I am not a professional anti-alcohol man. In fact, I am not a professional anti-anything man. I am a man; I am a Christian; and, I am a Pastor and resident of this community, Rogersville, and Hawkins County. I have a responsibility as such to preach God’s Word, and thus advocate for what is right, stand against evil, and lead others to follow the example of Jesus Christ. It is not my desire nor my intent to offend anybody, attack anybody, much less everybody because I do not drink and choose to stand against the use of, the sale of, and the consumption of alcohol in any form as a recreational beverage. As a pastor, I stand with the families and parents of those who have been killed through alcohol, I try to comfort those who are having their homes torn apart by alcohol, as a church family we are the ones called on to help hurting families financially who are hurt by alcohol.
The fact that people choose to drink is a given. The fact that people will continue to drink regardless of my action is something I know will happen. These are however sad facts and if you study the statistics you will find them to be deadly facts. So, I cannot sit still and do nothing when an organization of my community which is supported by charitable contributions and funds acquired from my tax dollars, profits from the sale of beer which leads to harm and devastation to individuals, families, this community, and our society.
I am calling Pastors, Churches, Christians, and Concerned Citizens to take a stand and let your voice be heard. The removal of prayer from our schools was done by permission of the Local Church and Christian Community. The fact that you can hardly go out to eat in a family restaurant without seeing a bar is by permission of the Local Church and Christian Community. Every abortion clinic taking the lives of innocent unborn babies is open by permission of the Local Church and Christian Community. The reason it is hard to go to a local market and buy your groceries without having to reach between the beer to purchase your milk is by permission of the Local Church and Christian Community. The fact that there is a lottery in Tennessee today is with the permission of the Local Church and Christian Community. You may ask how I can say that. Well, the truth is we as God’s people have sat in silence and said nothing and done nothing while all these things took place. And, if Rogersville allows beer to be sold openly on her streets it will be because good people stood by and did nothing. We don’t usually think of history as being shaped by silence, but, as English philosopher Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.”
I have been both saddened and outraged by the fact that our very own Heritage Association of Rogersville has made the decision to become a promoter of alcohol at our family, community events. And furthermore to profit from the devastation that alcohol brings to our families. The sale of beer at this past Friday’s, Bluegrass and Barbeque, Cruise-In Celebration is a tragic move in the wrong direction by this community organization. I hope many of you will join me in expressing both your disappointment and your outrage at this decision.
I know many of you will be saying, “There go those Christians, or those Baptist, they are always against everything!” And while I know some feel that way, I know the religious community is not the only group concerned about the growing darkness which seems to be prevailing in our community. Just last month the Rogersville Area Church Council, Inc. was addressed by one of our Rogersville Detectives who spoke of the growing problem of drugs in our schools and community. He said, “On a scale of 1 – 10, our community is an “8” in drugs. Any child can have nearly any drug they want in 5 minutes.” And I cannot help but believe that many of you as concerned citizens of this fine community do not want our family community events turned into beer parties where beer is sold and people walk around with open cups or containers of beer.
Beer and alcohol is the number one drug problem in our society today. Every year, more money is spent promoting the use of alcohol than any other product. Perhaps through its elaborate and creative marketing, the most basic, yet important fact about alcohol is often overlooked — Alcohol is a drug — the most commonly used and widely abused psychoactive drug in the world. One concept that many people find difficult to accept is that alcoholism and alcohol problems are a disease. Research has shown that alcohol interacts with the body’s systems in predictable ways to lead to physiological addiction. Alcoholism is a disease — a chronic, progressive, fatal disease if not treated (Alcohol – Facts, Statistics, Resources, and Impairment Charts; www.gdcada.org/statistics/alcohol.htm – 29k) So, we call Alcoholism a disease, and it is. However, it is the only disease that is bottled and sold. It is the only disease that requires a license to keep it going. It is a disease that provokes crime, causes violent death on the highways, is spread by advertising, and is not caused by a germ or virus. It is the only disease that, as a society we keep around only because people want to profit from it’s revenue. When I asked Mrs. Humbert why this decision was made, her response was, “We will be interested to see how the evening goes. The weekly Broad Street Concerts in Kingsport have done a great deal for Kingsport’s downtown economy and for the amusement of the citizens.” This sounds like we were used as an economic experiment with a deadly product. I for one do not want to be like Kingsport, in their beer consumption. Alcoholism is a disease, it is a sin sickness.
