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Originally published Saturday, September 24, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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Your brain on plugs

I read "Starbucks cups with gay author's quote pulled from Baylor" [Times, Business & Technology, Sept. 20], about Baylor University's...

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I read "Starbucks cups with gay author's quote pulled from Baylor" [Times, Business & Technology, Sept. 20], about Baylor University's fear of the so-called gay quote on the side of a few select Starbucks coffee cups, and it got me thinking. This must all be a focused, precision attack by Starbucks on the frail, unable-to-think-for-themselves, straight Baptist youth at Baylor University. Because as we all know and clearly believe, if the media, or-ganized religion and the government don't filter out all the things someone somewhere might find offensive, then this Pleasantville world we want to live in will descend into anarchy.

If we allow people to read the quote from Armistead Maupin —

"My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it for so long. I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don't make that mistake yourself. Life's too damn short"

— you can't possibly believe people might look at suggestive advertising and other media and think it is just that, suggestive.

Yes, most, if not all of it, is trying to get you to buy their product or use their service but at the end of the day, you still have a brain. Though the rest of the world may not like it, you can think for yourself and make your own decisions.

I do think that since the Starbucks in question was on university property, Baylor had the right to say what goes; but I also think that, since the university has allowed Starbucks, a private, independent company, to set up shop on its campus, Baylor should also realize it is accepting all the influences that shop brings. Just as public schools in this state have accepted the influence military recruiters bring, with their suggestive images of the glorious time you will have in the service.

You would think, if you spent the time and effort religion does on teaching an idea to your children, that you would trust them to make what you have taught them to be the right choice.

I still am having trouble with whether that is a lack of trust in the young people they are teaching or a lack of trust in what they are teaching.

Damian Good lives in Seattle.

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