Monday, July 20, 2015

"Mild Barley Drinks", "Hot Drinks" and "Strong Drinks"

From a purely analytical standpoint:

I would say that "mild" beer is perfectly in line with the original spirit and message of the Word of Wisdom, but that many (if not most) of the current beer options are not. Generally speaking, beer is not nearly as mild as it used to be. Also, the original said explicitly, "not by way of command" - but that was changed decades later, due, in my opinion, to Prohibition, the radical increase in alcohol advertising and the rise of "non-mild" options being marketed as just fine and dandy - making more drinks truly addictive in content to a far greater extent than previously.

At the heart, I think that the change is a great example of the human need for clarification - the tendency to want to be commanded and/or command in all things. "Mild barley drinks", "hot drinks" and "strong drinks" morphed into "beer, coffee, tea and all forms of alcohol" - going from categories requiring personal consideration and decision to a list of specific products on a Do Not Consume list.

I actually am okay with that stricter standards for those who want it and those who need it (probably the majority of people and certainly a large minority), especially those who are prone to addiction and the efforts of "conspiring men in the latter days", and I follow it to avoid eating meat in the company of those who abstain from meat and because I know myself well enough to know I am prone to addictive behavior - but the stricter standard is harder for those who neither want nor need it - who could partake in moderation without adverse health effects and/or addiction.

It also leads too often to judging others, even those who have not committed to follow the Word of Wisdom, as being spiritually unworthy or inferior in some way -  and that is a shame. 

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