Media & Adventist Benefits- Lower the US Drinking Age?

Have you ever heard that “Prohibition [of alcohol] didn’t work”?

Did removing prohibition work? Look at the results in society where alcohol has clearly been involved- many broken homes, irresponsible and absent fathers, battered wives, molested and abused children, youth who have lost their virginity while drunk, binge drinking, fetal alcohol syndrome, millions on the welfare roles that wouldn’t be if alcohol were not a part of their lives or the lives of at least one parent, tens of thousands of alcohol-related deaths on the highways every year.

And now we’re told by a group of college and university presidents- the ones who should be warning young people of the serious dangers of alcohol and taking initiatives to protect them from it- that the answer is even less regulation.

Fortunately some are challenging this idea, just as Ellen White did over one hundred years ago. Note these comments in the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor and The Ministry of Healing below.

“It’s part of an educator’s job to spark debate, but a group of about 130 college presidents is on the wrong track with its suggestion that the nation reconsider the legal drinking age of 21.

“The college executives are right to be alarmed about the binge drinking that besieges their campuses. But there is no proof that easier access to alcohol would solve that problem, and there is strong evidence that college administrations could do a lot more than they are doing to combat the alcohol epidemic.”

       – New York Times, September 16, 2008 “Colleges and Binge Drinking

“After nearly four decades of exacting research on how to save lives and reduce injuries by preventing drinking and driving, there is a revanchist attempt afoot to roll back one of the most successful laws in generations: the minimum legal drinking age of 21.

This is extremely frustrating. While public health researchers must produce painstaking evidence that’s subjected to critical scholarly review, lower-drinking-age advocates seem to dash off remarks based on glib conjecture and self-selected facts…”

          – Christian Science Monitor, January 12, 2006 “There’s no benefit to lowering the drinking age

For over one hundred years Seventh-day Adventists have been sharing concerns about the alcohol industry’s efforts to ensnare youth. Consider these insights from The Ministry of Healing Chapter 27 “Liquor Traffic and Prohibition” (pages 337-346).

“…the work of making drunkards of the youth goes steadily forward. Upon the creating of the liquor appetite in the youth the very life of the traffic depends. The youth are led on, step by step, until the liquor habit is established and the thirst is created that at any cost demands satisfaction. Less harmful would it be to grant liquor to the confirmed drunkard, whose ruin, in most cases, is already determined, than to permit the flower of our youth to be lured to destruction through this terrible habit.

By the licensing of the liquor traffic, temptation is kept constantly before those who are trying to reform. Institutions have been established where the victims of intemperance may be helped to overcome their appetite. This is a noble work; but so long as the sale of liquor is sanctioned by law, the intemperate receive little benefit from inebriate asylums. They cannot remain there always. They must again take their place in society. The appetite for intoxicating drink, though subdued, is not wholly destroyed; and when temptation assails them, as it does on every hand, they too often fall an easy prey….”

Click here to read entire chapter “Liquor Traffic and Prohibition

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Filed under Health & Temperance, Media & Adventist Benefits, Youth Ministry