Category : Alcohol/Drinking

(CT) The deadliest incident faced by the persecuted church last Christmas wasn’t radical Islamists. It was alcohol.

The deadliest incident faced by the persecuted church last Christmas wasn’t radical Islamists. It was alcohol.

Liquor mixed with aftershave killed about 50 people at Christmas parties in a Pakistani village, and sickened about 100 more.

In Pakistan, as in many Muslim-majority nations where Shari‘ah law forbids drinking, alcohol is closely identified with Christianity. The nation’s primary alcohol producer, for example, riffs on the Bible in advertisements. Founded in 1860 by the British, Murree Brewery’s slogan, “Eat, drink, and be Murree,” echoes the repeated biblical idiom for short-term pleasures.

Perhaps as surprising as the existence of a Pakistani brewery is the fact that 12 Muslims were among the victims of the fatal Christmas parties.

Read it all.

Posted in Alcohol/Drinking, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Pakistan, Race/Race Relations

(1st Things) Peter Hitchens: The Fantasy of Addiction

It was the triumph of the Christian religion that for many centuries it managed to become the unreasoning assumption of almost all, built into every spoken and written word, every song, and every building. It was the disaster of the Christian religion that it assumed this triumph would last forever and outlast everything, and so it was ill equipped to resist the challenge of a rival when it came, in this, the century of the self. The Christian religion had no idea that a new power, which I call selfism, would arise. And, having arisen, selfism has easily shouldered its rival aside. In free competition, how can a faith based upon self-restraint and patience compete with one that pardons, unconditionally and in advance, all the self-indulgences you can think of, and some you cannot? That is what the “addiction” argument is most fundamentally about, and why it is especially distressing to hear Christian voices accepting and promoting it, as if it were merciful to call a man a slave, and treat him as if he had no power to resist. The mass abandonment of cigarettes by a generation of educated people demonstrates that, given responsibility for their actions and blamed for their outcomes, huge numbers of people will give up a bad habit even if it is difficult. Where we have adopted the opposite attitude, and assured abusers that they are not answerable for their actions, we have seen other bad habits grow or remain as common as before. Heroin abuse has not been defeated, the abuse of prescription drugs grows all the time, and heavy drinking is a sad and spreading problem in Britain.

Most of the people who read what I have written here, if they even get to the end, will be angry with me for expressing their own secret doubts, one of the cruellest things you can do to any fellow creature. For we all prefer the easy, comforting falsehood to the awkward truth. But at the same time, we all know exactly what we are doing, and seek with ever-greater zeal to conceal it from ourselves. Has it not been so since the beginning? And has not the greatest danger always been that those charged with the duty of preaching the steep and rugged pathway persuade themselves that weakness is compassion, and that sin can be cured at a clinic, or soothed with a pill? And so falsehood flourishes in great power, like the green bay tree.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Anthropology, Drugs/Drug Addiction, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Pastoral Theology, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Telegraph) Gérard Depardieu gives up alcohol: 'I really no longer like drunkenness'

Gérard Dépardieu, the larger-than-life French star who once boasted that he sometimes drank 14 bottles of wine a day, says he has now given up the booze.

“I haven’t been drinking for some time now. I really no longer like drunkenness,” the 67-year-old, who is currently starring of the new Netflix series Marseille, told le Parisien newspaper.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Europe, France, Movies & Television

(Milwaukee JS) Bible and a brew: Groups get together to talk faith over a pint

The big screen at Bernie’s Tap Room in Waukesha flickers with a baseball game between Texas Christian University and Dallas Baptist. The players are nearly life-size.

But the action on-screen is lost to the 15 people seated at two long tables in front of the game. They are deep in conversation about Jesus, church and life, stopping occasionally for a sip from the pint glass at hand.

Jesus + Beer is in session.

In and near Milwaukee, some people are getting a little faith with their froth. Assemblages like Jesus + Beer are part of a national trend of groups combining Bible study with elbow-bending. Sometimes, it’s just easier to talk religion over a beer, one pastor said. It’s also an idea that goes back to Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Apologetics, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Scotsman) Calls for action as Scotland records highest rate of alcohol deaths in UK

Scotland had the worst rate for alcohol-related deaths in any part of the UK, according to figures recorded over the past 20 years.

