A Television Commercial, A Phone Call, & A Public Service Announcement

Since I don’t pay much attention to television commercials for alcoholic beverages, I almost missed something I think is important. You may not agree that it is important, but maybe you will agree that it is at least interesting and thought-provoking.

The commercial was for Jack Daniels whiskey. Did I really hear what I thought I’d heard? Were they really saying that the town in which this beverage is distilled is “dry?” 

I did some checking on the internet and found out that this was, indeed, what they were saying. The sale of alcoholic beverages is against the law in Lynchburg, Tennessee. I found out more than that. I discovered that the entire county (Moore County) is “dry!” 

When I found that out, my mind went back to an incident that took place possibly a quarter of a century ago. I was working on some material about the dangers involved in drinking alcoholic beverages. I decided to make an unusual phone call.

At that time, we lived about twenty miles or so from a distributor for a major beer company. I decided to place a call to this business and do a little “unusual research.”

I did everything I could to keep them from thinking that I was trying to “ambush” them. I identified myself as a preacher and explained what I was doing to the person with whom I was talking. I then asked what I thought was a fairly simple question: “Do you allow the drivers of your trucks to drink?”

The person on the other end of the call seemed to be incredulous. As I remember it, the question was: “Do you mean while they are working?” 

When I answered that this was what I was asking, you would have thought from the reaction on the other end of the line that the person knew she was dealing with a real nut case. Her answer was emphatic: “Of course not!” 

I had a follow-up question: “Not at all?” The other person in the conversation quickly and firmly assured me that this was the policy. Once again, I thought I could tell from the tone of her voice that she thought I needed to “get some help.”

Here is where we are so far. The entire county in which a famous whiskey is distilled is dry. Also, the policy of a distributor for what is probably the largest beer company in the world is that they will not allow their drivers to use their product while they are “on the clock.” 

What does all of this have to do with a public service announcement? Unless you’ve been under a rock somewhere for quite some time, you’ve probably both seen and heard it.

Buzzed driving is drunk driving.

Since I am a preacher (at least part-time now), I might be expected to approach everything from a biblical perspective. I decided to approach this slightly differently this time. Instead of questioning and/or arguing about exactly what the Bible teaches about the use of alcoholic beverages, I thought it might be good to let different sources weigh in on the discussion.

It seems to me that, even if I had never seen a Bible, I would have a pretty good reason to avoid alcohol altogether. After all; what other product can you think about that never wants you to see their best customers?

Since I do have a Bible, I understand that my purpose in life is to do my best to glorify God in all that I do. I, for one, would find that very difficult to do with a can of beer, a glass of wine, or a shot of whiskey in my hand.

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AUTHOR: Jim Faughn




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