Archive for the ‘Prohibition’ Tag

Intemperance a Sin   8 comments

26196v

Above:  Cover of Puck Magazine, August 28, 1907

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-26196

Summary from the Library of Congress page:

Illustration shows two men, one labeled “Georgia” and the other labeled “Maine”, both are holding bottles, one labeled “Orange Phosphate” and the other labeled “Cold Tea” which contain alcohol; their pockets are filled with such bottles, their method of subverting prohibition.

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2011647232/)

I am, for the record, a practicing Episcopalian, albeit a relatively “dry” one.  I have no objection to the sale or use of alcohol yet do object to the abuse of that substance.  Abuse of anything is a sin, but alcohol is, in and of itself, morally neutral.  I think of an old (perhaps apocryphal) story about a lady who traveled on the lecture circuit for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU).  At one town, she gave her stump speech about how God wants people to avoid alcohol completely.  Then she asked if anyone had any questions for her.  A young man raised his hand.  She called on him.  Then he asked,

If what you say is true, how do you explain Jesus turning water into wine?

The speaker replied,

I would like him better if he had not done that.

I also know the historical record regarding the unintended consequences of Prohibition in the United States.  Yes, alcohol consumption did decrease for decades, but Prohibition was a boon to corruption and organized crime.  There are limits to how much morality one can legislate effectively.

I recall a family story.  My great-grandfather, in his later years, received an unwelcome prescription.  His doctor told him to drink a small amount of wine with each evening meal.  My great-grandfather protested that alcohol had never passed his lips.  But my great-grandmother knew better; she had opened the packages containing fruit cakes when he had been elsewhere.  As we say in the South,

’nuff said.

Now, without further ado, are my great-grandfather’s thoughts on intemperance.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 30, 2012  COMMON ERA

THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS, YEAR C

THE SIXTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANYSIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF FRANCES JOSEPH-GAUDET, PRISON REFORMER

THE FEAST OF JOSEPHINE BUTLER, WORKER AMONG WOMEN

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Hab. 2, 12 & 15; 2 Jno. 11

1.  It is wrong to drink–beverages forbidden pigs make hogs; tipters make topers.  It is an evil for the (1) body (2) mind and (3) soul–damns it at the last.  “Is not wise,” is a fool (Prov. 20:1).  Drunkard classed with the thief & murderer (Gal. 5:19-21; Rev. 21:8)  Neither shall inherit eternal life.  “At the last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder.”

2.  Wrong to give it, or sell it.  (Hab. 2:15)  It hurts my brother whom I have no right to harm (1 Cor. 10:28 and 8:9; Romans 14:13).  Since I dare not touch the business, God’s curse is upon all who do.  We have no moral right to engage in that which destroys life eternally.

3.  It is wrong to endorse its sale–Hab. 2:12.  If one consents to murder, he is guilty of blood–2 Jno 11.  Shall we by vote or consent in any way to legalize the murder of souls.

God’s curse rests upon the whole traffic.  Let it alone in all its forms.  Do your duty for God and home  and native land.  If all the world goes to the bad, don’t you dare consent to it.  Live for God and the good of others.

GEORGE WASHINGTON  BARRETT

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