Our Nation's No. 1 Drug Problem
George T. Eldridge
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The sixties and seventies shocked America as she learned who used, for example, narcotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, psychedelic drugs, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or LSD. The use of those drugs is still being discussed in our legislative halls, newspapers, magazines, radio programs, television programs, books, and pulpits. All of those afore named drugs and others peculiar to the present generation have never been our nation's number 1 drug problem!! That statement is a heavy blow in the opinions of too many people, but truth is truth. The previously named are not as damaging to an individual and society as the sin engaged in by Noah (Gen. 10:20-24). Our nation's number I drug is as old as ' Noah and is sold in supermarkets, drug stores, and convenience stores.
"The nation's no. 1 >drug problem,' the Department of Health, Education and Welfare asserted last week, continues to be alcohol" ("The No. 1 Drug Problem," Newsweek, February 28, 1972, page 54).
Alcohol is Valuable
Alcohol has great usages. It performs service as an industrial solvent, chemical intermediate, and is regarded as one of the most important accessory chemicals. The medicine and the pharmaceutical industry make wide use of ethyl alcohol as a chemical intermediate, therapeutic agent, and general solvent. Alcohol's solvent power is particularly useful for the extraction of medicinals from plant and animal tissues and, for example, compounding tonics, elixirs, cough syrups, tinctures, liniments, antiseptics, or medicinal soaps. With those uses, alcohol is not branded as "the nation's No. I drug problem." Alcohol is the No. 1 drug problem when used as a beverage or used in beverages!
Alcohol Is a Drug
"Taken internally, alcohol acts as a narcotic and is the principal active ' ingredient present in all spirituous liquors~' ("Alcohol," Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 1, Chicago, 1952, p. 540). The word "spirits" is most frequently used as a designation for alcoholic beverages, more particularly of the ardent type which owe their strength to distillation. The ardent type is strong alcoholic liquor, such as whiskey or gin. Spiritous liquors are usually classified as (1) distilled, including whiskey, gin, and brandy, (2) malt, including beer and ale, (3) vinous, or wines. All of them contain ethyl alcohol, which is habit-forming, a narcotic drug, poison, and harmful to every form of life. Distilled beverages are usually 45% to 50% alcohol. Malt beverages are of lower alcohol content: beer usually 4% to 6% and ale about 10%. Wine is usually from 10% to 14% alcohol, but fortified wine may run 20% or more by reason of the addition of more alcohol.
Defenders of Alcoholic Beverages
The spokesmen for spirituous liquors are naturally the manufacturers, sellers, and drinkers. A few churches or church-owned societies are even among the manufacturers, too. Isn't that a shame? Churches are supposedly trying to influence people to go to Heaven, yet they will produce Hell-sending and society-damaging booze. They aid the drinkers on their road to the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:15). The Roman Catholic Church is the best known church which makes liquor. One example is the Christian Brothers, a teaching order of the Roman Catholic Church. This order is located in Napa, California (P.O. Box 420). The Christian Brothers began their wine making operations in 1879, and they are now one of the largest wine producers in the United States. Profits from this operation help to carry on the order's expanding educational work and to support 13 institutions of learning in California and Oregon. Also, the Christian Brothers are the largest manufacturers of commercial brandy in America. Because of a House Subcommittee on Internal Revenue Taxation meeting held in 1956, and the decision handed down by Federal Judge Sherrill Halbert in Sacramento in July, 1961, the Christian Brothers Winery meets all state and federal tax commitments like any other business. Another example of the Roman Catholic Church being in the alcohol business is the Novitiate of Los Gatos of Ukiah, California (Route 1, Box 572).
The common idea held by a number of people today is to place religion with any product or action. This will then make everything acceptable to God and, especially, to society. That is one factor as to why Christian Brothers Liquor is on the market. It is disgusting and sickening to see religion tied to any product as harmful as alcoholic beverages. God does not sanction spirituous liquors today nor did Jesus in His day. God's Son and our Savior never used any semblance to current alcoholic beverages. Any individual appealing to the Bible as his basis of approval for his "social drinking" proclaims to everyone his total lack of knowledge concerning the Word of God. Such a person will be "destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6).
Everyone knows drinkers of spirits are found in churches. It is revolting to find a few in Churches of Christ. Why are some drinkers accepted in Churches of Christ and even permitted to participate in services? Please consider these six reasons:
1. The drinker has fair speech, a pious appearance, or financial wealth.
2. The brethren do not know that our brother or sister drinks.
3. The brethren do not believe drinking is sinful.
5. The good people in the church cannot combat the strong influence the drinker has in the church.
6. A significant portion of the baptized believers will not believe that person is a drinker.
Most defenders of drinking will not be fair and honorable toward those who differ with them. In fact, they will not defend their belief publically. When "social drinkers" are men of influence in the church, the preacher might be fired for opposing this sin and asking brethren "Who is on the Lord's side?" Defenders of alcoholic beverages are not speaking as the oracles of God and are blind leaders (I Peter 4:11; Matt. 15:14).
"Abhor that which is evil" (Rom. 12:9). Alcoholic beverages are evil; therefore, you must "dislike, have a horror of" our nation's number I drug problem, which is alcohol.
Truth Magazine, XVIII:32, p. 11-12