Sunday, 18 July 2010


I do not drink alcohol and I do this for what I consider religious reasons. I am you see a Methodist and in particular a primitive Methodist. Some Christian and Methodist scholars argue that my opposition to Alcohol is not biblical (Jesus turned water into wine after all) but cultural. That the founders of the primitive Methodist church were anti-alcohol and thus my religious views are in fact cultural.
I would argue that there are anti alcohol quotes in the bible but this piece is not about the theology of alcohol. There are those who also see temperance (look it up) is anti social, that by pursing temperance we are being anti social. Indeed I have often been excluded in both my private and public life because of my veracious commitment to temperance.
They may be right. I can easily see why a man who refused to drink would not be welcome in a business deal celebrated by Champaign (its only one glass after all). Or who the sober man would not be welcomed or join in with the intoxicated revellers. There is I assure you something terrible liberating by being so anti social, so refusing to something so fundamental to our society.
No let’s say the stat suddenly came over with some prejudice against Methodist because some Methodist extremist bored someone to death (let’s face it that the only way a Methodist is ever going to harm anyone). Could they not argue that outlawing temperance is for the social good? Could they not dig up umpteen biblical scholars to testify it’s not religious its cultural and then get business leaders and social commentators to argue that temperance is anti social?
No. Well that’s what they’re doing with the Burkha. Merely because we do not or do something ourselves does not mean we have the right to force other to do it. Merely because something make you uncomfortable or make you look unsociable it no reason to force behavioural change. Not more could the state make me drink even that one glass, will the state force Muslims for forsake the Burkha.

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