More Miscellaneous Rambling
Last Saturday presented yet another example of why neo-Prohibition tactics are harmful. Our school sponsored its annual big fundraiser (chicken dinner and raffle party). For years, a parishioner donated a bottle of wine for every table, with the result that people got smashed people loosened up a small amount but absolutely no one got anywhere near drunk (so far as I could see). About five years ago, the person in charge banned alcohol, with the result that I now have to drink before I get there and exercise extreme discretion once there. The result: I drink way too much. I think I was able to hold my sobriety together enough to do my job (hawk pull-tab lottery tickets table-to-table), but the second-grade math required for the job started to become a bit taxing.
"Ah," you might say, "but couldn't you just not drink at all?" To which I respond, "Yes, but I could also just not attend at all. There are many things I do sober--read, write, pray, garden, and other things that are largely solitary affairs--but there is only one thing I do with drink: socialize. This is a party geared toward adults (the vast bulk of the proceeds are generated through gambling). Treat it like one. I don't want to attend a dry party on Saturday night any more than I'd want to attend a Mass with vodka and beer served in the pews."
The person who banned alcohol, incidentally, is now banned himself, for allegations that are worse than drinking a glass of wine at a school fundraiser (which isn't bad in any way, shape, or form). It's always that way: The people most anxious to condemn non-sins are those with the real bad sins. Exhibit A: The marijuana-smoking fornicator with children out of wedlock who's anxious to condemn other people as racists. I think they simply feel better about their moral predicament by telling themselves that other people are worse because they're racists, homophobes, or whatever. In the case of the person who banned drinking, he supposedly banned drinking because children also attend. I suspect it made him feel better about himself to "strike one for the children," notwithstanding that his actions have hurt the children far more than a kindly parishioner's donation of a few bottles of wine.
Some good Bishop Chaput, writing about the virtues of the Catholic Church jettisoning the CINOs and other people who litter its ranks: “Losing people who are members of the Church in name only is an imaginary loss." Link. I found the link through Fr. Z, whose comments are worth reading.