So as is often the case I was walking this morning when inspiration hit. As I was walking down Seminary Road I noticed a red, white, and blue patriotic can with the word “America” across it’s top. In case you don’t know this is the most recent advertising effort undertaken by Budweiser beer. A few thoughts crossed my mind that I felt compelled to share.
- What does it say about our nation when the most common expression of patriotism and what is perhaps the most noted company in the world for embracing “American” values of patriotism sells a product which when consumed dulls the senses and is the most common contributing factor to traffic fatalities the world has ever known?
- How did this most American of holidays, established to celebrate our freedom as a nation from tyranny and paid for by the noble, heroic, self-sacrificing spirit of men and women who died to secure our freedom become a drunken party?
- I am a patriot. I served in the military and would again so that people have the right to choose their own life and even in my Christianity I have no place for a faith that forces others to comply. There’s no Christianity unless people have the freedom to choose God or reject him.
With those stated, here’s my question. Why, in the name of freedom and the celebration of that freedom do people always choose that which enslaves?
Are we so beguiled by the commercials and promises of fulfillment that we lose the ability to choose a more noble path? Yes, I’m biased. I have been the designated driver for my entire life. I have never, not even once, consumed a beer. No whiskey and no wine. Therefore, maybe I don’t know what I’m missing. However, maybe I do. As the one who always took care of the drunks, I got to see what they didn’t; the consequences of their actions and the complete loss of themselves in the name of fulfillment, relaxation, and fun. Do I think that anyone will read this blog and suddenly never take another drink? That’s too wonderful for me to imagine. Do I want to engage in yet another multiple page Facebook rant from some supporter of Christian drinking who will inevitably point out the horrors and hypocrisy of unchallenged gossip and gluttony and in their opinion the apparent support in the scriptures for moderate consumption? Nope.
My quandary is that I just don’t get it. I simply cannot understand why, even without my concern for my Christian witness, why anyone would ever drink. If my only concern was my children and the potential impact upon them that would be enough to cause me to abstain. Pick a reason: money, reputation, loss of control, endangering my future, my marriage, my job, my freedom!! Any one of them would be sufficient to cause me not to drink. Can I imagine people who actually practice moderate drinking? Sure, except I have no idea where the line of moderation is. Every individual that I have known, who drinks, eventually crosses that line. All I know is without the first drink I can live completely unconcerned about crossing that line.
Anyway, how did our celebration of freedom turn into this?