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The Purple Chocolate War

November 10, 2012

OK, it is Saturday and the big election in four days back in the rear view mirror.  If you are something of a political junkie like me these past four days have been marked by withdrawal symptoms.  Maybe this is a time to take the cure and get off politics altogether.  Others however as seeking their next fix; their next battle to engage in the name of faith and freedom. 

The most popular choice is the “fiscal cliff” that comes up at year end; automatic cuts in the budget that were deemed to be so painful that even perpetual fighters like those in Congress would be forced to agree to avoid it.  I am not going to comment on the wisdom of leaders who pass a law imposing radical fiscal cuts in order to force themselves into passing a law with less radical fiscal cuts.  I’ve found a better war we Christians can engage in – the Purple Chocolate War.

OK, so the chocolate itself isn’t purple, only the label is.  The war started innocently enough, as far as Christians were concerned, as a lawsuit by candy-maker Cadbury against candy-maker Nestle for putting out chocolate in exactly the same shade of purple that Cadbury has traditionally used.  (I will pause here for you all to take time to think of “50 Shades of Purple” jokes.)

In any event, Cadbury won and now owns, more or less, that particular shade of purple.  For someone like me, who is color blind, and can’t tell purple from blue to save my life this seemed like a non-issue.  But apparently not all Christians agreed.  It seems there is a small Christian fair trade candy company, The Meaningful Chocolate Company, that produces, among other things, candy for the Advent season.  As we all know – or at least you all know, I didn’t – Cadbury’s purple is the same color as Advent purple. 

It appears that putting out candy in Advent purple, since nobody thought to copyright it, runs afoul of the Cadbury ownership.  An ownership that legal opinion says may possibly run “from deep blue to deep red.”  The result is that Meaningful Chocolate will be switching to a “warm red” wrapper this Advent season.  Some Christians, notably the Church of England, have expressed dismay over this decision, apparently thinking this infringes of religious liberty to celebrate Advent with the traditional purple candy wrappers.  Thus far, Christians in the U.S. have not gotten too worked up over this and probably won’t until somebody decides this is Obama’s fault.

In any event, Christian political junkies, I do think this gives us an alternative we can get excited about; unless of course you feel Christmas has pagan roots anyway and are rooting for Cadbury.

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