We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"America the Beautiful" on Further Reflection

As most readers of this blog know, the Super Bowl commercial, "America the Beautiful," produced by Coca-Cola, stirred a great deal of ire in some circles.  The two main objections, both bogus so far as I personally am concerned, were that it was wrong to sing the song "America the Beautiful" in a mixture of eight languages.  "It should be in English."  The other criticism was that it included, briefly and not even that obviously, a gay family.

Now, I am not a fan of soft drinks in general and Coke in particular.  The commercial did not persuade me to drink it or to stop being critical of Coca-Cola's contribution to our nation's obesity epidemic.  Still, we should give credit where it is due, and the Coca-Cola folks deserve credit for what is an unusually sensitive and beautiful commercial message.  They also deserve credit for an expanded version that provides background and substance to the commercial.  I encourage you to take five minutes and watch it: