Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Proper Role of Drink. Will Bacchus Back Us?

Image result for bacchus

Dear Fred,

Thanks for your email.

In responsible societies where moderate drinking is the norm, alcoholic beverages are a great boon

To their credit, both Judaism and Catholicism consider alcohol a sacramental substance. 


A toxin is the central sacrament of the world's largest religion!

However, Puritanism -- neo- and otherwise -- engenders irresponsible people for whom "forbidden fruits" are objects of obsessive fixation.

Knowing they are obsessed and therefore out-of-control, Puritans are staunch supporters of The Law, assuming that only The Law can do what they themselves can't.

Without rigid enforcement of ram-rod Law -- and unaccustomed to expressing natural exuberance -- Puritans rely on rigid enforcement of ram-rod Law to bolster self-restraint. Chthonically, they realize they are essentially "out of line" and therefore require 
force majeure to keep them "in line."  

Alterntively, Catholics who tend to grow up understanding the critical importance of mercy and indulgence, know in their bones-and-their-bellies that "a cup a day" is thoroughly salubrious - physically and metaphysically.

Sadly, those who are essentially puritanical and given to obsessing over impossibly pure principles -- then there is no reason to trust oneself since all the available principles are too pure and thus essentially unreal. 

Compendium Of Best Pax Posts On "Too Pure Principles" And The Collapse Of Conservatism

Absent Reality, life provides no real nourishment -- "no tit in the mouth" -- and, in consequence, severe legal restraint (with the prospect of punishment always uppermost) is the necessary default.

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 

1 John 4:18

"The terrible thing about our time is precisely the ease with which theories can be put into practice.  The more perfect, the more idealistic the theories, the more dreadful is their realization.  We are at last beginning to rediscover what perhaps men knew better in very ancient times, in primitive times before utopias were thought of: that liberty is bound up with imperfection, and that limitations, imperfections, errors are not only unavoidable but also salutary. The best is not the ideal.  Where what is theoretically best is imposed on everyone as the norm, then there is no longer any room even to be good.  The best, imposed as a norm, becomes evil.”  Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander 

Pax on both houses


On Sat, Mar 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM, Fred Owens <> wrote:


National Review -- on drinking habits.

Pax needs to take a position on this. Is booze good?


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