coke in a pinch and repent later. Orthodox Mormons put Pepsi in a subcategory of beer and won’t allow it in their home. Nazi Mormons believe the Lord will give you a boil for simply watching a Dr Pepper commercial.”
My question is, do people need exact definitions of their principles in order to live them? Is that less hypocritical? Or is finding exactness in all areas of life an impossible task? I think that life is too gray sometimes to have completely precise stances on everything. What do you think?