Bible Think Tank

This site is designed to help you interact with others about God's Word. I further some thoughts we developed during morning and evening gatherings at church. I have my NT translations from the original Greek to English. Also, I have book reviews and other current events.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

WWJB ???

I Found This Cool Bumper Sticker?

Dean's Beans has this bumper sticker out to promote their fair trade organic coffee. At first, I just laughed about it. I'm not one to bicker about religious humor as long as it isn't sick humor (oxymoron?). Then it made me start to think... what would Jesus brew for real?!?

By all accounts, brewing the roasted fruit of coffea arabica began at least 1000 years ago, but probably not 2000 years ago. So Jesus more than likely did not brew anything. But the question remains: would He drink coffee today and if so, what brand?

What's the Point?!?!

You could read a lot into this bumper sticker. My read is that it is a push for their fair-trade coffee. Jesus could only enjoy a cup-o-joe if it wasnt made with the sweat and tears of slaves. The emperialist Tim says I wouldn't drink anything made from sweat and tears cuz it would be pretty salty. The Christ-like Tim says most of the coffee we drink IS made by oppressing the local farmers of the third world. We get upset when we hear Kathy Lee Gifford atrocities about little kids in Hondurna sweat shops. But we also don't audit the life stories and situations of the coffee farmers.

I'm not trying to be a bleeding-heart lib, nor am I trying to make Jesus out to be simply a 21st century ethics professor. Jesus taught the poor and downtrodden to be happy with their wage and to not get Him involved in sorting out their financial dealings with other people. He only made it a point to pay taxes when others made a fuss over it.

Should we be concerned with the source of what we put down "the hatch?" What would Jesus brew? Our coffee comes from Latin and South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, and some from Arabia. The farmers hardly break even on the transaction with the traders who act as middle men between the roaster (Folgers, Starbucks, and all the other brands) and the farmers. They can't argue with the traders who would just go to the next farm down the way. The trader wants to buy low and sell high. All-in-all we buy our $4 cafe lattes with chocolate drizzled ontop and the farmers see pennies for their work.

This brings us to Fair Trade coffee (and other products are moving this way too). You pay more for the coffee so that the farmer can actually move up the economic ladder or at least keep their heads above the water. According to Dean's Zine, Fair Trade farmers make three times what they would have otherwise made. Would Jesus insist on only drinking Fair Trade coffee? Or would He turn a blind eye to the subjugation of hard working (South) Americans?

At the end of the day, the sticker is less funny than I first thought...



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