Friday, December 5, 2008

Love beer? Fight to protect it - Session #22

The SessionI write this entry today in honor of the 22nd installment of The Session. This month’s Session is being hosted by the 21st Amendment Brewery. This month’s topic is very relevant to the date upon which we beer bloggers are writing on, namely the 75th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition in America. The 21st Amendment effectively canceled out the 18th Amendment which prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcohol in the US.

Here, simply, is what the 21st Amendment Brewery asked us to write about this month:

What does the repeal of Prohibition mean to you? How will you celebrate your right to drink beer?

I've had a few weeks to think about this subject and did a bit of reading on how the whole Prohibition thing started in the first place. One thing remains clear in my mind. Prohibition happened once, it can happen again.

The real question is, will Prohibition ever be brought back?

In order to answer that question, we have to ask these further questions: Can our federal, state and local governments afford to do without the huge tax revenues that alcoholic beverages generate? Can insurance companies and lawyers, who make a lot of money off of car insurance premiums and prosecuting drunk drivers, deal with a world without alcohol consumption? If there is no alcohol to tax, how much will our taxes for other items have to go up in order to make up the huge shortfall in tax base?

Let’s face it America, our country has a lot riding on the common bottle of beer that we celebrate our right to drink today. Without it, millions of American’s livelihoods would be at stake. Prohibition may have been defeated 75 years ago but don’t ever think for a moment that the movement to take it away is gone forever.

Beware the Dark Side

Think Prohibition is dead? Think again. Just take a look at this article concerning the proceedings of a recent 2006 Southern Baptist convention. According to that report, a growing majority of Southern Baptist leaders are making it quite clear that they are doing everything they can to abolish the consumption of all alcohol in this country (and the world for that matter). The article goes on to say that even the group MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) has transformed into an activist group against all alcohol consumption.

I’m sure there are dozens of other factions out there that are thinking the same thing. There's still a Prohibition party existing today that supports a candidate in each Presidential election who’s political message is to abolish alcohol in this nation.

So what does all this tell us? We should all be thankful that we still have the right to not only drink beer but also to homebrew our own beer in this country. It took years to gain our freedoms here in America and we continue to fight for those freedoms.

The old saying goes: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905. Mark those words well.

The Plan

I personally plan to celebrate this Repeal day by doing several things:

1) Go out and buy a 6-pack of beer from my local liquor store.
2) Buy that beer from a brewery that is local to my area.
3) Go outside on my front porch, open and drink a beer out in the open.
4) Thank God for the gifts he has given us (which includes beer).

Remember my fellow beer drinkers. While that beer we hold close to our hearts and mouths is legal to drink today, tomorrow we may be fighting for that right once again. Celebrate what we have while we still have it. Don’t take your rights for granted. Go out and support your local pubs, bars, restaurants, liquor stores, breweries and brewpubs while you can. The beer that you save may well be your own.

Related articles:
- The Session #21 - Can we really choose a favorite beer?
- The Session #15 - How did you get into good beer?

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