During the revolutionary war, Thomas Pain implored the colonists to use Common Sense. He condemned the Royalists for using religious rhetoric as a rationale for supporting a godless, tyrannical monarch who was attempting to forcibly enslave them. It made no sense to support the king on religious grounds when it was precisely their freedom of religion (among other things) that was at stake! Long after the American victory, in a treatise on spirituality, Paine proclaimed the young country would usher in an Age of Reason.
But is it reason that dictates the personal ideals of a few as law to the many? Is it in the name of freedom that the belief of a single denomination should be imposed by publicly funded law enforcement, and any tax-payers of a different religious conviction subjugated to it? Is such religion even religious, or is it merely rhetoric, the appalling perversion of spiritual liberty into chains of bondage by modern-day Pharisees?
There are many arguments to be made against Prohibition, to such an extent that even a passing summary of all the empirical evidence would fall outside the scope of this current examination. Fortunately, this is not a historical article but a spiritual one; therefore, the author will leave the analysis of the ends to experts on the matter, while focusing instead on the means. After all, there are few moralities indeed that will openly advocate that the end justifies the means, and the remainder of this inquisition is of no consequence to individuals of that cult.
It is obvious that the enslaving doctrine of the Royalists and their intellectual descendents are still prevalent to this day. The greater Birmingham, Alabama area is but one location where their influence remains strong. Consider the small town of Alexander City, where an annual “Oktoberfest” is held in direct contradiction of the German tradition: that is, there is no alcohol.
That’s right: Oktoberfest with no beer.
Rumor has it the folks in Alex City are also drumming up plans for an annual “Woodstock” festival, but without instruments or dancing. At one point it was suggested by a naively simple planner that the celebrations be renamed “Sermonfest,” and “Hymnstock,” respectively. The idea was quickly struck down, however, due to the fear that potential converts might be scared away from such overtly honest titles.*
A wise Baptist minister defended the decision to keep the original, if not somewhat misleading names: “It takes an ugly worm to catch fish. Ya’ll can’t just stick a fryer in the lake and expect bass to start jumping in it.” One of his peers was quick to object, “But bait that’s too darn ugly would get your hands dirty!” to which the pastor replied, “of course. That’s why you use a plastic worm. You make the fish think it’s getting something that it isn’t, then BAM! You reel ‘em in.” A youngster quipped up, “But isn’t that deceitful?” The minister smiled knowingly and patted the juvenile on the shoulder. “No, my son,” he said, “it’s saving souls.”*
Overdrawn analogies aside, it would be fitting only of something supremely twisted – indeed, a perversion of Luciferian origin – that would enslave souls in the name of saving them.
For what is religious enslavement, if it is not a forced observance upon all of a rule specific to only one sect of one religion?
Indeed it was precisely that situation that the founders of this country fled from, the same situation that certain individuals would now dare to embrace. By doing so, they bring dishonor not only to themselves and their country but also to their Creator. How small-minded must they be, to blasphemously suggest that the God of Truth, Reason, and Liberty would have us all wearing shackles!
For as Paul put it:
“Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day… Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of the world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations have the appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any real value…”
– Colossians 2:16, 18-23
Atheists might claim that alcohol sales should not be considered a spiritual matter, and therefore, should not be regulated. Contrarily, the author would note that it is precisely due to its spiritual nature that alcohol sales should never be banned outside of the decisions made within individual households. For all manifestations of bondage, whether they are caused by alcohol, guilt, or theology, are spiritual in nature. In every case, the solution to bondage requires individual responsibility, not collective force. The prevention of suicide is not achieved in the banning of guilt; neither will the regulation of theology thwart the advancement of bad doctrines. It is equally absurd, and comically hypocritical, to suppose that alcohol addiction can be cured by giving a festival a deceitful name.
* Both paragraphs marked with a ” * ” at the end are purely facetious, and used only to illustrate a point. In a scary way, they’re not even that unbelievable.