Alcohol death rates for men in Scotland have risen dramatically, according to the figures published by the Office for National Statistics. In Scotland they stood at 31.2 per 100,000 of the population, compared to 18.1 per 100,000 in England, 20.3 in Northern Ireland and 19.9 for Wales.

The latest findings from 2014 led to renewed calls for the introduction of the Scottish Government’s plan for a minimum alcohol price, aimed at tackling alcohol abuse.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Scotland, Theology

(NYT Style) Happy Hour Without the Booze

On a recent rainy afternoon over veggie burgers at NeueHouse, the co-working space in the Flatiron district, three Vedic meditators were discussing drink options for a new kind of happy hour they were organizing.

“Tonight would be a good night for tea,” Katia Tallarico, 33, a lanky psychotherapist from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said to Light Watkins, 42, an organizer from Los Angeles typically partial to a hot lemon-ginger elixir.

“It’s O.K., we have a really great water, from Australia,” said Andrea Praet, 34, a trend strategist from Greenpoint, who also runs an urban retreat series, with Ms. Tallarico, called the Uplift Project.

Around 5 p.m., the three made their way over to set up a “bar” and buffet at General Assembly, a fourth-floor technology school and site of New York City’s inaugural Shine: an inspirational, alcohol-free evening.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Young Adults

(Saint John's Johns Island) Ron's Testimony "I am a grateful alcoholic"

In AA, you always introduce yourself by name and say,“… and I am an alcoholic.” Amongst other things, the Twelve Steps requires you to admit your own powerlessness and to turn your life over to the care of God. I know I am still an alcoholic ”“ my sponsor in AA has been sober for thirty years, and he is still an alcoholic too”“but I’m a grateful alcoholic, because I found Jesus.

One Sunday last Fall I came to St. John’s Parish for the first time; they were asking for help with the Feeding of the Multitude, so I signed up. I’ve been part of St. John’s ever since. Sometimes I attend services in the church, and other times I go to Walton Hall ”“ I love to sing There Is Power In The Blood ”“ but it doesn’t matter where I go, He is with me. It is phenomenal what Christ has done for me, the joy He’s given me.I regret missing it for so long.I can’t start over,but I can make a new beginning. Now I’m trying to be sensitive to see what His purpose is for the rest of my life.

Read it all (page 3).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Christology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology

([London] Times) Middle-class children put at greater alcohol risk

Middle-class parents risk turning their children into alcoholics by offering them drinks at home, according to government research which showed that affluent teenagers were twice as likely as the poorest to be regular drinkers.

Young people from middle-class backgrounds are also more likely to have tried alcohol and to continue with the habit once they have started, said the survey of 120,000 15-year-olds.

Charities warned that many parents still mistakenly believe that introducing their children to alcohol at home, even a glass of wine with a family dinner, might protect them from becoming problem drinkers. Despite being legal, it is likely to have the opposite effect, campaigners said.

The study, the first of its kind published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, a body funded by the Department of Health, found that 70 per cent of boys and girls aged 15 in the least deprived areas had tried alcohol, compared to 50 per cent in the most deprived.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Anthropology, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Theology

(W Post) A group of middle-aged whites in the U.S. is dying at a startling rate

A large segment of white middle-aged Americans has suffered a startling rise in its death rate since 1999, according to a review of statistics published Monday that shows a sharp reversal in decades of progress toward longer lives.

The mortality rate for white men and women ages 45-54 with less than a college education increased markedly between 1999 and 2013, most likely because of problems with legal and illegal drugs, alcohol and suicide, the researchers concluded. Before then, death rates for that group dropped steadily, and at a faster pace.

An increase in the mortality rate for any large demographic group in an advanced nation has been virtually unheard of in recent decades, with the exception of Russian men after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The rising death rate was accompanied by an increase in the rate of illness, the authors wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Middle Age, Parish Ministry, Sociology, Theology

Former Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook sentenced to 7 years in drunk-driving death of cyclist

Former Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in prison for killing a cyclist in a drunken crash in Baltimore two days after Christmas.

The sentence came at the end of a two-hour hearing in which the wife, mother and sisters-in-law of Thomas Palermo directed their grief and anger at the disgraced clergywoman.

Prosecutors said Cook was far above the legal limit for alcohol and sending a text message as she drove her Subaru Forester in Roland Park on the afternoon of Dec. 27. She struck and killed Palermo, a 41-year-old software engineer and father of two young children, as he enjoyed a ride.

