Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Congressional Issues 2012
Alcohol Prohibition

Congress should
  • Prohibition doesn't work. It was tried. It failed. Miserably.
  • The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, which declared that "the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited."
  • Therefore the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms serves no valid Constitutional purpose, is a threat to our Constitutional liberties, and ought to be abolished.

Prohibition of Alcohol was unconstitutional in 1918 -- "until we amended the Constitution to give the federal government powers it didn't previously have. Back then, politicians had more respect for the oath they took to "support the Constitution." It was clear the federal government had been given no authority in the Constitution to regulate the sale or distribution of alcohol. The Constitution creates a government of "enumerated powers." A Constitutional Amendment was clearly required to give the federal government the powers which prohibitionists wanted it to exercise. Then those powers were found to have disastrous side effects: high black-market profits, organized crime, and impure bootleg liquor. More people died from Prohibition than died from the substance being prohibited.  Americans then re-amended the Constitution to take away from the federal government the power to ban alcohol."

Whenever a Congressman votes in favor of laws regarding alcohol, tobacco or firearms, he violates his sacred oath to support the Constitution.

To call Prohibition a "success," you'd have to ignore the precipitous rise in homicides and other violent crime during the period; the rise in hospitalizations due to alcohol poisoning; the number of people blinded or killed by drinking toxic, black-market gin; the corrupting influence of Prohibition on government officials, from beat cops to the halls of Congress to Harding's attorney general; and the corresponding erosion of the rule of law.
Radley Balko, "Better Dead Than High"
The morally dubious logic of drug warriors
Despite the repeal of Prohibition, the alcohol industry is virtually an arm of the government.
How Your Beer Bought John McCain's $500 Loafers: Uncovering the government subsidies behind Cindy McCain's family fortune - Reason Magazine

Prohibition violates "the rule of law."
The Constitution does not give the federal government power to do anything about any addiction, whether alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.

The little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition. - By Deborah Blum - Slate Magazine
Over 9,000 killed.

Christianity and Alcohol

Drunkenness is a sin. Drinking is not.

The use of alcohol (and other herbs or drugs) is not contrary to "the laws of Nature and of Nature's God."

From Dee Lauderdale at  A Worshipful Heart: The Question of Alcohol for Christians:

Do you suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused? Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women?
– Martin Luther

Historically, God’s people have greatly enjoyed alcohol. In the European world one of the most Christian drinks was beer.

  • Saint Gall was a missionary to the Celts and renowned brewer.
  • After Charlemagne’s reign the church because Europe’s exclusive brewer.
  • When a young woman was to marry her church made a special bridal ale for her, from which we derive our word bridal.
  • Pastor John Calvin’s annual salary package included upwards of 250 gallons of wine to be enjoyed by him and his guests.
  • Martin Luther explained the entire reformation as “…while I sat still and drank beer with Philiip and Amsdorf, God dealt the papacy a mighty blow.”
  • Luther’s wife Catherine was a skilled brewer and his love letters to her when they were apart lamented his inability to drink her beer.
  • When the Puritan’s landed on Plymouth Rock the first permanent building they erected was the brewery.

As feminism grew in America during the turn of the 20th century the women’s suffrage and prohibition movements were the practical results of a feminine piety that came to also dominate the church as more women became pastors and the church became more feminine.

Some denominations began to condemn alcohol as sinful and the Methodist pastor Dr. Thomas Welch created the very “Christian” Welch’s grape juice to replace communion wine in 1869. The marriage of Christianity and feminism helped to create a dry nation that put out of business all but the largest brewers who were able to survive on near beer and root beer which explains why today American beer is largely mass produced, watered down, light on calories, and feminine in comparison to rich and dark European beers. The resurgence of micro-brews is helping to overcome the great loss and resurrect the art of brewing.

Lastly, some Christians foolishly argue that such terms as "new wine" and "mixed wine" in the Bible speak of non-alcoholic wine. But, new wine can still intoxicate according to Scripture (Isa. 24:7; Hosea 4:11; Joel 1:5), and mixed wine refers to special wines where various wines are mixed together and/or mixed with spices and does not refer to wine cut with water (Psalm 75:8, Song of Songs 8:2). God refers to pouring out the wine of His mixed wine on His enemies which does not mean He will dilute justice (Psa. 75:8). The only time such a practice is mentioned in the Bible is in regards to merchants who cut wine with to rob customers (Isa. 1:22).

The Bible speaks of grape juice (Num. 6:3) and if God meant to speak of non-alcoholic wine he would have used that word to avoid confusion.

All Bible believing Christians agree that drunkenness is a sin.

  • The Bible is abundantly clear that drunkenness is a sin (Deut. 21:20; Eccl. 10:17; Matt. 24:29; Lk. 12:45; 21:34; Rom. 13:13; I Cor. 5:11; Eph. 5:18; I Pet. 4:3).
  • The matter is so serious that no priest was to drink alcohol while performing their duties (Lev. 10:9; Ez. 44:21) though they could consume while not working (Num. 18:12, 27, 30),
  • no king was to drink while judging law (Pr. 31:4-5),
  • an elder/pastor cannot be a drunkard (I Tim. 3:3; Tit. 1:7),
  • and that no drunkard will inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:10; Galatians 5:21).

Sins associated with drunkenness include:

  • incest (Gen. 19:32-35),
  • violence (Pr. 4:17);
  • adultery (Rev. 17:2);
  • mockery and brawling (Prov. 20:1);
  • poverty (Prov. 21:17);
  • late night and early morning drinking (Isa. 5:11-12);
  • hallucinations (Isa. 28:7);
  • legendary antics (Isa. 5:22);
  • murder (2 Sam. 11:13),
  • gluttony and poverty (Prov. 23:20-21);
  • vomiting (Jer. 25:27, 48:26; Isa. 19:14);
  • staggering (Jer. 25:27; Ps. 107:27; Job 12:25);
  • madness (Jer. 51:7),
  • loudness combined with laughter and then prolonged sleep (Jer. 51:39);
  • nakedness (Hab. 2:15; Lam. 4:21);
  • sloth (Joel 1:5);
  • escapism (Hosea 4:11);
  • depression (Lk. 21:34);
  • and staying up all night (I Thess. 5:7).

Prohibitionists wrongly teach that all drinking is a sin and that alcohol itself is an evil.

  • Psalm 104:14-15 He [God] makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate-bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens the heart of man…
  • John 2:1-11 is clear that Jesus first miracle was performing over 100 gallons of wine at a wedding party
  • Matthew 11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right by her actions."

Abstentionists wrongly teach that drinking is not sinful but that all Christians should avoid drinking out of love for others and a desire to not cause anyone to stumble.

  • Hosea 2:8 She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold-which they used for Baal.
  • Matthew 11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right by her actions."
  • I Tim. 4:1-5 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
  • I Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Moderationists rightly teach that drinking is not a sin and that Christian conscience must guide each person.

Wine is spoken of as both good and bad in the same verses (I Samuel 1:14, 24; 25:18, 37; Joel 1:5,10).

Apart from good feasting alcohol in Scripture is rightly used for:

  • communion (Matt. 26:29; Mk. 14:25; Lk. 22:18),
  • medicinal purposes (Prov. 31:6; I Timothy 5:23),
  • and OT worship (Num. 28:14).
  • Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
  • Ecclesiastes 9:7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart..
  • Psalm 104:14-15 He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate-bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart.
  • Deut. 14:26 Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice.
  • Romans 14:1-15:2

For further reading: God Gave Wine: What the Bible Says About Alcohol by Kenneth Gentry


next: Drugs

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