“Choose this day whom you will serve,” Joshua once asked the people of Israel. The Miller Brewing Company, when asked to make a similar decision, preferred to serve alcohol to catamites instead of Catholics, as evidenced by their decision to sponsor the Folsom Street Fair in Sodom-by-the-Bay last week. It is, of course, perfectly legal for Miller to wave their Genuine Draft banner proudly over the scenes of bald men in leather whipping the bare bottoms of other bald men in leather; it seems Miller is determined to identify its product with a short-lived, disease-ridden, non-propagating minority who represent at most two percent of the population.

Now there’s a demographic! I’m sure Miller’s director of marketing is giddy with the thought of millions of heterosexual college guys learning to identify Miller as “the queer beer.” Forget spring break, Spuds McKenzie, the NFL and the Swedish Bikini Team, here’s an image (caution: graphic content) that’s bound to make a man want to run right out and buy a case for the guys.


Folsom Street Fair promotional poster

Being a libertarian and oenophile, I would find it very difficult to care less about how beer companies elect to advertise their fermented grains. But what I do find interesting about Miller’s decision is the reasoning behind it. There appear to be five possibilities. One is that the responsible party at Miller is quite literally gay and couldn’t care less about the potential financial repercussions of offending the largest religious group in America because he is only interested in furthering the interests of the group with whom he identifies. If this is the case, no doubt he’ll soon be looking for a job marketing gay cruises or selling ads for the Advocate. The second possibility is that homosexuals actually represent a larger market than Catholics. This seems most unlikely in the case of alcoholic beverages, although it is a perfectly reasonable consideration for methamphetamine and condom makers.


The third possibility is that the Miller Brewing Company is simply clueless and has no idea that its decision to sponsor a Sade Francisco street party is objectionable to anyone in any way. Since I am personally acquainted with a woman who was once a successful Miller rep, I can attest that this is unlikely because the company is fairly careful about its image and pays a reasonable amount of attention to the events it sponsors. The chance that the Folsom Street Fair sponsorship was merely the result of a lack of corporate oversight is close to nil. The fourth possibility, of course, is that the company’s marketing philosophy is that all PR is good PR, in which case it is only surprising that Miller didn’t also sponsor the recent Klingon/Furry convention in Atlanta that gathered an amount of media attention.

But the fifth possibility is the most likely, and that is the idea that the Miller Brewing Company simply doesn’t worry about offending Catholics because the Catholic community has proven over time to be completely toothless despite its large percentage of the population. It has surely not escaped Miller’s attention that Catholics and other Christians frequently complain about the television shows coming out of Hollywood, the books being published in New York City and the subjects being taught in the public schools, and yet they continue to watch those Hollywood-produced shows, read those New York City-published books and send their children to those very public schools.

It is not enough to cry and complain about how awful the secular culture is, because even if the charges are true, it must be remembered that it is the Christian dollar that makes most of these things that the Christian community finds offensive successful in the first place. Before Christians can hope to change the culture, they must first change themselves and their patterns of consumption.

So, don’t blame the Miller Brewing Company or even the sad collection of self-destructive individuals parading their damaged psyches in public for the affaire de Folsom Street. In what is still demographically a predominantly Christian nation, Christians have no one to blame for the devolution of their civilization but themselves.



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