Friday, August 22, 2008

More on the Drinking Age Debate

These might interest you:
Lower The Drinking Age? Get Serious!

This is the culture we are debating:

— The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 90 percent of all alcohol consumed by people younger than 21 is in the form of binge drinking.

— The number of college students who were killed in alcohol-related accidents rose to more than 1,700 in 2001 from about 1,500 in 1998, and during the same time period, the number of students who engaged in drinking and driving climbed by 500,000, to 2.8 million.

— A recent Associated Press analysis of federal records found that between 1999 and 2005, 157 college-ages people, 18 to 23, drank themselves to death.

1 comment:

Geoff said...

One of my professors actually mentioned this news item and took a straw poll of our class. I was surprised at how MANY of us opposed lowering the age. A couple of brave 18-year-olds even opposed it (it was an upper level class so there probably weren't a lot of them).

I think it was more than half of those who raised their hands. I was surprised that it wasn't more cut and dried. Since it was just a voluntary "hands up" style survey, it's definitely skewed, but with the variety of students' viewpoints, one really can't make an assumption about non-respondents. After all, based on their upbringing, some would be ashamed to publicly support a lower age limit. However, many others would be ashamed to make it public if they support keeping the current age because they perceive it to be an unpopular stance.

I honestly think that at a glance, this committee of 100 has started a useful conversation. I also think that American families need to shake off the taint of 'ye olde American Puritanism', for this reason among others. GK Chesterton once said, "Idolatry is committed not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils." Alcohol is not intrinsically evil, but its abuse is wrong, like excess of speed, food, idleness, work, etc.

ps, I'm NOT saying that some things, even in small amounts AREN'T sinful. Some things ARE, but alcohol is not (with moderation).