1938: Minutes, pp. 224-225
The Augustana Synod has always recognized the liquor traffic as
a destroyer of souls and therefore, as an enemy of the church. The
Synod has been justified in this attitude, because the liquor
traffic challenges the church with grave social problems in its
heartless waste of human resources and human life.
The following facts are pertinent:
Automobile traffic is made exceedingly hazardous by even a
moderate use of alcohol, and innumerable accidents in other fields
are also directly and indirectly traceable to this cause. The
tissues and organs of the human body are frequently so harmfully
affected by alcohol that serious illness and death result from its
Indulgence in strong drink in many cases reduces the family
income so much that a healthful standard of living becomes
impossible. The family's moral standard is also lowered and home
life is disrupted. The drunkard and his dependents often become
felons or public charges.
The drunkard frequently makes a nuisance of himself in public,
as well as at home. Persons who ordinarily are of an amiable
disposition may, under the influence of liquor, become exceedingly
silly or beastly. The consumption of liquor, particularly in places
of public entertainment, tends to break down one's sense of moral
responsibility, contributing to sexual promiscuity and other
To regulate the liquor traffic and deal with the criminals which
it directly or indirectly produces demands an expensive judicial
organization, the construction and upkeep of numerous jails and
various other institutions, all of which increase taxes far beyond
the revenues that can be collected. The liquor traffic is always a
financial as well as moral and spiritual liability, and never an
aid to the taxpayer.
The Christian's conscience is bound by the Word of God. Paul has
written: "Be not drunken with wine wherein is riot, but be filled
with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18). "Know ye not that ye are a
temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any
man destroyeth the temple of God, him shall God destroy" (1
Corinthians 3:16, 17). "Be not deceived ... no drunkard shall
inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10). The Christian
recognizes drunkenness as a terrible sin.
In view of the above and much more that could be cited, the
Synod must maintain its traditional opposition to the liquor
traffic. Therefore, be it resolved:
- That the Synod urges all its pastors to
instruct their people on the evils of intemperance, particularly
the evils of intoxicating drink, and earnestly lay on their hearts
their Christian obligation to give offense to no one.
- That the Synod urges the Board of Parish
Education to provide proper lesson material on this most important
question, for use in the church schools.
- That the Synod favors and urges the
providing of lesson material for use in the public schools that, in
a scientific and constructive manner, will deal with the true
physical, mental and moral effects of the use of alcohol.
- That the Synod urges the leaders of our
young people, both in local and general organizations, to provide
programs in which the evils of strong drink are stressed, and the
ideals of sobriety attractively presented.
- That the Synod urges all its members to use
their best efforts, through whatever legitimate and proper channels
that may present themselves, to wipe out the present liquor