12.29.2011

"Everything mankind does is much, much easier if you're ever so slightly drunk"

My good friend Stephen Heiner sent this video to me the other day, from the BBC show "Mitchell and Webb":


Got to love British humour. I enjoyed this one not least of which because I used to be very firmly in the camp to the teetotalers. Looking back I think that it actually isn't a particularly healthy attitude to treat drinking alcohol (in an of itself) as some sort of horrible sin. Working as a criminal lawyer I certainly see the terrible fruits that too much drinking bear, but I wonder if this isn't due in part to the prevailing attitude on drinking that (as with smoking) there is something inherently wrong about it.

In the Middle Ages people drank a lot of alcohol; wine was, for all intents and purposes the principle drink of that period, with beer and mead being seconds. It was consumed for pleasure and as a medicine. People of all walks of life would frequently drink posset (boiling wine and curdled milk) before bed. Yet I've come across nothing that would indicate alcoholism or degeneration were a problem (see Medieval Famines, Bread, and Wine at Tradition in Action for more)

Well, this is getting a bit deeper than my infrequent musings usually are. Maybe, simply "everything mankind does is much, much easier if you're ever so slightly drunk." A snifter of Brandy (as pictured in my introductory post) certainly never hurt the flow of the creative juices when writing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Wansbutter,

I believe there is a direct link between the founding of our respective nations and today's prevailing attitudes concerning alcohol. Australia, New Zealand, the North East of the US and the British portion of Canada were principally settled by protestants. Remember that in the 1790's when Australia, New Zealand and the British portion of Canada were in their infancy (having been settled only years prior to this decade (if memory serves me correctly re Canada) Wesley's Methodism was spreading like wildfire. This decade also saw the beginning of what is known in the Protestant world of the US North East as 'the Great Awakening' (culminating fifty years later in the formation of groups such as the Seventh Day Adventists, Mormans, Christian Scientists and a little later, the Jehova's Witnesses). the vast majority of these groups saw alcohol as the root of all evil, refering to Scriptural 'proof texts' to back up their theology. In the case of the Seventh Day Adventists and Mormans this extended to a prohibition on cafeen. It has only been in the last 30 years that one of the SDA Baptismal vows demanding a rejection of cafeen (along with alcohol, Tobacco and other drugs) has been revoked. Contemporary demonisation of alcohol is a remnant of fundamentalist protestantism. For certain, traditional Catholic Christian teachings on alcohol (based upon natural law) have prohibited drunkenness but never alcohol itself; on the contrary, these teachings have promoted a responsible use of this substance.

There is growing pressure and influence within 'Sydney anglicanism' to move to a 'tea total' stance as Biblically orthodox.

another SDA note, to truly understand the exogetical background for this, titles such as Dr. Samuel Bacchiocci's 'Wine and the Bible' will shed light on the mindset behind this stance.

Of note, groups such as orthodox SDAism forbid the wearing of jewelery and even the braiding of hair for we women based upon NT scriptural passages to the effect of modesty being not 'the putting on of apparrel, of gold, of the braiding of hair...but the putting on of a meek and quiet spirit' interpreted to outlaw the wearing of above. I have known of pastors who have refused to baptise couples who still wear their wedding bands - and yet, the vast majority reject the 'headcovering/mantilla re * Cor 11: 3-16 claiming it to be merely time and culture specific to Ancient Corrinth - odd, to say the least.

Thank god I am a Catholic Christian now (as of 8 October) and free of such lunacy, that, based on the supplimentary writings of Ellen G. White, have forbidden everything from vinegar to pepper, to cheese and even spurned Western Medicine (despite the SDA front of hospitals and medical missioneering around the world). 'Higher up and deeper in' based on EGW's writings, very dangerous views concerning Western medicine are held almost as articles of faith.

but I digress...

Pray for all souls trapped in this nightmare...


who are blinded to the beauty of Catholic Christianity and so much more.

Blessings,

Sarah,
Australia.

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