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An Open Letter to Sam Adams – Christian Brewer & Patriot

July 10th, 2013, Promulgated by DanielKane

Edit 07/13/2013 – the commercial is here (fixed broken link).

Dear Sam –

We go back further than my wife and children; to my care-free days as a sailor with a 30 inch waist. We met one spring night in Faneuil Hall, Boston. I was on liberty from Newport, Rhode Island and was hitting the town, sailor-style with a pocket full of payday cash ready to paint the town Boston Red-Sox Red.

And you did not disappoint.

Of course, you remember our falling out in 2002 over the Cathedral incident, in St. Patrick’s no less. It was over the top and sacrilegious, highly offensive to Catholics and New Yorkers alike.  It took me a long time to forgive you, but I did and I continued to almost this day to sample your excellent brews and look forward to the seasonal specialties.

Sam, you know that we are both Christian Patriots. Of course, you are the greater; who can trump signing the Declaration of Independence? You were much tougher too – saying stuff like:

“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

Very tough talk.

It is time for some tough talk. You see, the company that bears your name corrupts your legacy as a Christian warrior – patriot. Tthat company now takes it upon itself to edit the very Declaration of Independence you signed pledging nothing less than “your sacred honor”.

Sheesh.

Look. We do not hold complete theological agreement. However, we both hold and are subject to the Natural Law, which in part acknowledges that the rights we both fought for come from the “Creator” and are protect by civilization and not the other way around.  Now I will be the first to admit that we are at a tipping point in American history, we have lost the “fire” for the freedoms we fought for. Today, your company fears, not the Crown but  a vocal minority of secularists who are so offended by the idea of God that they cannot bear to even hear his name, quote his Word or even quote a 237 year old document you signed referring to the Creator as the source of Natural Rights – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Of course, your boys in Beantown have “lawyered up”  stating that it was not their fault that they redacted the Declaration of Independence, they were simply being obedient to the “Beer Institute” – in a sense “licking the hand” that feeds them. I hope that their chains are, as you say, light.

“We adhere to an advertising code, established by the Beer Institute – a beer industry trade organization – that states, ‘Beer advertising and marketing materials should not include religion or religious themes. We agree with that, and we follow these guidelines and approach our marketing with the utmost responsibility.”

I hardly need to remind you of the rich religious history of our beloved brew. Indeed, the most sought after beer today Chimay, is from a Trappist Monastery. Guinness has solid Catholic values. Ommegang Abby makes fine brews and Marin Brewing Company’s Witty Monk and Altar Boy Beers are best sellers. Who can deny New Belgian’s Lips of Faith? All of these breweries are members of the Beer Institute but they are apparently not so concerned about the Beer Institute’s advertising guidelines.

When you talk to your people they will blame market forces for Sam Adams’ decision to secularize its messaging to the point of redacting the Declaration of Independence on July 4th.  But that doesn’t really add up. The most natural thing to avoid controversy would be to leave the text of the Declaration intact, especially when linking the text thematically to you!  To redact the text as the commercial does is to, as the backlash makes clear, run the risk of alienating a huge swath of potential customers.

Which is B as in Boston S as in Sox…

Sam, this is less about a decision to avoid controversy for fear of alienating a consumer base than it is an expression of a corporate culture bearing your name that embraces a radical secularism and is tone deaf to the point of editing one of our nation’s most significant documents. It has more to do with a secular political and social sensibility than it does with economic savvy.

In such a radical separation of faith from public life, Sam Adams the beer company has done something that Sam Adams the Patriot would never have stood for because on July 4, 1776 you said:

“We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven, and with a propitious eye beholds his subjects assuming that freedom of thought, and dignity of self-direction which He bestowed on them. From the rising to the setting sun, may His kingdom come.”

Sam Adams – Christian Brewer, Patriot and Warrior, please call your office.

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11 Responses to “An Open Letter to Sam Adams – Christian Brewer & Patriot”

  1. avatar annonymouse says:

    Brilliant letter, DK. One more American product to boycott. And I was so fond of Sam’s summer ale. Alas.

    Where can I acquire some of that Trappist brew?

  2. avatar DanielKane says:

    Thank you.

    I often find Chimay at Wegmans in the premium/crafted beer sections. It is a dark beer and about $12 for a 12oz bottle.

  3. avatar annonymouse says:

    I hope you mean a six-pack?

  4. avatar DanielKane says:

    Pretty expensive stuff…4 bottles on line are $30 + freight.

    http://www.monasterygreetings.com/prod_detail_list/Chimay_Trappist_Ale?gclid=CM-KhuHbp7gCFcue4Aod5AsAPg

    It is understood to be the best beer in the world.

  5. avatar Hopefull says:

    Well, I’d like to think this marvelous post has had its effect. The link to the ad shows it has been pulled.

  6. avatar Monk says:

    After voicing my outrage to them about their 4th of July beer commercial, I received this reply from the Boston Beer Company:

    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.

    We understand your objection to the omission of the phrase “by our Creator” in other circumstances (after all, these words occur in the Declaration of Independence which our namesake, Samuel Adams, signed), and, in this case, we believe it would be outside our industry guidelines and inappropriate to invoke the deity in a beer commercial. We also want to let you know that this commercial was developed to run exclusively around Independence Day, and is no longer on the air. We appreciate your getting in touch with us to express your concerns and sensitizing us to your point of view. Thank you for giving us a chance to respond.

    We really do rely on consumers to be the judges of our work and we appreciate your taking the time to reach out.

    Sincerely,

    Michelle Sullivan
    Senior Director of External Relations
    Boston Beer Company

    RE: Case # 20205

  7. avatar Scott W. says:

    We apologize that the omission offended you.

    When are people going to learn that this isn’t an apology?

  8. avatar annonymouse says:

    Monk –
    Would you post this woman’s contact information? I’d like to tell her that I’m no longer a Sam Adams customer and that I am sorry if my boycott offends her and her company.
    Thanks

  9. avatar DanielKane says:

    The non-apology apology basically means I will be polite as I confirm my full intention to pursue behaviors that you find abhorrent.

  10. avatar Hopefull says:

    Today’s newspaper insert “Parade” (depends on where you live which insert you get) has an article which might otherwise be worth reading on the American melting pot, with geographical flavor. However, I was stopped by the headline: “One nation, indivisible” — and just where are the words that have been omitted? Not important? Might offend? Well, yes, I am offended — that they left out “under God” …. there is a plot, my frieds, to get us used to this sort of thing so that we don’t notice anymore. Keep noticing!

  11. avatar Monk says:

    Annonymouse,
    Here is the email address she used to reply to me: samueladams@epowercenterdirect.com


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