“Ain’t no beer around here. You want beer you gonna have to git back to Missouruh.”
Dan (a life-long friend) and I are both originally from NE Kansas and we were driving on our way for a weekend of primitive backpacking back in 2003.
The “no beer here” declaration were un-welcomed words we heard from a toothless, female gas station attendant after driving quite some time through the ever-winding hills of the Buffalo National River Park in North Central Arkansas. We were driving in an area, unbeknownst to us, which was a “dry county”. I had heard of “dry-counties” before but I didn’t think they actually still existed. I knew that Jack Daniels which is distilled (or whatever they do to whiskey) in Lynchburg, TN, was located in a dry-county, but I thought that was more of, “Yeah, yeah, we sure are a dry county.” (wink wink nudge nudge). We had stopped at this gas station in hopes of buying some beer to enjoy around our campfire but we were quickly informed by the not-so-eloquently spoken and unkempt service station caretaker that if we really wanted some beer our shortest drive was an hour and half back up through the hills of north Arkansas. My buddy’s response, “So, that sign 100 miles ago that said, “Last chance to get the beer!”, really wasn’t kidding.” We got back into our car and headed to our trail inlet.
That was my first experience with the south’s “disdain” for alcohol. But I also quickly learned while some people truly are tea-totallers I also learned these jokes hold true.
Jews don’t recognize Jesus as the son of God.
Protestants don’t recognize the pope as the leader of the Church.
Baptists don’t recognize each other in a liquor store.
Why do you take two Baptists with you when you go fishing?
Because if you take just one he’ll drink all your beer.
Another recent experience happened this past Sunday at church. Before the sermon, the campus pastor opened the floor for “sharing”. One gentleman started sharing about his daughter’s troubles with drugs and alcohol. He made the statement that he now abstains from alcohol for his daughter’s sake but that he believes there is no problem whatsoever enjoying beer or wine as long as it’s done in moderation. After he made that proclamation I wanted to fist-pump and let out a hardy “Amen!” but since I was upfront banging on my congas during the music I chose not to. Needless to say my reaction differed greatly from the congregation’s corporate thought. While nothing was outright said from the congregation in disagreement from I could see all the brows furrow and the faces change shape to that of scorn. I’m sure the campus pastor’s phone was quite busy the next day.
So is this post all about booze? Well, kindof, but when you read this quote from CS Lewis (who might surprise you with what you think you know about his actual theology) I think you’ll be able to apply this quote and thought to more than just alcohol. I originally saw the quote from Jonathan McIntosh, a friend of mine and a church planter in Midtown Memphis, who tweeted it today (Wednesday, 8/10/11) and I thought it was quite descriptive in what we, as Christians, sometimes do to things, in our attitude and actions, that we might think are taboo. Since I’ve been living in Arkansas I’ve never seen such religious fueled opposition to alcohol, but it is not solely limited to Arkansas. Remember Prohibition?
So as not to be-labor the point, here’ the quote from CS Lewis.