She left the scene twice, a fact that weighed on judge Timothy J. Doory.

“Your leaving the scene at that time was more than irresponsibility, it was a decision,” Doory said.

Read it all from the Baltimore Sun.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

Family whose 6 yr old daughter was killed by drunk driver wins suit against Bar who served him

A Richland County jury on Friday afternoon socked a local bar with a $3.85 million negligence verdict in connection with the bar’s role in serving liquor to a drunk man who several hours later rammed his Jeep into a car, killing 6-year-old Emma Longstreet.

The jury, which began deliberations Thursday afternoon and broke for the night, deliberated more than eight hours in the civil case before reaching a verdict sometime before 4 p.m. Friday.

“Justice was served,” said Emma’s father, David Longstreet, who with his wife, Karen, their three children, and Kenny Sinchak, a motorist in another car, brought the lawsuit against the Loose Cockaboose Sports Bar.

The jury found the bar was serving liquor after a state-mandated closing time, and that it had served an obviously intoxicated Billy Patrick Hutto.

Several hours later, Hutto, a repeat DUI offender, ran a red light going 60 mph and slammed into the Longstreets’ car in Lexington County while they were on their way to church. Emma died later in a local hospital.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Alcohol/Drinking, Children, City Government, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, State Government, Theology, Travel

(CNBC) The $249B hangover: How binge drinking costs the US

We’re all painfully aware of the toll binge drinking takes on the body but what may be less known is the damage it inflicts on the economy.

Excessive drinking cost the U.S. $249 billion in 2010, or $2.05 per drink, according to a newly-released study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a significant increase from $223.5 billion, or $1.90 per drink, in 2006.

The financial toll on the economy stems in part from reduced workplace productivity – in other words, hangovers. Crime, accidents and the cost of treating people for health problems caused by excessive drinking also add to the cost.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology, Young Adults

(AI) Former suffragan Bishop of Maryland Cook pleads guilty to vehicular manslaughter

The former suffragan Bishop of Maryland, Heather Cook, has pled guilty to manslaughter and accepted criminal responsibility for the death of a Baltimore cyclist whom she struck and killed while she was driving while intoxicated on 27 Dec 2014. Appearing in a Baltimore City Circuit Court on 8 Sept 2015, one day ahead of her scheduled trial, Cook (58) pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of a fatal accident and texting while driving. Prosecutors have asked the former bishop, who was deposed from the ministry of the Episcopal Church on 1 May 2015, be sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, with ten years of her sentence suspended, followed by five years probation. – See more at: http://www.anglicanink.com/article/cook-pleads-guilty-vehicular-manslaughter#sthash.S2obYoFU.dpuf

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, Theology, Travel

Data reveals Charleston SC outpaces nation, Southeast peers in alcohol consumption

Charleston has always been known as a drinking city, but newly available statistics show exactly how much alcohol is behind the reputation: Its consumption levels far exceed the national average, contributing to a situation that public health researchers describe as worrisome.

But the numbers that trouble researchers are also deeply reflective of Charleston’s history and culture, which is currently being promoted on an unprecedented global scale. To better understand the incipient clash between a centuries-long tradition of private drinking and rabid public interest in the city that spawned it, The Post and Courier is taking a two-part look at the state of local alcohol consumption, starting with this review of relevant data.

According to statistics compiled independently by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Education, Charleston’s alcohol consumption patterns are oddly upper Midwestern in nature. The city’s imbibing habits most closely mirror those of places such as Milwaukee, where nearly half of the population claims German ancestry and enough snow falls every year to bury an average fourth-grader.

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Alcohol/Drinking, History, Urban/City Life and Issues

(BBC) The inspiring story of Jason Day, PGA Championship winner

When Jason Day fell flat on his back at the US Open in June, his head swimming with debilitating vertigo, the first person to help him to his feet was the most important man in his life.
Colin Swatton is much more than just a caddie to the Australian star who broke his major duck with victory at the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits on Sunday.
Swatton’s support helped his ailing boss complete the US Open at Chambers Bay. Within two months Day fulfilled his golfing potential in brilliant style with a record-breaking major championship score of 20 under par.
To have risen from such a stricken position to the top of the golfing world, reflects the journey Day has taken in life with Swatton as mentor, coach and caddie.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Australia / NZ, Men, Sports, Young Adults