best sweet tea

A Definitive Ranking Of Fast Food Sweet Tea, As Told By A Certified Southerner

I mean, even bad sweet tea is better than no sweet tea, but that doesn't mean I'm not picking where we eat lunch based on the tea quality.

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Everyone knows that sweet tea is God's personal gift to mankind. It's cold, it's refreshing, it's good on its own or with food, and it's sweet.

The perfect drink, y'all.

But let's not pretend that some sweet tea isn't better than other sweet tea, especially when it comes to fast food chains. I mean, even bad sweet tea is better than no sweet tea, but that doesn't mean I'm not picking where we eat lunch based on the tea quality.

And I've tried A LOT of different fast food sweet teas over the years of my life, so trust me when I say that this is the definitive ranking of all fast food sweet teas:

1. Pal's Sudden Service

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If you don't have a Pal's, then that's your loss because it is amazing. The food is great and so is the customer service, but the tea is the best. That tea has gotten me through both good and bad times in my life. Honestly, probably going to go get some after I finish writing because now I'm thinking about it...

2. Chick-fil-A

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To be 100% fair, Chick-fil-A's tea is made extra amazing by the fact that their food is so good. It's the perfect compliment to any fried chicken meal they offer. It's not so sweet that you want to die after drinking it, but it has just enough sugar to be amazing.

3. Cookout

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Okay so I've heard several people complain that Cookout tea is too sweet for them. Personally, I go get Cookout tea anytime I'm not around a Pal's but wish I could have Pal's tea. I think it's great to drink with their food or have on it's own. Definitely a solid #3 choice here, people.

4. Zaxby's

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Zaxby's is basically a knock-off, slightly-healthier-because-they-offer-salads version of Chick-fil-A. That being said, their tea functions in basically the same way. A very good fourth choice, but not a one or two. Need I say more?

5. Raising Cane's 

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Cane's is another knock-off Chick-fil-A, but I honestly think that they's less healthy than Chick-fil-A if that's possible. Their tea is pretty good, but nothing that I'd go out of my way to get or think about wanting at a random time.

6. Popeye's

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Honestly, Popeye's is sixth on the list because I don't remember what it tastes like. But I know that I would remember if it was bad, so there's that.

7. Arby's

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Similarly to Popeye's, I don't remember anything about Arby's tea other than the fact that it exists. So seventh place for existing I guess?

8. KFC

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KFC's tea is meh. Not good, not bad. You could definitely do worse, but you could also do much, much better.

9. Dairy Queen

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Dairy Queen's tea borders on syrupy every time I have it. Like, why does it taste so weak, but so sugary? Please explain. Basically, if you're going to DQ, stick to ice cream.

10. McDonald's 

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Do I still get tea if I have to eat at McDonald's, yes? Is it good? Nope. Not really at all. It's like drinking sugar water. No one wants that. We want to taste at least some tea in there.

11. Burger King

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Just no.

12. Wendy's 

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I have no idea what Wendy's puts in the cup, but it is NOT tea. There's no way. It might be something that started out as tea, but it's mostly just some kind of weird sugary juice water stuff. Basically, just don't do it. It isn't worth it.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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