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Friday, February 17, 2012

Sophistication Redefined

What did you, or do you, refuse to eat or drink?  Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, p.1594).

What I refuse to drink: alcoholic beverages.  Next questions, when—where—how—and why?

During my young adult years, I tried alcoholic beverages perhaps five times.  When I turned 21, a friend and I went to the University Restaurant in Tampa and had a beer or two.  Once I got a bottle of Colt 45 at a convenience store and drank it.  A young lady and I had cocktails at Tampa International Airport—I had a Tom Collins.  Once in Gainesville I had a bottle of beer in a restaurant.  Finally, in the early 70’s a friend and I bought a bottle of whisky at a liquor store near campus and drank some of it in my room.  On all these occasions I was making a symbolic statement that I was free of the restrictions of my teen years at home.  I wanted to feel sophisticated and identify with a cosmopolitan lifestyle.  But having tried it, I felt the effects of alcohol and generally found even mild intoxication was unpleasant and wrong and ran counter to the purposes for which God created me.  I came to realize that clear thinking and acting was what God intended for me.  It seemed a sacrilege to the Almighty to cloud the gift of perception—in its form and extent a unique gift to humanity.  It became clear to me that I had no meaningful inhibitions—that my freedoms were better served by a natural high.  (I also tried cannabis several times with precisely similar results—the positive promise was simply never realized.)  So for many years now, I have been a teetotaler.  This has insured my role as a rebel—not a rebel from my growing up home years, but a rebel to the phony sophistication of alcohol.  The negative impact of alcohol on our society is incalculable.  Ironically, our society’s use of alcohol does not in the long run remove inhibitions, but only serves to reinforce them.  It does not serve to make us sophisticated, but only serves to demean us.  Of course propaganda to the contrary is unrelenting—there are big bucks in the alcohol trade.  The constant barrage of blatant falsehood only serves to condition us for accepting lies and untruth.  My hope is that one day prohibition will return—not as a law, but as a steadfast choice.  My hope is that sophistication will be truly defined and ultimately consummated in clarity of thought and action from which arise true fun and happiness.

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