- More than 100,000 U.S. deaths are caused by excessive alcohol consumption each year. Direct and indirect causes of death include drunk driving, cirrhosis of the liver, falls, cancer, and stroke. (1)
- At least once a year, the guidelines for low risk drinking are exceeded by an estimated 74% of male drinkers and 72% of female drinkers aged 21 and older. (2)
- 65% of youth surveyed said that they got the alcohol they drink from family and friends. (7)
- Nearly 14 million Americans meet diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorders. (5)
- Youth who drink alcohol are 50 times more likely to use cocaine than those who never drink alcohol. (3)
- Among current adult drinkers, more than half say they have a blood relative who is or was an alcoholic or problem drinker. (1)
- Across people of all ages, males are four times as likely as females to be heavy drinkers. (1)
- More than 18% of Americans experience alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence at some time in their lives. (6)
- Traffic crashes are the greatest single cause of death for persons aged 6–33. About 45% of these fatalities are in alcohol-related crashes. (4)
- Underage drinking costs the United States more than $58 billion every year — enough to buy every public school student a state-of-the-art computer. (2)
- Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among young people. (1)
- Problem drinkers average four times as many days in the hospital as nondrinkers — mostly because of drinking-related injuries. (1)
- Alcohol kills 6½ times more youth than all other illicit drugs COMBIND. (2)
- Concerning the past 30 days, 50% of high school seniors report drinking, with 32% report being drunk at least once. (2)
1 Substance Abuse: The Nation’s Number One Health Problem, Feb. 2001
2 Mothers Against Drunk Driving
3 National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
4 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
5 Alcohol Health & Research World
6 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Analysis
7 The Century Council
Why would responsible Retired School Principals, Retired Police Officers, Insurance Executives, Real Estate Brokers, Lawyers, Pharmacist, Optometrists, and Business Owners, who should love this community and want its best want to bring such mayhem to our community and profit from it?
Habakkuk 2:12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity! Habakkuk 2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also,…
Can I ask why we, as a community, would want to profit from such a devastating product. Alcohol is associated as the number one common factor in domestic violence, both in spousal abuse and child abuse. It is a common factor contributing directly to or indirectly to divorce and the breakup of families. The National Center for Health Statistics reports, “Number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides: 21,634. Number of alcoholic liver disease deaths: 12,928.
If we had a pesticide that was killing 14 teenagers each day in America, there would be marchers in the streets, outcries in our legislative halls, and boycotts against the manufacturer, producers, the distributers and the users of such a killer. If we had a pesticide associated with the deaths of cattle at the same rate of deaths we have with alcohol and humans, the animal rights activist would launch a national campaign to stop its use. But since we can profit from the sale of alcohol we keep it going. How sad!
Are people going to continue to drink? Unfortunately, the answer is yes! But you and I do not have to sit by and do nothing when we know the devastating results of the sale of alcohol. The Bible says,
James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
You may be asking, “What can I do?” I am asking that you:
1.) Write a letter expressing your disapproval of the recent actions of the Board of Directors of the Heritage Association of Rogersville; as well as the Rogersville City Beer Board.
2.) Call each member of the Board of Directors of the Heritage Association of Rogersville; as well as the Rogersville City Beer Board and express your concern over their recent actions, and request they not do this again.
3.) Attend the next meeting of the Heritage Association of Rogersville, June 3rd, 6:00 PM. at the Old Southern Depot in the corner of Broadway and Depot, to once again express your disapproval of the sale of alcohol by any of our community organizations.
4.) Do not attend any of the Heritage Association of Rogersville Events until they publically apologize to the community for this mistaken action of judgment.
5.) And since money is what the RHA seem to understand the most, DO NOT GIVE to the Heritage Association of Rogersville, not allowing any of your money to be used in the serving of alcohol at community venues of Rogersville in the future.
I am deeply saddened that the Cruise in was advertised together with this unfortunate attempt to raise funds through the sale of beer. Mr. Elridge has for several years now sponsored an alcohol free event for the family called Otis Elridge’s Memory Lane Car Show. He promotes and post an alcohol free event for the family. THANK YOU Mr. Otis Elridge for showing us you can have a growing event, of family fun without the sale of or the use of alcohol.
Regretfully and Heart Brokenly submitted,
Pastor Rick Dinkins
Henard’s Chapel Baptist Church
145 Henard’s Chapel Rd
Rogersville, TN. 37857