I’m sure you’ve seen the “50 reasons I don’t drink” posted on Facebook. If you haven’t, here’s a link to it. http://www.charismanews.com/us/54097-50-reasons-why-i-don-t-drink
Now… Here’s my response (the short version anyway)
Want the long version?
Here is an author who says she has decided to write about alcohol consumption. However, what she has decided to write about is alcohol over-consumption. She has conflated all alcohol consumption into her “drunkenness” box, and left no room at all for responsible drinking. In this author’s mind, either you don’t drink, or you’re a drunkard. Sorry, that’s a false dichotomy.
It is also a little dishonest to title an article “50 reasons I don’t drink” when your purpose is really to shame others into giving up drinking. Really, if your purpose was to explain yourself, you’d wait until someone asked you why you were drinking water. However, since you’ve pasted it on the internet for the world to read, you’re gonna have to deal with responses. You don’t get to sanctimoniously condemn an act (which is what this author did), then hide behind “I’m just making a plea! This is what I believe!”
Really, the only response necessary is, as a friend of mine remarked, “You know, if you’re not comfortable drinking, that’s the only reason you need. Leave everyone else alone.” However, what I’ve done here is attempt to respond to each of her 50 reasons.
1. So don’t drink enough to disable your decision-making faculties.
2. Nothing has just one purpose. At all. Ever.
3. I wish I lived in a happy world where I could afford to avoid anything that got me down. Also, see #2.
4. I don’t want to either, so I’m going to keep my alcohol consumption away from and out of sight of brothers and sisters I know to be weak in this area, which by the way appears to include the author of this original piece (self-admittedly a former alcoholic). This is real basic stuff here.
5. No, too much alcohol skews your judgement. Another false dichotomy.
6. I’m sorry you had this experience. I’m also sorry that you’ve assumed everyone has the same experience.
7. This is twisted thinking from the fundamentalist world. Your children could take any of your habits and turn them into their own habits. Or you could, you know, teach them moderation, and how to enjoy things responsibly.
8. I’m pretty sure the only people making that assumption are Americans who’ve learned how to be judgy-wudgy from their Christian neighbors.
9. I’m pretty sure if they saw you walking down the street in a cardigan it wouldn’t bring them any closer to God either. And the assumption that anything that doesn’t bring them closer will take them further from God is spurious.
10. Sleeping, eating shrimp scampi, drinking cola or using the bathroom; none of these bring you any closer to God either. This is absurd.
11. I want you to have a God who is big enough and powerful enough to get you up out of bed should he return at 2:00 in the morning. Is your God too small to reach through the psychological results of a responsible amount of alcohol consumption? Even to gather up His child whom He loves enough to sacrifice His life?
12. Why does it have to have a positive effect? Even assuming it does, is relaxation and socialization not positive enough, I guess?
13. I’ve never heard that about a lasagna either.
14. That’s great. Nobody thinks you appear evil though. (Added at a later time: You know what? Reading through this I’m getting more and more fed up at another fallacy I see here, circular reasoning. The author assumes as a premise that drinking is evil, then uses that fact to prove that drinking is evil. This is especially apparent here, where there would be no appearance of evil if drinking itself wasn’t evil.)
15. Again, I’m sorry it does that to you. I’m also sorry you’ve assumed that happens to everyone to the same extent.
16. See #15
17. Right. So is caffeine.
18. See #17.
19. See #2
20. I’m sure many regrets are associated with Pratt, Kansas. Personally I have more regret associated with frozen yogurt than any alcohol I’ve ever had.
21. I…. think I understand where you’re going with this? Honestly, we’re taking the experience of a former alcoholic and making it “the general experience of everybody”. Things get weird when you do that.
22. See #15
23. Thinking kills brain cells. Water can drown a person. I’m not a doctor, but I bet if I asked one, I would learn that capsaicin (the chemical that makes peppers hot) kills stomach cells.
24. No, for most consumers alcohol is a relaxing agent.
25. Being a glutton starts with one bite. Better not risk it.
26. It depends. You may have treated it as such, but I don’t consider a relaxing evening a waste, necessarily.
27. Friendship leads to bad behavior. Having testosterone or estrogen coursing through your body can cause bad behavior. See #25
28. Honestly, you can say this about any form of recreation. It’s a cheap shot. Lazy Christianity.
29. See #15
30. Money has ruined many marriages. Marriage has ruined many marriages.
31. Just because a false dichotomy is phrased cutely doesn’t make it valid.
32. Sigh… Then pay attention to how much you drink and don’t drink enough to dull your responses.
33. OK… and if I don’t start eating, I’ll never have to stop.
34. The only thing tarnished by responsible alcohol consumption is your inflated image of your own righteousness, which by the way is “as filthy rags”.
35. Well, the only reason I don’t want my teens to drink is because it’s against the law, so that doesn’t apply. But I see what you’re saying here. My answer there is that I don’t want teens to drink until they’ve been taught the responsibility that you don’t seem to think is possible for an adult. Again, your experience does not disqualify or represent anyone else’s.
36. See #31
37. See #31
38. I’ll be sure to tell the European congregation I used to attend where communion involved wine. I bet they’ll be scandalized. (Hint: no they won’t)
39. See #15.
40. See #15
41. I’m sure that’s EXACTLY what they thought at the wedding in Cana. Also, see #34
42. Or how about moderate eating? Or moderate sleeping? Or moderate walking? Or moderate electricity usage? Or moderate blogging?
43. Well we wouldn’t want to do anything the world does, like eating and sleeping… See #25.
44. This is getting tedious. See #15.
45. This assumes that every effect of alcohol is negative.
46. I’m finding joy in Christ. I’m taking a drink to relax. Again with the false dichotomy.
47. I think you already know where we’re going with this… That’s right. Wait for iiiiiiit…. See #15.
48. And if it doesn’t, then no problem.
49. A little melodramatic. Not every action you partake in your life is going to be directly tied to your Christian walk. Do you spend this much time analyzing your bathroom ritual?
50. If they’re all as shoddy as the 50 you gave, then we’ve got nothing to worry about.
Well, if you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Leave your thoughts in the comments!