20 August 2013

Day 20: My Views on Alcohol & Drugs

“Thou shalt not consume fermented or distilled beverages.”

Nope. Not in there. Anywhere.

There is abundant admonition against drunkenness (Eph 5:18, Prov 23:31), just as with many other excesses, but no outright prohibition. And even some approval (John 2:10) and recommendation (1 Tim 5:23).

I don’t do drugs. I don’t brag about this, but I smoked pot twice, 25 or 30 years ago. I didn’t like it. Everything was funny, which meant everything was just stupid.

I don’t drink enough to say I drink. I don’t particularly like beer or wine, just never developed a taste for it. An occasional shot of bourbon in a Coke or a shot of butterscotch schnapps in a holiday egg nog or hot chocolate is the extent of my drinking adventures.

I grew up in denomination known for its anti-alcohol teachings. Total abstinence and a reverence for the Eighteenth Amendment. Even a cold beer at the back yard cookout was unthinkable.

Then, like many folks, I did my stint (roughly a summer) on the bar tour; shooting pool, beer and pizza, mixed drinks if it happened to be a bar or other liquor-serving establishment. I rarely drank enough to get drunk, but there were a few occasions I’m not proud of. The last time I got drunk was approximately 1989-90. I was sitting at the end of the pool table, waiting for my shot. Completely without warning, the half a pizza and pitcher of beer I’d consumed minutes earlier decided to evacuate, and I was nothing but the egress tunnel. Riding to a friend’s house, in the back seat of my own nearly-brand-new Camaro, praying I didn’t throw up in it, cured my desire to drink for effect.

Budweiser used to run a series of commercials (maybe they still do, I don’t watch much TV) using the slogan “Know When to Say When.” The biggest problem with that philosophy is that every drink impairs your ability to know when “when” is, and lowers your inhibitions to doing things you may regret, albeit not remember. And with everyone having a smartphone these days, it’s good advice not to do anything you don’t want posted on Youtube.

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