- Special Sections
- Public Notices
By Michael Galloway
It was a normal church event for those involved. In my work, I have taken many a group of youth on a trip just like it. The youth group had decided to take a trip to King’s Island and had taken a bus.
I can imagine the group having loads of fun at the amusement park until it was time to come home. The kids on the bus were probably tired, maybe a little cranky; after all it was 11 p.m.
I can imagine that the chaperones on that bus were anxious to get back and be with their families and sleep in their own bed. Sadly for many that would never happen. They weren’t given the opportunity.
At around 11 p.m. May 14, 1988, a drunken driver collided with this bus filled with husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, children, siblings, friends and relatives. When everything was said and done , 24 youth and three adults had passed away. Ten other individuals suffered disfiguring burns, hearts were broken; divorces resulted, a child’s foot had to be amputated and hundreds suffered.
In the 10 years since 9/11, we have had almost as many people in the state of Kentucky die from alcohol related crashes alone as in 9/11. How tragic life can be.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Alcohol has many defenders, but has no defense” and I believe that his words ring so true. There are several reasons why I will never take a sip of alcohol and I am against the expansion of alcohol sales in our community. I would like to share some of these reasons:
I realize that there are other things that you can drink besides alcohol that doesn’t glorify God. However, there is not one thing that I know about alcohol that glorifies God. In fact, I would venture to say most byproducts of alcohol do the exact opposite. Alcohol use is said to be involved in 50 percent of all murders, accidental deaths and suicides. It is said to be involved in 33 percent of all drownings boating, and aviation deaths. It is involved in 50 percent of all crimes. That doesn’t sound like things that glorify God to me.
I don’t think anyone would argue that drunkenness is shown to be sinful by God’s holy word. An individual that never drinks never will have to worry about getting drunk. The point at which an individual gets drunk is different for everyone. The only way to know how much alcohol must be consumed by an individual to get drunk is to actually get drunk. Thus, the only way to be certain that we will not get drunk is to not drink.
When I was a sophomore in college, I worked as a volunteer firefighter for the city of Henderson, Tenn. One morning about 12:15 a.m., I received a page and sent to Highway 45. I will never forget the devastation that I would see that morning. I can remember seeing smoke coming out of a car that no longer looked like a car. I remember seeing a semi-truck turned over in a ditch, children's toys and debris lining the road. I saw a body that no longer had life in it sprawled out in the road. I found out later that the car had been traveling at more than 90 miles an hour the wrong way down the highway when it hit the semi-truck. A teenage boy had been drinking.
In 2007, 14,406 individuals died from alcohol-related liver disease. In this same year, 23,199 people died from alcohol-related instances, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and this number excludes accidents and homicides.
More than 14 million people in the United States are addicted to alcohol. That statistic averages out to one in every 13 adults.
Alcoholics spend on average four times the amount of time in the hospital during a lifetime than a non-alcoholic. The cost of untreated alcohol and drug abuse costs our country more than $265 billion every year in law enforcement costs, health care, welfare and lost productivity.
Drunken drivers cause half of all highway fatalities. Alcohol is a factor in nearly half of all accidents, suicides and murders. The consequences of alcohol are deadly and cause so much harm in our country each and every day.
It is said that more individuals are addicted to alcohol than any other substance. Yet Paul tells us that he will not be enslaved by anything. When we are dealing with a substance as addictive as alcohol, it cannot be guaranteed when the first sip is taken that we will not become addicted. We cannot guarantee that if we drink alcohol our influence will not cause someone else to drink, become addicted, and have major problems come about as a result of the addiction.
Alcohol is not something that builds others up. As this article has shown through the many statistics that have been given, alcohol can cause quite a bit of heartache in the life of those who have abused it. As we ponder this subject, and think about the harm that alcohol can cause, the words of Paul ring loudly in my ears, “All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up”. Even if alcohol was allowed by the word of God, which this writer believes that it is not, this principle alone should keep us from using it and supporting it. After all alcohol is a substance that tears lives down, not builds them up.
I realize that there is a lot of money to be gained by the expanded sale of alcohol. How many lives is the money worth?
As a community let us do our best to ensure that alcohol is not made readily available as all it takes is one individual to use the newly available alcohol irresponsibly. Vote no on Oct. 4.
Michael Galloway is associate minister at the Elizabethtown Church of Christ. He can be contacted at Michael.email@example.com. Statistics quoted came from www.alcohol-information.com/Alcohol_Statistics.html and www.drug-rehabs.org/alcohol-statistics.php