Rev. Mark H. Creech: There’s a Bar Almost Everywhere, but Not in North Carolina Movie Theaters

During the last session of the North Carolina General Assembly, proposed alcohol legislation would have lowered the criteria for Movie Theaters to obtain a mixed beverage permit. Some theaters already sell beer and wine, but this would have authorized them to have bars.

As a registered lobbyist for the Christian Action League, I urged a Senate committee to reject the scheme. In my testimony before the committee, I asked, “Will there be any place remaining that a family can go that doesn’t have a bar? Will there be a public place left that’s a respite for people who choose not to drink?” Fortunately, sometime later lawmakers agreed to drop that initiative.

Alcohol has become so much a part of the fabric of our daily lives. It’s at the grocery and convenience stores, restaurants, and hotels. Its advertisements are on television, radio, billboards, in the newspapers and social media. It’s served at meals, at social gatherings, and at celebrations as casually as coffee and tea.

Alcohol is so acceptable these days, its negative impact is rarely if ever, considered. Alcohol-related problems have become the third leading cause of preventable death in this country. The national crisis surrounding our use of alcohol is far worse than a war. Even the worst of wars comes to an end, but alcohol abuse issues endlessly increase their destruction year after year after year after year on innumerable levels.

Consequentially, alcohol policy is a signature concern for the Christian Action League. When I’m lobbying on liquor legislation, the question is never whether to drink or not to drink. Instead, the focus is on the problematic nature of alcohol. Because alcohol is not an ordinary commodity, because it can pose serious threats to public health and safety, the League contends the state does well to maintain or enact policies that encourage temperance and work to minimize harms. Nevertheless, admittedly, I have never hidden my personal belief that abstinence is the most prudent position for the individual. Persons who avoid alcohol also avoid the plethora of hazards that can come with its use.

Few things waste the home’s capital as much as an alcohol-related problem and children are the chief victims. Last year, a study published by the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) in partnership with the Alcohol and Families Alliance and Alcohol Focus Scotland “showed that parents do not have to regularly drink large amounts of alcohol for their children to notice changes in their behavior and experience negative impacts.”

Another study, published in 2011 by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, examined drinking behaviors of young people in England and the primary influences on their alcohol consumption. They found that youth were “more likely to drink, to drink frequently and to drink to excess if exposed to a family member, especially a parent, drinking or getting drunk.”

According to the IAS study mentioned earlier, it also seems quite common for many parents to get inebriated in front of their children. Its findings additionally revealed that 29% of parents surveyed reported they had been drunk in front of their child, 51% reported having been tipsy in front of their child, and 29% thought it was alright to get drunk in front of their child as long as it didn’t happen regularly.

Of course, most parents who drink in front of their children would counter that they do so in moderation. But I wonder if they might be just as willing to smoke a marijuana cigarette in front of their children. I doubt most would, even if it were legal. Nonetheless, it’s a scientific fact that alcohol is a recreational drug. Moreover, alcohol generates more carnage than all the illicit drugs combined.

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Source: Christian Post