Poll: Is underage drinking a sin?

16 comments

Here’s a new Fallible Blogma poll for you:

Is underage drinking (of alcohol) a sin?

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For more insight on the Catholic answer, check out this post here.

And if you’d like to know if Jesus drank alcohol…go here.

But first – vote in the poll above please!  And comment below!

16 comments Add comment

Dean Soto October 27, 2009 at 1:03 pm

The only reason it would be sinful would be that it is disobedience to the law, since alcohol isn’t intrinsically evil. That being said… VOTE!

Matthew Warner October 27, 2009 at 2:06 pm

I agree, Dean. Some could argue that the drinking age is an “unjust” law and therefore we are not morally required to follow it. But I think that’s a very tough case to make.

Too bad all of you readers aren’t in the same town…would be nice to all grab a beer sometime. Shiner Bock is my choice.

Katlin Lewis October 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm

I used to have a glass of champagne starting when I was about 17 on Christmas Eve with my family. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Touche on the Shiner Bock my friend, though Fat Tire would be my choice.

Dean Soto October 27, 2009 at 10:14 pm

That would be awesome! I’m partial to Newcastle and Bass. Room temperature, of course.

The law, the way it currently is, is a bit of a compromise between the puritanical roots of the American culture, and those who would like wine and beer to flow freely. When I was deployed to Kuwait, there was a British Colonel that would always laugh at our officers when they mentioned that no American could drink while deployed. He claimed that it was not because of cultural sensitivity, but because Americans do nothing but go from one extreme to another because they can’t master the concept of moderation. I think he was right.

Is it an unjust law? I don’t think so, especially now that there is a huge lack of self-self discipline in American society.

@Katlin – Same here. That’s what makes this question tough. Personally, if the family unit was stonger in America, I would say it were an unjust law. However, too many families (I count more than 8 within a kilometer of me) are severely broken and that brokenness would likely lead to abuse of alcohol amongst teens. I don’t know, maybe I’m making a bit of a slippery slope argument.

CARLOS October 27, 2009 at 11:19 pm

What is with the warm beer…I went to Kenya en route to Mogadishu and all they served in Kenya is warm beer (okay if you wanted cold ones they looked at you funny and pulled the old beer from the freezer…lol)… America is the land of confusion right now….and like alcohol i was taught there are many dangerous things in the world like knives and guns and they should approached with respect and they could hurt you when you apply them in a particular manner and they could be productive in an another…
ANYWAY…. cold Bass anytime.

enness July 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm

It’s interesting you use that term, Dean: the Puritans were known to drink moderately. :)

Artie Catalano October 29, 2009 at 6:15 pm

I think common sense needs to be applied here. The problem is how do we determine common sense and also obey laws that clearly differ from country to country.

Here is a scenario… Let’s say I am a European (booo, only kidding) and I have been drinking since I was 16, and I am responsible about it. I move to the United States and now I cannot drink till I am 21. Would one suggest that it is sinful for me to drink in the United States at 17 when I have been drinking for a year?

I mean is this considered sinful for me to drink in the United States, but not sinful to drink in my native European country?

Matthew, I know you Texans have the 6 point beer, would it be sinful for me to drink 6 point beer in Oklahoma considering Oklahoma has a state law that says they cannot sell 6 point beer at any local gas or grocery store?

Unjust Law? I don’t know… I just think it is weird to suggest it is sinful when laws in different lands have different rules/regulations/etc.

Just my thoughts!

Bobby October 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm

My wife tells me that when Prohibition happened in the US in the 20s, the US Catholic Bishops told the faithful that it was an unjust law, and they didn’t have to follow it. So I don’t believe it to be necessarily a sin, only if you go overboard. In that case, it would be a sin for anybody, young or old. God bless, and have a beer for the Pope.

enness July 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Sacramental wine saved a number of legitimate companies during that time.

Matthew Warner October 27, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Well, it’s not against the law to have a drink if you are with your parents (at least not here in Texas). So that’s a different thing. But otherwise, it’s against the law if you’re under 21. So I would think we have a moral obligation for obeying that law unless that law itself is deemed unjust.

And I can definitely see complete prohibition being an unjust law. But this is not that, really. Although it is prohibition for those under 21. Interesting convo.

Definitely gotta have cold beer. Sorry warm beer people. Cold Shiner and I’m happy.

Chris Weidenhamer October 28, 2009 at 7:58 pm

I forgot, you’re a Texan aren’t you? I had a boss years ago who had an architectural project in Texas. Every time she flew down (from here in Minnesota), she’d bring back some Shiner. That was some good beer!

I’ll have to vote for room temp ales and cold (all else). Both are rather good.

Matt, I was always under the impression as you said – minors can consume so long as you are with your parents and it’s a small quantity. Sounds like a Communion/ Eucharist clause, doesn’t it? :-)

Matthew Warner October 30, 2009 at 9:25 am

Yes, Shiner is definitely my fav. And yes, Chris, does sound a bit like a Communion clause! :-) But also a compromise between family and government because the parents are the primary educators and caretakers and people responsible for children – NOT the government.

Artie – I’m not following that. It doesn’t matter what country you’re in, you have a moral obligation to follow all civil laws that are not unjust.

In fact, the Catechism even says this: CCC 2240 – [Christians] reside in their own nations, but as resident aliens. They participate in all things as citizens and endure all things as foreigners. . . . They obey the established laws and their way of life surpasses the laws. . . . So noble is the position to which God has assigned them that they are not allowed to desert it.

If the speed limit is 100 in Germany and 70 in the USA, I am obligated to follow the law of each country. I can’t just go around following the laws from whichever country I choose or where I’m from.

In OK you can’t sell 6 pt beer. If you were to sell it there, yes, that would be wrong. But you CAN consume it. So there is nothing wrong with that there.

The question is really a matter of civil obedience…which we are called to follow (even when we disagree) as long as the civil law does not contradict our (higher) moral law.

Drew October 30, 2009 at 9:45 am

Personally I’m in favor of lowering the drinking age to 16 like they do in many European countries. It allows for greater parental supervision.

enness July 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm

You may have a point but I think you’re making a big assumption that anybody would necessarily have to supervise them.

gntlmnr October 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm

To me there is a difference between what is sinful and what is illegal. They don’t have to mean the same thing all the time. I don’t think it is a sin to drink if you are underage, but I don’t suggest to anybody to break the law either.

Charlie Speck October 18, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I agree with gntlmnr, It may be against the law to drink in a pub, bar etc if a person is underage, but is it against the law for the underage person to have a glass of wine with their dinner at home as many people do, it is a part of their dinner in some cultures. I certainly would’nt call that a sin. But for the same underage person to go out drinking in bars or in the streets etc and break the law, then that could be a sin because we are to obey the laws of the land.

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