Saturday, March 29, 2014

WoW - wine, strong drinks, and mild drinks

In my experience Mormons, even the ones who are on the fence about the metaphysical stuff, boast of the wisdom of the Word of Wisdom, the LDS Church's dietary guideline (read "commandment"). The rules seem to stand on their own. For example, everyone knows that alcohol is bad for you. In the short term it impairs your judgment, speed, and coordination and gives you horrible breath; in the long term excessive drinking contributes to a disgustingly chubby gut, depression, cirrhosis of the liver, and cancer. That's why it's so easy to get behind the Church's policy on total abstinence.

And it's right in the scriptures: "inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father"!

It's very clear... until you read the rest of the verse: "only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him [the Father]". SO WINE'S OKAY IN CHURCH (according to the word of God to Joseph Smith).

No biggy. It's just a sip of wine. In fact it's so insignificant that we don't even have to use wine at all in the sacrament. Let's ignore what God supposedly said and move on.

The next verse is also about wine for church services: "And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make". WE'RE COMMANDED TO MAKE OUR OWN WINE. Interesting. It's probably supposed to mean grape juice. No biggy.

 The next verse is just weird: "And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies". What? This has to mean that we can use high grade alcohol to sanitize wounds, right? Then again it doesn't mention wounds, does it? Whatever it means, it definitely doesn't say you should be doing shots. No drinking alcohol, people!

"Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain." (verse 17, emphasis added)

Hold up a second there. Wheat beer? Yes, that's for man. Barley beer? Yes, it's a lovely mild drink. Mead? Sure, there are hops in there too. Other mild drinks made from grains? Yes, it's all very useful.

After searching the Scriptures, I have to admit that I'm a little confused. I thought that "God has spoken against the use of ... alcohol," but it seems he's only spoken against some uses and in favor of others. If I were to actually follow the Word of Wisdom when it comes to alcohol, I wouldn't be the weirdo at the party who's always turning down a beer. Hell, I might even be the dude pouring vodka all over his body instead of just mixing it into drinks like everyone else. But if you want to taste my wine, you're going to have to come to church with me on Sunday!

How the hell does the Word of Wisdom speak for our day?

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