Rev. Mark H. Creech: Why Alcohol Issues Should Still Matter in North Carolina

Shadows are gathering over North Carolina. Clouds are approaching. The passion for gaining riches is set to cast a pall across the land. But our eyes have grown so accustomed to the darkness that it’s possible we’ll ignore the ominous tempest which it forebodes.

Only a few weeks ago, a Boeing jet plane crashed, and 157 people were killed. Directly after that, Boeing Max 8 planes like the one involved in the crash were shut down worldwide. Yet excessive alcohol use leads to 241 deaths every day and 2.5 million years of potential life lost every year in the United States. In North Carolina the stats reveal 360 deaths and more than 3000 years of potential life lost annually, and despite these horrific figures hardly anyone bats an eye.

Object to a legislative proposal that would dangerously make alcohol more accessible, and you are apt to be looked at as someone from the Flat Earth Society. Even most Christian organizations have given up on addressing the alcohol issue. One highly esteemed Christian activist has written a book that is a veritable encyclopedia on social issues of concern to evangelicals, but there isn’t a word about alcohol. When was the last time you heard your pastor speak about alcohol use and abuse from the pulpit? If you did, it was probably just in a passing reference and certainly not an entire sermon.

You see, the darkness is so thick with LGBTQ advances, pro-choice contentions, religious liberty issues – issues we deem much weightier – it hardly seems consequential we should be concerned about alcohol and its related harms.

Nevertheless, what’s too outdated, what’s not urgent enough, what’s not Christian enough, about resisting policies that celebrate, as well as perpetuate, the reckless use of a commodity that blasts character, weakens minds, breaks up the home, and produces crime and poverty?

Is it not also our patriotic duty as Christians to suppress forces that debase the citizenry whom the state governs and upon which all social and political groups depend for security, welfare, health, and happiness?

Christians may be divided over the question of whether to drink or not. But surely there should be unanimity on whether Christians support and work for policies that minimize and reduce alcohol-related harms. So why aren’t more Christians doing it?

Perhaps many fail to understand the depth and vast scope of alcohol-related problems? The list seems almost endless. There are serious diseases, disorders, injuries, social and legal troubles that flow from alcohol abuse and the irresponsible public policies which exacerbate it.

Without listing these harms, one might consider the situation in this way. Almost everyone has someone, either in their immediate family or part of their extended family, negatively impacted by an alcohol-related crisis. Think about it. Nearly every family has been in some fashion adversely affected. Is there anything with a more solemn distinction? Hardly!

Shadows are growing over the Old North State, and clouds are approaching. There is a storm on the horizon because certain lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly assume it’s a new day and that few people care about the alcohol issue anymore.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Rev. Mark H. Creech